Xbox One: Breaking It Down


The world gathered to watch the unveiling of the new Xbox One, but just in case you missed it, or simply want to relive everything, here is what you need to know about the latest addition to gaming history.

"Xbox On" is the phrase that unlocks the door to your gaming future. This will power on your Xbox. The console will have a very similar display hud as its predecessor, which gives it a great sense of familiarity, which is nice.

The Xbox One comes with a support to change your feed on TV which means you can just say "Xbox: Watch TV" and it will change the feed from Xbox to live TV through a new feature they call "Instant Switching". This allows you to give commands like "Watch TV" or "Music" and it will instantly change over to whatever you asked for. I'm not even exaggerating when I say "instantly", this is EXTREMELY quick!

The Kinect will now allow you to simply grab the air and expand or contract your hands and it will allow you to go to the home screen. It feels like something from Iron-Man.

There is a new feature alongside this which is called "Snap Mode". Snap Mode will allow you to open a new window next to whatever you are doing and this will allow you to use a browser while you watch a movie. You can then use Smart Glass to interact with the browser through your iPhone or Android.

Snap Mode also works with Skype. You can use Skype while you watch a movie, which isn't really a feature you would use unless you wanted to pause the movie, but this could be helpful if you're watching sports or playing a game that you don't want to pause.

Sports also work with Snap Mode which lets you open up stats, league standings and featured highlights while you watch a game live on your Xbox, using the ESPN application. This also works with other features like political debates.

The Xbox One guide will basically open a TV guide for you which, for the moment, only really works in America. However, it seems to connect right to your live TV and you can then just say "watch CBS" and CBS will come on, or just ask when Game of Thrones is on and it will show you the next listing for that particular show. You can even pin shows to your "favourites", and you can see what is trending at any one time which will show you what other people around the world are watching.

That's just TV and switching, now let's talk about the hardware. The machine is beautiful. It runs 8GB of ram and houses 5 billion transistors. I'll go over each section separately.

The Xbox is running 3 operating systems. A huge graphics engine, windows and instant switching. This allows everything to run incredibly fast. The Xbox One is almost 16 times faster than the Xbox 360.

The Kinect now takes in a lot more information which means it can now completely recognise by voice and face, meaning it won't mix you up with people. The Kinect can now read your heartbeat while you work out and it can track every joint on the human body, meaning it can measure and react to your every move.

The controller has been upgraded. It looks really smooth and slick. It is basically the same design but it is built to work better with your hands. Kinect can recognise you and the controller now, which allows you to use your controller to work with Kinect which creates a lag-free experience.

Contrary to popular belief, the new Xbox will have disk support. This probably comes as a huge relief to many Xbox fans. It runs blu-ray, finally, which is incredible. There will not be backwards compatibility, which is going to cause a lot of problems for gamers in the future. My game collection will never disappear. Soon this will be the same as Nintendo cartridges and original gameboy games. Vintage classics.

Xbox Live has been upgraded, too. They have gone from 15,000 to 300,000 servers to power Xbox Live.

Xbox One will be powered by the cloud, which means you will now be able to save your movies, music and saves to the cloud. There is no word on cost for storage, but I can only assume it will be a subscription fee. There will be a 500GB HD with the console, though, so worry not. Cloud is not mandatory. 

There can now be more players on the servers and there can be bigger matches. Microsoft also promise that you can "live in a persistent word" which means there could potentially be a very different type of game coming to the Xbox where people can play, live and thrive in game. Create a world, or perhaps a WoW style game. Microsoft coined the phrase "More powerful, more personal". Matchmaking will pair you up with people as you watch TV and as you play games which will allow you to play with people with more similar interests. 

Xbox: One will launch later this year. I can only assume it will be out JUST in time for the Christmas season! There will be games available on launch, but those titles will be announced at E3. 

So, will you buy the new console, or will you simply give this a miss? Let me know in the comments below, I'm really interested to see your feedback on the Xbox: One.