What makes the launch of the new Xbox 720 all the more special is that this is the first time since 2005 that the gaming console is getting a fresh new makeover. That is what makes the excitement around the new device so very palpable. It’s not just a competitor to the likes of the PlayStation 4 from Sony, but a whole new gaming experience that Microsoft is promising to gaming enthusiasts the world over. That’s least surprising considering such phrases are now way too common to build a pre-launch hype. However, with the immense success that the Xbox 360 has managed to garner, it sure will be interesting to see what Microsoft has lined up as a successor to it.
If the new Xbox is leaning on any one thing more than any other, its entertainment. That seems to be the keyword of the Xbox launch party. Of course gaming is all about some solid entertainment and fun though Microsoft wants to take it to a whole new platform. “An all in one system to light up a new generation of games, TV and entertainment…,” that’s how the proceeding at the Xbox launch event started off with.
To begin with, the one very impressive thing about the Xbox launch is that unlike Sony’s PlayStation 4 launch event, Microsoft has brought along a live device. And about the device, the one very cool aspect of it is that it is designed to respond to voice commands. Say ‘Xbox on’ and the Xbox One (that is the name and not Durango, Infinity and many more that were rumored) will turn on all by itself.
Once you are greeted by the UI, there is a new section called ‘Trending’ that gives you an idea of what your friends are up to. Say ‘Xbox: watch TV’ and there you are, the device goes to live TV. Similarly, speak ‘Multitasking’ to it and you will be able to many things at the same time, like accessing other contents while watching TV and so on.
Coming to hardware specs, the Xbox Pne boasts of 8 GB of RAM, native 64 bit architecture, USB 3.0, blu ray. The device comes with three operating systems. These are Xbox architecture, Windows with the third designed ‘to connect them for instant switching and multi-tasking’. Thanks to the specs (which again is similar to the PS 4), there is no waiting to be induced. Switching to games is akin to switching to a new channel.
About the games to be placed with the Xbox One, Head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer has promised new exclusive games in the first year itself along with Forza Motorsport 5. The launch event also marked the announcement of a ‘new strategic partnership’ with EA Sports that will be developing exciting new games for the Xbox One. These include Fifa, Madden, NBA Live and UFC that will be launching within the next year itself, all of which will be powered by the EA Sports Ignite game engine.
As Don Mattrick puts it, the Xbox 720 will be the “all in one system for every living room, the place where your games, TV and entertainment come alive.” No mean words these seem to be though we still have to wait till the ‘by the end of the year’ launch windows Microsoft promised of its new Xbox 720.