Microsoft Announces Next Console: The Xbox One
Today Microsoft finally unveiled it’s successor to the Xbox 360 the “Xbox One.” Unlike Sony’s PS4 reveal Microsoft stated prior that the focus here would not be on games, and they instead detailed how their new system is looking to be the all inclusive hub for your living room.
One of the most heavily covered features which was rumored to be included and is now confirmed, is integration with live TV. The Xbox One has an HDMI pass through which allows you to give control of your cable box over to your Xbox One. Using the new Kinect 2 which will come bundled with the console, you can give various voice commands to navigate through individual channels. You can use network names and call up the guide to find shows and they claim that the speed in which this takes place is comparable to just flipping a channel. This same speed of switching carries over to other media like music, apps, games, and movies. By saying a command like “Xbox go to Star Trek” it can switch you in an instant to that movie and if it was already playing it will resume right from that spot apparently.
Aside from allowing you to quickly switch between the mulitude of media on the system and your TV, it also allows for a deeper level of interaction. Microsoft used ESPN as a big example of this a number of times. With both the NBA and NFL while watching a live game on TV, you can command your Xbox One to pull up stats on specific players, or access your fantasy league right along side the live broadcast.
Other features they championed were Skype integration which allows you to call friends and video chat with them while still playing or watching something else. The chat takes up about 1/4 of the screen in a little box in the top right corner with options underneath it. There wasn’t any mention of whether or not you’d be able to share your screen with that person which is something Sony said the PS4 would be capable of.
Inside the console wasn’t talked about too much but they did state that it would have a 500GB hard drive, 8Gigs of RAM a PC friendly x86 architecture and 3 operating systems, one for games, one for media, and one that allows for the switching between the two seamlessly. They also stated that they’ve upgraded their number of Xbox Live servers to over 300,000 which will allow for cloud storage of tons of content, enabling you to just head over to a friends house and have all of your content available to you there. Similarly to Sony they also breifly mentioned the ability to capture game footage, edit clips, and upload them to the web.
Microsoft gave only a tiny taste of what they are planning with actual games. “Forza Motorsport 5” was announced with a very pretty trailer of cars racing, but it’s not yet confirmed if the trailer was running graphics in real time or not. They showed a half live action, half computer graphic trailer for a brand new IP called “Quantum Break.” nothing is known about this game as of yet, there were quick shots of a ship crashing into a bridge, and a man wearing a police or SWAT vest who seemed to possess super human abilities The conference was closed out with the first game play trailer of Call of Duty Ghosts, where they highlighted the graphical difference between Modern Warfare 3 and this new iteration. Microsoft will get all DLC before Sony does continuing the timed exclusivity deal they had this generation. Microsoft stated at the end of their game segment that they have 15 first party titles in development with 8 of which being brand new IPs, exciting information indeed but with no details we’ll again be speculating our lives away until E3 in June.
There’s a lot more information to digest from this reveal so expect more info, pictures, and video in the coming days.