The Xbox One next generation gaming console is being released on November 22nd 2013. Continuing the trend in gaming consoles over the past 10 years, Microsoft’s newest offering will much more than just a video game machine.
The Xbox One combines elements of a media center PC, a Blue-ray player, and obviously a gaming console. As with all things, these new features will have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore them.
Finally A Blu-ray Player
After the debacle that was the decision to release Xbox 360 games on HD-DVD instead of Blue-ray, Microsoft has finally wised up and switched to Blue-ray. This means that in addition to the Xbox One functioning as gaming system it will also be a Blue-ray player. The downside to this means that the system is not backwards compatible with Xbox or Xbox 360 games.
This addition also has the added bonus of letting you slim down on the amount of gear, and therefore potentially tangled cabling, you have in your home entertainment center.
The Xbox One will come with the Xbox Kinect 2, which is essentially a camera integrated with gesture and voice recognition software. The camera is supposedly able to pick up even the most subtle of gestures resulting in a more precise control of the system.
It seems the desired result should resemble something like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, however these types of interfaces have been released before. They typically have failed to live up to expectations, and have not held the consumer’s interest for very long.
Like all next generation consoles the Xbox One will rely heavily on web based content to realize it’s full functionality. As news and rumors began trickling out about the console it was reported that the Xbox One would require 24 hour connectivity to the internet in order to function.
This plan has been backed off of recently with Microsoft stating, “After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc-based game without ever connecting online again.” However, you’ll still need an ISP like hughesnet in your area to do any online multiplayer gaming.
21 Games Available Upon Release
The Xbox One will have an impressive 21 games available for purchase on its release date. In comparison the Xbox 360 only had 18 games available when it was first released. The list of games includes mainstays like Madden 25, NBA2K14, Dead Rising 3, and Forza Motorsport 5 as well as new franchises such as Lococycle and Ryse: Son of Rome.
When the Xbox One is released later this November it will cost a somewhat substantial $499.99. The price seems high for a gaming system, but considering that it is also a Blueray player, and essentially a media center PC, it’s almost as if you’re getting the video game console part of it for free. On the downside it’s still five hundred bucks and at that price it doesn’t even come with a game.
The console is controlled by a beefy 8 core AMD processor clocking in at 1.875 GHz. It also features a graphics processor running at an equally impressive 853MHz. The console has a 500GB storage capacity as well as free unlimited cloud storage. It also boasts 8 GB of DDR3 + 32MB eSRAM.
It also has, as previously discussed, a Blue-ray disk drive, and comes standard with the Xbox Kinect 2 motion control device. While these stats are grandiose, and they certainly eclipse those of the old Xbox. They will of course be silly and obsolete by the time the next console is released, then we will repeat this process all over again. Technology!
While the Xbox One is a bit expensive, and the lack of backwards compatibility is a bit of a bummer, the beefed up hardware and added features make it an exciting new addition to the world of gaming and home entertainment. The addition of the Blue-ray player alone makes it an infinitely more attractive console than it’s predecessor.
Image courtesy of Artefact.