After months (or should that be years) of speculation Microsoft have revealed the next generation Xbox, the Xbox One and it's due for release by the end of 2013. As soon as we know more details we'll have it/them available to preorder. For now though here's a brief look at what it'll have to offer.
Microsoft has announced the following technical specification (which of course is subject to change):
The Xbox One aims to be the centrepiece of your living room delivering all your entertainment needs. The HDMI In/Out integrates your TV/Satellite box to the Xbox One allowing you to instantly and seamlessly switch between a game, television show, or movie with a voice command. No save screens or loading times.
An all new, 3 times more powerful, Kinect featuring 1080p cameras ships with the Xbox One. It instantly responds as you enter the room and can recognises you and whether you have a controller in your hand or not.
- Kinect Real Vision technology dramatically expands its field of view for greater line of sight. An all-new active IR camera enables it to see in the dark. And using advanced 3D geometry, it can even tell if you’re standing off balance.
- Kinect Real Motion technology tracks even the slightest gestures. So a simple squeeze of your hand results in precise control over a game or app. Whether you're standing up or sitting down.
- Kinect Real Voice technology focuses on the sounds that matter, thanks to an all-new multi-microphone array. Advanced noise isolation lets Kinect know who to listen to, even in a crowded room. And, for the first time, you can use your voice to launch any Xbox One experience from anywhere in the system, so you can quickly move from one thing to another.
The controller has been improved over the Xbox 360 controller with over 40 technology innovations including:
- Easier access to buttons, triggers, and bumpers for quicker gameplay.
- New thumbstick shape and grip texture enhance your precision.
- Feel jolts, crashes, and weapons in high definition with vibrating Impulse Triggers.
- Pick up and play. Kinect automatically knows who is gaming and tracks who is holding which controller.
- Redesigned D-pad that is ultra-responsive to both sweeping and directional movements.
- Controller grips fit a wider range of hand sizes more comfortably.
A new generation of Xbox Live built on 300,000 servers - Xbox 360 had just 15,000! Microsoft have confirmed that Xbox Live Gold membership will work on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One. There is also an all new multiplayer matchmaking system called Smart Match. Smart Match uses advanced algorithms to pair players based on skill, language as well as reputation. That means you play people that are most like you. And best of all, you no longer have to wait in lobbies while a match is found. Feel free to play a game, watch TV, or listen to music while it finds your perfect match before jumping in instantly.
The built in Game DVR constantly records your most recent gameplay, so you can go back and share replays with your friends on social networks and of course Xbox Live.
Of course the other thing you really want to know is what games will be available. During the initial launch event just 3 titles were shown, although others were mentioned or have been confirmed by developers since. Microsoft announced that there will be 15 Xbox One exclusive games in its first year, with 8 of those being new franchises but more will be revealed at E3 in June.
Forza Motorsport 5 (Turn 10 Studios)
Forza Motorsport, the highest-rated racing franchise of the past 10 years, returns with the definitive next-generation automotive experience, created exclusively for Xbox One.
Quantum Break (Remedy Games)
Master time to survive the present… and save the future. From the creators of Alan Wake and Max Payne comes Quantum Break, a revolutionary entertainment experience that blurs the line between gameplay and television. With Quantum Break, the world will see a new generation of immersive entertainment, only possible on Xbox One.
Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)
The franchise that has defined a generation of gaming is set to raise the bar once again with the all-new Call of Duty: Ghosts. Published by Activision and developed by Infinity Ward, the studio that created the original Call of Duty and the critically-acclaimed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, Call of Duty: Ghosts ushers in the next generation of the franchise, delivering a riveting all-new gameplay experience built on an entirely new story, setting and cast, all powered by a new next-generation Call of Duty engine.
Other confirmed titles include:
- Assassin's Creed IV (Ubisoft Montreal)
- Battlefield 4 (EA/DICE)
- Destiny (Bungie)
- FIFA 14 (EA Sports)
- Madden 25 (EA Sports)
- NBA Live 14 (EA Sports)
- Thief (Eidos Studios Montreal)
- UFC (EA Sports)
- Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)