Console launches don't come along very often, so you'd expect Microsoft would pull out all the stops for the release of Xbox One. And that's just what happened last night: Microsoft held several launch events across the globe, with its primary focus on New York City's Times Square.
Thousands of fans lined up outside Best Buy Theater for a chance to sample Xbox One games and, come midnight, get their hands on a console. Microsoft also bought up a healthy amount of video billboard space across Times Square, ensuring that the world knew its latest product was about to arrive. Developers of several launch titles were on hand to chat with players, but the event didn't focus entirely on games. The Xbox One is just as much about entertainment as it is video games, so it was only fitting that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took to the stage before the final countdown.
- As eager fans waited outside, Microsoft helped pass the time by giving away free Xbox One shirts, hats and other collectibles
- Existing Xbox 360 users were able to visit a URL from their smartphone and have their name displayed prominently in the middle of Times Square.
- Shipment after shipment of Xbox One consoles, games, and accessories were brought into Best Buy Theater.
- Larry Hryb, Xbox Live's Major Nelson, prepares to broadcast live to Xbox fans watching the launch party from home.
- For many in attendance, the event marked the first time they'd seen the graphical prowess of Xbox One.
- Gladiators and zombies were on hand for the launch, celebrating the release of games like 'Ryse: Son of Rome' and 'Dead Rising 3.'
- Xbox One developers were more than willing to sign autographs for fans who'd waited hours in line.
- Attendees were able to play every Xbox One launch title, making it easier to decide which were worthy of their money.
- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took to the stage just an hour before Xbox One's midnight release.
- Macklemore played to the crowd, performing a string of hits including 'Thrift Shop' and 'Can't Hold Us.'
- He also showed off some interesting choices in wardrobe.
- Before the mini-concert concluded, Macklemore dove into his crowd of fans.
- Major Nelson and Spike TV's Geoff Keighley greet cable viewers as the midnight launch of Xbox One approaches.
- With a wall of Xbox Ones behind them, Marc Whitten and Geoff Keighley count down to the console's launch.
- Geoff Keighley and Xbox chief Marc Whitten congratulate the first Xbox One buyer.
- Marc Whitten and his team celebrate the launch of Xbox One after years spent working on the next-gen console.
- The gamers who stood in line longest were rewarded with the limited Xbox One Day One Edition.