Xbox One brings the next-generation of gaming and entertainment to a sleek new box.At a press conference at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, the big M revealed their follow up to the Xbox 360. Called Xbox One, the unit brings the next-generation of gaming and entertainment to a sleek new box. Expect stunning graphics, unprecedented social functions, and more entertainment features than ever before with the Xbox One.
Launching sometime later this year—think Christmas time—Microsoft’s Xbox One aims to go toe-to-toe with arch rival Sony’s Playstation 4 launch. Not to be outdone by Sony’s current outpour of Playstation 4 announcements, Microsoft took center stage on Tuesday, but still left gamers with many questions in their minds.The Xbox One machine features a massive 8 GB of RAM and 500GB for storage.Xbox One features a wealth of enhancements from their current Xbox console. Chiefly, a Blu-Ray player for movies and games allows for high-definition output, given the larger size of the physical media. Also, Xbox’s voice and motion recognition accessory, Kinect, gets a higher-tech version for Skype chat and expanded gestures, in addition to being packaged with all systems. The Xbox One machine itself features a massive 8 GB of RAM (up from the Xbox 360’s 512 MB) and 500GB for storage.
Sony’s unveiling of the PS4 featured a slew of new games and gaming-related announcements, but Microsoft took a decidedly more mass-appeal approach. Steven Spielberg revealed his involvement with an upcoming Halo TV series. The NFL discussed how fantasy football would be more interactive than ever on the Xbox One. A former TV executive took the stage to announce original Xbox TV programming.
Shockingly, Microsoft didn’t show a shred of video game footage until nearly halfway through their presentation. Almost all of Microsoft’s conference was devoted to marketing talk, celebrity cameos, and the expected chest-puffing that comes with public unveilings.The biggest reveal featured gameplay footage of Call of Duty: Ghosts running on a Xbox One.In terms of games, Forza Motorsports 5 was shown briefly, though not in gameplay form. The biggest reveal, undoubtedly, featured first-ever gameplay footage of Call of Duty: Ghosts running on a Xbox One. Incredible graphics and lighting highlighted the clip, though most notably, footage showed the incredible detail of an actual, military-trained German Shepard being motion captured. This loyal canine, stunningly rendered and animated, is a companion for the first time in Call of Duty. Comparison video showed side-by-side shots of current-gen Call of Duty versus the upcoming Xbox One iteration, and the leap in fidelity is truly exciting.
Disappointingly, like Sony’s upcoming platform, Xbox One is not backwards compatible, meaning all those games you own now will not work on the new machines. Also, questions remain about Xbox One’s price, the price of games, and the price of the next Xbox Live.
Also, worryingly, though talk about Xbox One’s often rumored “always on” requirement (the system will not function if not connected to the Internet) has increased, Microsoft made no mention of the issue. Gamers are an impatient bunch, and it’s frustrating to see Microsoft quiet about such burning questions. It is disappointing to see Xbox One’s first unveiling focus on broad entertainment rather than its power as a gaming platform, at least from a gamer’s perspective.There are too many unanswered questions about functionality and focus to be staunchly supportive of Xbox One at this point.Microsoft played it safe for the reveal of the Xbox One. It was certainly exciting seeing brand new technology shown off, but there are too many unanswered questions about functionality and focus to be staunchly supportive of Xbox One at this point. Like Sony, Microsoft promised plenty of game announcements at the E3 game expo in June, and this will likely be the true reveal many gamers are expecting. It must be said, with huge companies like Sony and Microsoft trying to one-up each other in the battle for hardware supremacy, it has never been more exciting to be gamer!