After months of rumours and speculations, Microsoft has lifted the lid of its new next-generation console called Xbox One, promising to put you at the centre of entertainment and create a relationship with your television.
Described as an “all-in-one device” for both gaming and entertainment, the console is designed to be simple and will use voice commands as its primary way to navigate through the console. For instance, it can turn on and detect the user all through voice commands. It can also switch between apps, watching live television and movies, and playing games really fast.
The Dashboard gets a redesign to be more like the Windows 8, and will introduce “Snap Mode” (a feature from Windows 8) so can you watch a film, and browse the web at the same time in the same screen. Skype also gets video group calling, and in full HD.
The console has been designed to meet the “new generation”, it has 5 billion transistors and 8GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. There is also support for USB 3.0, and Microsoft will add Blu-Ray support (finally – and it probably means that games are now in Blu-Ray not DVD anymore). The console is based around a 64-bit architecture, and inside there are three operating systems: the Xbox OS, the Windows kernel and a bridging platform between the two.
Kinect has been redesigned in order with voice commands being more conversational. It also features a brand new 1080p HD camera that lets it be more precise, more responsive and more intuitive – expanding its field of view and fidelity. It can now work in any lighting condition and can recognise even the slight movement in you wrist.
The Xbox Controller gets 40 new design and technical innovations, with an updated directional pad, thumbstick and a more ergonomic fit.
Xbox Live is more personal, more powerful and more intelligent. Microsoft will have over 300,000 servers powering Xbox Live, allowing people to access cloud saves and entertainment content instantly. Gamers can now record and edit gameplay footage DVR style, and achievements have been revamped to be more dynamic. Developers now have access to Xbox Live’s servers to tap into its computing power for “living worlds”.
On games: EA is to release four new games with Madden, NBA Live, FIFA and UFC titles coming for the Xbox One; while Microsoft will bring out Forza 5 and will be available “at launch”. Microsoft says they have invested more money into developing original games, and promises more than 15 exclusive titles – 8 of which are brand new franchises – within the first year of the Xbox One. However, many of the titles will be released at E3 – in the next few weeks.
So, what’s the release date?
“Later this year” worldwide.