An end to all rumors and to compete directly with Sony’s PlayStation4, Microsoft revealed the next generation console Xbox One, an all-in-one gaming and entertainment system. Instead of limiting the console to purely gaming, Microsoft has taken a step further to build an complete home entertainment system with TV, movies, music, sports and Skype.
First let’s go to the geek’s hardware part, Microsoft Xbox One has a 8 core CPU unit based on Jaguar micro-architecture design and GPU system-on-chip architecture with 8GB of RAM. It runs on native 64-bit architecture and has 5 billion transistors to support. It comes with the custom 500GB internal storage capacity. It also features a Blu-ray DVD player, USB 3.0 support and Wi-Fi direct.
“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device. Our unique modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment.” said Don Mattrick Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft.
On the design side the console is shaped in the 16:9 aspect ratio and employs a horizontal orientation optimized for its high-speed Blu-ray disc player. It is molded in a deep and rich liquid black color and includes a distinctive beveled edge. It also carries the redesigned 1080p Kinect, making it more precise, more responsive and more intuitive. Its advanced vision, motion and voice technology works in nearly any lighting condition, recognizes precise motion control from a slight wrist rotation, and distinguishes voice even in a noisy room using advanced noise isolation. The Xbox controller also got an overhaul with more than 40 technical and design innovations. It work in concert with the new Kinect, allowing the two to be paired automatically to create seamless player syncing.
The new console uses extensive voice commands to interact live with Xbox One. For example saying “Xbox On” will bring up your personalized Xbox One Home screen, discover what is popular on TV or see friends’ latest gaming achievements. It has a self learning technology and with the more you interact with Xbox One, the more it gets to know you and learns what you like.
Users can navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box connected through your Xbox One, making it a centralized point for all your gaming and home entertainment. It comes with inbuilt Skype, that allows you to chat or hold a group Skype call directly from your TV in stunning HD. Another interesting feature included is the Snap, that splits the screen to do different tasks at once. For example chat with friends on Skype while watching live TV or jump into a multiplayer battle while watching your favorite movie etc. It also features Trending and OneGuide, that basically allows you to easily discover interesting things among your friends and on online.
Microsoft also showcased a handful of game developers with their upcoming hot games which include Call of Duty Ghosts, Forza Motorsport 5, FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, NBA LIVE 14, EA SPORTS UFC and Quantum Break.
With the Xbox One launch Microsoft also revamped and introduced all-new generation of Xbox Live that’s more powerful, more personal and more intelligent. With the power of cloud making everything more convenient and accessible, from allowing games to be installed in segments so that gameplay can start quickly to updates downloading in the background. Save and store your personalized profile, games and entertainment in the cloud to access them anytime, from any Xbox One console. Xbox Live also brings in a handful of features like Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you are enjoying other activities. Game DVR that allows you to capture your gameplay and save them to cloud, along with sharing tools. Living Games where the dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.
One of the most discussed rumors surrounding next-gen consoles was on the DRM issues. With Xbox One you can still play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection, so there is no need of a “always on” internet connection. Another is the used games issue, the new console locks any game disc put into it to your Xbox account, and if you resell the game, the other user may require to pay a fee for playing the game. Microsoft still has not fully disclosed details on it, more details can be found on the FAQ section.
As for the availability Microsoft Xbox One will start shipping later this year, but it didn’t reveal the price for the next generation console.
Both major next generation gaming consoles are here, which one your prefer Microsoft Xbox One or Sony PlayStation 4?