Now that the Xbox One has finally been released I have had the opportunity to test a range of games, apps and new features. But before we get into the reviews and opinions I wanted to share my experience at the official midnight launch that I attended last Thursday night.
After contacting the EB GAMES head office I discovered that there were two official launch parties that were being organised. The first was located in Werribee and the other at the Knox City Shopping Centre. They were expecting approximately 300 people at either store so I made the decision to attend Knox City as I have covered other midnight launches in the past for several blockbuster Xbox 360 titles.
I arrived at about 7:30pm and got to interview several people for OzBoxLive Radio about the event, new console and what they are looking forward to most. First up was the EB Games Community Manager – Kelsey Gamble. We had a detailed discussion about the Xbox One, running community events and what games she is looking forward to most.
Next up was the Director of Weird and Retro – Aleks Svetislav who had brought with him an Xbox Original Kiosk with several classic titles. His team had a table outside the front of the store featuring some very cool toys such a 4-Player Halo on the original Xbox, the Steel Battalion game was also on full display complete with the unique Arcade Control Sticks and Pedals. One of the highlights was seeing an Atari 2600 with the very rare Halo 2600 game.
My final interview for the night was with supposed to be with the very first person in line. Upon arriving to the front of the line I discovered that the first two customers could not agree on who was actually first as they both arrived together. As such I decided to interview both Nick and Daniel and ask them to share their thoughts on the Xbox One, waiting in line all day and share their hopes for the next generation of gaming.
Overall the EB GAMES Knox store did an amazing job keeping the crowd entertained and happy. There was a DJ mixing the latest hits, a massive rear-screen Projector that showed off the latest Xbox One game trailers and interviews. Staff members gave away Hats, Tshirts and even discount vouchers at random. They even had a slushee machine with the unique Green “Xbox Flavour” to hand out to everyone once they got inside the store. Finally having the Master Chief make an appearance at any event is always a highlight and got a lot of smiles from the crowd.
I actually brought with me over 400 copies of the Official Australian Xbox Magazine as well as official Xbox lanyards to hand out. I stayed near the front of the line with a trolley and made it my mission to talk to every single person in line and give everyone a lanyard and magazine. I told them about OzBoxLive and that I run a community website, podcast, events etc. Everyone was awesome and did not think of me as some crazy guy!!! This was a two and a half hour process and was exhausting but I really enjoyed it as it gave me an opportunity to meet with some enthusiastic and passionate gamers.
One of the best things about this was helping everyone. I asked them about the bundles they were buying and gave them tips regarding Smartglass, setting up Kinect and downloading updates. I even convinced everyone to download Killer Instinct as they either never heard of it before or thought you had to pay for it.
At midnight it was amazing to see just how organised and smoothly everything went. To see 400+ people collect there items in less than 10 minutes was very impressive. Overall this was a great night and I was very impressed with everything. The atmosphere and excitement was brilliant. This was a great start to the next generation and I’m positive was a night that will be remembered for years to come.