With an event held inside a giant circus tent, and with much fanfare, Microsoft took the wraps off of its next generation console, which it named The Xbox One.
Unlike the recent PS4 presentation, Microsoft showed off many details about both the specs and the look of their new system. The Xbox One will actually contain three different operating systems. One will run the Xbox dashboard and power the games. One is essentially there to run what looks like a Windows 8 interface. A third will allow for seamless switching between the two main operating systems. So the Xbox One is essentially a Windows PC and a game console rolled into one sleek-looking box. Microsoft said that the three operating systems will ensure seamless switching between modes and eliminate wait times.
All Xbox Ones will also ship with an integrated, new version of the Kinect controller. Microsoft showed how the new Kinect can be used to control the system using voice commands and how the sensor has been upgraded to be able to notice things like the twitch of a shoulder or the shifting of weight from one foot to the other, all things that will be incorporated into games. It can even sense a user’s heartbeat without any extra equipment needed. The new sensor can transfer 2G of data per second in 1080p resolution, and has a much wider field of vision than the old model.
The machine has 8GB of RAM and an 8-core CPU. It also has a blu-ray drive.
Many games were shown at the event today, which can be viewed at the Xbox Live site. In addition to exclusive content for NFL-based games and first-release rights to Call of Duty maps, Microsoft promised at least 15 exclusive titles for Xbox One by the end of the year, with half of them being new franchises.
Further buzz was added to the presentation when it was revealed that director Steven Spielberg had been contracted to produce a Halo TV show, which will be shown exclusively through the new Xbox One.
The question of pre-owned games and always-on was sort of settled. MCV is reporting that Xbox One will block used games from being played, but will not require an always-on connection. Microsoft commented that they have a strategy in place to deal with used games, but that it would be a little while before it was revealed.
Many more details about Xbox One is expected to come out at the E3 Expo trade show in a few weeks. GiN will continue to cover Xbox One news and have analysis and commentary based on what we know so far in the coming days.