Microsoft Announces Xbox One
Microsoft’s big reveal of the next Xbox, which they are dubbing the Xbox One, just wrapped up. For those who missed it, here are the details of the new console as well as the new controller, Kinect, and Xbox Live.
On the tech side, the system is built with its own native 64 bit architecture running three operating systems: Xbox, a Windows kernel, and an interface two run them both at once and switch between them instantly. The system has 8GB of RAM, an 8 core CPU, a 500GB HDD, Blu-ray, Wi-Fi, HDMI in/out, and USB 3.0. With all of this, the system will be able to process 2 Gigabits of data per second.
The Xbox One will not be backwards compatible. Not only will you not be able to play physical games on the Xbox One, you won’t be able to bring over your digital games, either. But Microsoft is saying that all your music and movies will carry over, though.
It seems that some of those anti-piracy rumors may be true, as well. The Xbox One will, according to Wired, require players to install the game on to the hard drive. This will allow people to play the game without actually putting the disc in. But it seems this will also tie the game to your account. Microsoft said that if players want to use the game on a second account, they will be given the option to pay a fee and install the game. When Wired asked if this was an anti-piracy thing, Microsoft did not answer.
The rumors about the system being always online, however, were not entirely true. Developers are being given the option to make games that use Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, offloading some of the computing on to the cloud. But not all games will use this service and Microsoft will not require developers to use it.
The controller has also gotten a bit of a redesign. It will have an integrated battery compartment, improved ergonomics, an actual d-pad, and new impulse triggers.
Every Xbox One will be shipping with the new Kinect. The new Kinect has a 1080p RGB camera which captures video at 30fps. It also has improved skeletal tracking and can even read your heartbeat. It was mentioned that the new Kinect will be able to recognize both the player and their controller, so they may be moving towards more games that use a controller along with Kinect.
They also showed off how the Kinect will make basically everything easier with voice commands and gestures. When you say “Xbox On,” your Xbox will turn on, recognize you, and sign into your profile. This will take you to your personalized dashboard, which remembers what you were last doing on the console and organizes itself accordingly.
From there, you can access pretty much everything on the console through voice commands. Just say what you want and Xbox will go there. From the various movie apps to Internet Explorer (Ha!) to the new Trending tab which mines data from your friends and the entire Xbox community to give you recommendations. You can even switch from the console over to live TV instantly, and then switch back just as fast.
Also introduced was Snap Mode, a multitasking thing that will let you run multiple apps at the same time. So, as happened during the reveal, you can watch a movie while watching trailers, looking for showtimes and buying tickets for other movies. I’m guessing it works for things other than movies, though.
Skype has been integrated with the Xbox One, and is fully compatible with the new Kinect.
If you don’t feel like talking at your Xbox, you can also use gestures like swiping and grabbing.
Finally, Xbox Live has gotten itself an upgrade, as well. The new Xbox Live will be running over 300,000 servers, 600 times the amount of servers the service had at launch and more computing power than there was in the entire world in 1999. The servers will be used to store cloud saves and gameplay footage, as well as dynamic achievement data. The Xbox One will also have a built in video editing program to edit the gameplay footage you capture.
The Xbox One will be launching later this year.
Oh, and SmartGlass is still a thing, I guess.