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Microsoft Announces: X-Box One

Written by Jeremy Shane on Tuesday, May 21 2013 and posted in News with Benefits

Microsoft Announces: X-Box One

The XBox Reveal today was all about the next generation entertainment console, and here are the details plus answers to the 'always on', used games questions, and backwards compatibility.

The new system will have 8GB of DDR3 RAM, A D3D 11.1 Graphics Processor chip with 32MB embedded memory, an 8-core CPU custom built by Microsoft, 500GB hard drive, Blu-Ray drive, HDMI in and out ports, USB 3.0, 802.11n wireless and a new version of Kinect.

The new Kinect will have 1080p capture capabilities and better movement detection, being able to notice the "smallest turn of the wrist."

The controller is very similar to the XBox 360 controller, which is a good thing in my opinion.  They changed the countours of the handles a bit, hopefully that doesn't change the feel for the worse.  The rest of the control looks pretty much the same with the exception that the battery compartment is integrated.  Not sure how I feel about that when I remember how often I had to swap out batteries when playing for a long time.  The triggers are supposed to have direct feedback integration, but the best news they mentioned is for the D-pad, which has been reworked.


Unfortunately, much like the PS4, the XBox One will not be backwards compatible.  Unlike the PS4 however, they have no plans to offer old games via download (for now).  VP Marc Whitten did say, however ""Microsoft does, however, plan to keep selling the Xbox 360 alongside the new console for the foreseeable future. This isn't about getting rid of the Xbox 360."

The console will be powered by Windows Kernel and the new system interface is powered by Kinect, using voice and motion gestures (though I'm sure controller and remotes will still work as well).  Using the Kinect though, you can start your system simply by stating "Xbox, On."  It will return to whatever screen you had up when you last used it.  The XBox One will not function without the Kinect attached.  That's not to say you have to make use of it, but you can't toss it aside either, apparently.

 Microsoft has really focused on the full entertainment experience with One, with new features like live TV integration.  You can jump from a game, to tv, to a movie, to the internet, skype, and more, all with voice commands, as well as use "Snap Mode" to display two programs side by side on the screen.

 You will also be able to use voice commands to channel surf, jumping from CBS to Fox simply by calling it out.  XBox Smartglass will be integrated with the console as well, allowing use as a second display for some fuctions.

As for some of the rumors, like the 'always on/used game controversy', Wired got a look at the console early and addressed some of the issues.  According to them, games will requre installation on the console and will be tied to an XBox Live account.  If the disc makes it to a second owner, either by a friend loaning it out or a used game purchase, then that user would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game from the disc.  When asked more specifically about how this would impact used games, Microsoft hasn't offered a response yet - They finally have responded on twitter:



Not sure I understand how this will work then, unless the information from Wired is wholly inaccurate, which is possible.  It could also be some phrasing technicality.  Like you can play the game with the disc in any machine, but if you want to load it onto your system to go discless, you'll have to pay the fee again. Or perhaps activating it on a new machine, will deactivate it on the old one?  Update: Asked and Answered:



Now the 'Always On' feature is an option that will rest in the hands of game makers.  A game could be created with the ability to play without an internet connection, but games that make use of the cloud service in order to play, will require an internet connection.  So the console doesn't truly have to be "always online", it will be up to the developer.

For those fans expecting game demos at the event, Microsoft announced earlier that they would be revealing games at E3 and this event was going to be console focused, so stay tuned to The Outhouse for our E3 coverage.




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About the Author - Jeremy Shane

Jeremy was born in a small mountain village of a strange foreign land called Weystvurginea.  Banishment for liberal views saw him spend years wondering the east coast until he decided to bike to California.  When he saw how long a trip it was, he drove instead.  Now he's living it up in a low humidity climate, sometimes working on his photography and when not, he writes for us covering books (by way of his blog: Reading Realms), gaming, tv, movies, comics, conventions in the SoCal area, and creates a weekly webcomic: A Journey Through Skyrim.  If you look for him offline, start in the L.A. area; online start at: www.jeremyshane.info for his profile and all the social networks he's on... or just follow him on twitter, he seems to be on there a lot: @jeremyshane.


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