Last night’s reveal of the Xbox One laid out the key features of Microsoft’s new console (all-in-one entertainment solution, continuing franchises; eight-fold increase in processing power) but the hour-long presentation still left quite a few questions unanswered.
As extra reports make their way into the web we’ll keep you up to date with the latest news. Here’s the best of what we’ve heard so far:
Price and release date – Although the conference only mentioned a release date as “later this year”, a pre-order page from retailer Zavvi has given a £399 price tag and a ship date of the 30 November.
The Kinect 2.0 – The new camera records at 1080p, enlarging the sensor’s field by 60% and allow video-capture at 60 frames per second. The new Kinect is so sensitive that it can measure your pulse by monitoring slight changes in the colour of your skin. The new model improves on the old Kinect’s infrared sensors with so-called ‘time-of-flight technology’, allowing for the Kinect to work even in pitch-black rooms.
Always-online – Microsoft have made it clear that basic functions (playing games, accessing stored media) will not require an internet-connection, but it’s clear that the One’s full potential will be net-dependent. This is especially true considering that Microsoft have promised developers they can use Azure to offload processing tasks to the cloud. This would expand what developers could do with their games, but would mean that online-only would be mandatory.
Second hand games - Tied in with the issue of ‘always-online’ is how the system will handle games. It’s been confirmed that all games will need to be installed to the HDD (allowing games to be played without the CD) but there’s been no confirmation yet what will happen with pre-owned titles. The need to install games would certainly suggest that Microsoft want to control how games are passed around after purchase, but we’ve yet to hear any definite plans.
Three operating systems – Mentioned in the reveal, but more exciting than it sounds – the One will simultaneously run three separate operating systems, allowing for lightning fast switches between games, internet, TV and the rest. One OS (HostOS) boots up the machine and then hands off control to both the ‘Shared’ partition (running apps) and the ‘Exclusive’ partition (running games).
Backwards compatibility - This is pretty unambiguous: just as with the PS4 there will be no backwards compatibility. This also means that any purchase on the 360s digital market place will be null and void – though Microsoft have said that licenses for movies and music will transfer over, as will all the achievements associated with your gamertag.