It’s Monday morning in mid-April, and I’m sitting in a many-couched conference room at Microsoft’s campus in Redmond with three other entities: chief product officer Marc Whitten; senior VP of marketing strategy Yusuf Mehdi; and a pedestal in the corner with a cloth draped over it. For 30 minutes, the two executives have been talking about the future of Xbox—about the need to “re-architect the living room for the 21st century,” about “a new generation of entertainment,” and other lofty corporate statements that tend to go hand in hand with many-couched conference rooms. They’ve also been pointedly ignoring the pedestal. I know what they’re doing, and it’s working. I want to see what’s under that cloth, and it’s driving me crazy. Little-kid-on-Christmas-morning crazy. Very-nearly-squirming-in-my-seat crazy. Finally, Whitten takes pity on me, and he walks over to the pedestal. “Here it is,” he says; he lifts the cloth.
And here’s the Xbox One.