Xbox One Overview
Xbox One has been revealed. The next Xbox is the one device for all the various entertainment needs. It ushers in a new generation of gaming with dynamic achievements, gameplay recording, multitasking apps—With Xbox One, the TV becomes truly intelligent.
With the Xbox One guide and intuitive voice commands, it is easier than ever to find discover and watch shows. With the 500 GB hard drive and USB 3.0 ports, storing games and movies will be simple. Exclusives such as Forza Motorsport 5 and Quantum Break will take advantage of the powerful new system to provide full life-like entertainment. Once on the system, it will be nearly instant to get right back in to the action.
Microsoft’s new console brings the passion of gaming to the entire TV experience. The improved Kinect allows for instant switching from game to music, to television using simple voice commands. Snap mode makes it possible to run multiple programs alongside one another without shutting down or ones losing position. With Skype integrated into the Xbox One and utilizing the best living room camera available, one can take a call and jump right back into the same state of their game, or chat with their friend while continuing to play.
Hot video game titles for Xbox One are Titanfall and Destiny. Save on all Xbox One Games. Shop Xbox One accessories for cheap Xbox One controller.
The Xbox One will have a $499 starting price when it hits stores on November 22, and with a price that high, it’s clear Microsoft is targeting the well-to-do consumer with the new device — at least at launch. By comparison, the Sony PlayStation 4 will cost $399 (and release a week earlier on November 15) — although its optional PlayStation Eye camera and motion detector will be a $60 add-on, while the Kinect accessory will be bundled with every Xbox One sold.
For those not ready to drop half a grand on a new media device, Microsoft has refreshed its current gaming console, the Xbox 360, which is now available in a smaller redesigned chassis. The price has been kept relatively low ($200 for 4GB, $300 for 250GB), and Microsoft has sweetened the deal with a two-free-games-per-month deal for Xbox Live Gold members.
Design and Hands-on impressions
The Xbox One is large, sleek, and black, and looks like a piece of AV equipment. The controller and Kinect unit are redesigned, too: the Kinect and Xbox One, in particular, sport sharp-angled, glossy-black boxy looks. As a set, the Xbox One really does feel like some elaborate piece of home theater gear — and considering its mission to knit entertainment together into a modern all-in-one package, that’s clearly intentional.
First of all, the new Xbox One controller feels a bit lighter than the 360′s, and looks like a slightly more angular version of its older brother. It’s just as comfortable, if not more comfortable than the 360′s, as it fits almost perfectly into my rather large hands.
The plastic on the face of the controller feels noticeably smooth and the new A, B, X, and Y buttons have a new, more striking coat of paint on them (they’re now black buttons with colored lettering instead of colored buttons). The analog sticks feel suitably tight and precise; however, there’s a distracting, grooved texture that surrounds the top of each stick that I wasn’t a huge fan of. I can see where it might provide a more tactile feel, however.
The D-pad is pretty tight and clicky, but doesn’t feel quick as tight and clicky as I expected. It’s a definite improvement over the 360’s wobbly disaster of a D-pad. But as everyone knows, the true measure of a D-pad is how well it controls fighting games, but I’ve yet to have a chance to play Killer Instinct.
The trigger buttons are wider, but still retain their trigger functionality — it’s a trigger initially, then slopes down away from the controller. The X (home) button feels a lot snappier compared with the 360′s; not as snappy as the other face buttons, but not nearly as slow to depress as the 360′s.
Shoulder buttons are wider and depressed quickly, but the plastic seems a bit too thin, giving it a somewhat hollow feel.
On the back is a battery compartment door that on my controller has a screw on it, but I think that was specific to the demo version. There’s a very HDMI-looking port on the very bottom that I’m told is simply there for expansion.
As for the console itself, while I’d heard it was smaller than you’d expect, it actually looked as big as it does in pictures, to my eyes at least. If there’s a design theme of the Xbox One, it’s vents and lots of them. Both the console and the Kinect are covered with them.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
As mentioned above, a new Kinect comes with the Xbox One, complete with improved accuracy. It has a 1080p camera, Skype connectivity, and understanding of rotational movement in a structure like a skeleton. Microsoft even claims the new Kinect can read your heartbeat. It can also recognize your controller, not just your hands — suggesting uses that sound a little like the ones for PlayStation Move’s wand. Unlike what was originally reported, Kinect won’t necessarily need to be activated for all of Xbox One’s features.
The Xbox One’s Kinect.
Kinect will also be the brains of the Xbox One’s ability to control all of your devices. An array of infrared blasters flank the front of the new Kinect, which will shoot commands back out at the room you’re in and bounce them off walls and other objects so that they’ll reflect back to all your devices. If you keep items behind cabinet doors you’ll need a hardwired IR blaster akin to what you might see used in a Slingbox setup. For more, check out what Jeff Bakalar found out when he talked to Microsoft’s Marc Whetton about the tech behind Kinect.
Microsoft promises that Xbox One is a better-connected way of linking live TV, games, and entertainment in one unit — something the Xbox 360 already does, but will do more via commands like “Xbox, on.” As was said during the initial press conference, you’re “going to have a relationship with your TV.” The elevator pitch: take on a living room that has become “too complex,” and make a system that knits together games, TV, and entertainment. Microsoft wants Xbox One to intercept every cable or satellite connection before it gets to your TV and tailor the Xbox experience around the content you already view everyday.
The Kinect sensor again comes into play here. The accessory enables voice and gesture control, both of which are integrated into the Xbox One’s TV control. Watching live TV will involve maximizing and minimizing the screen in a top corner. Live TV will be part of the Xbox One experience, via HDMI-in. Yes, cable TV compatibility looks like part of the package. Judging from what Microsoft has shown and told CNET, almost every cable and satellite provider will be compatible with Xbox’s live TV integration (as long as the source box uses an HDMI-out).
We still have yet to see or fully understand the technology Xbox One will use in the ambitious integration of your pre-existing TV service. However, Scott Stein got to see how the NFL and ESPN integration will look first hand.
The Xbox One does knit together new voice commands to do some PC-like stuff: you can order movie tickets, for instance, engage in Skype, or pull up fantasy sports stats while watching a game. The conversational, Siri-meets-Google Now-like voice commands hopefully will have clear menu representation on the console, as otherwise it could get confusing.
“It’s an all-in-one entertainment console” is a pitch we’ve heard before, dating back to the PlayStation 3 and before that — really, going back all the way to the 3DO. It hasn’t always worked, but the Xbox One is better positioned because the Xbox 360′s already pretty successful at being an excellent streaming-video device.
Microsoft is also bringing exclusive video content and some unique interactivity to the TV party. At the Xbox One’s May 21 rollout, Steven Spielberg announced a new TV series based on Halo, and the NFL demonstrated some level of interaction with fantasy stats and Skyping with NFL broadcasts.
Under the hood, details so far include an eight-core processor and graphics made by AMD, 8GB of RAM, Blu-ray, USB 3.0, HDMI in/out, and a 500GB hard drive. Besides all of this, Microsoft is promising a new operating system fusing Xbox and Windows.
The Xbox One architecture has “three operating systems in one”: Xbox, a kernel of Windows (perhaps like Windows RT), and a multitasking interface. The idea seems to be that this console will be a multitasker at heart. Check out a head-to-head comparison with the PlayStation 4 specs known so far, however, and you can see that the distance between Sony and Microsoft, in terms of hardware, will be shorter than ever.
On a number of occasions Microsoft has shared with CNET that its Xbox One team has been relentless tweaking the system’s GPU specs. In fact, they recently announced that they’ve upped the clock speed in the Xbox One’s processor from 1.6GHz to 1.75GHz. In addition, the Xbox One’s GPU clock speed has been bumped up slightly from 800MHz to 853MHz.
The Xbox One controller
The tablet-based SmartGlass experience will center on the Xbox One, and will work as before with a variety of phones and tablets. Baked-in Wi-Fi Direct on the Xbox One will allow Bluetooth-like direct communication between external devices, which could come in handy for other future peripherals, too.
Now with SmartGlass you’ll be able start single-player games, set up multiplayer matches, view achievements, and purchase in-game add-ons. With the new game Ryse, Microsoft demonstrated the ability to get instant real-time stat comparisons with friends you play with. You’ll also have access to any Game DVR videos they’ve uploaded.
Of course some of these features will be tethered to the desire of third party developers, but judging by their enthusiasm it’s safe to say most first-party Xbox One titles will feature SmartGlass in some capacity.
Built on the existing service and usernames, the new Xbox Live promises 300,000 servers for the Xbox One, a whopping number. Matchmaking services will work while you’re doing other tasks like watching movies or Web browsing, and bigger, more quickly connecting matches are promised, too. Microsoft has discussed some cloud services on the Xbox One that seem promising: user-based cloud game saves, uploaded game recording, and even the potential for cloud-processing-enhanced games. You can read what CNET’s Roger Cheng learned about cloud computing and other Xbox One tech here.
For all you football team and cheerleading squad captains out there, Xbox Live’s maximum friends list gets a boost from 100 friends to “all of your friends.” It’s unclear, though, if that truly means an unlimited capacity. Also, Microsoft says if you’re a Gold member, anyone in your household will be able to use your Gold member benefits, including multiplayer matches, without you being signed in at all.
Microsoft stated at E3 that Xbox Live will no longer use its sometimes misleading
space bucks Microsoft Points currency, but is joining the rest of the world and using real-world currency.
Game DVR automatically records the last few seconds of your gameplay and allows you to upload video of your latest triumph for others to see. Using Upload Studio, gamers can “curate, edit, share, and publish” videos of gameplay, directly from the machine, according to Microsoft.
Upload Studio’s editing options seem pretty limited. Not to take away from the potentially cool feature.
In the demo Microsoft gave, Game DVR recorded the last 31 seconds of Killer Instinct gameplay, but it’s unclear whether that number can be adjusted. Through the interface, you’ll have the option to cut the footage down to whatever bad-ass moment you want to focus on.
You can then add commentary using Kinect and choose a skin to add what looks light predetermined thematic elements like slowdown or comic-book-like panels showing multiple hits in dramatic fashion. Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to play around with this option soon and get more details on its interface and option.
The Xbox One fully integrates Twitch’s live-streaming capabilities. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to not only live stream their own gameplay — with the option to add voice or video to the stream with Kinect — but also watch streams of others as well.
Killer Instinct footage on the Xbox One getting its own live stream, thanks to Twitch.
This is all accomplished within the Xbox One’s interface and seemed to deliver a simple and quick interface, at least during the stage demo. Microsoft said that viewers watching the game stream will also have the ability to participate and affect the game, but whether it was simply referring to joining the live Twitch chat (seen on screen) or something more specific isn’t yet clear.