On Tuesday, May 21st the world discovered what Microsoft’s reply to the next generation of consoles was. That response was the new Xbox One.
The technical specs for the new system are rather impressive. The Xbox One will come with a 500GB hard drive, an eight core, x86 processor, wireless network connectivity, built-in HDMI support, three USB 3.0 ports and a Blu-ray disc player. Also included is a completely redesigned Kinect sensor.
The new sensor will feature a full 1080p HD camera that will capture video at 30 frames per second. It also received an upgrade to its infrared capabilities that should help increase the sensors functionality in any rooms lighting condition. The microphone array wasn’t left out as well, it received an upgrade as well. It is now designed to filter out ambient noise and detect a normal speaking voice much more efficient than before. Kinect will also be integrated with our beloved controller as well.
The newly redesigned controller will feature an infrared LED on the front that will allow the Kinect sensor to automatically know when someone picks up a controller. Essentially making it easier to pick up and play without the hassle of signing in manually. That’s not the only upgrade its getting, amongst some of 40 plus technical and design changes the triggers are now impulse triggers allowing more precise haptic feedback. Lastly, the D-pad gets yet another redesign in order to deliver more control and responsiveness.
The console itself is also receiving some very useful features, turning on the console is getting even easier. Simply say the words “Xbox, on.” and enjoy the view of your customized Home screen. Pinning your favorite music, movies and games returns to make accessing your content as easy as it was before. The new snap feature can be called the “picture-in-picture” of the new Xbox. Tell your Xbox to snap Internet Explorer while watching a movie and look for info on the sequel. Or, in that friendly game of Halo or Call of Duty multiplayer snap a Skype call from your family or friends. Skype is coming to the Xbox One, take calls on Skype and use your Kinect sensor to host video calls in full 1080p HD. Have group video calls on your Xbox and, continue playing your game or watching that awesome movie with the previously mentioned Snap mode.
Watch live TV through your Xbox without having to change the inputs. If you’re curious as to what’s on TV right now, bring up the OneGuide to browse the content that is provided to you by your TV provider and entertainment apps you have. Maybe you want to find something new, a new show or movie that your friends are interested in. Or perhaps see what games the Xbox community have been highly interested in lately. The new Trending feature will allow you to view what is popular amongst other Xbox users; this ranges from movies to TV shows to games.
While we know that Microsoft was planning on showcasing the console itself on Tuesday, we did find out that there will be a new Forza Motorsport game. When this will release is unknown. Also announced was within the first year of the Xbox One, 15 new Xbox exclusive titles will be released. Eight of which are going to be brand new IP’s to begin with.
Smart Match is being introduced to better match you with players of your skill level, language, and game style. Plus it will estimate the amount of time remaining when finding a match and let you enjoy other features while waiting for that next game. The power of the cloud is going to help games learn how you play and will evolve accordingly. Some games will also feature real-world events and happenings. Perhaps you’re playing a football (soccer to our U.S. readers) match and your teams’ star player gets injured in real life at the same time and is taken out of both the real world game, and it’s virtual counterpart. The cloud will also make achievements more than just ways to brag about your highscore in a game to your friends. You’ll be able to capture the way you unlocked that difficult achievement with the built in DVR on the Xbox One. This DVR will allow you to capture those epic moments you’ve always wanted to show your friends and saves them in the cloud.
A day after the unveiling, we still don’t know a whole lot of information about the new Xbox; but here is what we do know.
From what we have gathered, it sounds like the Xbox One will not require to be connected to the Internet at all times. However, it does sound like Microsoft is leaving it up to individual game developers if they want their game “always on”. We will continue to update you as we get more info and concise information.
Xbox One will launch later this year throughout the entire world. No exact release date was given. It is planned to have at least 15 new games within the first year of the consoles life, we do not know how many are going to release alongside the console. We hope to find out a full launch schedule at E3.
Your current Xbox LIVE Gamertag, achievements and Gamerscore will transfer over to the new console and Xbox LIVE service. We also know that your current LIVE subscription will transfer over as well.
The biggest question of them all was most likely about how backwards compatibility for 360 games and the Xbox One. Unfortunately, Microsoft has confirmed that there will be no backwards compatibility for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. They do assure us that the Xbox 360 will still be supported with new games and apps “well into the future”.
While there hasn’t been too much discussion about how used games will work, Majornelson offered this bit of clarification yesterday:
We know there is some confusion around used games on Xbox One and wanted to provide a bit of clarification on exactly what we’ve confirmed today. While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail.
Beyond that, we have not confirmed any specific scenarios.
Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend’s house – should you choose to play your game at your friend’s house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile.
What we don’t know about the Xbox One is the price. Though it isn’t surprising that we didn’t get a price yesterday, many are wondering how much the system will retail for once it is released. On the subject of price, we also do not know how much games will cost.
We are unsure exactly how the live TV feature will work for with different providers. While we do know that at launch Xbox TV will be a U.S. feature only, we don’t know when the U.K. and other regions will get this feature.
It would seem from photos of the console that it only supports HDMI, many are wondering if component will be supported or not.
We will keep you updated on any new information that is released.