Early this morning, Microsoft announced their new Xbox One with more announcements to come at their E3 press conference but here is what was announced today.
First up we have some details about what is inside the box. Similar to the sony route, Microsoft have gone with architecture similar to that of a PC featuring an 8 core CPU, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Blu-ray and HDMI in/out. Along with the box is a new more advanced kinect with 1080p webcam for skype usage. The controller has also had a slight revision with shinyness and a fixed D-pad. Personally I think the box itself looks like a VCR or a home theatre unit which fits in perfectly with their goal to be a lounge room entertainment necessity.
Features for the Xbox One was the main focus of the event touting television integration through HDMI in and being able to seamlessly switch between live TV and whatever you are doing on your Xbox with kinect voice commands. The box is running a modified version of Windows 8 for anything that is not game related and brings with it all the current Xbox Live features as well as deeper integration with skype and being able to run multiple applications on the screen at once. It is unclear how much of this functionality and content will make it to Australia as the event had mostly geo-locked services for the US. There is also a Halo TV series in development under Spielberg which will presumably be aired through Xbox Live Gold. Smartglass also featured alongside the kinect as another way to navigate menus and applications.
And for the most important bit, the games. EA Sports were there with their normal stuff, a new game called Quantum Break, Forza 5 and the new “emotional” CoD Ghost featuring a dog. Thats it for games unfortunately, the stream was geared towards towards more a set top box with features rather than a games console. It would have been nice to see some more actual gameplay as it was FMV or cinematics from the games shown. Hopefully the “15 exclusives” by the end of the year will be great games that will have a strong showing during the E3 press conference, but for now we have dog.
So what is everyone’s thoughts? I really wanted to see more games rather than features I wouldn’t be using and at this moment I’m more interested in Sony’s offerings in terms of games. We will see if Microsoft’s entertainment system will be able to draw more of that core gamer crowd or see if more fantasy NFL will be the name of the game.