The Xbox One reveal has come and gone but just incase you didn't quite catch all the action, we've put together a summary of what to expect in Microsoft's next-generation system. Based on what we've seen on the console itself, Microsoft has put a heavy emphasis on the "on-going" which i'll explain later as well as full control of the living room. As a contrast to Sony who put on a great show regarding new social interaction services, Microsoft put a heavier stand on hardware and what exactly you could do with their console. Here's a rundown on all the features of the Xbox One:
The specs of The Xbox One confirmed:
The Xbox's system specs are fairly close to that of The Sony Playstation 4. Though, it does look like Microsoft has finally thrown in the blu-ray player which is what a lot of fans have asked for. One of the new features that interests me is the support for 4K resolution. A console isn't exactly as powerful as the most expensive gaming PC money can buy, but i'm curious to see how it's implemented in future titles
Confirmed: No backwards compatibility
Let's get this out of the way now. Microsoft has officially confirmed that the new Xbox will not be backwards-compatible. As frustrating as this seems, the new console does use a different architecture as well as a different type of player. Not even Xbox Live Arcade titles will be surviving the cut, but music, television shows, and movies will.
However, the issue regarding borrowing/renting of games was addressed. Games purchased are required to be installed into the hard drive and you don't need the disk to play it -- the game will be linked to your account. If someone else were to borrow your physical copy, they would need to pay a fee to play the game. No word on what the fee is, or if it'll be a small one at that, but i'm sure they're planning a business plan for this dilemma.
The reveal of the new controller
The "new" controller isn't that much different from the one currently available to the Xbox 360. Makes sense, the 360 controller has won many awards and to me, is the most ergonomic piece of gaming equipment i've ever held. They did enhance a few little things though, like increasing the height of the joysticks for more precision (a request from pro gamers) and the individual triggers both have shock feedback, which is an immersion thing. As an added bonus, the bulky battery pack in the back has been removed, giving gamers with bigger hands more freedom in their finger placements,
Emphasis on the "on-going evolution"
Probably one of the best, if not the greatest feature in The Xbox One that a ton of people over-look is their server-side gaming, which will host 300,000 new servers to their current 15,000. The new system hosts a lot of transistors already, but the console will age and what you have at home is limited. On top of the physical piece of equipment you have at home, the "never-off" Xbox is constantly communicating with MS cloud servers. Suddenly, your hardware limitations are almost a non-factor. Your gaming experience becomes more powerful the more you play.
Developers can use Microsoft's Azure cloud computing service, which will let developers utilize cloud computing rather than processing it on the Xbox One hardware, but it's entirely up to the developer to implement this.
The Xbox One is said to 'learn" what you like to do. It learns the games you enjoy and as information is being traded back and forth between console and server, the game starts to run more smoothly, becomes faster, and suddenly, your range of vision improves. Basically, this time around, Team Xbox has thought ahead in-terms of hardware limitations. Eventually, companies will learn to utilize this technology and bring some crazy gaming power that isn't actually there to your TV. Crazy, huh? This is where they should have named the system the Xbox Infinity, since this console is technically infinitely powerful.
The need for speed
According to the Major Nelson after-show which went live on twitch, The Xbox One is very fast. This is due to the system never truly turning off and a whole bunch of other technical mumbo jumbo. Basically, the system can go into some sort of mini-hibernation and you can literally tell it to "wake-up" and it'll leave off RIGHT WHERE YOU LEFT OFF. It'll play music you may have had on, rejoin parties you regularly participate in, and resume the game where you were. No loading times. See, THIS IS THE NEXT-GEN, I expect my tech to get faster.
Aside from the multi-tasking your console is doing behind your back, the power The Xbox One posses allows console gamers to enjoy what was once exclusive to PC gamers, multi-tasking. Yes, you'll be able to load movies, watch them, return to your game while it's matchmaking, play music, open up Skype, talk with friends, browse the web, enjoy Kinect... ok i'm done... All at the same time and switch between all of it instantly. On top of that, the new "snap on" feature will allow you to simultaneously do any of the above mentioned and more in conjunction with another app. Watch a twitch stream and game at the same time anyone?
Every system will ship with the new Kinect
Much like all the rumors that have been floating around, Microsoft is forcing the Kinect on you.... OH NO! But in all seriousness, all Xbox Ones will ship with a pair of new-and-improved eyes. This thing is said to have thousands more points of motion than the previous generation, can see in full HD color, and even monitor your heart rate... yeesh, can't wait for the horror games they come out with this bad boy! Without a doubt, this device is AMAZING. Perhaps motion games at this level of interaction will see the light of day.
More at E3!
The Xbox One will be present at E3 for attendees to enjoy. However, what we have so far impresses me quite a bit in-terms of next-gen hardware and they haven't even talked about all the specific features, like what kind of apps to expect, new Xbox Live multiplayer services, etc etc. In the coming weeks, i'm hoping to see a landslide of newly-announced next-gen titles which should excite me even more.
What do you guys think? You've seen the Sony PS4(sort of) and now we've seen the infamous "Project Durango." What are your thoughts on both consoles and do you have a preference? Comment below!