Microsoft unveiled the next Xbox – the Xbox One – at its headquarters in Redmond on May 21, 2013. With abounding rumors and speculations, what did the actual event cast for eager fans? Here’s a brief look.
The Xbox One Launch Event
The launch event sparked off an exciting moment for the gaming world. The newly launched Xbox One will succeed the Xbox 360 launched in May 2005. As expected, the event detailed more on the non-gaming environment, calling Xbox One an all-in-one device with a forward thinking system. There was some emphasis on games as well, but more details are expected at the E3 event next month. The new Xbox One did flaunt a good number of avant-garde features to kindle the enthusiasm of its long-time fans.
Key demoes on non-gaming entertainment features
Among the key demonstrations, Microsoft highlighted its Instant Switching feature, which is basically multitasking. The second generation Kinect responds to voice commands, such as “Xbox On,” “Go to Music,” “Watch Movie,” and “Xbox, Show Fantasy.” You can switch between actions seamlessly.
The Snap Mode lets you engage in Skype while watching TV or checking sports statistics. So, you can talk to friends and family without having to pause.
Kinect’s new infrared vision ability signifies a market improvement over the previous version. Even with all lights turned off, its camera could detect gamers and objects facing it. Its “Time of Flight” function gauges the speed at which emitted photons return to the unit, so as to reveal minute details of participants, including wrinkles in clothes and varying button sizes.
Xbox One will facilitate group Skype. The SmartGlass feature is more integrated with enhanced functionality. Microsoft is collaborating with NFL for integration of Kinect and SmartGlass with fantasy sports. It is also increasing the number of Xbox Live servers for its new console via cloud computing.
Xbox One requires an Internet connection though it need not be online all the time. It allows up to 1,000 friends and can update achievements by assessing gamers’ behavior. It also features a new matchmaking tech.
Xbox One Exciting Games
Microsoft unveiled a good number of games including Call of Duty: Ghosts, Remedy’s Quantum Break, and Forza MotorSport 5, the next in Turn 10’s racing series. Quantum Break will merge live-action and traditional gameplay, based on player choice and in-game decisions.
EA and Microsoft have collaborated to provide four sports games namely, FIFA 14, UFC, NBA Live 14 and Madden NFL 25. Powered by EA Sport’s Ignite game engine, these games will be made available over the next year. Ignite is designed to reduce the demarcation between virtual and real sports by replicating true player motion to mimic human intelligence. It simulates gamers’ play-styles and creates living worlds with ten times more animation detail.
Microsoft Game Studios is developing lots of titles. During the first twelve months of Xbox One release, there will be over fifteen exclusive games, with eight coming from new IPs.
Ubisoft announced Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed for the new console.
Microsoft announced the establishment of Xbox Entertainment Studios to create original programming on Xbox. The studio-head revealed that Microsoft is working with Steven Spielberg on Halo television series.
A built-in DVR will allow users to record, edit, and even share gameplay, so you can easily share your triumphant moments with friends.
The console comes with a Revamped Multiplayer that features a system called Dynamic Maps, where gamer-driven movements, such as floods and earthquakes will show on a map layout in real-time. With character customization, gamers can get a better personalized experience.
The controller is supposed to have obtained forty different enhancements. With a better input performance, it is expected to be 15 to 20% faster.
The event also included tours through work spaces where Xbox One was designed, prototyped and tested.
Release date and price of Xbox One
Microsoft is planning to release Xbox One in November this year, but did not reveal pricing details or launch packages.
The Xbox One is undoubtedly a big leap from its predecessor as evident from the features revealed at its launch event. Nevertheless, excitement still lingers as eager gamers still have several questions to be answered.