Earlier today Microsoft revealed their new Xbox console, the Xbox One. Now I’m sure none of us were expecting that name, but what about the rest of the information that came along with the conference? How did it all compare with the Playstation 4 reveal earlier this year? Join us in a round-up of all the details and let us know below whether you have already rushed out to place your pre-orders.
First, the tech specs. While Microsoft didn’t go into a ton of detail about the innards of the new machine, they did share some basic details. It has been confirmed that the system will come with an 8 core CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. At this stage, we don’t know whether or not the RAM is DDR5 like on the PS4, or the slower DDR3 type. A blu-ray drive has also been confirmed, although Microsoft has confirmed that all games would need to be installed on the systems hard drive. Hopefully E3 should provide some more information on the technical specifications. Visually the machine seems to be built around a ‘set-top box’ model and has a nice minimalist look. The controller is also a natural progression from the existing model, with a few new features like an improved D-pad and rumble feedback located within the triggers.
The Kinect will be a large part of the Xbox One experience as we all expected, and a new Kinect sensor will be bundled as part of every Xbox One sold. The camera will feature some updated tech, including a 1080p HD camera. Microsoft has also confirmed that the system itself will need the Kinect sensor to be plugged in. which seems like a sizeable mistake on Microsoft’s behalf.
Whereas the 2 hour PS4 conference focused a great amount of time and attention on the games you can expect to play later this year, Microsoft mainly spent their time telling us how the Xbox One would function as a complete entertainment system, of which gaming would only be a part of. Some impressive TV functions were shown on the new device, including watching live cable programs, and switching between channels on the fly. Sports TV seems to be a big focus for the Xbox One, with integrated options to allow users live access and updates to their fantasy team while watching live sports. Additionally for Halo fans, 343 Studios also announced that a live action Halo TV series was underway, which is under the control of none other than Steven Spielberg. And just as you would have guessed, the show seems to be an exclusive to be broadcast on the Xbox One.
After about 30 minutes into the conference the first games were shown, although Microsoft had previously made it clear that E3 would be the place that most of their new titles would be shown off. Forza 5 was shown off in a trailer form and looked predictably shiny. It was also confirmed for launch, which should go head to head with DriveClub on PS4. Other games briefly shown were several sports games from EA including Madden, NBA 2K, FIFA, and Call of Duty: Ghosts, which looked pretty impressive.
We also had a chance to welcome a new IP, Quantum Break, which is from Alan Wake, a developer at Remedy Studios. Quantum Break was only shown briefly, and in the odd form of a live action segment mixed in with some CGI footage of a cargo ship piling into a bridge. The game will supposedly be very story based and offer the opportunity to shape your own game through decisions made. From the fairly quick look at the game, it would appear to be a kind of mixture between Alan Wake and Heavy Rain. Finally, Microsoft had a favorable reaction to the news that their own internal studios were working on a total of 15 exclusive games for launch in the first 12 months of the system’s life. Eight of these will be all-new IP’s and should hopefully be a nice mixture of genres. Hopefully E3 will provide our first glimpse of many of these new titles in action.
All in all, the Xbox One reveal provided the complete opposite of the PS4 announcement. While the Sony machine seems to be targeting the core gamer with Sony’s stable of new and existing IP’s, Microsoft is clearly gunning for the entertainment box market. They have promised that loads of new titles will be shown at E3, so at this stage it’s probably best to reserve judgement for the next couple of weeks. Of course we will be right here to give you all the biggest news from Microsoft from that event, as well as from Sony and Nintendo.