The next generation of Microsoft's entertainment console is the Xbox One, unveiled today and set to "light up a new generation of games and entertainment," according to Mircrosoft.
Launching around the world later this year, Xbox One was showcased today at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. and has been designed to "put you at the center of all your games, TV, movies, music, sports and Skype."
With Xbox One, TV obeys your commands. Say "Xbox On" to launch your personalized Xbox One Home screen, discover what is popular on TV or see friends' latest gaming achievements all using your voice. The more you interact with Xbox One, the more it gets to know you and learns what you like. Some of the new Xbox One features that put you at the center of your living room entertainment include the following:
- TV on Xbox One. Navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One. Microsoft will bring live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available.
- Home. Turn on your entertainment system with two words, "Xbox On," and a custom-tailored Home dashboard welcomes you with your favorite games, TV and entertainment.
- Snap. Do two things at once on the biggest screen in your home. Use Snap to jump into a multiplayer battle while watching your favorite movie, talk with friends on Skype while watching live TV, or track your fantasy team on TV as you watch the big game and more.
- Skype for Xbox One. Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in HD, or hold group Skype calls on your TV.
- Trending. Stay on top of what is hot on TV by discovering the entertainment that is popular among your friends, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.
- OneGuide. Find your favorite entertainment, searching by network, name or time, all with the sound of your voice and presented in a tailored program guide.
Microsoft created a gaming operating system and fused it with an entertainment platform, so you will not have to switch inputs to watch TV or play a game. An eight-core, x86 processor, 8GB of RAM and more than 5 billion transistors helps make lag and load times a thing of the past, so you can instantly jump between a game and your entertainment fast or run a host of apps right alongside your game with no loss in performance. The deviec also features USB 3.0, WiFi direct, Blu-ray, 500GB HDD, HDMI input and output.
The system is running three operating systems. First is a raw Xbox OS, that gives full power to game developers. The second is the "kernel of Windows" and the
third OS lets the two other operating systems to interact with each other and handles multitasking.
Xbox One does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. Microsft says it has designed Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. However, you will be able to play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.
In addition, Xbox One hardware is not compatible with Xbox 360 games. Microsoft added that Xbox One will allow players to trade in, purchase and play pre-owned games.
AAA blockbuster titles unveiled for Xbox One include the following:
- "Forza Motorsport 5" from Turn 10 Studios is the latest edition of the popular racing franchise. Built from the ground up to take advantage of Xbox One and the power of the cloud, "Forza Motorsport 5" will be available exclusively for Xbox One at launch.
- "Call of Duty: Ghosts" is the next generation of "Call of Duty". It delivers an all-new world, an all-new cast of characters and an all-new story, built on a new, next-generation engine. Activision and Microsoft also announced the renewal of their close partnership that will see both the return of the "Call of Duty Championship," presented by Xbox, as well as all-new downloadable content debuting first and exclusively on the Xbox platform.
- "FIFA 14," "Madden NFL 25," "NBA LIVE 14," and "EA SPORTS UFC" from EA SPORTS are all driven by the new EA SPORTS Ignite engine and promise to deliver massive innovations in human intelligence, true player motion and living worlds. EA SPORTS also announced the promise of exclusive content to be revealed in the coming months.
- "Quantum Break" from Remedy Entertainment is a revolutionary entertainment experience that blurs the line between gaming and TV by integrating drama and gameplay. How you play the game impacts the show, and the show informs how you play the game.
In addition to the lineup of games coming to Xbox One, Microsoft unveiled exclusive content partnerships with some of the top names in TV, sports and entertainment.
- "Halo" television series. Steven Spielberg will executive-produce an original "Halo" live-action television series with exclusive interactive Xbox One content, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios.
- National Football League (NFL). A multiyear partnership will deliver interactive NFL television experiences for the next-generation Xbox One and leverage Microsoft devices and services to evolve both in-game and on the sideline. The NFL on Xbox will offer innovations around Skype, Xbox SmartGlass and player-worn technology; add an all-new fantasy football solution for the biggest screen in the house.
The updated Xbox Live will be harnessing the power of the cloud to make everything more accessible, from allowing games to be installed in segments so that gameplay can start quickly to updates downloading in the background. Microsoft said that 300,000 servers (!) will power the new xbox Live for Xbox One. Users will be able to save and store their personalized profile, games and entertainment in the cloud to access them anytime, from any Xbox One console. In addition, existing Xbox Live Gold Membership for Xbox 360 will carry over to Xbox One.
- Smart Match. A new Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you are enjoying other activities - reputation fundamentally matters and helps find best matches.
- Game DVR. A dedicated Game DVR captures and accesses your magic moments, all saved to the cloud. Along with sharing tools, you will have the most amazing bragging rights with Xbox Live.
- Living Games. Dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.
- 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 Xbox 360.
- Xbox SmartGlass. Xbox SmartGlass is natively part of the Xbox One platform, built in from the beginning with the ability to quickly render content directly onto your device, and now more devices can connect at one time for multiplayer and shared entertainment.
New Xbox One is shaped in the 16:9 aspect ratio and employs a horizontal orientation optimized for its high-speed Blu-ray disc player. It is molded in a liquid black color and includes a distinctive beveled edge.
The completely redesigned 1080p Kinect is more precise, more responsive and more intuitive. Its vision, motion and voice technology let you reach into games and entertainment by expanding its field of view and fidelity. It works in nearly any lighting condition, recognizes precise motion control from a slight wrist rotation, and distinguishes your voice even in a noisy room using advanced noise isolation.
The Kinect is now paired with every Xbox One. "Voice is now more conversational. It's faster and it supports the entire family," and "2GB of data per second are used by the new Kinect to read the environment," according to Microsoft.
The skeletal is also more precise, as well as 3D sensing. Kinect will detect when you pick up your controller, even let you lift the controller to lift a shield in-game.
The Xbox controller has been also refreshed. It features updated directional pad, thumb stick and along with an ergonomic fit. Precision and control have been also increased with all new vibrating impulse triggers. The Xbox One Wireless Controller is designed to work in concert with the new Kinect, allowing the two to be paired automatically to create player syncing.
Xbox One will launch in markets around the world later this year.