The Xbox One was revealed during the Xbox Reveal event as the official name of the “Xbox 720″, the codename for the new system.
It’s official! Let the console wars BEGIN!
The system box itself was revealed as was the new controller and the next-generation Kinect motion-sensing camera. A big focus of the new system is based on the TV market, and your ability to seamlessly switch between TV, videogames, music and other apps like Skype, Netflix and the like.
The system will make use of unique gestures and voice commands to control every aspect. Additionally the system will remember what you do, and customize your profile homepage based on the features you use most. It comes with a Blu-ray drive (!), which one assumes will play games AND movies. And features specs that are remarkably comparable to the PS4.
Many new features of the system include integration and sharing online information with friends. There is now trending tabs to see what the most popular entertainment choices among TV, games, music, movies and more are with both your friends and the Xbox Live community at large, and Xbox Smartglass is built-in from the jump, allowing you to use any tablet or touchscreen smartphone to control the Xbox One system. Which opens up a world of possibilities and will, in many ways, directly compete with the WiiU (Sony does the same with the PS4 and the use of PS Vita).
One of the biggest features of the Xbox One is the fact that the system will allow you to plug your cable box into it (or however you get your TV, which CANNOT be done straight through the Xbox itself, you’ll have to sign up to a TV provider first, then go through the Xbox One) and then seamlessly switch between live TV and playing videogames or listening to music by using voice commands. The switch happens almost immediately and will be similar to changing TV channels with a remote. Additionally, Microsoft likened the system to a “Videogame DVR”, with the ability to record and share videogame footage from the system itself. Yep, JUST LIKE THE PS4.
Another new feature is the ability to “snap” several apps or different viewing windows side by side so you can multi-task several things at once. This will be used in some innovative ways, such as by “snapping” a window next to a live sports broadcast that would show your fantasy football stats. Sports was a huge focus of the reveal conference, and Microsoft will be developing exclusive NFL content that makes use of all these new interactive features that they promise will revolutionize the way people watch sports, specifically the NFL. Mainstream-wise, this is huge, but it does nothing for hardcore gamers and people who could care less about sports and/or watching TV. In the wake of the reveal, comments from gamers have been extremely negative.
As for games themselves, Call of Duty: Ghosts was shown and talked about in-detail (with DLC landing first exclusively on Xbox One before hitting other systems), it was revealed that EA Sports is bringing Madden, FIFA, NBA Live and UFC games to Xbox One, and an all-new Halo TV series was announced produced by none other than Steven Spielberg himself! Forza 5 was also announced, as was an all-new game from Remedy (makers of Alan Wake and Max Payne) called “Quantum Break”. However nothing looked like concrete gameplay or was that impressive in all honesty. However Microsft promised that E3 2013 will blow gamers away with all of the games that are in development for Xbox One. Microsoft is pumping boatloads of money into development, and promises that 15 exclusive Xbox One titles will hit within the first year, 8 of which are all-new IP/franchises, and is more new games than in the history of Xbox.
As far as the controller is concerned, it looks pretty much the same as the Xbox 360 controller, even though over 90 modifications and enhancements have been made to it. One of the biggest is rumble support built directly into the triggers themselves.
Many unanswered questions remain however. Microsoft says the Xbox One will not require an Internet connection to play games and won’t have to be “always online”, yet it seems like you may have to connect online at some point, like with Steam on the PC. Exactly how this will work remains foggy. Microsoft has confirmed that new games must be installed on the harddrive, after which point the games will be linked to your account and you apparently will NOT be able to play that disc on other systems without paying a fee. More details are to come, but this potentially a dealbreaker for many. Additionally, the Xbox One will NOT play any Xbox 360 games as the system is not in any way backwards compatible with the original Xbox 360. Disappointing, but to be expected. The PS4 will also not play PS3 games for the same reason. The price of what used to be Xbox Gold, which was required to play your friends online and use features like Netflix, is also foggy. Microsoft made mention of using the same service, so the $60 a year price may remain intact, which would be another hard pill to swallow against the PS4 and Wii U’s free internet capabilities.
Xbox One will be released worldwide THIS YEAR. Pricing was not announced. Watch the video above to get the full details on the new system from the full conference itself.