Now that the dust of excitement around the Xbox One reveal has had a chance to settle, we have been able to gather up all the official major announcement points from the event. We still know no more about a release date than “later this year”.
Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, introduced the Xbox One console, and billed it as an all-in-one entertainment system for games, movies, TV, music, sports and Skype.
The Xbox One combines a number of interface inputs, including the new Kinect, the new Xbox controller, Smartglass app, and the users own voice.
Xbox One interface features
- TV on Xbox One – Navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One. Just how this will work remains to be seen, but Microsoft said it is “committed to bringing live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available”.
- Voice commands – Turn on your entertainment system with the words, “Xbox On”. The new dashboard is named “Home” and is customisable with favourite games and other entertainment options.
- Snap – Use Snap to jump between operations, such as a multiplayer battle while watching your favourite movie, talking with friends on Skype while watching live TV, or tracking your fantasy football team on TV as you watch the big game.
- Skype for Xbox One – Skype for Xbox One will feature group calls.
- Trending – A feature that will be available in the US at launch, it keeps tabs on popular entertainment by tracking what your friends are watching, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.
- OneGuide – This Kinect voice feature can find entertainment, searching by TV network, name, or time, and presented in a tailored program guide. It will only be available in certain locales and language.
Under the hood
Xbox One system software architecture involves three operating systems in one. The game creation system will open up the power of the console to developers. The kernel of Windows will run other software, such as web applications and apps, and the third system connects the two to enable switching between gaming and other entertainment operations.
Under the hood is 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 8-core CPU on 64-bit system architecture, an assortment of power states, USB 3.0, Wi-Fi Direct, HDMI in/out ports, and a Blu-ray drive. Interestingly, Whitten claims that silent operation is a feature of the Xbox One.
Game titles unveiled for Xbox One include
- Forza Motorsport 5
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- FIFA 14
- Madden NFL 25
- NBA LIVE 14
- EA SPORTS UFC
- Quantum Break
Next generation Xbox Live
- Existing Xbox Live Gold Membership for Xbox 360 will carry over to Xbox One. Gamerscore carries over from Xbox 360. Some Xbox Live content and features available on Xbox 360, including avatar content and some apps, are not available with Xbox Live on Xbox One.
- Games can be installed in segments so that gameplay can start quickly. Updates can download in the background.
- Xbox Live on the Xbox One will lean heavily on cloud services.
- Save and store profiles, games, and entertainment show in the cloud to access them anytime, from any Xbox One console (subject to geographical content restrictions).
- Smart Match: A matchmaking system that estimates wait times and finds people to play with while users are using other functions on the Xbox One, such as Internet browsing or watching TV. Player reputation fundamentally matters and helps find the best matches.
- Game DVR: A dedicated Game DVR captures and accesses gameplay gems and saves them to the cloud. These can be shared using sharing tools.
- Living Games: apparently an advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.
- Expanded achievements: A new and expanded achievements system captures video of epic moments, continues to grow a game’s achievements over time. Gamerscore carries over from Xbox 360.
- Xbox SmartGlass: The SmartGlass app is part of the Xbox One platform. Multiple devices can connect at one time for multiplayer and shared entertainment.
Xbox One Kinect
- The redesigned Kinect boasts 1080p capturing, expanded field-of-view, and more precise and responsive motion capture.
- Operation in various lighting conditions has apparently been improved, and it recognizes precise motion control such as a slight wrist rotation.
- Kinect can distinguish voices in a noisy room using advanced noise isolation, Microsoft claims.
Xbox One controller
- The new Xbox One wireless controller boasts more than 40 technical and design changes, including an updated directional pad, thumb stick, and ergonomic design.
- Something called “vibrating impulse triggers” have been added, apparently offering “more precision and control”.
- The Xbox One controller is designed to work alongside the new Kinect, automatically pairing the two devices when a player picks up a controller.
Microsoft partners with big names in TV, sports and entertainment
- “Halo” television series: Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer, Steven Spielberg will executive-produce an original “Halo” live-action television series with exclusive interactive Xbox One content, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios.
- National Football League (NFL): Good news for American football – a multi-year partnership will deliver interactive NFL television the next-generation Xbox One and leverage Microsoft devices and services, including Skype, Xbox SmartGlass, and player-worn technology.
More details about Xbox One and the furture of Xbox 360 are to be revealed at E3 in June 2013.