Published on October 24th, 2013 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder

Xbox One Tour: Road To Launch Orlando Event

If you’re an Xbox fan that’s been been following Major Nelson’s Blog for a decent amount of time, you might know about the Xbox One: Road to Launch Tour and the five cities that Major Nelson plans to hit on the path to the Xbox One’s launch. Well, last night the tour made it’s way to sunny Orlando, Florida and being a resident I slid on down to the Millenia Mall to partake in the festivities.

Considering the event was due to start at 7:30, I was comfortable with arriving a good hour and a half early, so I slid in line at around 6:06pm. The line continually grew until right before the line started moving, and here’s an example of the line last time I glanced at it:

The green box is the MS store. The blue dot underneath it is me – #71 in line. See that blue dot all the way on the left? That’s the last person in line.

It’s safe to say there were a large amount of gamers there.

Once the doors opened, I got ushered over to the controller stop that showcased the changes made to the Xbox One controller:

Watching this winner play around with the new controller's Rumble features.

Watching this winner play around with the new controller’s Rumble features.

I was seconds away from previewing the new rumble features but had to get this shot.

I was seconds away from previewing the new rumble features but had to get this shot.

After having held it, I gathered a few details:

  • The new controller is slightly smaller than the 360 pad.
  • The thumbsticks now have a ring of texture around the edge, adding in a good amount of grip.
  • Triggers and bumpers have been redesigned and feel “thicker” under your fingers. The triggers still have a good amount of resistance, but they’re just a bit wider than you’re used to.
  • Force Feedback in the triggers feels different, but the examples they had playing were fairly fitting. The controller doesn’t have enough feedback to fit perfectly with the videos they showed as examples, but they were pretty cool nonetheless.

With the demo being over, I took a few minutes to get decent shots of the Xbox One, and it’s not as massive as the gaming world has led you to believe thus far…

The Xbox One, Kinect 2.0, the new Controller, the headset and a controller base.

The Xbox One, Kinect 2.0, the new Controller, the headset and a controller base. My phone is a Nexus 4, for a size reference.

This bit of kit is new to me. It looks like either a base for the controller or an adapter for the bottom of it, can't be sure which it is.

The controller and what looks to be the headset adapter.

After getting a couple good shots, I wanted to chat with Major Nelson. Luckily I got the chance to do so fairly quickly, as he was walking toward the front of the store.

The Major and I

The Major and I

Following that, I took the time to record a fellow gamer getting some hands-on time with Forza Motorsport 5.

The game is absolutely gorgeous as you can see, so I figured I should get hands on it. I stepped in line an chatted for a bit and checked my clock, the time was a fantastical 7:48 pm (through some time rift, I got all that done within 20 minutes). I figured there would be plenty of time, so the other gamers and I went to talking about the event and we waited to get hands on Forza. A highlight came a bit after waiting when someone brought their original Xbox in for Major Nelson to sign. This happened:

This moment was amazing. Major Nelson took the guy’s Xbox to the front of the store, placed it in front of the Xbox One and said “Xbox, meet your Grandson!” It was a great touch and everyone got a laugh out of it. Photo courtesy of shinobi602’s post on NeoGAF.

Sadly, the hour and fifteen minutes I waited wasn’t enough time to get my hands on Forza 5. After I got in line, I found out that there were only two Xbox One consoles available for the entire event, which didn’t bode very well for the scads of people waiting outside the store. The other Xbox One was mounted in an arcade cabinet showcasing Killer Instinct, and that line went much faster due to two people playing at once.

Probably should’ve chosen that one.

All in all, it was nice to get my hands on the controller, but it would’ve been a much better event were there more consoles available. It’s fairly surprising that there were only two of the consoles available for an event that’s on Major Nelson’s site, talked about on Twitter and Facebook — especially within a month of the console launch. Also surprising is that the consoles they provided weren’t meant to remain at the store.

You’d think that having them in stores would be extremely vital at this point!

Luckily, Major Nelson made a call to Microsoft HQ and they were allowed to leave the Killer Instinct arcade cabinet at the mall for an additional day so the people that didn’t get to play at the event could play the following day. Sadly for those that made drives up from hours away, a few of whom I had the pleasure of talking shop with in line, that wouldn’t be an easy feat.

Keep an eye out near you for when the Xbox One comes to your local Best Buy and GameStop. I know I will, because I’m dying to race a lap in Forza 5 to make up for my lost chance.

About the Author

Deejay has been a gamer since the Atari 2600, has wrestled–and defeated–alligators with only his toes, and once aligned all the planets in the Solar System by uttering the words "Coo Coo Ka-Choo". In his sleep. He currently bides his time behind the scenes here at, streaming at and teaching.

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