Microsoft Unveils the Xbox One

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Microsoft Unveils the Xbox One   xbox 500x344

So, Microsoft has officially unveiled the Xbox One, a new console that should be very exciting to those who love watching media and playing sports games. Like the Xbox 360, the Xbox One is being promoted as an all-in-one media solution, and while that’s fine and dandy, the people who will be lining up on day one will be doing so for the games.

Every Xbox One with come with a Kinect 2.0. The new Kinect records at 60fps using a 1080p sensor and promises much better movement detection, detecting things like a twist of the wrist. It can even read your heartbeat. The sensor field has been expanded by 60 percent. With a mandatory Kinect (the system won’t function without it), voice control is now an even bigger part of the experience.

Everyone remembers the “always-on” controversy, which at one point got so heated it cost a man his job. Fortunately, the Xbox One will not require constant Internet connectivity. However, the system will be equipped with Azure computing, which will allow develops to require that their games are always played online. Further, games will be tied to your Xbox Live account, which seems to mean no more used games. Microsoft has yet to really elaborate on this. Xbox 360 games will not be playable on the Xbox One.

Like the PlayStation 4, sharing your gameplay videos is a big part of the Xbox One experience, and the console will have built-in editing sharing tools.

The new controller doesn’t look too different (which is a plus, in my mind), but has an integrated battery compartment, which makes for a lower profile. It also supports Wi-Fi Direct and has a high-precision D-Pad. The triggers have also been reworked.

The cloud plays a big part in everything, allowing you to back up your media, game saves, what have you. Microsoft made a point to say that you will still be able to watch live TV and play games if your connection drops.

Microsoft announced a partnership with Electronic Arts and showcased sports games like FIFA 14, Madden 25, NBA Live 14, and the new UFC title. They also touched on exclusives, saying that Microsoft Studios will release fifteen titles in the console’s first year, eight of which will be new IPs. The Xbox One will get exclusive content from the NFL through a new partnership and Steven Spielberg is also creating a live-action HALO show that will be coming to Xbox.

All in all, I’m extremely disappointed. Although I hate the term, I am a “hardcore” gamer, and the only thing I’m remotely excited about is the eight new IPs. Once I see what those are, then maybe I’ll change my tune, but I need to accept that I’m no longer Microsoft’s target demographic.

Full Press Release »

Microsoft unveils Xbox One: the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system
Blockbuster titles, Steven Spielberg-produced Halo TV series, and exclusive agreements with the NFL transform games, TV and entertainment for the 21st century living room.

REDMOND, Wash. — May 21, 2013 — A new vision for the future comes to life today as Microsoft Corp. unveils Xbox One, the all-in-one gaming and entertainment system created for today and the next generation. At Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., the company showcased how Xbox One puts you at the center of all your games, TV, movies, music, sports and Skype.
“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device,” said Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment.”
Introducing Xbox One
With Xbox One, games push the boundaries of realism, and TV obeys your commands.1 Say “Xbox On” to launch your personalized Xbox One Home screen, discover what is popular on TV or see friends’ latest gaming achievements all using the most natural interface — your voice. The more you interact with Xbox One, the more it gets to know you and learns what you like. Some of the breakthrough Xbox One features that put you at the center of your living room entertainment include the following:
· TV on Xbox One.1 Navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One. Microsoft is committed to bringing live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available.3
· Home. Turn on your entertainment system with two powerful words, “Xbox On,” and a custom-tailored Home dashboard welcomes you with your favorite games, TV and entertainment.
· Snap. Do two things at once on the biggest screen in your home. Use Snap to jump into a multiplayer battle while watching your favorite movie, talk with friends on Skype while watching live TV, or track your fantasy team on TV as you watch the big game and more.
· Skype for Xbox One. Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in stunning HD, or for the first time ever, hold group Skype calls on your TV.
· Trending.1 Stay on top of what is hot on TV by discovering the entertainment that is popular among your friends, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.
· OneGuide.1, 2 Find your favorite entertainment easily, searching by network, name or time, all with the sound of your voice and presented in a tailored program guide.

To create the most advanced Xbox system ever designed for games, TV and entertainment, Microsoft created a state-of-the-art gaming operating system and fused it with an equally amazing entertainment platform, so you will not have to switch inputs to watch TV or play a game. An eight-core, x86 processor and more than 5 billion transistors helps make lag and load times a thing of the past, so you can instantly jump between a game and your entertainment at lightning speed or run a host of apps right alongside your game with no loss in performance.
Introducing Xbox One titles and exclusives
Gaming on Xbox One immerses gamers in cinematic worlds that look like real life, with characters that feel more human than ever before. AAA blockbuster titles unveiled for Xbox One include the following:
· “Forza Motorsport 5” from Turn 10 Studios is the latest edition of the highest-rated racing franchise of the past 10 years.3 Built from the ground up to take advantage of Xbox One and the infinite power of the cloud, no game better delivers the sensation of being behind the wheel. “Forza Motorsport 5” sets a new bar for racing games and will be available exclusively for Xbox One at launch.
· “Call of Duty: Ghosts” is the next generation of “Call of Duty” and a stunning leap forward for the franchise. It delivers an all-new world, an all-new cast of characters and an all-new story, built on a new, next-generation engine. The next-generation technical innovations built to support the incredible gameplay advancements make this the most beautiful and immersive “Call of Duty” experience yet. Activision and Microsoft also announced the renewal of their close partnership that will see both the return of the “Call of Duty® Championship,” presented by Xbox, as well as all-new downloadable content debuting first and exclusively on the Xbox platform.
· “FIFA 14,” “Madden NFL 25,” “NBA LIVE 14,” and “EA SPORTS UFC” from EA SPORTS will change the way consumers experience and play sports games. Driven by the new EA SPORTS Ignite engine, these new EA SPORTS games will deliver massive innovations in human intelligence, true player motion and living worlds. Adding to its commitment to Xbox One, EA SPORTS also announced the promise of exclusive content to be revealed in the coming months.
· “Quantum Break” from Remedy Entertainment is a revolutionary entertainment experience from the creators of “Max Payne” and “Alan Wake” that blurs the line between gaming and TV by integrating drama and gameplay into one seamless, uniquely immersive experience. How you play the game impacts the show, and the show informs how you play the game.

In addition to the amazing lineup of games coming to Xbox One, Microsoft unveiled exclusive content partnerships with some of the top names in TV, sports and entertainment.
· “Halo” television series. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer, Steven Spielberg will executive-produce an original “Halo” live-action television series with exclusive interactive Xbox One content, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios.

· National Football League (NFL).1 A multiyear, landmark partnership will deliver the ultimate interactive NFL television experiences for the next-generation Xbox One and leverage Microsoft devices and services to evolve both in-game and on the sideline. The NFL on Xbox will redefine broadcast experiences through innovations around Skype, Xbox SmartGlass and player-worn technology; add an all-new fantasy football solution for the biggest screen in the house; and create a personalized NFL destination only available on Xbox One.

Introducing a new generation of Xbox Live
Xbox One is built to amplify an all-new generation of Xbox Live that is more powerful, more personal and more intelligent. Unleashing the virtually unlimited power of the cloud makes everything more convenient and accessible, from allowing games to be installed in segments so that gameplay can start quickly to updates downloading in the background. Save and store your personalized profile, games and entertainment in the cloud to access them anytime, from any Xbox One console.4 In addition, existing Xbox Live Gold Membership for Xbox 360 will seamlessly carry over to Xbox One.5 Xbox Live takes you deeper into the games you love with all-new features.
· Smart Match. A new Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you are enjoying other activities — reputation fundamentally matters and helps find best matches.
· Game DVR. A dedicated Game DVR captures and accesses your magic moments, all saved to the cloud. Along with sharing tools, you will have the most amazing bragging rights with Xbox Live.
· Living Games.6 Dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.
· Expanded achievements. A new and expanded achievements system captures video of your epic moments, continues to grow a game’s achievements over time and rewards you in new ways, and your Gamerscore carries over from Xbox 360.
· Xbox SmartGlass.6 Xbox SmartGlass is natively part of the Xbox One platform, built in from the beginning with the ability to quickly render content directly onto your device, and now more devices can connect at one time for multiplayer and shared entertainment.

Introducing the Xbox One look and feel
New Xbox One hardware is sleek and modern and complements any décor. The console is shaped in the 16:9 aspect ratio and employs a horizontal orientation optimized for its high-speed Blu-ray™ disc player. It is molded in a deep and rich liquid black color and includes a distinctive beveled edge.
The completely redesigned, revolutionary 1080p Kinect is more precise, more responsive and more intuitive. Its unparalleled vision, motion and voice technology let you reach into games and entertainment like never before by dramatically expanding its field of view and fidelity. It works in nearly any lighting condition, recognizes precise motion control from a slight wrist rotation, and distinguishes your voice even in a noisy room using advanced noise isolation.
The class-leading Xbox controller is refreshed with more than 40 technical and design innovations. Updated directional pad, thumb stick and ergonomic fit immerse all gamers in ways that are uniquely Xbox, and precision and control have been dramatically increased with all new vibrating impulse triggers.6 The Xbox One Wireless Controller is designed to work in concert with the new Kinect, allowing the two to be paired automatically to create seamless player syncing.
Xbox One will launch in markets around the world later this year. Visit the new Xbox Wire blog at http://news.xbox.com for in-depth features on the new system, including photos and videos from the unveiling event and new and rotating content from Xbox. More details about Xbox One and blockbuster games will be explored at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.
About Xbox
Xbox is Microsoft’s premier entertainment brand for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. In living rooms or on the go, Xbox is home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world’s largest libraries of movies, TV, music, and sports. Your favorite games, TV and entertainment come to life in new ways through the power of Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass, and Xbox Live, the world’s premier social entertainment network. More information about Xbox can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.
About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Features and requirements are under development and may change prior to release. Available features and content may vary by country. Broadband Internet (ISP fees apply) and advanced TV hardware required. Games and media content sold separately. Xbox Live Gold Membership, paid subscription and other requirements apply for some Xbox Live features.

¹ Live TV with Kinect navigation, Live TV with OneGuide, Trending, and NFL on Xbox available in U.S. at launch; anticipating global scale over time.
² Kinect voice functionality only available in supported locales and languages.

3 At launch, Live TV will require a supported receiver device with HDMI output (sold separately).

4 Subject to geographical content restrictions.
5 Some Xbox Live content and features available on Xbox 360, including avatar content and some apps, are not available with Xbox Live on Xbox One.
6 In supported games.

About

Dylan Duarte is a freelance writer who's covered film, television, videogames, and of course tech! He's also an aspiring screenwriter and likes that watching movies is considered "work" because of it. You can follow him on twitter @dylanduarte, but be warned that it's mostly the nonsensical ramblings of a potty-mouth.

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