Microsoft Unveils Xbox One

Update #2: The Verge caught up with an unnamed Microsoft rep. who claims that Microsoft will not stop the use of used games: "Microsoft says it's 'designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games,' and promises to offer more details in future."

They also say that while the Xbox One requires an internet connection, games can be played offline. Microsoft said this earlier in the year, noting that Internet connections are "not perfect." Biggest understatement of the century, but we appreciate that they understand that fact.

Update: Wired's Game | Life has the most extensive report on the Xbox One you are going to read today, along with three YouTube videos showing off the system's design, the Xbox One's television integration, and how the newly designed Kinect functions.

More importantly, the report reveals that you will have to install retail games to the Xbox One's hard drive. After doing so if you want to install it on another system you'll have to pay a fee. Is this Microsoft's way of dealing with used games? We expect we'll hear more about this in the days ahead. Stay tuned.

Original Story: Despite nearly a year of rumors about the name of Microsoft's next-generation console (Durango, 720, Infinity, etc.), it turns out that Microsoft has settled on "Xbox One." At a press event revealing the new system, Microsoft showed off some of the features of the new console. The mantra being repeated ad nausem today was about its device being able to tame all of your living room entertainment options – from gaming to television and on-demand entertainment offerings.

Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One, which will release later this year worldwide, features an 8 core CPU, a 500 GB hard drive, 8 GB of system memory, support for USB 3.0, 802.11n wireless with Wi-Fi Direct, Blu-ray support, HDMI in/out, and use cloud storage.

The system will support a vastly improved Kinect system that seems to be a bit more responsive to gestures and voice (using more casual conversation, it seems). It now supports 1080p video at 30 frames per second, uses a wider field of view and can transmit your commands / actions very quickly (data throughput of 2 GB per second, Microsoft claims). It will heavily integrate SmartGlass into Xbox One as well, allowing tablet devices and smart phones to interact with the system.

Microsoft spent a good portion of its press conference talking about the ability to watch live TV on Xbox One and the ability to switch between activities as fast as you can change a channel on a remote. They demonstrated switching between a game, a movie, Internet Explorer, and even a new designed Skype client. They also showed a snap-to feature that allowed the screen to be shared by all of these different activities at once. The live TV stream was local from Comcast, but Microsoft did not say what other cable providers it has inked partnerships with.

Like HBO GO, if the local cable provider doesn't support it, it ain't happening for you in your home town. Microsoft also showed off an interactive guide that could be manipulated through voice, gesture and through SmartGlass.

In addition to redesigning Kinect, Microsoft showed off the new Xbox One controller. While it looks similar to the 360 controller, Microsoft claims that it has made 40 design changes, including new dynamic impulse triggers, a redesigned directional pad, an integrated battery compartment and a Wi-Fi Direct Radio Stack.

Microsoft also announced a close relationship with EA, who revealed that FIFA, UFC, Madden, and NBA games would be coming to the platform. Microsoft also showed off Forza Motorsport 5, and Activision showed off a bit of Call of Duty: Ghosts. Ghosts DLC being exclusive to Xbox One first is a big deal because the franchise is ultra popular. PS4 fans will not be happy about this. Remedy also showed off little bits of a new game called Quantum Break, one of eight new IPs coming exclusively to Xbox One.

Finally Microsoft announced that it will be creating original programming, starting with a new TV show based on the Halo franchise. 343 Industries will work closely with Steven Spielberg on the show. Microsoft also announced a deal with the NFL to bring exclusive television content to the console.

All in all Microsoft didn't really reveal a whole lot at this press event, save the fact that they are fulfilling a goal it has been trying to achieve for over a decade – to create a set top box and get it into millions of homes. Xbox One is the realization of that dream, assuming that it is widely accepted. Expect to hear a lot more during E3 in two weeks.


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  1. 0
    MaskedPixelante says:

    The latest reports say that yes and no it requires an online connection. It needs to authenticate with the servers every 24 hours, but that's all the connection it needs. So if you don't have an internet connection after you authenticate, you're good to go for a full day. After that…

  2. 0
    Zen says:

    You will see it the day you want to get a rare, older game and realize you have to buy not only the game, but the console it was installed to, and the persons entire account/library to get it.  Yep…that will be hilarious.  And hope the console doesn't die if the servers are even still there to authenticate the purchase. 

    This will be a kick in the balls to collectors like myself. 

  3. 0
    Zen says:

    Did I miss it, or did they say anything at all about Xbox Live pricing, and more importantly how many of these "features" like TV, Internet, Skype, etc will require an Xbox Gold Account to use? No mention on the requirement for multiplayer either.  Could be saved for E3 I guess, but still a HUGE question.  

    And who else finds it hilariously ironic that after Nintendo bumbled internet and digital for so long, they are now the only one to have 100% physical and digital backwards compatibility that can keep your purchases for games and DLC lol?  (And not to get anyone upset, but "technically" doesn't that now give the Wii U the largest playable library now out of the new three systems? lol)

  4. 0
    Zen says:

    Well, this console unveil actually makes more sense as to why EA has been acting like they have lately. They can stop (or at the very least hinder and profit) off of used games, they don't have the "online pass" stigma tied directly to them, and the NFL made license deals with Microsoft which may have connected with the games as well.

    But the no backwards compatibility and more and more aiming for no used without a "fine"…im not liking where this is going.

  5. 0
    Farseli says:

    But they also have said that certain things like single player games while offline should just work. How could they do a fee system when it is supposed to just work while offline? I think the fee thing might just be one of those supported DRMs that they are talking about letting developers use if they want.

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