The Xbox One

The Xbox One is an upcoming gaming console from Microsoft and is the successor to the Xbox 360. Announced yesterday, it is first in the line of Xbox consoles to feature a Blu-ray Disc drive, as well as 8 GB of unified memory and a 500 GB hard drive (although it’s unknown if this will be the basic model).

The Xbox 360, Microsoft’s last console release, was launched in 2005 (with the Kinect following in 2010) to much critical acclaim. Over the last 8 or so years, over 74 million have been sold (compared to the 100m Wii’s out there and 77m PS3’s).

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The Name
Now, I must admit, when I was discussing the console prior to the announcement, I was quite looking forward to the announcing of the Xbox Infinity. I’m not quite sure why Microsoft didn’t go with it; in my opinion it’s a considerable improvement on Xbox One. I understand where Microsoft is coming from mind you. I think the idea of an all in one console where you can flick from TV to gaming or the various other social aspects which the Xbox covers well is a pretty interesting concept. But I’ve also read people more knowledgeable than me saying the processing power which is going to be needed will either harm the gaming prospects of the console or increase the price.

Technology
Technically speaking, there is no denying that the Xbox will be a powerful console. And it’s going to be the introduction of Blu-ray into the Microsoft corner of the sales battle, which puts it on par with the PS4 (continuing on from the PS3). However there is no backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games and this was a bit of a downer considering how it was included in the 360 for the original Xbox’s games.

Something else that has worried me is the aspect of the console which could require it to be permanently online. Supposedly, the Xbox One’s internet-based services mean that the console does need to get online at least once a day, but doesn’t have to be permanently connected.

I think the plan appears to be for Games and media to be stored in the cloud, so you’d need to connect to access them, and Microsoft wants users to be able to synchronise games between different devices, such as phones ect ect, which will only work if those products are online.

Kinect
The new Xbox will have a brand new Kinect to go with it. The device will come with the console, the microphone will always be on, and will need to be plugged in for the console to function. Not so sure about the fact that it will a) always have a microphone on and b) that it will be needed in order for the console to work. I just hope that it isn’t something which will be integrated into all gameplay. I’m not a fan of flailing my arms around while fleeing from a Super Mutant or sneaking around the city of Dunwall.

Price
Although no price has been announced, it is expected to be up to £399 and it is due to launch before the end of the year. With the Nintendo Wii U already on the market, and Sony’s Playstation4 in the pipeline, it’s looking like Microsoft and Sony will be going head to head in Christmas market (and as hopeful as I may be it will drive prices down, I doubt it will).

Overall?
Despite misgivings over the name, and the fact that is attempting to become a living room hub rather than a gaming console, I still think it looks quite nice. The 15 announced games upon release is something to be looked at with interest, especially since 8 of those are going to be new franchises. This is the Xbox doing what it does best; bringing the social aspect of gaming to the forefront.

Should more information be released, I’ll try and collate it into another post. Also, I hope to pick bits and pieces from E3 next month for more gaming news.

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Also, I think the new remotes look really quite cool. Unlike the new PS4 one *shudders*

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One comment on “The Xbox One

  1. feelingblind says:

    Making the Kinect mandatory is a deal breaker. I don’t trust a device that collects that much data to be connected to a console that will be connected to the internet.

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