Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console

Written by Edward Chester

May 21, 2013 // 6:18 p.m.

Tags: #720 #durango #infinity #microsoft #new-generation #new-xbox #next-gen #one #xbox #xbox-720 #xbox-one #xboxreveal

Microsoft has lifted the lid on its new games console, revealing it as the Xbox One.

The announcement ends years of speculation about just what technology and features would be in the followup to the hugely successful Xbox 360.

As expected it features a TV input for instant switching to live TV. It also makes heavy use of a new Kinect to navigate the interface using gestures or voice control, with high-speed switching between TV, gaming, music playback and other apps.

Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, introduced the new console and declared it "simple, instant and complete", with Microsoft aiming to make "technology step behind the curtain and you and your entertainment to take center stage"

Xbox One Specs

The heart of the Xbox Infinity is its new processor that features 5 billion transistors and that is backed up by 8GB of RAM. Accompanying this will be a 500GB hard drive (non-replaceable), USB 3.0 inputs, Wi-Fi Direct, and HDMI connectivity.

Another key feature will be a Blu-ray drive, though Microsoft hasn't revealed exactly how this will be used. While it will play films, we don't yet know how it will handle games, and whether games can be installed to the hard drive.

Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console
Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console

Similarly the company has yet to confirm if the new chip is the much rumoured AMD APU, nor has it given details on the number of GPU processors or clock speeds, though it has confirmed the CPU element is 8-core.

Xbox One Kinect

Key to the new Xbox One experience is its included new Kinect, which will be used to control gestures as well as power voice-control. This will be used to recognise the user such that by saying "Xbox on", the console will power on and go straight to that user's profile.

The new Kinect will, like the previous version, be a separate device placed above or in front of a TV. The new version, however, is much more sensitive and can sense up to 6 players at once. It can also understand much more subtle gestures, allowing for finer control.

Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console
Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console

Xbox One controller

The other key aspect to controlling the Xbox One is its controller. This features largely the same design as the previous model but with "40 design innovations". These include a slimming down of the controller by integrating the battery pack, a new D-pad and triggers that have user-configurable sensitivity.

Microsoft also sees Smartglass as a key part of the Xbox One eco system.

Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console
Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console

Xbox One Games

Microsoft has confirmed it will be bringing eight brand new franchises and seven other exclusive franchises to the Xbox One within the first year of release.

Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console
The new Forza game coming to Xbox One

During the Xbox One reveal event the company demonstrated new EA Sports titles, including a new FIFA and NFL games.

Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console

A new Forza title was also shown, as was a new title called Quantum Break, which appears to deal with time travel.

Tying into one of the platforms most successful franchises, the company also confirmed a live action Halo TV series that will be directed by Steven Spielberg.

Call of Duty Ghosts, the next game in the series, was also given its first public showing. Activision talked at length about the new game engine the title will use that includes a host of next-gen graphics tweaks. These include tool called sub-D, which dynamically changes the number of triangles used to render an object depending on how close the player is, fluid dynamics for water, interactive smoke and support for much higher textures that can for instance be used to show blood and fingernail dirt on the player's hands.

Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console
Xbox One announced as next-gen Microsoft games console

The engine also support apparently sophisticated AI for controlling the dog that accompanies the player throughout the game. Fish will also swim away from you.

Xbox One release date and price

Microsoft has yet to reveal a price or exact release date for the new console but Don Mattrick did confirm the console will be arriving this year. He also confirmed that E3 will see a host of game announcements for the new console.

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