Microsoft held it’s press event for the reveal of their next Xbox console, which is now known as the Xbox One. The reveal event only lasted an hour, and was full of rhetoric from the Microsoft mouth pieces. Some of what they had to say about the One is promising, but one of the biggest omissions from the event was the lack of any discussion on new video games.
MS teased that they have 15 exclusive titles in the works for the console, and 8 of those are brand new IPs, but none of these games were shown off outside of an odd trailer for Remedy’s Quantum Break. For some reason Microsoft let Call of Duty: Ghosts take center stage in the game reveal category, and while it definitely looked next-gen, this played out franchise didn’t really offer any innovation over the 50 other COD games that have been released during the current generation of gaming.
I must say that the Xbox One reveal was kind of a let down overall, but I’m reserving final judgment on the new console until I can see it in action at E3. I imagine Microsoft will offer up many more details on the actual video game functionalities of the One, and hopefully they’ll show off some of the exclusive game franchises.
In the mean time I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Xbox One features, specs, details, trailers, pics, etc, which you can peruse through below. Think of it as your one stop Xbox One details shop. Stay tuned for further Xbox One coverage from the EB team as the week progresses.
Xbox One Console Overview
As seen in the graphic the Xbox One sports similar guts to the PS4. It offers two HDMI ports for cable-box integration, a massive HDD, Blu-ray, USB 3.0, 8 core CPU, and 8GB of RAM. It should be well equipped to handle next-gen games.
Joystiq has some hands-on pics of the Xbox One if you want to see it in the wild.
What would a new Xbox be without a new Kinect model? There is indeed a new one shipping with the Xbox One, and you can see it below. The sensor will sport a 1080P HD camera, 30 FPS, Time of Flight tech, and mic arrays. The demos given of it in action seemed to work really well, and the console will use it heavily for voice commands and system interactions.
Microsoft did show off the Xbox One’s controller, and for the most part it has maintained its form factor from the 360. It actually looks quite slick, and has over 40 new innovations. One of which is the ability of developers to program feedback to the various button inputs. It’ll also interact with the new Kinect, and will remember gamers by touch. This allows your last game to be booted up right away once you grab the controller. This sounds intriguing, but I want to see it in action first before I can herald it as a genius innovation.
The Xbox One is touted as an all-in-one entertainment unit, and that was made clear at the reveal event. MS has partnered with various cable providers to integrate existing set-top boxes into the Xbox One. That’s probably why it has two HDMI ports. It also has a DVR that will be used for the heavy reliance on cloud based services.
Gamers will be able to upload gameplay to the DVR for editing, which is a similar feature that the PS4 offers. This cloud model will also support XBLA games, movies, and TV shows, so you’ll be able to utilize your content anywhere on the planet (as long as there’s Internet).
For those that care Skype will now be integrated into the Xbox One, and it will allow you to chat from within the console. Um yeah.
NFL on Xbox One
Microsoft also introduced a new partnership with the NFL. The Xbox One will feature new levels of access to the gridiron, by making the games much more interactive. According to The Verge, NFL broadcasts will use the new Skype and Smartglass functions to bring the game even closer to football fans. They also stated that NFL players will be wearing new technology that aids in this new experience.
I’m not sure if that means on-field helmet cams, but it would be pretty rad to get a first person view of an NFL football play in action.
Fantasy football fans will also have new abilities to enhance their experience via this new partnership.
Halo TV Show
343 has teamed up with Steven Spielberg for an original Halo TV series that will air on the Xbox One. At this time no details have been released outside of Steve’s involvement. Hopefully it’ll be free, and not some sort of subscription based content.
Always on Internet Requirement | Used Games | Backwards Compatibility | Cheves
MS confirmed today that the Xbox One will not need to be online to play games. This finally squashes all of the rumors that the console would indeed require an “Always-on” connection to function.
This is definitely the right move on their part, bravo!
[Update] So Kotaku dug deeper into this issue and it now seems that the Xbox One needs to connect to the Internet at least once a day.
Unfortunately, gamers who predominantly play used games may not like how the Xbox One will handle those moving forward. They will be playable, but for a price. The Xbox One requires all games to be installed to the HDD. This way games can be played without discs, which is awesome for lazy people like myself.
On the other side of the coin though, this means that games will be tied to profiles, so once a game is installed it can’t be used with another profile. Many sites are reporting that a fee system will be put in place to allow used games to be played by different gamer profiles, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the used games market. At this time no details on how much this will be have been revealed.
Just like the PS4, old Xbox 360 games will not be playable on the Xbox One. This is a major bummer for gamers who have stock piled hundreds of 360 games over the years. Digital games will not work either. It’s not clear if there will be some sort of system to allow gamers to get credit towards games they’ve purchased on the 360 or not, but you probably shouldn’t pack up your 360 when the Xbox One gets released.
Cheve lovers like myself will be happy to hear that your gamerscore and profile will indeed migrate to the Xbox One. You might not be able to play your old games, but you’ll still be able to show off your accomplishments.
Achievements themselves are getting an overhaul in how they’re delivered. MS claims that they’ll be more dynamic, and that devs can add new ones on the fly without the need to buy DLC. Achievements can grow, and may be based on current trends with a game, or according to IGN, they could be based on new meme like Skyrim’s “Arrow to the Knee”.
I like this concept and can’t wait to see how it plays out once I begin my Xbox One achievement hunt later this year.
[Update] Some more details have come across the wire in regards to the new cheve system. Have to give Kotaku credit for grabbing the updates.
Expanded achievements. A new and expanded achievements system captures video of your epic moments, continues to grow a game’s achievements over time, and rewards you in new ways, and your Gamerscore carries over from your Xbox 360.
Allows for new achievements powered by the cloud and offers more ways to earn, more frequent updates and the ability to share wins with friends. An expanded achievements system captures videos of gameplay and continues to grow achievements over time, and Gamerscores carry over from Xbox 360.
Announced Video Games
Curiously, Microsoft didn’t spend much time at the Xbox One reveal event talking about games. They did announce that 15 games are in the works, and that they’re all exclusive to the Xbox One. Eight of these titles will also be brand new IPs, which should be music to the ears of gamers who are getting fed up with the yearly sequel cycle the industry is currently in.
Here’s a list of announced titles so far (this doesn’t mean they’ll be available at launch):
- Forza 5
- Quantum Break
- Madden 25
- FIFA 14
- NBA Live
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Battlefield 4
Trailers for the games shown off at the reveal event:
Call of Duty: Ghosts screens:
Final Thoughts and Image Galleries
I must admit that I wasn’t blown away by the Xbox One release event. MS definitely held back some information in anticipation of E3, but I would’ve like to have seen more focus on gaming, rather than the all-in-one entertainment device marketing. The Xbox One intrigues me, and I’ll be a day one owner, but I want to see more of it before I make a final judgment on its offerings.
You can mosey on down past the break for additional Xbox One image galleries, and a FAQ from Microsoft.
Q: Does Xbox One require an “always on” Internet connection?
A: No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.
Q: How do consumers benefit by being connected to the cloud?
A: The cloud makes every experience better and more accessible. Because Xbox One is powered by the cloud:
- Your games have more power available to create new gameplay, persistent worlds, and deeper experiences.
- Your system and games can update automatically, so you shouldn’t have to wait for downloads or updates.
- Your games and entertainment are stored and saved in the cloud, so you can access them anytime, from any Xbox One.*
- Start a game, movie, or TV show on one console and finish exactly where you left off on another.
- You can play multiplayer games with your friends, stream movies or TV shows right away, and enjoy the community and social features of Xbox Live.
- Xbox One can recognize you, log you in and tailor your home screen just for you.
You can discover what your friends are playing, watching and listening to if they choose to share.
These are just a few examples of how customers benefit from our platform being connected to the Internet. It brings the future of TV and games to our consumers—and it’s designed for today and the decade ahead.
* Subject to content geographical restrictions.
Q: When will Xbox One launch and in what markets?
A: Xbox One will launch in markets around the world later this year. We’ll have more to share later.
Q: Can I use my current gamertag on Xbox One and will my Gamerscore and Achievements transfer?
A: Yes. Your current Xbox Live Gamertag will stay with you on Xbox One if you choose to keep it, and your hard-earned Gamerscore and Achievements will indeed carry over from Xbox 360.
Q: Will Xbox One be backward compatible with my existing games?
A: Xbox One hardware is not compatible with Xbox 360 games. We designed Xbox One to play an entirely new generation of games—games that are architected to take full advantage of state-of-the-art processors and the infinite power of the cloud. We care very much about the investment you have made in Xbox 360 and will continue to support it with a pipeline of new games and new apps well into the future.
Q: Will Xbox One allow players to trade in, purchase and play pre-owned games?
A: We are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We’ll have more details to share later.
Q: Will my current Xbox Live Gold membership work with Xbox One or will I have to buy a new one?
A: You do not need to buy a new Xbox Live Gold membership. Your current membership will work on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Q: Why require Kinect with every Xbox One?
A: The all new Kinect is now an essential and integrated part of the platform. By having it as a consistent part of every Xbox One, game and entertainment creators can build experiences that assume the availability of voice, gesture and natural sensing, leading to unrivaled ease of use, premium experiences and interactivity for you.
Q: Do I need to have a specific cable or satellite TV provider to watch live TV on Xbox?
A: Our goal is to enable live TV through Xbox One in every way that it is delivered throughout the world, whether that’s television service providers, over the air or over the Internet, or HDMI-in via a set top box (as is the case with many providers in the US). The delivery of TV is complex and we are working through the many technologies and policies around the world to make live TV available where Xbox One is available.
Q: Xbox One is a more powerful product compared to Xbox 360, but does it also use more power?
A: No. By providing multiple power states in Xbox One, we’ve balanced energy efficiency with functionality. We’ve taken a completely different approach to how Xbox One consumes power. It only uses the power it needs at that particular moment for the task at hand.
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