Thursday, 23 May 2013

Xbox One: First Impressions

By on 2:08 pm

On Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled their flagship console for 2013, the Xbox One. Featuring  a new design and seemingly a new strategic outlook, the Xbox One reveal did in fact provide some intriguing moments. Let's take a look at this in more depth below.
First off there is the console's basic specifications. It comes with an eight core processor, 500GB of memory and 8GB of RAM. For the tech geeks among us, there was no mention of what type of RAM this is. At the PS4's launch earlier this year it was revealed that Sony will be incorporating GDDR5 RAM into their new console. It looks like Microsoft is holding back on certain aspects until E3. Along with the internal upgrade, the exterior has gotten a facelift as well with a sleek new design combining both matte and polished black surfaces. In addition to this, the new console has an HDMI pass through, which allows the One to function sort of as a set top box. Also included in the new design is blu ray capability.
Microsoft has also upgraded its Kinect which by the way is shipped with all purchases of the Xbox One(Yes you must buy the Kinect). The camera and motion sensing capabilities have been significantly improved allowing for the Kinect to recognize even small rotations of your hands.In addition to the improved Kinect, you can also now control the One with voice commands. Pretty nice addition in my view, which is illustrated in the video below courtesy of GameTrailers.

Probably the biggest surprise came when it was revealed that this console will be able to control your television as well. Not only that, Microsoft also plans to release exclusive television series that can only be accessed through the Xbox One. They've also partnered with Skype to allow video calls right from the One in full 1080p HD quality. It seems that Microsoft is not only going after gaming but targeting entertainment as a whole, with the aim of having the One as the center of your living room, not just a device for gaming. Yes, it's a bold move, but we'll have to wait and see how this pans out.
Call of Duty

Finally, let's mention some of the new games revealed at the event (supposedly the main reason for the Xbox in the first place). A trailer for Forza Motorsport 5 was shown at the event which claimed to be gameplay footage. After having watched the quite awesome trailer, I am still a bit skeptical as to whether this claim is true or not. Guess we'll wait for the full story on this one. Additionally, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Quantum Break trailers were shown, all of which were quite impressive. I must say though that the reveal was a bit light in the games department and one only hopes that this will be corrected at E3.
In conclusion I would say that Microsoft not only revealed their new console but also presented to us their new vision for becoming the one stop shop with regards to entertainment. Television, the internet and gaming all in one device. Is that the future of consoles? Microsoft certainly seems to think so.
For more, you can check it out at Amazon, here.

*Images courtesy Faseextra

About Frank Cern

I have been involved with technology for many years and I love to blog about the newest tech related issues.