After months of speculating when Microsoft would announce their next-gen Xbox, we now have all the details. Revealed during today’s Xbox: A New Generation Revealed conference, Microsoft confirmed a wide assortment of details and features for their new console. Let’s kick things off with the name. Say hello to the Xbox One.
All we know as of now is that the system features 8GB of system memory, USB 3.0 ports, an 8-core CPU, 64-bit architecture, built-in Wi-Fi, HDMI in/out ports, and a 500GB HDD. Further details are expected in the coming hours/days leading up to E3.
One of the very first features the company revealed was full and dynamic voice recognition. This allows the new Kinect to turn the system on, and realizes exactly who you are. “Xbox on” will turn the system on and boots into the new dashboard. The new dashboard looks similar to that of the 360, except that it modifies itself based on what you play, watch, and listen to. Kinect uses new smart technology in order to switch between live TV, Internet Explorer, playing games, etc. It only takes a a second to switch between whatever it is you want to do with the console. You can also use hand gestures in order to go back to the home screen, switch channels, etc.
There’s a new Snap mode, which allows the console to multitask (i.e run more than one app at a time). An example shown was watching Star Trek, while cruising the net about the sequel, on the side of the screen. Skype is also seamlessly built into the console, and will feature group chatting and more. Switching between all these different apps is done through your voice, and hand gestures with the new Kinect.
Xbox Guide connects to your cable-box so that it can scan everything currently on Live TV. It also shows what’s currently trending, and your favorites. The idea is to seamlessly have everything built into your Xbox without ever having to leave your system.
Much like the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One is incompatible with all Xbox 360 software, meaning all your Xbox 360 disc-based or Xbox Live Arcade games will not work with the new machine. Sadly, we were expecting this after the news broke about the PS4.
Xbox Live will continue with your current subscription, and features many new elements. The biggest of which is cloud integration using Microsoft’s new Azure cloud service. You can record, edit and upload your latest gaming milestones as they happen. Xbox One and the new Xbox Live act as your own personal PVR for gaming, and it sounds very promising.
EA and Microsoft have entered into a new partnership, which will be revealed in the coming weeks (i.e. most likely at E3). EA has a new game and physics engine called Ignite, which is supposed to make sports games much more realistic than ever before. EA also confirmed there will be exclusive features for FIFA on the Xbox One.
Forza Motorsport 5 is going to be one of the biggest Xbox One launch titles.
Live action Halo television series will be coming to the Xbox One. It is being co-developed by Steven Spielberg.
NFL football will be coming to the Xbox One through a partnership with Microsoft and the NFL itself. Exclusive and interactive content will be pushed to the Xbox One all year long.
Microsoft confirmed the release date as “later this year.” I assume we’ll get a more concrete release date at E3 or shortly thereafter. E3 will also be where the company reveals their biggest exclusives.
They closed with the latest Call of Duty: Ghosts. Microsoft also confirmed all DLC will arrive first on Xbox One.