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Sony has now unleashed the PlayStation 4 out into the wild, and now it’s Microsoft’s turn. The Xbox One releases tonight with various special live launch events starting at 11pm tonight on Spike TV, Xbox.com and Xbox Live.

As per usual, several retailers will be open tonight across the country at midnight for the launch including Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart and Microsoft Stores. Along with some of the most insightful Xbox One reviews from around the web, we’ve put together some handy information below for those looking to grab one tonight…

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For those looking to grab a new Xbox One tonight should keep a few things in mind, most importantly, to check in with your local retailer for specific details. Some retailers have particular rules regarding those who have and haven’t pre-ordered.

As far as Best buy is concerned:

“Our stores will have limited quantities available beyond the quantity that was pre-ordered. Tickets will be distributed up to 2 hours before midnight on a first-come, first-serve basis for any available quantities. Stores will know the number of available consoles and will be able to provide updates to customers as any lines may form. Limit one console per person.”

Those who have pre-ordered a launch day unit from Best Buy do not have to pick up their device tonight, but reports are suggesting it must be done within 8 days of launch (be sure to check with Best Buy for exact details). Otherwise, make sure you bring a government-issued photo ID as well as the credit/debit card used for purchase and the order number when you pick up your console.

For GameStop and Walmart, again be sure to check in with your local location to get the exact details regarding launch. GameStop is reported to be processing purchases between 6pm and midnight, and assigning customers a place in line.

The Microsoft Store has released some additional details about this evenings event as well:

“Join us for a midnight launch party to celebrate the launch of Xbox One on Day One at Microsoft retail stores. Starting at 10 PM local time on 11/21, we’ll showcase the latest Xbox One games like Ryse, Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, and Killer Instinct…Arrive early to secure your place in line – first 50 people will receive a special giveaway! Console preorders are sold out at this time, but we will be taking rain checks up until launch. See you there!”

Here are a few quick links to find a participating midnight launch location near you:

Best Buy  /  GameStop Walmart  /  Microsoft Stores

NOTE: Keep an eye on Amazon for Xbox Ones, as they are likely to come back in stock periodically. And be sure to stay locked to Toys tonight as we will be covering all Amazon’s midnight gaming deals for the launch.

It would seem that Xbox One may have reviewed slightly better than the PS4 at a glance — if not for any reason than it has a more solid launch line-up of games — but all-in-all, a very tight race among critics. Here is some of the most insightful Xbox One reviews from around the web:

Kotaku:

I admire what Microsoft is trying to do with the Xbox One, and I’m rooting for them to give their console that final push to get it to where it needs to be. The whole thing is almost there. The Kinect almost works well enough to get me to use it all the time. The TV integration is almost smooth enough to make me plug it into the heart of my living-room setup. Multitasking almost works well enough to get me checking the internet while I play games.

Polygon:

To be clear, Kinect isn’t a fully realized product yet. … But in many ways, the Xbox One’s bold direction for the future is well in place. The integration of voice controls and its media strategy are a boon to everyone, and the ability to run apps while playing games is something we now want on every gaming console we have. That it has a handful of strong, exclusive games at launch only supports its legitimacy as a gaming console and not just an entertainment hub.

The Verge:

When Microsoft says it’s building a console for the next decade, it’s not lying. Where the PlayStation 4 is designed to simply become an ever-better version of itself, the Xbox One is poised to turn into an entirely different, entirely unprecedented device. It may not only supplement, but replace your cable box; it could have a rich, full app store; games are only going to get better, more impressive, and more interactive. The blueprints are all here.

Gizmodo:

Besides, the launch line-up of games—while a little better than the PS4’s—is a bit soft. The real gotta-play system-sellers like Watchdogs, Destiny, and Titanfall, are still a few months out. Halo 5 is a mere glint on the horizon…The software is still in flux too. We experienced a little jank with a few apps. Twitch streaming isn’t coming until sometime early 2014. HBO Go is “coming soon” but hasn’t shown up yet… all will get fixed with time; hopefully right around when a game you just have to have finally gets released.

Engadget:

The Xbox One may not be exactly what Microsoft thinks it is, but it’s still a strong start for a powerful game console. Its sheer speed, versatility, horsepower and its ability to turn on and off with words make it a relatively seamless entry into our already crowded media center. What determines whether it stays there is the next 12 months: Exclusives like Titanfall and Quantum Break will help, as will gaining feature parity with the competition (we’re looking at you, game broadcasting!).

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Many of the outlets feel that although Microsoft’s new box shows a ton of potential as media hub and app center, its features aren’t quite all there yet, and don’t quite work all the time. Wired said, “Sometimes it’s magical, sometimes it’s inept.” Shacknews seconds Wired’s thoughts with, “Xbox One is a powerful multitasking system that has incredible potential as a true “all-in-one” entertainment device. It’s not quite there, though.”

One thing that can be pulled from these next gen launches is that early adoption is much more suitable for hardcore gamers who simply can’t wait for the new consoles, and that, in many cases, it’s better to wait until the system’s media features are entirely present or there is a more compelling next gen game line-up available.

We will be covering all the best deals over the holiday season, both current and last gen games/accessories will be seeing some deep discounts leading up to Black Friday. In the mean time you can check out today’s free and discounted iOS/Android and Mac content.

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One Response to “Xbox One midnight launch info, reviews from around the web”

  1. any word yet if amazon will be releasing anymore tonight?