Xbox One officially launched and I finally got the chance to test drive the console during the launch event in New York City, and I have to say it was quite an experience. Not only because the next-gen console was being released, but also because all the people you can meet that share your enthusiasm about the platform too.
The event took place at the Best Buy Theater in New York City, but the company also bought a good amount of video billboards across Times Square that helped the world notice the console release and two trucks on the side of the street provided Xbox One systems demoing Forza 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, and Killer Instinct for anyone who wanted to stop by and play.
Exploring around the event I was lucky to meet and talk to various of the Microsoft guys behind the Xbox team, including Larry Hryb (also known as Major Nelson on Twitter), Marc Whitten and Yusuf Mehdi. We briefly talked about the console and they expressed how much effort the team has put into building the all-in-one entertainment system — great experience, that I hope happens again soon.
Also I got the chance to meet Andre Weingarten, you may also know this guy as @moonlightswami on Twitter. For those unfamiliar, this is the guy that caught the attention of the Xbox community as he was one of the few people who by mistake received his Xbox One console two weeks before launch, courtesy of Target and got his account banned from Xbox Live — which Microsoft reinstated just the day before launch.
Thousands lined up to get an Xbox One, the line was all the way 44th Street and stretched around the corner of 7th Street. Microsoft’s staff helped passing out green Xbox One sweaters and goody bags with snacks, a drink, few coupons, an Xbox One stick, and a green “Introducing Xbox One” t-shirt. So the thousands got fed and clothed.
Gladiators and zombies were on hand for the launch, celebrating the release of games like ‘Ryse: Son of Rome’ and ‘Dead Rising 3.’ And Forza 5 racing cars also showed up on the streets of Manhattan.
Finally the main event started when three armor trucks, custom painted, arrived to the Best Buy Theater to deliver the Xbox One consoles. The event at the Best Buy Theater included Xbox One demos, performances by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, follow by the final midnight countdown 10 lucky customers joined the stage and were among the first to receive the long-awaited Xbox one.
It was a great experience, console launches don’t happen very often and being there for the Xbox One release was just something I had to do.