Thursday, May 23, 2013

News: The Reveal of Xbox One

Tuesday morning, Microsoft unveiled the successor system to the Xbox 360, called "Xbox One."

"All in One" entertainment system 

In addition to the usual technical boosts like power, processing and graphics, Microsoft is marketing it as an “all in one” entertainment machine that goes beyond games. Like the 360, Xbox One will feature movies, TV service, music, social media, and the internet.

However, through an improved Kinect included* with every system, the transition between these is seamless (*required to be connected for the system to work). Through the Kinect’s upgraded motion interface and voice commands, switching from games to TV to music to a movie is as instantaneous as changing the channel, and requiring no remote. Multiple media can overlap simultaneously, such as using Skype during a movie or watching updates to fantasy football stats while watching actual football. For games, players can also do multiplayer matchmaking on a game while watching TV.

Xbox One’s most highlighted features involve broadcast television in one way or another, which is so far the main appeal of this game system. They have partnered with NFL for the fantasy football features and put Steven Spielberg at the helm of a new, live-action Halo TV series that will one day be available through a standard Blu-ray/DVD release.

What it does with games 

There will be three ways to play games: a new redesigned controller evolved from that of the 360, the Kinect, and last year’s Xbox Smartglass that uses phones and tablets for certain multi-screen content. Another notable feature is Xbox One automatically records gameplay footage like a DVR. Think Halo’s saved videos, but for all games. This footage can be edited with the system’s tools and shared to your friends in some way (Xbox Live, social media and/or Youtube, presumably).

The new Xbox One is set to launch sometime this holiday and its retail price is currently unknown. The 500GB built-in hard drive cannot be replaced, but the system does support external storage. It will not be backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games, including both discs and digitally downloaded content such as Xbox Live Arcade, Indie, and On Demand games. Independent developers cannot self-publish their games, and must go through Microsoft and their processes first, just like on the Xbox 360.

For comparison, Wii U can play Wii games and can transfer digitally purchased games from the Wii. The PS4 will have some form of cloud-based backwards compatibility for PS1, PS2 and PS3 despite no disc compatibility. Both Wii U and PS4 will allow independent developers to self-publish their games.

The details of Xbox One’s online DRM and game activation codes are still being discussed bit by bit, but the following is what has been talked about so far. Xbox One won’t require a constant internet connection, but it will require it at least once a day (even for single-player games) and is the only way to activate codes for purchased games. When an Xbox One game is purchased at retail, it has such a code that allows the game to be installed one time on one console. Once installed, the game can be played without the disc on that system.

An activated game is connected to an Xbox Live account and can only be used by that account. However, if the disc is passed to anyone with any other account they can only play the game by purchasing another activation code at full price. For example, Matt cannot let Bob borrow an Xbox One game without Bob’s system logging into Matt’s account. If Bob wants to play Matt’s disc on Bob’s account and Bob’s system, Bob has to pay the full price of the game. There is, however, talk from Microsoft about players trading and selling activation codes online like a digital used game market, but the details have not been revealed yet. Furthermore, it is unclear what exactly this means for retailers like Gamestop. 

What games it will have 

The exclusives thus far announced for Xbox One are Forza Motorsport 5 and a new title called Quantum Break from the makers of Max Payne. Microsoft said they will have 15 exclusive titles in Xbox One’s first year, 8 of which will be “brand new franchises.”

Xbox One will also have the DLC for the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts before any other system. EA Sports has also partnered with Microsoft in some way, and announced Xbox One will have their next Madden, NBA, FIFA, and UFC games (their status on the PS4 unclear).

Features Recap
-Upgraded Kinect included and required with every system for motion controls, voice commands
-Xbox Smartglass, connecting smartphones and tablets to the system for multi-screen content
-Controller redesigned, based on Xbox 360 controller
-Seamless switching and multitasking multiple media (games, TV, movies, internet, social media)
-Gameplay DVR with editing and sharing tools
-500 GB built-in irreplaceable hard drive and other technical system specs
-No backwards compatibility with Xbox or Xbox 360 games, disc or digital
-No self-publishing for Indie Developers
-Activation codes binding games to purchaser’s Xbox Live account
-Online DRM restrictions requiring internet sometimes
-Price unknown and release date sometime around 2013’s holiday season


No comments:

Post a Comment