There are still quite a few things about Microsoft’s next-gen console that we don’t know about. Yesterday we learned a few extra pieces of information that I thought I’d share with you today. So let’s jump on in.
To begin with, let’s talk about this always online business. The latest scoop we have is that the Xbox One does indeed require an internet connection. While it might not have to be always online, it will look for an internet connection at least once a day, if not more. So bottom line, if you’re in the Navy and are looking to relax with your Xbox One while off duty, odds are you’re shafted.
The next piece of info is clarification on used games. Games will be directly tied to your Xbox Live account so if you bring a game over to a friend’s place, all you need to do is sign-in with your profile and you can play the game. What this means is you can’t sell the game to someone else and expect them to simply play it. In that situation they would have to pay a fee to activate the game on their console, which just so happens to be the full retail price. This should effectively kill the second-hand market.
Next up is confirmation on backwards compatibility and the lack thereof. The Xbox One does not work with any Xbox 360 hardware, or software. I mentioned this yesterday, but wanted to make sure it was clear.
One piece of brand new information we have is that the Xbox One cannot be upgraded with a new internal hard drive like the PS3. That said, users will be able to use external drives in order to save any/all media stored on the local drive including game installs, movies, and music. The Xbox One has three USB 3.0 ports, so this shouldn’t be an issue. For those curious, the hard drive included in the Xbox One is 500GB, so if you plan to download all your games, which may actually be required (still looking into that), you’ll need an external storage solution before you know it.
The Xbox One TV features that were showcased so heavily during the reveal will only be available in the US at launch. Some features will be made available to Canada, but for those in Europe and the rest of the world, these features will launch “later.” This shouldn’t be too surprising as there’s a lot of red tape to cut through when dealing with multimedia features, just ask Apple.
Crytek has also confirmed that their gladiator game Ryse has been reworked as an Xbox One title, and is in fact gearing up to become one of the big launch titles for the console. Microsoft said they have 15 games they plan to release during the course of system’s first year of availability, with eight of those being brand new properties. Now we know two of them, Ryse and Quantum Break.
The Last bit of info we have for you is potential box art for both the PS4 and the Xbox One. EA posted the following image last night.
There you have it everyone. We’ll likely get even more information today and in the coming weeks leading up to E3. Discuss below!
Tech sites have no chimed in on a hardware analysis of the Xbox One with the tech specs Sony released and the results may surprise you. Both system have the exact same architecture. What this means is that games will be easier than ever to port over from one machine to the next. It also means that any hardware features that are better on one platform or the other will be much easier to make use of. Before things were far more complex, and led to all kinds of weird textures, clipping and more. That should be a thing of the past. Now players can simply expect games to run smoother or look better based on the pure performance of the machines.
Microsoft was faced with a dilemma here. They could pump out all kinds of incredible specs, such as the latest RAM, a beefier GPU, etc. Instead they decided to go after the living room with their all-in-one Xbox. This means the company has to ship the console, Kinect, and a controller all together. Odds are there will be a microphone in there as well. That can’t possibly be cheap, so they clearly had to draw the line on power or else the system would cost far too much.
Based purely on the system specs Sony is the clear winner here, however it might come at a cost. We still don’t know the price of these machines. Right now in terms of performance, let’s take shaders as an example, here’s the breakdown: 768 SPs @ 800MHz vs. 1152 SPs & 800MHz. That’s a simple stat and require no additional programming, the developer can easily adjust the PS4 version of their game to a higher level and that’s it. We know the system memory is as such 8GB 2133MHz DDR3 on the Xbox One and 8GB 5500MHz GDDR5 on the PS4, which means games should be smoother on the PS4. Finally we know the system memory bandwidth which is 68.3 GB/s on the Xbox One compared to 176.0 GB/s on the PS4. Again, these numbers might not seem like much, but this is the first time where two console have the exact same insides, meaning these numbers will be visibly apparent in the games.
So what does this mean, simply that Microsoft’s gamble is clearly on bringing in people who are extremely interested in having a one-stop shop for their gaming, TV, music and movies. Sony’s goal appears to be to deliver the most powerful gaming console. Which will prove to be the smarter investment remains to be seen.