Microsoft just finished their press conference revealing their next generation console, the Xbox One (not a number but the word itself).
The press conference didn’t really show the games but the ones that they did show were pretty impressive (which I’ll get into later). The press conference mostly covered the power and the non-gaming features that the Xbox One will be capable of performing.
First, let’s talk about the specs and features. The Xbox One will run on an 8 Core CPU with 8 GB of system memory. It will also have WiFi connectivity (of course) as well as a 500 GB hard drive. It will also have a Blu Ray drive (which is why I can sort of imagine Sony executives smirking a bit).
One thing they mentioned is that there are actually 3 Operating Systems working: one for the developers, one for the actual users and the last one connects the previously mentioned two for seamless interactivity. This is pretty important since one of the biggest promises made during the press conference was the Xbox One’s ability to switch between watching network TV, getting TV schedules, streaming movies, chatting through Skype, playing your game, loading real time stats for your fantasy league, getting video footage of your game and so on.
Oh, and all of those things should be able to all run at the same time so you can seamlessly transition between them instantly!
It will have a new and advanced Kinect system, which will be bundled with every new unit! It will now recognize “grabbing” motions so that you can use that motion to sort of grab the edge of the screen and stretch or shrink windows. The new Kinect will also have depth perception and supposedly analyze how you’re distributing your weight, be smarter with understanding voice commands, etc.
The new controller is supposed to have feedback sent to the trigger buttons, fit better in your hand and a better D-pad. The new console will also have better connectivity to SmartGlass. Yay, I guess? They’re also boosting the Xbox Live network to have more servers.
They didn’t really show that many games but there were some gems.
EA was at the event to announce EA Sports will release Madden, Fifa, NBA Live and UFC for the console. Fifa 14 Ultimate Team will also be an exclusive title for Xbox One. Forza Motorsport 5 will be a launch title for the console. They also showed a new IP called Quantum Break, which will be developed by Remedy, the same team that did Max Payne and Alan Wake. This was the one that impressed me… if the trailers were using in-game footage, that is. They all look suspiciously pre-rendered.
One of the things that was mentioned that got me excited was the announcement that they will have 15 exclusive titles… and 8 of them will be totally new titles!
There were also a few more small things mentioned. The console will provide recommendations for television programs to watch. Also, Halo will be getting a live action show with Steven Spielberg coming in as a producer. Additionally, Microsoft has a deal with NFL so that Xbox Live will link directly to your fantasy football league.
To close out the show, they showed the upcoming Call of Duty game, entitled Call of Duty: Ghosts. They did show a trailer of the game using the actual in-game engine! Honestly, it looked amazing!
Now, from my perspective, which is someone who lives in the third world, I have a few gripes. For one, a lot of the non-gaming features (watching network TV, getting a TV guide, streaming movies, fantasy football real time updating) will probably not work in my location. Second, I don’t really care for the fantasy football league thing since I just want to play games on the thing!
There’s also a rumor that is running rampant that the console will have to be always online, which will probably be a death blow for the Xbox One in third world countries for the simple reason of our Internet speeds are pretty bad when you compare them to first world countries! If this is true, not many people will be buying Microsoft’s new console. Well, until they patch it so that you can play offline, anyway.
Overall, the Xbox One is pretty impressive but I remain cautiously optimistic. I need to see more games, both new and old franchises. I also need to know how much importance Internet connectivity will be for the console.
Looks like I’ll have to wait until June 9 when Microsoft presents its pre-E3 conference.
If you have any comments or concerns you want to share about the Xbox One, please leave them below!