With Xbox One set for release Nov. 22, Microsoft's latest incarnation of the beloved gaming console is hitting the road for an intercontinental tour of 75 cities, letting gamers test drive the system up to six weeks in advance. The tour has three flavors: Area One, a traveling gaming party; Test Drive, which is a fleet of specially outfitted mobile gaming trucks; and Xbox One booths that will hold court during Games Week in continental Europe.
Area One and Test Drive will canvass the majority of the locations, criss-crossing the globe and making stops in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Ireland and France. Xbox One booths will appear at Games Weeks in Milan, Italy; Paris, France; and Madrid, Spain. Admission is free but restricted to gamers 18 years of age and older. Games are projected to include anticipated titles Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, Crimson Dragon, Max: Curse of the Brotherhood, and LocoCycle, with selections subject to additions or subtractions.
The tour, which begins Oct. 1, will be the public's first direct encounter with Xbox One, which in terms of technological innovation goes giant leaps further than its predecessors in a number of categories. For example, the 8-core 86x processor, HDMI pass-through and 8GB RAM together running on Microsoft Windows make for blink-fast transitions between games, apps, TV and Blu-ray. The impulse triggers in the handset and the ridiculously eagle-eyed Kinect console integrate your body with the game so completely, you won't be able to get Avatar out of your head. Additionally, Xbox's new "SmartGlass" technology lets you fully integrate your smartphone with the game, adding another layer of interactivity and complexity.
In addition to the Beatles-like world tour, Xbox One's early marketing onslaught also includes an opportunity to pre-order your console and games via the official website. Those who do so will receive controllers emblazoned with "Day One" commemorative logos. The system is shipping for $499, and the new games start at $59.99.