Microsoft Unveils New Xbox One

New console may pave the way for gaming integration

By Jaron Serven, Staff Writer

Well, it’s here—and no, it’s not called the Xbox 720.

Don Mattrick, Microsoft president of interactive entertainment business, unveiled the next generation Xbox One during a much-hyped Tuesday morning press conference.

The original Xbox was released in November 2001—launching with a controller so big, one could fight a zombie apocalypse with it—and quickly gained popularity, due in part to the marquee launch title Halo. Its successor, the Xbox 360, dropped in 2005 and went on to become a staple in every dorm room and frat house that was worth its weight in beer. The console overcame its well-publicized problems and became the de facto gaming flagship of the early 21st century.

[pullquote]The bad news is the new Xbox One will not be backwards compatible, meaning that existing 360 games will not be playable on the new system. [/pullquote]

Yet the Xbox One has some very unique features and functions, broken down below:

  • The system will utilize voice controls. The command “Xbox on” will power up the system, “Xbox game” will activate gameplay and so on.
  • This same feature will also have “user recognition” which will only recognize and react to the owner of the system. Microsoft did not address the possible problems with multiple-user voice commands, though the tech giant will likely address such an issue before the console drops later this year.
  • For the spec-happy, the system will boast eight GB of RAM, 500 GB of storage, USB 3.0 ports and full HD compatibility.
  • Microsoft will look to the cloud for much of its storage needs. To support the new cloud-based features, Xbox Live will run on 300,000 servers for the Xbox One, up from the previous 3,000.

[pullquote]Xbox One is designed to fully integrate all of your entertainment sources into one, which can then be controlled with the new voice command function[/pullquote].

Design-wise, the console is still its quintessential box shape. It appears to be sleeker and shinier than its predecessors, while the supported Xbox Kinect boasts sharper corners and is apparently integral to the voice-recognition functions.

In a stroke of good news, Microsoft has decided not to reinvent the wheel. The controller design remains largely unchanged, but according to Microsoft it will sport “40 technical and design innovations.”

There is currently no set release date, except a cryptic “later this year” that could mean December, in order to advantage of the Christmas rush. More information will be released at the upcoming annual video game industry gala, E3, which takes place June 11th through the 13th.



Image courtesy: Mashable

Article research: Herocomplex


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Jaron Serven graduated last year as a Master in English from UAlbany, and is now a professional freelance writer/editor in the Greater New York City Area. Follow him on Twitter @j_serv, and check out his music and culture blog at www.jaronserven.com.

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