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Microsoft Unveils the Xbox One

Microsoft Unveils the Xbox One

Microsoft announced its next-generation video game console in Redmond, Washington and it is officially called the Xbox One. The name was rumored to be Xbox Infinity or Xbox 8, which frankly would have been better since Xbox One will surely be confused with the "First" Xbox when being discussed.

The Rundown

The new console is now more computer than console as its specifications clearly demonstrate. It has "5 billion transistors" and is based on AMD silicon combining the CPU and GPU. It also includes 8GB of total system RAM which can be distributed between the CPU, GPU and audio depending on individual software requirements. The system uses a 64-bit architecture which means it will not be backward compatible much to the chagrin of current Xbox 360 owners. Unlike the 360 which relied on DVD media, the Xbox One will contain a Blu-ray player

Microsoft also showcased a new Kinect sensor which will be sold with and is required for the Xbox One to function. The updated sensor is more sensitive and includes a camera capable of 1080p video. The Kinect is so sensitive it will be able to measure a persons heart rate which is both cool and slightly disturbing. The new controller is highly reminiscent of the existing Xbox 360 controller but the battery is now integrated making for a more conformable experience.

Battle for the Living Room

The Playstation 4 and Xbox One are challenging each other for living room dominance. Both are focusing heavily on social sharing features like accomplishments and in-game footage as well as full entertainment experiences like DVR capability and streaming music and video. Microsoft's purchase of Skype and the included Kinect sensor provide a slight advantage over the PS4 however. Voice controls and "swiping" navigation may also make a difference in both practice and consumer perception.

Future Information

The Xbox One is set to be available during the "holiday season" with a synchronized worldwide release at a price point yet to be announced. Many analysts are expecting it to run between $450 and $550 and this now seems more likely due to the included Kinect sensor.

Image by: Microsoft