Microsoft launched their latest and greatest Gaming console Yesterday, and if one thing became clear it is that we need to stop calling it a gaming console. The new Xbox One aims to be the be all and end all of all the media you watch on your TV. We’ll get into more detail, but first, lets take a look at the console itself and whether Microsoft’s Xbox One lived up to our Expectations:
The New Xbox One Revealed, Everything you Missed
Rumoured to be called Xbox 720 or Xbox Infinity, it is simply called Xbox One. That settles it.
Microsoft gave the Xbox One a true Industrial look, it surely was not what we expected. Gone are the rounded edges, and smooth corners. We get a beautifully designed, (perhaps boring?) square box. The front is nearly without embellishment; even the optical disc drive slot blends into the front piece of the box. On the whole, it looks more like a large Blu-Ray player than a gaming console. It is voice controlled. Saying “Xbox On” will switch the console on.
The controller got a small revamp as well.The bulky battery pack on the underside is gone; the odd circular directional pad has been replaced by a more precise cross-shaped one, the triggers and shoulder buttons are carved from a single swath of material that extends from one side to the other.
Kinect got a completely overhaul. Added is the new super sensitive sensor that can sense your heart rate. The new Kinect has a 1080p sensor, and captures videos at 60fps and far finer detection. It detects the twist of a wrist, or how balanced you are. it can read your heartbeat while watching you exercise. This is next level stuff. The sensor field is expanded by 60 percent, and uses a modulated IR beam, and uses “time-of-flight” tech to measure the time it takes photos to travel back to the Kinect. Microsoft claims it works in complete darkness.
The specifications of the Xbox One is on par with the new PS4 give or take a few things. Here’s a nice comparison between the Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U.
Xbox One VS PS4 VS Wii U Compared:
Nintendo Wii U
|Processor||8-core x86 CPU||8-core x86 CPU||Tri-core IBM PowerPC 1.24Ghz|
|GPU||AMD powered||Next-gen AMD Radeon, runs at 1.84 Tflops||AMD Radeon running at 550MHz|
|HDMI||In and Out||Out, In unknown||Out|
|Ports||USB 3.0, 802.11n, Direct Connect||USB 3.0, Ethernet, 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1||USB 2.0×4, 802.11n|
|Price||Unknown||Unknown||$299 – $349|
|Backward Compatibility||No||No||Yes, with Wii|
|Release Date||Late 2013||Late 2013||Now|
Live TV & All in one Entertainment
This is where the Xbox is taking the lead in integrating their console as the primary choice for customers to integrate their TV watching with gaming and online browsing. Live television is the main competitor of any online gaming service. Take Xbox Live: 48 million people use the service, whether for gaming, Netflix, or anything else, an average of 87 hours a month. Meanwhile those users are watching television somewhere around 150 hours a month. Microsoft wants to be part of those 150 hours. Its gambit: Turn the new Xbox into a TV conduit.
This, more than anything, is the Xbox One’s killer app: instant access to all the entertainment services you already use, and true multitasking. Skype calls while you’re playing a game? Sure. The Kinect already uses a combination of noise- and echo-cancellation and waveform “beam steering” to hear you over the sounds of anything you’re playing and watching, so you won’t even have to raise your voice above normal conversational levels. Keeping an eye on your fantasy football team while you watch Monday Night Football? Done. It’s the second-screen experience—all on one screen.
Did they just kill Apple TV?
Windows 8 Integration
You can also use Windows 8’s snap mode (with one app “snapped” to the side of the screen” to run another app on the side of the screen while your movie, or TV or game is playing. This is kind of an amazing addition, not just for browsing movies while watching one, like an onscreen IMDB, which is what the demo is showing, but you can also, say, snap a walkthrough for a game you’re playing.
Oh, and Skype! You can use Skype while watching a movie or playing a game, too.
The Xbox One will be available “later this year,” which almost certainly means in time for the holiday shopping season. For some frame of reference, the Xbox 360 was announced in May of 2005 and went on sale six months later. Prices are still unknown.