Microsoft finally unveiled its next-generation Xbox, called the Xbox One, earlier today and although they didn’t disclose as much information as rival Sony did when they announced their PlayStation 4, at least they showed what the console will look like. Within its one-hour presentation, Microsoft covered some information we feel future Xbox One owners will certainly want to know.
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What good is talking about the Xbox One if we don’t highlight what you can expect out of the console when you bring it home later this year? Microsoft says they put a lot of work into the Xbox One, and you can certainly tell that is indeed the case as its specs are rather impressive. The Xbox One features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, Blu-Ray drive, Wi-Fi (802.11n) / Wi-Fi Direct, USB 3.0 and an HDMI port.
The Xbox One will come with a new Kinect sensor that supports 1080p video at 30 frames per second and offers a wider field of view due to its improved data throughput of 2GB per second. When used as a two-way communicator, such as through Skype calls, video can be captured at 60 frames per second. The next Kinect sensor also works in a dark room and is more precise as it is able to read the user’s balance, transfer of weight and even measure your heartbeat.
Since you’ll probably be doing a lot of gaming on the Xbox One, Microsoft is introducing a completely redesigned controller with the console that features 40 design changes. The Xbox One controller features a similar look to the Xbox 360 controller, but its analog sticks now have some noticeable texturing, it has a new dynamic impulse triggers, a newly-designed directional pad and an integrated battery. Communication between the controller and console has also been improved as it can now provide information 15% faster than the Xbox 360 controller.
New features and services
Playing games on a video game console is pretty much expected, but what else you can do with a console has resulted in console manufacturers imagining different ways for you to get the most out of your purchase. Microsoft announced a number of features and services during today’s Xbox One unveiling which may or may not impress you, depending on what you plan on using the console for.
Switching between applications on the Xbox One was one of the new features Microsoft highlighted during today’s unveiling as the new Xbox Kinect was able to understand the command that was issued to then deliver the requested application with very little lag. You’ll be able to switch between playing a video game, to watching live television, to listening to music and anything else you’d like to do through simple voice commands.
Watching live TV will be possible on the Xbox One and may provide a better experience than many customers experience with their current set-top-box. The Xbox One features a guide that you can interact with through voice commands that will allow you to view a channel just by saying “Watch” followed by the channel you wish to view. Finding out what’s playing is also made easier as the voice command “What’s on” followed by the channel will pull up the guide, which will focus on that channel. The Xbox One also allows you to follow your favorite programs through its Favorites category and even shows you what other Xbox Live members are watching through its Trending category.
Snap Mode is a feature on the Xbox One we’re sure many multitaskers will use on a regular basis as the feature allows you to run another application without requiring you to stop what you’re doing. One of the best examples for Snap Mode was the Xbox One’s use of Skype as you’ll be able to accept a call while you’re in the middle of playing a game or watching a movie, which will open at the edge of the screen in Snap Mode.
Games, games, games!
Microsoft knows gamers will be picking up the Xbox One in order to play games, so they made sure to highlight a few of the console’s upcoming titles during today’s unveiling event.
Forza Motorsport 5
One of the first games Microsoft unveiled was a new Forza game, Forza Motorsport 5. The game was developed by Turn 10 Studios and everything in the trailer above is all running on the Xbox One. No information was given in regards to the game, but you have to admit the game looks really impressive so far. Forza Motorsport 5 will launch alongside the Xbox One later this year.
The developers behind Alan Wake and the Max Payne franchises, Remedy Entertainment, introduced a new game for the Xbox One called Quantum Break. The trailer that was shown during today’s Xbox One unveiling featured a woman and a young girl who looks to have strange powers. When the young girl touches the woman’s face, the player is then taken to a video game world, which leads us to believe the game may incorporate live-action scenes along with video game scenes.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
As much as PC and PlayStatoin players would like to believe their console is the best place to play Call of Duty on, Microsoft’s consistent promotion of the legendary game series as well as its timed-exclusive deal for the launch of all downloadable content shows Xbox is the place to be if you’re a fan of Call of Duty. During today’s Xbox One unveiling, Call of Duty: Ghosts developer finally showed off the game they’ve been working on.
Call of Duty: Ghosts will feature a new world, characters and story all running on Infinity War’ds newest next-generation game engine. As you’d expect, the game looks amazing running on next generation hardware and is sure to delight fans of the series as Ghosts will give players the chance to fully customize their character in the game’s multiplayer mode. Infinity Ward is hoping this feature will help Call of Duty players better connect with their player as they spend countless hours improving not only their aesthetics, but also their guns, perks and equipment.
Xbox One Releasing “Around The World” “Later This Year”
Through the hour-long event, Microsoft focused on a number of key factors for its Xbox One. The company highlighted the console’s hardware, new features and a small number of games. Unfortunately, they didn’t end their event with the Xbox One’s pricing and availability, but seeing how E3 is just a few weeks away, we’re sure Microsoft is preparing to announce both of those pieces of unknown information around that time.
From now until E3 2013, we suspect we’ll be hearing more in regards to the Xbox One that wasn’t ably to fit within Microsoft’s one-hour presentation today. So if you’re really interested in the Xbox One, keep an eye out for more information in the coming days.