Earlier today at a major press conference, Microsoft unveiled to the world their next generation of the Xbox console, officially named the Xbox One. Microsoft has completely redesigned not only the console, controller and Kinect, but the entire Xbox experience.
Being touted as the “all-in-one system,” the Xbox One will allow players to watch live TV, listen to music, watch movies via On-Demand and Blu-Ray, in addition to the standard ability to play video games. Transitioning between these different services will be instant, allowing players to switch from playing a game to watching live TV on the fly. This convenient action was demonstrated on stage using voice commands via the new version of Kinect that will be bundled in with every Xbox One.
The new Kinect will be able to recognize the player’s movements with ease. Using a 1080p camera, the new Kinect can efficiently tell when the player rotates an arm, what foot the player’s weight is on, and even more minute details such as the location of said players’ fingers. This new Kinect will be the primary command center of the Xbox One, utilizing both motion controls and voice commands to allow the Xbox to do exactly what the player wants it to do in an instant. For example, the system can be turned on with the simple command “Xbox on” and will then recognize the player’s voice and immediately sign them into Xbox Live. No news yet on whether this new Kinect will require the same amount of space as the original one, but we can hope.
One of the big features that Microsoft is pushing with the Xbox One is the ability to now watch live TV on it. This addition essentially turns every television connected to an Xbox One into a smart TV. Players using the new Kinect can browse live TV one of three ways: with the guide, which acts like a standard channel guide seen on most cable and satellite television services; with the ‘Trending’ section, which will allow users to see what shows and channels are most popular among their friends, as well as the rest of the world; and finally the user’s ‘Favorites’, a feature that allows the user to save their favorite channels for quick and easy access.
Another new feature added in with the Xbox One is the ability to multitask. Now, for the first time, users can run two applications simultaneously in what is known as ‘Snap Mode’. During the reveal, Snap Mode was shown being used to surf the internet while still watching a movie. Though it wasn’t specifically shown, Snap Mode will also be able to run any two applications at the same time. So for instance, if you want to play a game while watching a movie, or even if you want to instantly look up where that last collectible is in the game you’re currently playing, either can now be done.
The Xbox One’s controller hasn’t changed much from the Xbox 360 remote. It has been slimmed down, making the controller less bulky and its overall profile smaller. The guide button has been moved from the center of the controller to above its previous position. The greatest change to the controller is to the D-Pad, which has become a better, more responsive, and less spongy one. All in all the entire controller isn’t being changed much.
With so much shown off at the Xbox One reveal, it’s been pretty overwhelming. Now that we know what the system is, more questions that need answers are arising. Stay tuned to Gamingdeath.com for more information on the Xbox One.