It’s been an exciting couple weeks for Xbox fans. The new console was announced dubbed the “Xbox One” and the next-generation Kinect was debuted and detailed. We’ll give a brief synopsis of the new system as well as more in depth analysis of the new Kinect sensor in a later piece.
The new console itself is comprised of an:
· 8 core AMD Jaguar CPU
· 8 GBs of RAM
· 12 CU AMD GPU (with Data Move engines)
· 500 GB HDD
· Blu-ray Drive (finally!)
· 802.11n Wireless with Wi-Fi Direct (this will come in handy for SmartGlass)
· HDMI In/Out
· USB 3.0
Graphics are definitely a focus for the new Xbox with the One offering up to 8x the power of an Xbox 360! Not too shabby! The new Xbox is being position as an All-in-One entertainment box (hence the new name). Games, TV, Internet and Kinect will all be a major part of the system. Some the One’s key features are:
· Instant Switch Multi-tasking
· Snap Mode (2 apps at once)
· Skype Voice/Video calls
· Live TV
· TV Guide
· Virtually silent
· Slot loading drive
· Same size as current console
· No external power brick
· 3 OSs including a Windows variant
· Gaming DVR with editing tools
Xbox Live enhancements
Just like Microsoft paved the way with broadband on the original Xbox they are paving the way again with always online on the One. The new xbox will require you to sign on at least once every 24hours. This gives players the benefits of Harddrive based game installs due to online authentication. No longer will you have to get up and change discs to change a game! You’ll be able to hot-swap between games and apps at will!
Microsoft is also deploying 300,000 servers, with more power than every computer combined in 1999, to assist with cloud based computing. This is said to increase the graphics and Artificial Intelligence of games on the new system.
You can look forward to your GamerTag and achievements all transitioning over but keep in mind the system does not support backwards compatibility of your existing Xbox 360 games.
Microsoft’s commitment to games, games, games!
Microsoft is committing $1 Billion dollars to the development of exclusive titles on the One. This includes 15 titles to be released in its first year on the market. 8 of them being wholly original properties! Forza 5 which is one of these games will be available at launch as well as Quantum Break from the creators of Alan Wake and Max Payne!
The exclusive content doesn't stop there! Microsoft is partnering with EA for exclusive content in their next generation sports games. Fifa, Live, Madden and UFC will all see release on the new console. EA plans to debut their new next gen game engine “Ignite” on the One which allows for 10 times the animation detail. You can check the engine in action below:
Activision has also pledged their support by offering the next-gen version of Call of Duty: Ghosts to the platform with time-exclusive DLC content.
There was also a Game specific DVR mentioned that allows game clip sharing and editing but not many details are available at this time.
Microsoft wants to eliminate as many barriers as possible between you and the entertainment you love. The HDMI pass-through will allow you to connect your cable/satellite box and watch live TV through the One. No longer will you have to change inputs and with Kinect integration no longer will you have to search for a remote! Just use your voice to change the channel. How cool is that?
Microsoft plans to augment your TV watching experience with the OneGuide which, with the help of the cloud, pick out shows and movies that might interest you. Making your TV experience more personal. The OneGuide will only be available in the U.S. at launch but will expand to other countries shortly.
Wrap UpIt’s clear Microsoft’s aiming for the widest spectrum possible with this new console. Taking on Google and Apple in the process. Not only will the One be the best Games machine with the most exclusive games and content. Microsoft is positioning it to be the one stop shop for all your entertainment needs.