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Category: Guides, Informational, Xbox One
This is just a quick post to let everyone know that we have a new information guide (and our first one) posted on Xbox One Tech called Xbox One. This informational outlines everything we know about the Xbox One as Microsoft releases information to us. Only the facts are found here!
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Category: General, Xbox One
Once in a while we allow a guest writer to post to our site. This time it is Charles Street from NY:
The way Microsoft (MS) tells it, its new XBox One is a super hero among game consoles. In fact, it appears that Microsoft sees the Xbox as far more than a gaming console; it is a device that will revolutionize your gaming experience, your TV experience, your music experience, and even your Skype experience. But, behind the curtain, the Xbox one has many advantages along with some distinct and disappointing disadvantages.
Tech Crunch tells us the unit has 8-core x86 PC-style processor. There is a 500 GB hard drive that is on board and a Blu-ray drive too. In and out HDMI ports allow you to bypass the gaming set up and use your existing home theater setup for entertainment such as TV and movies. WI-Fi is standard 802.11n connected to an 8-core CPU equipped with USB 3.0 connectivity.
The horsepower is nice, but is it overkill? Here is what MS says all that power is for, according to JP Mangalindan, of CNN. Not to stream games - It will not stream games now or in the near future. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft senior vice president, said the technical reality of gaming is that it's years off from a complete gaming system that people will really look at and say it actually works for them in terms of latency and performance. Instead, Xbox One will use cloud-computing offerings to augment the games.
No TV DVR recording ability is available for the MS Xbox One, though you can record games on it. Any game you buy will download fully to the hard drive; it is the only option. According to MS, this will allow the game to fully use cloud computing to augment your gaming experience. Should you fill the hard drive up with games, no worries, you can always hook up an external drive with an available 3.0 USB.
The reason for the 8-core x86 PC-style processor is that the unit will be able to play Microsoft 8 apps on it. For instance, you might be able to Skype and play a game. The architecture also does a lot for the gaming experience. There are three OS. One for the Xbox, one for the Windows 8 apps and one to make the games and apps play well together.
Some suspect that the rumor of always-connected Internet stems from the games' dependence on the cloud for enhancements. NBCnews.com reported that MS has denied the need for an always on Internet connection, but others outside of MS say it is semantics. The entire issue of compatibility with older games gets no more than a grunt from any MS spokesperson.
The hardware and Internet use are meant to make gaming more fun. A single device for Internet access may be useful but it does have economic costs. Expect to pay for an Xbox Live membership, Internet connection and tv bundle (those start at $60 per month says www.install-direct-tv.com, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and other services. Suddenly, the monthly cost doesn't seem so friendly.
A lack of backwards compatibility with old games and the threat that used or borrowed games won't be playable without paying a fee, is also frustrating consumers.
Though MS tried to gin up a lot of excitement for Xbox One the fact that its price is higher than the PS4, its Internet connectivity requirement is in flux, and old game compatibility is non-existent left some people too wonder about this multi-personality machine.
Xbox One image from Flickr user Colby McCormack / LegoIiner PiIot.
Chuck is a journalist who lives in New York.
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Category: Featured, Hardware, Informational, Xbox One
Microsoft held an event on the 21st of May 2013 that they called Xbox Revealed. This event was designed to be the unveiling of Microsoft’s next console. I am going to discuss in detail what the event was all about and my thoughts about Microsoft’s next big thing.
Microsoft opened with Major Nelson and Tina Wood Summerford. While Major Nelson needs no introduction you may not know Tina. She is currently the Executive Producer of Programming for Xbox. After that a pre-recorded video was shown highlighting what Microsoft’s main focus on the new console was going to be about: You and your TV. Microsoft wants to enhance your gaming and entertainment pleasures by making your TV smarter and by making it understand what you like and love. While that’s a good marketing line let us move on.
First up was Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft, he had the pleasure of officially introducing the console for the first time. Don adds that the Xbox Team is on a new mission to create an All-in-One system for games, TV, and entertainment while maintaining a simple, instant, and complete design.
The latest Microsoft console was unveiled as the Xbox One. My initial thoughts after hearing the name of Xbox One was “you have to be joking”. The name has since then got better to me however I would have never guessed we would go back 359 numbers to the Xbox One. I am still not a big fan of how it looks but I never was one to look on the outside, I am more concerned about her guts.
The system clearly included the Kinect and later in the event Marc Whitten confirmed that every system will be paired with the redesigned Kinect 2.0. I am still not a big fan of the whole Kinect movement since I am a keyboard and controller guy but hey, one day I might grow to love it.
Next up was Yusuf Mehdi, Xbox Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, to expand on the All-in-One entertainment system. Shortly after Yusuf turned on the Xbox One console for the first time in front of the audience he made this statement, “No more manual logins and no more system or game updates”. This statement confirms the “always online” feature of the Xbox One, the ability to download system and game updates while you are not using the Xbox One and at the same time reinforcing one of the benefits of cloud gaming which we may be seeing more of in the near future.
Yusuf also introduced us to features such as Trending (ability to see what your friends like and what the Xbox community likes), Instant Switching (ability to instantly switch between live TV/Xbox/Games/Music/Internet), new navigation gestures (grab and pan and swipe up), Xbox One Guide (easy to use search, trending, favorites, and channel surfing), and Snap Mode.
Snap Mode instantly caught my attention with adding the feature of pulling up the Internet or Skyping with someone while I am watching TV, a movie, or on my Xbox Home. Snap Mode allows two applications to be running side-by-side without having to shut one down to access another or slowing both down. Finally I can watch a movie and look up who that actor is that I can’t remember the name of without taking my eyes off the screen.
Next up was Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer (and my favorite), he got the opportunity to go into more detail with the hardware aspects of the Xbox One. Marc started off by stating that the Xbox One was designed to be future proof and have enough horse power to bring together all the features, cloud, new content, and new ways to interact with all of our entertainment. Marc continues with Microsoft’s three major investments to the Xbox One: Architecture, Input devices (Kinect, controller, SmartGlass), and the Cloud.
Xbox One Architecture: Hardware
The under-the-hood look at the Xbox One allowed us to see some (but not all) of the important hardware aspects of the system. The Xbox One will contain an 8-Core CPU, 8GB of system memory (RAM), 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray drive, 802.11n wireless with Wi-Fi Direct, HDMI in/out, USB 3.0.
The Xbox One hardware architecture had its raw power increased. The Xbox 360 had the horse power to process 500 million transistors and the Xbox One trumps this by 10 times with the total power to process 5 billion transistors. In addition Xbox One out does the Xbox 360 with 16 times the amount of RAM.
Xbox One Input: Kinect
On the input forefront the Kinect has been completely redesigned with advanced and faster voice recognition and advanced video processing with "unprecedented accuracy". The Kinect can now process over 2 gigabytes of data per second, 1080p true HD video, and a 60-percent wider lens. Marc claimed that the new Kinect can even detect which way your wrist is facing, your balance with the transfer of weight from one foot to another, the energy of a motion, and the Kinect can even read your heartbeat. As Marc put it "this is rocket science level stuff".
Xbox One Input: Controller
Marc continues with the Xbox Controller redesign with 40 design innovations, to name a few: Updated ergonomics, integrated battery compartment, impulse triggers (feedback), Wi-Fi Direct radio stack, and a precision direction pad. I loved the Xbox 360 controller however one huge negative I had with the controller was the D-Pad, I am so glad Microsoft decided to make it better but we will see about “precision” when I get my hands on one.
Xbox One Input: SmartGlass
Marc stated that SmartGlass for the Xbox 360 was just the start. While SmartGlass was one of the add-ons of the Xbox 360 and with over 10 million downloads the new SmartGlass for the Xbox One was born to run and is fully integrated into the Xbox One. Marc did not spend much time elaborating on this topic and that’s all I got for you!
Xbox One Cloud: Xbox LIVE
Marc continued by talking about Xbox LIVE. The first thing Marc stated was that your current Xbox LIVE account would remain the same and that all these features will be added to your current Xbox LIVE account at the same price. Of course I expect the price of Xbox LIVE will increase in the next couple of years like it did back in November of 2010.
Marc also discussed the amount of servers required for the Xbox One. Back when Xbox LIVE launched in 2002 it was powered by 500 servers and when the Xbox 360 launched in November of 2005 Xbox LIVE was powered by 3,000 servers which has increased to over 15,000 servers by May 21st 2013. Marc stated that by the end of this year Microsoft will be running over 300,000 servers by the end of this year. That is an increase of over 2000 percent in less than a year.
By doing this all your content (movies, games, game saves, profiles, etc) will be saved in the cloud and you will have access to it anywhere. The Xbox One has a built-in game DVR to capture all your gameplay without the need of extra hardware, gameplay video will also be saved to the cloud.
Xbox LIVE achievements will become dynamic and changing, this will not only just tell others what you have done but how you play. Advanced match making with asynchronous capabilities will allow you to search for your perfect match even while you’re playing another game/watch a movie/surf the web. In addition now developers will have access to more information and more power than ever before allowing for better/bigger matches.
This ended Marc’s time and will also mark the end of this post. The event continued talking about the new games, new game engines, new environments (living worlds), models, AI, and so forth.
More to find out during E3.
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Category: Hardware, Xbox One
What a great hour I spent looking at Microsoft's new console they are calling the Xbox One. Even though the number has decreased by 359 Microsoft has stepped it up. If you did not know, Microsoft held an event today to unveil the new console at 1PM EST and it was great. I am just going to run through the brief aspects of the system off the top of my head and I will post a much more detailed and indepth article tomorrow.
The Xbox One is the latest and greatest addition to the Microsoft lineup of consoles with a release date of "later this year".
The Xbox One is looking to become an All-In-One solution for your entertainment needs/desires. The Xbox Team has completely reengineered the Xbox Architecture (thank goodness, one of the largest setbacks of the Xbox 360) to run over three different operating systems. Focused on pure entertainment the Xbox One is claiming to make your TV smarter, allowing it to recognize you and what you like. Giving you and your TV a better relationship. With great features like Snap you can watch TV and do other side tasks like Skype, surf the web, or have access to your favorite NFL team. Adding things like favorites, trending, and super fast interfacing is just icing on the cake.
This new console would not be complete with just the software beef up, the Xbox One has an overhauled hardware platform that brings the console to the power house status sporting 16 times the RAM as the Xbox 360 and of course a Blu-ray player.
The new controller design is another addition to the Xbox One that is sure to impress. What's more impressive is the newly designed Kinect with a better and wider lens, more processing power, and enhanced technology to even determine which way your wrist is turning and which way your palms are facing.
While this is all very impressive I am still disappointed by several things today. Microsoft has not given us the full hardware details about the Xbox One and has not given us an official price or release date. I know this is just the start and with E3 19 days away, more information is coming! Also what's up with no mention of the IllumiRoom? Don't tell me that's another idea by Microsoft's Innovation Team that got flushed. I hope to hear some more of that during E3! This is just a quick post about the system and my thoughts off the top of my head. I will be posting something in much more detail tomorrow about the Xbox One.
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Category: Featured, General, Hardware, New, Xbox One
Here we go! I feel like a kid at Christmas or a starving dog about ready to get a thick cut of t-bone. My mouth is watering, I am so very excited, I have my tent ready, I have my sleeping bag airing out, I have my Coleman grill ready to start my over night camp out to purchase the next Xbox console.
There is one thing missing, well actually two things missing. I don't even know what to call this thing... The Xbox 720, Xbox 8, Xbox Infinity, Durango, Xbox Loop, NeXTbox, or the Xbox 2 (which makes no sense) are some of the codenames and rumors going around since about 2 years after the Xbox 360 came out. The most recent rumor is just "Xbox", which makes sense. The second thing I am missing is my official release date.
That is all I need to get started, the other things, like price and techie stuff can wait and will not affect my decision to buy one.
I guess we will all find out tomorrow what this bad boy will be named and a release date so I can start packing my camping gear up. On Tuesday the May the 21st of 2013 at 10AM PST (or 1PM EST) Microsoft will be announcing their newest console. Check it out live on the Xbox.com website.
I know I will be there, look forward to seeing you there.
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