The Xbox One has been officially unveiled! Here's all the official details... that we know of. Let's be honest, today's event was for television viewers and not so much gamers. Details across the board were fairly scant. There was a lot of PR language and not so much hands-on with features. That said, this is a whole new console, so just seeing the thing is pretty momentous. Here are the facts, or at least the best we've got.
The official specifications of the Xbox One, while unspecific, mirror the rumored specifications discussed months ago. While the entirety of the specifications likely won't be listed until much closer to the console's launch, here's what's been announced so far:
- x64 Architecture
- 8 CPU Cores
- 8 GB DDR3 RAM
- 500GB Hard Drive
- Blu-ray Drive
- 802.11n Wireless with Wi-Fi Direct
- USB 3.0
The tech behind tying the Xbox One to your television is done entirely through HDMI pass-through -- no component cable tech in the console -- though there will also be an option for IR.
Xbox One's controller is said to have over 60 improvements on the Xbox 360's version. Some are more obvious, such as a smaller battery pack offering fingers more room around the back of the controller, an upgraded d-pad rather than the clunky disc, and textured grips on the analog sticks.
Other improvements are less evident, whether its the tech that likely allows the Kinect to sense the controller or more ergonomic changes. Perhaps many gamers will never notice the controller has changed, or perhaps many gamers won't really notice the striking differences until they finally do have the controller in their hands.
Whereas the current generation Xbox's Kinect retails for about $100 and is essentially superfluous to the functions of the console, the Xbox One's Kinect will be... well, it's required. Yes, the console requires the Kinect to be plugged in to function.
Here's the important part of a Q&A provided by a Microsoft representetive, according to Polygon:
"The all-new Kinect is now an essential and integrated part of the platform. By having it as a consistent part of every Xbox One, game and entertainment creators can build experiences that assume the availability of voice, gesture and natural sensing, leading to unrivaled ease of use, premium experiences and interactivity for you."
In today's Xbox One reveal event the Kinect's voice features were used almost exclusively to show off the console and its features.
Rather than list all of the currently announced games for the Xbox One here, I'll focus on the games that were announced at the event. For a full list of titles make sure to check out our up-to-date list which includes titles from EA, Ubisoft and Activision.
- Quantum Break - Microsoft will be publishing the next game from Remedy Entertainment. Yes, those guys who did Alan Wake and Max Payne. It's something to do with the apocolypse and a little girl with telekinetic powers.
- Forza Motorsports 5 - Vroom, room. Lots of pretty cars.
Yes, only two games were officially unveiled at the Xbox One event. Other games were present, inlcuding the first showing of Call of Duty: Ghosts' gameplay and the tech behind the game. Otherwise, it looks like Microsoft is saving their big guns for E3.
Microsoft confirmed, and actually based their event around, the announcement that the Xbox One would have several features that tied into being connected to your television. That includes being able to switch between watching live television, playing a game, or browsing the internet with a simple Kinect command.
Also shown during the event was the Xbox One's ability to split the screen, so viewers can watch a show on one side of the screen and then browse the internet on the other. Microsoft announced a partnership with the NFL to offer exclusive content through the Xbox for sports fans who watch NFL games live. As usual, more details on this later.
Price & Release Date
What do you know, Microsoft was mum on the Xbox One's price and release date. All they were willing to say was that the Xbox One would be coming out in 2013. Not even a mention of two SKUs!
While again details weren't specified, Microsoft did mention that current Xbox Live "memberships" would continue with the Xbox One. Small details like stretching friends lists from 100 to 1000 and the addition of cloud server storage were mentioned, but it's difficult to tell how this will apply in the gaming spectrum.
Microsoft has confirmed that accounts will crossover between Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and even that users can communicate across the services. Yes, that means your gamerscore will make the leap across the generation. While gamerscore will crossover, store purchases will not. It has been confirmed that XBLA purchases will be stuck on the console you bought them on.
- Always Online? Nope. Microsoft has made it clear that they've "got gamers covered" and that the Xbox One will not require an internet connection to play single player games. As for virtually every single other one of the Xbox One's features? Yeah, you're probably going to need an internet connection for those? The rumors continue, however, stating that perhaps games will require online activation before completing installation.
- Used Games? Details remain unclear! According to Wired all games will have to be installed on the Xbox One's hard drive. Then, if you want to install the game on another computer... you'll have to pay a small fee. Microsoft later contacted Wired about this statement and stated they have a plan for used games, but details were forthcoming.
- Xbox One will have the tech to support background downloads, allowing gamers to play games as they install, and even boot up from a rest state instantaneously.
- During the convention 343 Industries announced some sort of exclusive Halo television show, which Steven Spielberg is involved with.
- Uhh, DOG?