Microsoft has revealed their next generation console platform, the Xbox One which will be released “later this year.” Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, took to the stage and said, “Today, we look forward,” before introducing the system. Xbox One will be an, “All in One System,” for games, television and entertainment, built for the future to be simple, instant and complete.
Under The Hood
Xbox One Architecture
Controlled with: New Kinect, New Controller, Smartglass Devices
Xbox Live, “Reinvented with the power of the cloud.”
5 Billion Transistors
8GB of DDR3 RAM
8 Core CPU
Silent Bluray Drive
500 GB Hard Drive
A New Kinect Sensor is paired with every Xbox One which responds instantly to voice and gestures with unprecedented accuracy and precision. “When you’re exercising, it can read your heartbeat.”
Xbox One controller has “over 40 design innovations” including a precision Dpad and programmable feedback in the triggers.
Smart Glass is supported so that your tablet or phone can become a remote control.
The system provides a “lag free, instant and complete experience.”
300,000 computers will power the Xbox One Live Network.
Xbox One will act as a Game DVR with editing and sharing tools.
“Bigger matches, more players.”
“Living, persistent worlds.”
Announcements and Features
The Xbox One will recognize each member of the family using the new version of the Kinect. Logging in to Xbox Live will be automatic. It will know who you are, which profile is yours, and what controller you are holding.
The system will utilize voice commands and gesture recognition to navigate the system. Say “Xbox On” to turn the system on or “Xbox Go Home” to instantly navigate to the Xbox Home screen of the dashboard.
The Xbox One will be able to display live TV without the need to switch to a different video source on your television, and will support voice commands for easy navigation. “Watch ESPN,” for example. Saying, “Xbox Show the Guide” brings up an easy to use TV Guide, “Xbox Favorites,” is used to create a list of your favorite shows or channels, and “Xbox Trending” will provide the latest and most popular titles. There will be personalized recommendations and social features.
They announced a “game changing partnership” with the NFL, which will lead to exclusive content with Smart Glass and Kinect. There will also be social features allowing viewers to participate with friends.
Multitasking is instantaneous on Xbox One. The user can switch between television, games, music and web browsing in an instant using voice commands like, “Live TV,” “Game,” “Go to Music,” and “Go to Internet Explorer.”
Gestures will also control the experience such as “Grab and pan,” and “Swipe up.” The user can also grab and shrink the screen return to the dashboard without actually closing whatever program is in use.
There is a new Trending Tab on the dashboard for instant access to what’s popular.
Snap Mode for the Xbox One allows multiple programs to be run simultaneously. The main program appears on the left three quarters of the screen and the other program on the right quarter of the screen (approximately). You can do things like multitask a Skype video call while watching TV.
Skype on Xbox One will support 1080P Widescreen HD video using the “Best Living Room Camera Available.” It will also support group video calls, snap mode, and voice commands like, “Xbox Answer Call,” and “Skype End Call.”
Watching football on Xbox One will allow the viewer to get instant updates to their Fantasy Football league in Snap Mode, with player stats updating automatically as real life games are played. The voice command is, “Xbox Show fantasy.” Yes. That’s really the command.
EA announced that 4 titles will be coming to Xbox One: Fifa 14, a Madden NFL game, NBA Live 14 and a UFC title. All four of these games will be launching within the next 12 months. There was also a lot of talk about “EA Sports Ignite,” which seems to be EA’s name for the next generation features that will be included in their new sports games, including Human Intelligence, True Player Motion and Living Worlds. These games will also use Xbox Live to provide a daily stream of new content that impacts the game as you play (when I heard that, my first thought went to advertisements). They showed a video montage of what appeared to be pre-rendered or cinematic scenes, but there was nothing that looked like actual gameplay.
Forza Motorsport 5 will be an Xbox One exclusive, and will also be a launch title! They showed another preview that didn’t show gameplay. More details to follow at E3.
A new game by Remedy Entertainment (Max Payne 1 & 2, Alan Wake) titled Quantum Break was announced. “Time is the fire in which we burn.” I couldn’t really tell what kind of game it was from the video, but it looked cool. There was some live acting involved, and it is probably going to be an action thriller.
Microsoft Studios will be developing 15 exclusives to be released on the Xbox One within its first year, including 8 new franchises. I’m looking forward to hearing more about the new franchises at E3 and in the coming months.
The Halo announcement turned out to be not a game, but a live action “premium television series.” It’s Halo: The Television Series, and Steven Spielberg is involved.
Call of Duty: Ghosts by Infinity Ward was announced for Xbox One, which will be where all DLC for the game launches first. Call of Duty: Ghosts features an entirely new world, new narrative, and a new cast, all built on a next generation Call of Duty engine. In the game, remnants of the United States Special Forces fight as the underdogs after a devastating attack on the country. A dog is a squad member this time around, and will sniff out explosives and protect the team. There will be dynamic maps in multiplayer, which events such as earthquakes and floods. There will also be a renewed emphasis on character customization in multiplayer. As usual, the game will run at 60fps with low latency controls. A side by side comparison of the visuals from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to Call of Duty: Ghosts really shows how far the technology has advanced. One again, there was no actual gameplay on display, just cinematics.
That’s it for the Xbox One Reveal!
We also know that the Xbox One will automatically install disc-based games to the hard drive before they can be played and will attach to your Xbox Live account, making the traditional concept of “used games” somewhat obsolete. The upside to that is that games can be played without a disc in the tray. If a disc is used with a different account than the one originally registered with the game, the new account will be presented with an option to pay a fee in order to play the game. Details on this are scarce at the moment, but it is surely a issue of great interest to gamers.
Xbox One is also not backwards compatible with older Xbox titles since the system is based on a different core architecture.
As for the conference itself, there were not a lot of games on display really, and a whole lot of television features. It appears they are saving more of the game announcements for E3. So what do you think? Are you planning on picking up an Xbox One or are you sticking with the PlayStation 4 (or getting both)? What were your favorite announcements? Which ones didn’t impress? Let us know it the comments below!
- The Verge – New Xbox Has No Backwards Compatibility
- CVG – Microsoft Confirms Pre-Owned Free for Xbox One