Xbox One reaches B.C.

Dedicated gamers enjoy a quick game of Killer Instinct in the bitter cold.

Dedicated gamers enjoy a quick game of Killer Instinct in the bitter cold.

Microsoft’s third gaming console, the Xbox One, hit shelves worldwide, Friday, Nov. 22.

While a large launch party was held in Cambie Square, there were plenty of other events at locations across Canada, including a small crowd that braved the cold weather at the Best Buy in Surrey Central.

It was a modest event, with two TV screens set up and playable demos of Killer Instinct. There were plenty of giveaways, t-shirts and gift cards being handed out. One lucky customer walked away with a free console. The highlight of the night was an uncoordinated dance-off in Just Dance to the music of George Michael. Both participants received t-shirts.

The crowd numbered between 20 and 30 people, all dedicated Xbox fans. Most of them were convinced by the Xbox One’s attractive set of features.

One of them, a man named John, preferred the Xbox to the competition.

“I’m not really a Sony fan; their network gets hacked too many times.” He wasn’t without his criticisms, however. “The console itself is a little too big. I wish they made it a little thinner.”

The Xbox One was revealed at a press conference on May 21. The console is designed to be the centre of the living room, featuring an HDMI input that allows it to connect to a cable box.

Unlike it’s predecessor, the Xbox One is capable of playing Blu-Ray. At $499, it’s the most expensive gaming console available.

The console is bundled with an updated Kinect sensor, Microsoft’s voice and motion control camera. The Kinect allows the user to console almost entirely through voice commands and controller-free gestures.

According to a press release by Microsoft, the Xbox One sold over one million units in 24 hours, a feat that matched Sony’s Playstation 4 a week earlier. Both launches shattered company records; however, the Playstation 4 launched only in North America, in contrast to the Xbox One’s worldwide release.

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