Day one of E3 2013 is done. Time for some impressions, some cheers and some jeers. I’ll collect some trailers and other media tomorrow but for now it’s just text!
Microsoft’s Press Conference
Microsoft promised games and delivered on that promise. They started with Metal Gear Solid 5 and ended with an incredible in-game demonstration of TitanFall. In-between the two were a flurry of exclusives.
Microsoft confirmed a gameplay recording and streaming feature for the Xbox One along with Xbox Live! Gold features such as Gold membership sharing on one console and a PS Plus-esque free game offer. All of these features sound great, if I were to pay for Xbox Live! Gold. I refuse to pay for online multiplayer.
As expected, the Xbox One will debut this November for $499.99. I’m surprised there wasn’t a different lower priced SKU or a subsidized offering but there’s still lots of time to announce the latter.
If we’re strictly looking at the games being offered, I am in for an Xbox One. Three exclusives including Forza MotorSport 5, TitanFall (PC as well but I rather play with controller) and the next Halo game in 2014 are enough to push me towards an early purchase.
I mentioned the highlights but there were many announced Xbox One titles that just didn’t show well. However, when I consider it was a 90 minute presentation, it was decently paced. In the end, I was able to grab a trio or so of games that I would purchase an Xbox One for.
They may be demoing Windows 8.1 on the Surface but many of the changes Microsoft are introducing in this video are applicable to the desktop.
They’re fixing the search presentation by showing all results without forcing me to switch between categories.
They’re trying to make the Start Screen and desktop switching less jarring by allowing the same desktop and Start Screen wallpaper. It’s a small detail but it should have been there on day one. They didn’t highlight it but you can even see the Start button on the desktop as well.
Even though I’m not going to use a heavy user of the Start Screen interface, it’s good to see the inclusion of more icon sizes and the ability to resize the multitasking window.
It sounds like Microsoft was listening to the complaints from its users and are acting on them with Windows 8.1. I just hope they haven’t scared off too many people with their initial release.
I expected this title to debut several months ago; I expected it to debut within the launch window of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. I commend Microsoft for even creating something original and exclusive for their devices but like most of their efforts outside of Xbox, it always seems a little late.
I am pleasantly surprised by what Vanguard Games have put together with Halo: Spartan Assault. I might even get it for Windows 8. It will debut for $6.99 in July 2013.
It’s not Infinite, Infinity or just Xbox. Microsoft’s next generation console will be known as the Xbox One. That’s such an odd name when you consider the Xbox lineage. It started with Xbox to Xbox 360 and now just Xbox One.
Every time someone is talking about the “Xbox One” I keep thinking they’re talking about the original Xbox. It’s going to take some time before I adjust to that name. Fortunately for Microsoft, the masses probably forgot about the original Xbox.
The entire presentation was a wash. Yes, we saw the box and a handful of high level specifications but a majority of it was TV set box, Kinect demonstrations and more TV related entertainment. Oh and Call of Duty: Ghosts.
On the plus side, Microsoft showed the box. Unfortunately they didn’t share a unique vision for their console. They promised a responsive console that records gameplay but those are the same promises Sony brought forth with their console. I guess we will have to wait until E3 2013 like they kept reiterating during the entire presentation.
As for nitty gritty details, it looks like Wired had the exclusive look through this photo gallery and article.
I had an Evernote page filled with links of possible solutions to my VMWare ESXi hardware compatibility problems. I found posts detailing how ICH8 and Marvell onboard NIC compatibility issues were addressed with custom oem.tgz files for ESXi 4. I was hoping to adapt them for ESXi 5 but unfortunately that didn’t pan out at all.
I discovered ESXi 5 introduced a new driver format; drivers now need to come in a VIB format. Unfortunately due to the age of the hardware, no one has bothered to provide VIB support for ICH8 or older Marvell chipsets.
So where does this leave me? I could get everything working with VMWare ESXi 5 if I bought a new compatible PCI-E storage controller and a new gigabit card. The downside is that I have to spend over $125 to get compatible hardware and I’m not willing to spend more money on this server. I already gave it more RAM and a Core 2 Quad Q9300.
From a software standpoint I could install Windows Server 2012 and just use Storage Spaces or FlexRaid. However, I’m weary about using Storage Spaces and FlexRaid costs $60 for a complete license.
I could also go down the Type 2 hypervisor path and use VMWare Player/Workstation or Oracle VirtualBox on top of Windows Server 2012. Then as I was reviewing virtualization solutions, I recalled Microsoft had its own: Hyper V which is apparently a Type 1 hypervisor like ESXi.
Windows Server 2012 supports Hyper V so there’s no additional cost on that front. It also supports UNIX guest operating systems running FreeBSD 9 or above which means NAS4Free should work just fine. I wish I could test it on my current homeserver but I cannot even install the role due to the lack of VT-d support. I will need to wait for the Q9300 processor and new home server before I could proceed.
There will be more waiting before this home server solution is realized.
Windows 8.1 or Windows Blue is a major Windows 8 coming later this year. Think of it as a service pack but with additional apps, functionality and spans multiple platforms.
Of course it will also include fixes addressing unintentional bugs and perhaps even some design snafus. The omission of the Start button to launch the Start screen was quite the blunder. That simple omission caused a lot of confusion for people but it’s good to hear that Microsoft is considering putting it back.
I am also pleased to hear that Microsoft isn’t abandoning the idea of the Start screen. I’m not a huge fan of it but there’s promise in its implementation and I’m glad Microsoft took the chance to try something new. Don’t regress!
If people don’t like the Start Screen and the Modern UI, then stick with Windows 7. It’s still viable. It may reach end of life before Windows 8 but Microsoft haven’t announced a date for that yet. I also want Microsoft to keep the Start Screen so that people who are fed up with it and modern Windows will consider other operating systems. Diversity and competition is a good thing.