This entry will replace my usual Friday post for this week. I’ll push that one ahead for next Friday.
I watched earlier today as Microsoft unveiled their third-generation Xbox — Xbox One. While the name for the new console sounds cleaner, I think it seems too much like a reset. I’m sure the name will grow on me, especially with how amazing this piece of technology is.
The shape — again, not quite fond of it. While the upgraded Xbox 360 was further curved and made sleek and shiny, the Xbox One is very boxy — the overall shape reminds me of the NES. However, I am a fan of how clean it looks. There are no buttons on the front; all you see is the nicely decorated slit for the disc drive and a black-and-white Xbox logo. It also has sort of a checkerboard look with half-matte and half-gloss.
The new Kinect is brilliant. There are so many upgrades to this puppy! It can now sense every movement: facial expressions, wrist twists, even your heartbeat! Trouble with having enough lighting, or is there a lamp right in your face? That’s no longer a problem. The room can be bright or in total darkness and it’ll still see you perfectly!
Gaming with or without the Kinect will become a completely new experience with Xbox One. The graphics are intense, the Kinect will bring new meaning to sports gaming, and with a constant internet connection you never have to wait for game updates to download before you play. It’s always annoyed me that when I go to play a game I first have to download an update that takes forever. Not anymore. Live updates!
This isn’t just a gaming console upgrade; it’s a complete replacement of all of the boxes taking up space in your living room, minus the stereo system. You can have your television service connected directly through Xbox One — it even has its own guide!
The voice commands and even movement options are fantastic. There’s no longer a need for remotes, not even to turn it on. “Xbox, on.” Oh, hello, my Xbox is on and I’m already signed in. No loading time! “Xbox, movie.” Star Trek resumes. “Xbox, music.” Maybe two seconds later, Deadmau5 comes through the speakers. “Xbox, TV.” Suddenly, you’re watching TV.
No. Loading. Time.
Snapping makes multitasking simple with Xbox One. “Snap Internet Explorer.” Watching sports? Now you can see a live update of your fantasy team on your TV as you watch the game! You can also Skype at the same time as watching television. Movie night with your long-distance friends? No problem! Watching sports with fellow fantasy sports friends? Again, not a problem!
It seems so far that this console will not be backwards compatible (able to play Xbox and Xbox 360 games), but no official news from Microsoft yet.
The price has yet to be announced, and the release date is labeled “later this year.” I fully expect to see Xbox One available for sale in the USA by, if not before, Black Friday.
More details about Xbox One will be released when E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) happens in three weeks.
A few sources for more information: