Sony fired first with its PlayStation 4 salvo and today Microsoft fired back with an Xbox One counterattack. Due to professional conflicts, I am not permitted to write about the performance of executives at the press conference. I’ll leave that to you. Thankfully, I am allowed to respond to any judgements you make about how Microsoft’s executive team did at the Xbox One reveal. For now, let’s do that thing where I make a bullet point and follow it up with rambling thoughts.
Xbox One Will Have an Eight-Core AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) Clocked at 1.6GHz
The CPU and GPU are on the same die, while the system architecture is 64-bit x86. It’s nice to see Microsoft and Sony using x86 architecture. That should make things easier for developers. While there will obviously be differences creating games for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, it should be much easier than previous generations that featured drastically different consoles. One potential issue with x86 architecture is…
Xbox One Isn’t Backwards Compatible With Xbox 360
This counts for Xbox 360 disc games, as well as Xbox Live Arcade games for Xbox 360. I haven’t checked any forums or blogs yet, but I imagine that some gamers will rage about this “issue.” Microsoft could have added an additional chipset for backwards compatibility, but that would have made the console larger and more expensive.
Xbox One Looks Like an Old VCR
I’m digging the looks of the Xbox One. I like the sharp angles and dramatic vent cutouts. If Darth Vader had a bad-ass VCR, it would look like the Xbox One. The lines make it look like a modern version of the original Xbox. I’m guessing that I’m going to be in the minority on this one and that many fans will bag on the console’s looks because it doesn’t have the smooth aesthetics of Apple products. *shrug*
Cloud Computing Continues
Like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One will have several cloud-based features. You’ll be able to access your console’s gaming content, save files, videos, and more from “anywhere.” You’ll also be able to record gameplay clips, upload them to the cloud, and share them with your friends.
Kinect and Xbox One Control Your TV
The next-gen Kinect is a huge part of the new console, with deep integration than ever. One futuristic and potentially cool feature is how Kinect and Xbox One integrate with your television service. The console will feature a UI that beats the crap out of the one most cable boxes use. Kinect’s voice recognition allows you to control the TV. Saying, “Watch ESPN!” to watch ESPN is very Star Trek.
Xbox One Will Have a “Pre-Owned” Fee
RPadholic Smartguy posted a link in the RPad.TV Google Hangout that confirmed that the Xbox One will have built-in measures to combat the used-games market. Xbox One games will have an installation process that’s tied to individual Xbox Live accounts. An undisclosed fee will have to be paid if another Xbox Live user wants to install the game. Personally, I have no problems with this system, but understand that some people do…and am looking forward to the nerd rage over this “issue.”
[Update: The Xbox Support Twitter says that the report on pre-owned fees is incorrect. It’s a little confusing considering that Microsoft VP Phil Harrison was the first executive to mention the fee.]
Xbox One Has Blu-ray, USB 3.0, and WiFi Direct
The first two features are necessary in 2013. I haven’t used WiFi Direct for anything, but imagine it’s useful for quickly connecting peripherals.
The Xbox One Controller is…
The pictures make the controller look cheaper than the Xbox 360 controller, but that doesn’t mean much. I’m guessing it looks better in person. A few of my journalist friends said that they weren’t allowed to touch the controller. Feel is obviously the most important thing. The new controller allegedly features more than 40 improvements over its predecessor. Many gamers believe that the Xbox 360 controller is close to perfect, so I’m curious to see what the reaction will be to the new gamepad.
Halo…the Live-Action TV Show
Steven Spielberg will be the executive produce of Halo: The Television Series, a live-action program that will debut on Xbox Live. The kids will go nuts for this.
Microsoft and NFL Sitting in a Tree
In a move that will be huge in America and nowhere else in the world, Microsoft has the exclusive rights to create interactive experiences that complement NFL programming. Kinect and SmartGlass will be used to enhance the (American) football experience. I’m sure that many of you will love this.
Price, Release Date, SKUs
Those should be announced at E3 2013. You have to save something for later, right?
Now it’s your turn! What are your initial thoughts on Xbox One? How do you feel about the deeper Kinect integration? Are you digging the television features? Any opinions on backwards compatibility and the pre-owned games fee? Share your thoughts like a Care Bear in the comments section (please)!