It’s been 8 years since Microsoft’s Xbox 360 hit store shelves, completely blowing away its predecessor and competitors, so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the next-gen systems are finally being revealed. While the rumor-mill has turned out some pretty interesting speculation, Microsoft decided to set the record straight today at its press conference in Seattle Washington. It doesn’t really matter if we’re ready for it or not because Microsoft has finally ripped the veil from the Xbox One.
Yep, “Xbox One” is what Microsoft is going with, as opposed to the anticipated promotion to “Xbox 720.” Apparently confusing people with a recall to the original gaming system is better than a system that spins in a circle…twice.
While the console’s name is a bit confusing its appearance is both basic and elegant; undoubtedly intended to reflect the boxy re-branding Microsoft has recently undergone with the introduction of Windows 8. The controller is fairly similar to what Xbox users are already accustomed to, with a few new flourishes and redesigns requested by gamers (such as the d-pad and a flush-set battery).
The Third and final piece of hardware we got to see was the redesigned Kinect, a boxier, more compact version of the 360’s unit; the updated version promises to have all of the observational capabilities of a creepy guy at a beach volleyball game, but with none of the uncomfortable comments or judgement.
While looking nice means that the Xbox One won’t ruin the decor, what we really care about is what it will be able to do! So, while Microsoft hasn’t shown their entire hand just yet, they have settled some of the controversy, debate, and groaning that has plagued the wide-wide-world of web.
Processor and graphics: Custom AMD chip that combines an eight-core CPU, a GPU tailored for DirectX 11.1 graphics and 32MB of high bandwidth embedded ESRAM memory. The 28nm chip will consume around 100 watts, which is slightly higher than current Xbox Slim and PS3, but Microsoft promises noise from the cooling fans will be “four times quieter.”
System memory: a Sony-rivaling 8GB of RAM, although it’ll be DDR3 instead of the PlayStation 4’s GDDR5.
Audio and video: 1080p and 4K both supported HDMI in and out; 7.1 surround sound.
Kinect: This will be bundled with the console and contain 250,000-pixel infrared depth sensor as well as a regular 720p web cam.
Storage and media: a 500GB hard drive of unknown speed plus a Blu-ray/DVD combo drive that will be used as little as possible. Disc-based games will be ripped to the HDD automatically.
Connectivity: HDMI 1.4 output and passthrough; a “few” USB 3.0 ports; gigabit Ethernet; plus, three separate 802.11n radios to allow the console to communicate with its controller (over a form of WiFi Direct) as well as other devices (such as perhaps other Windows-based phones and tablets) without losing its connection to the internet. At other times, two radios could be used to maintain a stronger WiFi signal.
Specs Via: Engadget
Always Online –
Nope! This one was met with some animosity when it entered the rumor-mill, and by some we mean that people absolutely hated it. We suspect this was a last-minute scrap by Microsoft to squelch the inevitable grumbling that the Xbox One would have met.
Prestige Reset – Nope!
After 8 years of wearing an ass-shaped imprint into our couches many gamers worried that gamerscore and achievements would be tossed out the window. Luckily they will carry over and continue on; no need to toss out your favorite “…and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” shirts.
Always Kinected – Yep!
This one might be a bummer for those gamers who live 3 feet away from their 60″ TV, but Microsoft insists that the Kinect 2 is the essential tool that will help to immerse users in the full experience. The Kinect will utilize voice and gesture recognition to navigate between games, internet browsers and media, it will also sense your emotions to determine if you need a compliment or if you would like it to order a pizza for you. We’re lying about that last bit, but the Kinect 2 comes bundled with the Xbox One so there’s not too much to complain about.
New Games Only – Nope! (Mostly)
It looks like users will be able to buy and sell used copies of their games. To play a game you’ll have to install it from the disc to your hard drive; activating the unique I.D. associated with the disc, from that point on anyone who activates the disc on another console (maybe even gamer tag) will have to pay a fee. No word yet on the additional cost of a used/borrowed game.
Backwards Compatibility – Nope!
Everybody’s pissed but nobody’s really surprised here; there’s no money in and you’ve already bought the game.
Unsurprisingly we don’t have a firm word on what it’s going to cost us or when we’ll be able to get our hands on it just yet, we do however have a lot more info than we got about the PS4! We’ll be keeping a close eye on the next Gen at this year’s upcoming E3 to bring you more info on who you can hand your money to.
For a full list of confirmed and expected games you can head on over to IGN‘s break-down.