After months of hype and speculation, Microsoft has finally come out with detailed information about the new generation of Xbox gaming console. The most important detail is that it will be called the Xbox One, but there are still a few small technical details to go along with that.
Frankly, over the course of an hour long announcement, we learned a lot.
The initial emphasis was on the Kinect.Every console will come complete with a slightly modified Kinect bar that will allow you to control most important aspects of navigation.Voice commands make it possible to watch live television, navigate your media library, scroll through and select applications, and more.
The TV tuner capabilities that we expected to see talked about are tied in to this feature set.Thanks to the Kinect it will be easy to flip through channels without all the hassle of moving your thumbs!
This then moves into video conferencing.As predicted, Microsoft wants Skype to be an important part of your Xbox One experience.You’ll be able to handle all the usual tasks, up to and including group video calls.Skype will even be dockable without losing video connection.
If the snap feature sounds familiar, it should.This appears to be exactly the same functionality that we have gotten used to with Windows 8’s Modern UI.It does look a lot better suited for a television than on most desktops, though.
Gaming was obviously the important part of this presentation, but they took a while to get around to it.
The updated Xbox Live brings with it a few interesting features.They implemented something called “Game DVR” that should allow for the same sort of playback that Sony came up with for the PS4.It’s probably going to be handy for many gamers, honestly, but it isn’t exactly exciting anymore.
In addition to all the other fun games that are sure to pop up, it appears there will be 15 exclusive launch titles for the Xbox One.8 of these are going to be new franchises.That could be a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s nice to see something new for a new console alongside the obvious HALO, FIFA, CoD, etc. collection.
The hardware specs are nice enough to be worth commenting on, especially since they address many of the current generation console’s shortcomings.
- “Three” Operating Systems (Xbox OS, Windows Kernel, and an intermediary layer)
- 8 Core CPU
- 8GB Memory
- 500GB Hard Drive
- Blu-Ray Optical Drive
- Internal 802.11n Wireless
- USB 3.0
- HDMI In / Out
The controller update is less exciting.It looks good, though!Flatter, less bulky, not as much battery case projection, and the directional pad is greatly improved.It’s an incremental upgrade on the already popular design.
I could go into detail about the games they showed off and how nice everything looks, but that’s pretty much a given at this point.All the high points, from sports to shooters, were covered.Everything looks fantastic.We’ll be hearing more about the game selection and who Microsoft has managed to get on board already when E3 hits.