Earlier today we brought you a quick roundup of the main details
of the Xbox One console. The problem with keynote speeches is that further details often emerge later, and this is no exception. Here is a longer and more in-depth explanation of the Xbox One.
Shall we start with the hardware? The gloss black console has a 16:9 aspect ratio and is made to be oriented horizontally to optimise performance from the high-speed slot-loading Blu-ray player. As already revealed, the console will have a 500GB hard drive and will include the wireless networking connectivity and HDMI ports already found on the Xbox 360. There will be an eight-core, x86 processor powering the console and there will be three of those "super-speed" USB 3.0 ports. The console also includes a Game DVR that captures and saves in-game highlights. Once saved to the cloud, players can edit and share the footage on their Xbox LIVE profile or social networks.
Many players would describe the Xbox 360 pad as the perfect gaming pad, but Microsoft has made more than 40 technical and design improvements to the design to produce the wireless controller for the Xbox One. The d-pad and thumb sticks have been updated to provide "greater responsiveness and control". The shape of the pad has been tweaked to acquire a better ergonomic fit and new vibrating impulse triggers have been added. An infrared LED positioned on the front of the controller allows the improved Kinect sensor to recognise players too.
The new Kinect sensor is barely recognisable to the Kinect sensor on the Xbox 360. The 1080p HD camera captures video at 30 frames per second and recognises motion control from even the slightest of wrist rotations. The improved active-infrared allows the sensor to work in nearly any lighting condition and increases the sensor's field of view to cope with a greater variety of room sizes. The new noise-isolating multimicrophone array can also isolate ambient sounds so that it can recognise voices in crowded rooms. Kinect will come packaged with the Xbox One as Microsoft consider it to be an essential part of the new console.
The new console aims to be the one box that suits all of your entertainment needs. The console is designed for gaming, watching TV and other entertainment uses. The new operating system allows players to instantly jump between games and other entertainment without lag or load times, or run apps alongside a game without a drop in performance. Players can launch the console with a simple "Xbox, On" command and this will instantly bring up a Home Screen that is customised with your favourite games, TV and entertainment. Pinning films, music and apps to the Home Page will allow more instant access. The more interaction that players have with their console, the more it gets to know their tastes.
Of course, the bits in which you'll be most interested are the snippets of information about the gaming experience. The Xbox One will require an internet connection because of cloud connections BUT it doesn't have to always be connected online. The rumours about the console being always-online were false. Connection to the cloud allows system and game updates to be automatic so the waiting times to which we are accustomed on the Xbox 360 should be a thing of the past. Games and entertainment are stored in the cloud so that they can be accessed anytime and from any Xbox One. This allows players to start a game, film or TV show on one console and finish from where you left off on another console. Games can be installed in segments so that players can start playing their new title before the download has finished. Updates can also be downloaded in the background. If the internet connection is lost, players will still be able to play games, watch Blu-ray films and watch live TV.
Your existing Xbox LIVE Gold membership will be carried over to the Xbox One. Your gamertag will stay with you, as will your achievements. Unfortunately the Xbox One is not backwards-compatible
with Xbox 360 games, but the Xbox 360 will continue to be supported with new games and new apps "well into the future". As for the rumour about the prevention of pre-owned games, Microsoft has stated that "we are designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We’ll have more details to share later." We'll bring you those details as we get them.
Matchmaking has always been an issue for some people, but the new Smart Match system aims to eliminate the boredom of those lobby waiting times. The system estimates the wait time for a multiplayer game and lets players enjoy another form of entertainment while waiting for the game to begin. Your Xbox LIVE reputation is vital as this allows you to be placed into the best match depending on your skill level, game style and language preferences. The more games that you play, the more that the advanced AI will learn to play like you, so your friends will be able to opt to play against your shadow using the Living Games feature. Games will also stay in sync with real-world events, so these can be instantly added to games and the latest stats can be added to sports titles.
Achievements are a big deal on this website so I'm sure that you'd like to know about those too. The new and expanded achievement system will allow a game's achievements to grow over time. There will be more ways to earn achievements and more frequent achievement updates. As with the Xbox 360, players can share their achievements with their friends, but this time players can also record footage of their gameplay to brag about as well.
If you're not happy with simply playing games on your console, Snap allows players to do two things at once on the biggest screen in the home. If you want to play shoot noobs while watching a film then you can. If you want to talk to your friends using a specially console-designed full HD 1080p version of Skype while watching live TV then you can. Skype can also be used for group calls for the first time on a TV screen and people can now watch live TV from their cable, telco or satellite set-top box through the Xbox One. OneGuide allows you to use your voice to search for names, networks and times via an easy-to-use tailored program guide.
As well as keeping tabs on your friends while watching Star Trek
, Trending allows you to see the entertainment that is popular with both them and the wider Xbox community. Microsoft has set up partnerships in an effort to bring unique entertainment to the Xbox One. 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios has partnered together for a Halo
live-action TV series that will have exclusive Xbox One content. Steven Spielberg will be Executive Producer. Meanwhile, a multiyear partnership will also bring the "ultimate interactive NFL television experiences" on the Xbox One. Skype, SmartGlass and player-worn technology will enable an all-new fantasy football experience. Live sports games, highlights and HD replays can be viewed on the console, while players can "dig deep on schedules, rosters and stats" while picking their fantasy sports teams.
Apps can be downloaded using voice commands. They can be Snapped side by side or players can jump in and out of them instantly. Internet Explorer will be returning to the Xbox One with Kinect motion and voice commands allowing for easy browsing. Alternatively, Xbox SmartGlass can turn tablets and smartphones into a second screen that interacts with the Xbox One. The other devices can be used to send website choices to the TV. The Xbox One will allow more devices to be connected simultaneously than those allowed by the Xbox 360, but we don't have a specific figure for you.
There you have it, the new console in all of its glory. Let us know what you think in the comments!