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Xbox One Demo was staged, early build is sluggish and unresponsive

by William Schwartz

Microsoft’s reveal of the Xbox One pegged the system as hardware for not only gaming, but a multimedia hub for the living room. A large chunk of their announcement was dedicated to explaining how the Xbox One would revolutionize the way we watch TV, and interact with all types of media using a Windows 8-like system that allows for users to “snap” different media elements to the screen at once. Following the show, the gaming community figured out that the demo wasn’t in real time. If you’ll recall, the Xbox One press conference showed what appeared to be a live look-in at The Price is Right. That live look-in was definitive proof that the demo was staged.

It was boasted that Microsoft is using multiple operating systems to accomplish this multimedia multitasking, but, it looks like this tech is still too rough around the edges for public consumption. More likely, they didn’t want to use the sluggish, five frames per second mess that is found in the video above, to introduce their new console to the world. In the video, you’ll see a much different user interface than what was introduced at the Xbox One event last month. It’s noticeably slower, and doesn’t appear to be as svelte as what we saw at the show.

Things go wrong at presentations like these, and you can’t fault hardware makers for wanting to get it right when the chips are down. In fact, it’s fairly common for these presentations to be staged, or “representations” of the final product. So this video isn’t a smoking gun by any means, it actually has a disclaimer saying that the software is from an early build. It’s just that the quality of the UI that we were shown is probably more in-line with Microsoft’s goal for the software, rather than where it actually is right now.

Microsoft failed to capture the attention of a large segment of their core audience with the Xbox One reveal being focused on other media outside of gaming. The only thing that could possibly be worse for the company is if they get into a mess similar to the Wii U, launching with a slow user interface has been one of the worst parts about Nintendo’s new console. Unfortunately for Microsoft, they get themselves into these messes continually. You only have to look back as far as Kinect to find a piece of hardware that was promised as one thing, and arrived as another.

Hopefully, the Xbox One doesn’t share the same fate.

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