There has been a lot of rumours surrounding Microsoft’s next foray into the console market and, as it turns out, not many of them were true. But the dust has settled and Microsoft has officially pulled the curtain back on the Xbox One.
Live from their spectacular tent in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft spent an hour taking us through how they plan to make the One just as much about entertainment as it is about games. As reported, this presentation was light on games, with Microsoft choosing to make it all about the console and its services. We’ll have to wait another few weeks to see what games they’re cooking up.
1It’s called Xbox One
- It’s coming “later this year.”
- Games will require mandatory installation.
- There’s no backward compatibility with Xbox 360 or Xbox games.
- The console won’t require an ‘always online’ connection for single-player games.
- The One allows for instant switching between applications such as gaming, TV or Skype.
- 8 Core CPU
- 8 GB RAM
- 500 GB HDD
- Blu-ray Drive
- 802.11n Wireless with Wi-Fi Direct
- HDMI In/Out
- USB 3.0
2The New Kinect
As expected, Microsoft have completely overhauled their Kinect technology for the new One console. The device supports 1080p video, running at 30 frames per second and offers a sixty percent wider field of view. This is possible thanks to a data throughput of 2 GB per second.
It uses new “time of flight” technology to measure the time it takes the photons to bounce off of players and, because it is also an infrared device, it works in the black of night; which is ideal for night owls like myself. It even has the ability to read a person’s balance and even measure heart rate during exercise.
“This is human control, for a human experience,” said Microsoft’s Marc Whitten.
Kinect is also heavily integrated in the One’s new “instant switching” feature, which allows gamers to seamlessly traverse their dashboard, swiping between all mediums, from games through to music. It really does appear to offer all the entertainment one might need, in one box.
3The New Xbox Live
Powered by cloud technology, the next generation of Xbox Live will be backed up by an astounding 300,000 dedicated servers.
According to Whitten, players will be able to save their games, movies and much more to the cloud at any time they like. Gamers will also have a dedicated recording device built-in to capture in-game moments. Nothing was mentioned about streaming capabilities, unlike Sony’s new machine.
Multiplayer lobbies will now be able to support up to 128 players, crushing the current console limit of 16 to 32.
- “We’re taking the world’s best controller and making it better,” Whitten said.
- Dynamic impulse triggers
- Newly designed precision directional pad
- Integrated battery compartment
- Communication between console and controller is “at least fifteen percent quicker”
As I mentioned earlier, Microsoft have gone on record saying that this presentation was geared at the console and its services, whereas E3 is going to be for games. With that in mind, there were still a handful of games on show.
EA Sports had a presence, showing off four of their upcoming titles, each of which utilizes the Ignite Engine. It appears to be built on the principle that sport is just as much a mental game as it is physical. The games were:
- NBA Live 14
- FIFA 14
In one of Microsoft’s more impressive coups, they announced that they’ll be exclusively offering a long-time FIFA staple, Ultimate Team, for Xbox One.
Turn 10 Studios’ Forza Motorsport 5 was sighted in a brief demo that showed off the visuals that made the franchise famous. McLaren weren’t kidding when they said fans were in for a treat.
And in a move that broke my heart, Remedy Games featured, only to not announce the return of everyone’s favourite science-fiction writer. Best known for Max Payne and Alan Wake, the Finnish developers have been hard at work on a brand new franchise, Quantum Break.
And of course, there was Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Though not featured in the main conference, a lot of titles have since been confirmed as releasing on the Xbox One.
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
- Battlefield 4
So what are your thoughts on Microsoft’s next generation Xbox, the Xbox One? Drop down in the comments below and let us know!