May 22, 2013
Xbox One Revealed
On May 21, 2013, Microsoft held a press conference with a lot of big news to release to the public. The biggest announcement of the conference was the reveal of Microsoft’s next-gen console, the Xbox One.
The Xbox One is described by Microsoft to be an “all-in-one” machine, hence the name Xbox One. In other words, the new console is being designed so that it is the only machine you’ll need in your living room, home theater, or bedroom.
The new One sports a sleeker, edgier look than the 360, the shape being basically a rectangular prism with a small cut on the front bottom edge, similar to the original Nintendo Wii console. This new design is what Microsoft calls an “industrial design”, meaning that it can support sturdier hardware and will be more resistant to overheating issues. The controller is arranged with the same layout as the 360 controller, with a small aesthetical change. The top of the controller has been recessed, and the d-pad now sports the crosshair style frequently found on Nintendo controllers.
Of course, it being a next-generation console, Microsoft wouldn’t dare release the One without a hardware boost. The Xbox One will be powered with an eight-core, x86 processor. The One boasts a whopping 8 GB of RAM to match the PS4. It also has a built in 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray support, and a new Kinect camera with a 250,000-pixel infrared depth sensor.
Xbox One will also integrate the new Kinect much more than the 360, since the Kinect was developed around old hardware. Now, the Xbox One and the Kinect are dependent upon one another. Each Xbox One will include a Kinect sensor out of the box, and it is actually required in order to operate the console. This time around, Kinect will be used for multi-tasking and navigating the home menu, as well as the original function of body and voice detection during gameplay.
The new Kinect is also more powerful than ever. The new sensor now runs in 1080p definition in order for faster and more precise motion detection. This will directly improve the Kinect’s sign-in function on the Xbox One, since that never really worked on the 360. The sensor has even been improved so much that it can detect posture, the way you’re holding controller, even your facial expressions. The Kinect can now sense the controller’s position, so motion control with the controller is available even without a built in gyroscope or accelerometer. If it is as functional as advertised, this new Kinect can be used by developers to create the fun, immersive, and innovative experiences that the original Project Natal was supposed to provide.
The reason the One has its name is due to the fact that the machine will now provide all your entertainment needs on one machine. The One will provide an easy and fast user interface that allows for multi-tasking between games, Skype, TV and Internet browsing at will. The new ‘Snap’ function takes this a step further by slicing the screen in half vertically and running two different applications at the same time. For instance, you can be watching the football game on the left half, while managing your fantasy team on Internet Explorer on the right. It seems that Microsoft took Nintendo’s idea for the Wii U and found a better way to execute it. This function will give the Xbox One a huge advantage over the PS4 in the family demographic.
Other features of the new Xbox One feature carry-over compatibility for all Xbox LIVE accounts and subscriptions, a new recording and sharing feature when players unlock achievements, and for developers, dynamic achievement editing. One thing the One will not feature is backwards compatibility for the Xbox 360 or the original Xbox.
What do you think of the Xbox One? Leave a comment, tell me what you think!
Image Credit: Microsoft