So here it is, Microsoft have just announced the next Xbox to the world and simply called it Xbox One.
Let’s start with the way it looks, as this is important as Microsoft have tried to make this an all-in-one entertainment system which is meant to sit in your living room. Microsoft are taking the battle directly to the DVR companies making this look like a sleek TiVo. The box, with its polished black exterior will not look odd in anybody’s home falling inline with most A/V components.
Along with the unit itself, the control pads have had a slight face lift to bring them in line with current standards and include vibration motors in the triggers, but I don’t think this will disappoint as the pads themselves have always been very popular.
The Xbox one will come with 8gb of RAM, Blu-ray drive, USB 3.0 and a 500gb hard drive, but at this point they have not released much about the processor itself just that it is an 8 core processor. It has a HDMI input and output which will lets you plug other devices into it, which is totally new for a console. I can only imagine that they are going to allow for your regions TV receiver to go through the box to further bolster up the media player side of things.
Microsoft confirmed they are not getting rid of Live services and are on the contrary upgrading servers from 15,000 today to 300,000 in the coming months which will significantly improve online game play and will include services such as cloud stored music, games and movies for an all round media player experience.
The DVR function is very interesting, having only a 500gb hard drive which will quickly be eaten up by movies and games, recording live TV may get assistance from the cloud, so a good solid Internet connection is going to be a must. The DVR will allow you to record game play so that you can view it back at any time or share with friends.
The redesigned Kinect camera has a 1080p sensor shooting 60fps which will work with Skype and they have referred to it working with live TV using voice recognition and allowing some kind of interactive TV experience. Skype will have the ability to be used during gameplay and the camera itself will be able to track your heartbeat for games that need it…..wow!
Games already lined up, FIFA 14, NBA live, Call of Duty: Ghosts and a new Steven Spielberg collaboration for a Halo interactive live TV series. Microsoft have also teamed up with the NFL to bring live streamed games direct to the console with a new fantasy football experience.
One thing that will disappoint most is that the console will not play Xbox 360 games as the architecture has been changed, but the console does not have to always be connected as recently covered in the press.
The long-awaited console has yet to have a confirmed release date but they have spoken about it being later this year which would coincide with recent November rumours. Currently we have no prices confirmed, but expect this to come in more expensive than the existing Xbox and to come with an option to sign up to Live annual services to reduce the price of the console.
Move over Surface tablet and Windows 8, all is forgiven Microsoft, you are back in the game!