Xbox One Announced
Microsoft have unveiled their new, next generation console, entitled ‘Xbox One’. The console will be launched later in the year (no precise launch details so far). Microsoft are keen for the new Xbox to not only be a console, but to also be a dedicated hub for the living room.
Xbox One will come fully equipped with a new and improved Kinect camera which takes the tech from the current one and then builds upon it. Whereas the original Kinect camera tracked your key joint movements, such as your shoulders, knees and so on along with your hands and feet the new Kinect V2 will also track depth, hand orientation and even impact. In essence what this will mean is that the Kinect can almost created a 3D model of the person playing, it’ll pick up any movements in your wrists, and say for example you are playing a controller-less fighting game it’ll be able to tell how ‘hard’ you’re hitting. Another Kinect feature that was demoed throughout the conference was Voice controls. Microsoft have assured consumers that the improved voice controls will pick up words faster and allow you to talk to it in a more ‘conversational’ manner. Importantly it should also be a lot more accurate. New gestures are being introduced with ‘grab and swipe’ allowing for the console to switch and minimize between the Xbox One’s various functions.
The main controller for the console is based upon the tried and tested Xbox 360 controller. It still has off-set analogue sticks along with a D-Pad, although this time the D-Pad will more precise. The impulse triggers will allow for precise fingertip feedback.
The console’s interface has been designed in such a way that you can use either vocal commands or hand gestures to instantly switch to what you want to do/watch/play. You can even ‘snap’ two windows together, similar to how the new Window operating systems for PCs can allow you to snap two open programs together on your monitor. So, for example, If you are watching a film you can open Internet Explorer on the right hand side of the screen to allow you to browse say, IMDB while the film still plays. This separate window again can be controlled using voice commands, or by your controller or SmartGlass (which is also getting an overhaul).
Entertainment will once again play a key part, like it has done more recently on the current Xbox console. Consumers will have access to live TV via the Xbox console, which includes an interactive TV guide. Once again, you can use your voice to issue commands, ‘Watch BBC One’ would switch the console to that channel and ‘What’s on ITV’ would bring up the TV guide with ITV being highlighted. Alternatively you can simply ask the Xbox to switch to Games, which will return your console back to whatever game you were playing last.
Speaking of games, it’ll of course bring it’s own dose of next generation videogaming. Forza Motorsport 5 was shown, with visually outstanding back-drops and detail along side a new game from Remedy (the studio behind Alan Wake and Max Payne) called ‘Quantum Break’ which will blend real-life video footage with high quality cinematics.
EA are heavily backing the new Xbox, which will mean a whole heap of exclusive content for Xbox gamers. The first being announced during the conference, exclusive FIFA 14 Ultimate Team content. EA have promised more exclusive and Xbox-focused benefits (such as Kinect integration and further interactivity thanks to the snap-window function mentioned earlier).
Call of Duty Ghosts was given it’s world premiere during the closing stages of the show, introducing new characters and a new world, with hints at how they are planning to evolve the popular franchise into a fresh title for the next generation. Increased customization and dynamic multiplayer maps (which can be activated by players or by the environment, like a sudden earthquake) are but two new features which were talked about.
Everything you do, save and download will all be saved to the cloud, allowing for you to access your content wherever you are. Xbox Live is being overhauled to give a better, lag-free experiance giving developers the power to host bigger online games with more people than ever before. The console will also feature a built in ‘DVR’ function which will allow you to record gameplay, edit it, and then share online. Look out for dynamic achievements, and yes, you can bring across your current gamerscore, gamertag and avatar to the Xbox One!
Phew! This is of course only a portion of what the Xbox One can do. I highly recommend checking out the full video announcement below:
Microsoft have confirmed that at this year’s E3 conference on the 10th June will focus on the console’s line-up of games. Ubisoft have confirmed that Watch_Dogs and Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag will be coming to the Xbox One.
The Xbox One is available to pre-order now, both online and in-store, so click the link below to guarantee your console, or pop into your local Grainger Games!