The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
In anticipation of the Xbox One's launch on November 22,
2013 Microsoft launched a fleet of trucks across North America tricked out with
Xbox One consoles. On Friday, November 8, 2013 a Xbox one truck came to
me in Pittsburgh, PA!
This truck is cleaned until it shines. Not a dirty speck to be found.
The Pittsburgh area received 3 trucks, 1 at the University
of Pittsburgh, 1 at a suburban Walmart, and 1 at Heinz Field (home of
football's Steelers). I plotted my hands on Xbox One experience during
the month wait for the truck's arrival choosing the University of Pittsburgh
location as a site easily accessible by city bus.
The morning of the truck's arrival was cold. My winter
coat, scarf, gloves, and I braved the freezing winds but with an hour until the
truck's appearance I stopped into a nearby Dunkin' Donuts for a hot
coffee. Ten minutes before the 10:00 AM start I spied the truck in
Schenley Plaza, an open outdoor congregation area, pulled up on the
cobblestones alongside the tables and chairs. A handful of people, around
5-6, stood around the truck waiting.
We stood so close but were so far, we wanted only to reach out and play. The promotional console display was later attached to the middle poster.
The truck was more of a van but recognizable in matte black
and Xbox green emblazoned with the Xbox One name. The back of the truck
opened for a contraption that extended directly backwards with 6 attached
television screens and 2 controllers per screen. During the setup, a
console was attached in the middle space as a promotional display. We
crowded around the screens in a semi-circle waiting for the moment to play.
A man in the crowd wore an Xbox One track jacket with an Xbox One backpack, a
young boy next to me wore a Halo: Reach winter hat, and a young man played on
his Vita. We watched while the controllers' wires were unwound and the
television screens were switched on.
The television screens were affixed to a hanger that
appeared at a fixed height of about 4 feet from the ground. The
controllers sat beneath each screen with a generous wired connection presumably
for charging and to prevent their disappearance. Based on what I saw I do
not think that the screens could be lowered upon request for a person in a
wheelchair and their height required looking up but the controllers were within
A screen near me came to life and I saw the Xbox One
dashboard. The familiar tiles sat in a more horizontal configuration with
the largest tile on top noting the game queued for playing. On the Xbox
360 the largest tile is an advertisement. A truck employee moved through
the menu and I squealed in surprise.
The bottom row middle tile reads "closed captions." Finally a reason for hope with all of the talk of playing television through the console.
In the settings a tile was labeled "..." (which typically
represents "set up") and the tile read "Closed captioning." On the Xbox
360, I have felt more and more left out as a deaf gamer because the increasing
apps and their accompanying videos are most often not closed captioned.
The app announcements for the Xbox One left me exasperated and internet
searching for what apps are offering closed captions nowadays but for each app the
closed caption availability differs from device to device leaving me uncertain
until I own an Xbox One. I have no idea what the closed caption tile
exactly enables. The mere sight of the phrase on a dedicated tile gave me
more hope than I had for the Xbox 360's entire generation of new app
However, an error screen flashed, "DHCP connection
failed." We groaned. The man in the Xbox One track jacket stepped
up to the screens, he was actually an employee, and he took screenshots of the
error message. Another truck employee talked into the microphone asking
who among us have experienced inexplicable console errors. We were not
amused but we stayed. Cold and shivering we waited for an hour bracing
ourselves with each gust of wind. Roughly 25 of us waited and the
majority of the crowd was easily men with 1, maybe 2, other women besides
Finally, the consoles ran smoothly. The employee
informed us that the available games were Forza Motorsport 5, Killer Instinct,
and FIFA 14. He instructed us not to request other games such as Call Of
Duty: Ghosts, Dead Rising 3, and Ryse because those games are rated Mature and
therefore are not allowed for public playing. The first person in line
was granted his choice of the available games to play. He replied that he did
not mind which game he played and the crowd groaned. He finally settled
on Forza Motorsport 5. The next pair chose Killer Instinct and I ran to
get in line behind the two.
Watching the fights was reminiscent of the arcades of yesteryear but with better graphics and awesome controllers.
While waiting I watched the opening for FIFA 14 and
appreciated the individuals in the roaring crowds. Watching a Killer
Instinct fight between Sabrewolf and Jago unfold was fantastic and complete
with the combo announcer screaming in the background. The initial two
players set up the play as if we were in an arcade. The winner kept the
controller and a new challenger stepped up. The second fight was a battle
between Chief Thunder and Glacius. The entire fight was neck and neck
with the final punches thrown while both players' health flashed red and the
The controller felt great and I wish I was picking up a new console but I have a ton of games still to play on my Xbox 360.
Next was my turn, I held the controllers and my hands were
so frozen that I could hardly feel the controller. Accidentally, I chose
a rematch with the same characters. I fought and tried, mashing buttons
with a general sense of the most likely actions for each button. I
lost. The controller felt good with the matte finish providing a nice
grip compared to the glossier finish on the Xbox 360 controllers. The familiar
battery pack bump was gone.
The crowd grew and easily the longest line was for Killer
Instinct. Forza Motorsport 5 was for 1 player and its start-up kept each
player on the controller for awhile. FIFA 14 attracted players who were
familiar with the controls and those of us unfamiliar with the game's layout
While stamping my feet I realized that I was still freezing
and I headed out. Personally, an Xbox One is not reserved for me on
November 22, 2013 due to my bank account's protest. Nevertheless, I loved the
opportunity to jump into the pre-release hype crowding on a park's cobblestones
during a cold morning while shaking my head at a passerby's question of what we
were there for.
Is an Xbox One truck coming near you in the remaining 2
weeks before the console's release? You can check out the schedule here.
You can check out more articles at dagersystem.com and many thanks for reading, your time is much appreciated in this busy world. May your new console generation countdown go smoothly whether or not you have a pre-order paid off. No matter what system you have, keep on gaming and having fun.
Have you seen the Xbox One truck?
Would you attend any publicity events for the next generation consoles? For which consoles?
What video game related purchases are you making this fall/winter?