If the anticipation of the Xbox One release is killing you and you simply cannot wait one more minute, much less until Friday, November 22nd, the day of its scheduled release, Microsoft announces today that the Xbox One is now available to play at United States and Canadian Microsoft retail locations. Consumers will be able to demo the system and all of its new features and gadgets every day until the release of the new Xbox One.
Be forewarned, however, that the only game you will be able to try in the stores is Forza Motorsport 5, a well-reviewed racing game. If you are not real big on racing games and can’t decide whether to make the journey to a Microsoft store or not, perhaps the promotion they are running to celebrate the launch will help you to decide. Anyone who tries out the new Xbox One in store between now and the end of year will be entered to win prizes associated with the Forza Motorsport 5 game, including a Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel, a Forza Motorsport playseat, a Polk Audio N1 Gaming SurroundBar and a $2000.00 gift card.
If you don’t live near a Microsoft retail store, take heart. Microsoft is planning to open two new locations in late November – one in Las Vegas and the other in Oklahoma City. Once the new systems are released on the 22nd of November and the news that the Xbox One is available today no longer matters, you will still be able to play in store until December 31st for a chance to win the racing prize pack.
The official Xbox One release date is timed to hit the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, but it is going to face some tough competition, as Sony’s PS4 is set to launch on November 15th. The price of the new system may also work against the success of the Xbox One. At a selling price in the United States of $499.00, it’s quite a bit more expensive than the previous Xbox system, the 360. Of course, the Xbox One boasts plenty of new features with lots of storage, Wi-Fi, and a Blu-ray drive. It’s also designed to integrate with your television for a fully customized viewing experience.
Microsoft has released a list of over twenty titles that they plan to have available on the day of the release, including sports games, racing games, games suited for younger players, and fitness programs. Perhaps the best news of all is that the new controllers are designed to stand up to being thrown and abused without shattering.
If all of this talk of new features and a gaming system that seems more like a PC than the Playstations and Xboxes of old is really making you antsy to get your hands on the new system, take heart in the fact that the Xbox One is available to try out today. It might at least be worth taking a spin on it before shelling out the almost $500.00 you’ll need to take one home.
By Jennifer Pfalz