Microsoft had their Xbox announcement earlier today, at which they unveiled the new Xbox One console. During the course of the presentation, they focused heavily on the living room dominance features of the console.
They spent a fair bit of time showing off the quick multitasking of the system, with the ability to speak to the Xbox to tell it to switch to a new TV channel or to your game, or your music, and have it respond within a second or two. No more remote controls, no remembering TV channel number codes, just quick and easy access.
They also demoed skype on the system, and a very Windows 8-esque ability to pin an app to the side of the screen so that you can carry on a Skype conversation while still playing your Xbox game.
They showed off a few games during the presentation, but not as many as some people were hoping for. With E3 only 19 days away, this wasn’t much of a surprise; presumably Microsoft is saving most of their gaming material for that show. The highlights of what they did talk about included a deal with the NFL, and the next generation of the Call of Duty franchise.
The game controller has gotten an update, with cleaner lines and a brand new D-Pad, but otherwise looks very much like the Xbox controller we’re all familiar with.
- Customized 8-core AMD CPU
- DirectX 11.1 graphics-tailored GPU
- 32 MB high-bandwidth embedded ESRAM
- 8 GB DDR3 system memory
- 1080p and 4K video out support
- 7.1 surround support
- 720p, 250,000 pixel Kinect sensor
- 500 GB HD
- Blu-Ray/DVD drive
- HDMI 1.4 output and passthrough
- USB 3.0
- 802.11n gigabit Ethernet
- WiFi Direct connection to the Xbox controller and other devices (phones, tablets, etc.)
They gave no information whatsoever about price, and the release date is “sometime later this year.”
Personally I’m a PC gamer. I can’t remember the last time I played a game on a console. The living room features of this sound pretty awesome, but I haven’t seen much to make me think I’ll want to resume my console gaming days. What do you think? Will you be picking one of these up, assuming it’s reasonably priced? If you get one, what will you want to use it for? Let us know in the comments!