The latest Xbox has been one of the most hotly anticipated gadgets in the gaming world for months and, now, it’s finally been unveiled.
It’s the third generation console from Microsoft, but it’s being called the Xbox One because of its multi-functionality.
Microsoft’s president of interactive entertainment, Don Mattrick, described the new Xbox One as not simply a games console but: “The ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system.”
The official unveiling, at Microsoft HQ in Redmond, Washington, came after four years of development work and many months of speculation.
Microsoft is aiming not just to compete with its biggest rivals, Sony and Nintendo, but to take on the broadcasting might of the likes of Sky and Virgin Media too.
Xbox ONE Specs
Users will be able to rent films through the Xbox One, a bit like the Netflix service, and play and record live television. There’s also a Trending feature so you can take a look at what your friends are watching.
In a bid to be all things to all men, stopping the trend for householders to perhaps be watching their television while they game or search the internet on their tablet, Microsoft’s new console allows multiple features to be run alongside one another in Snap Mode.
There’s also a powerful eight-core processor, 8GB of memory, a Blu-Ray drive and a revamped Kinect control system.
Microsoft bought Skype two years ago and has implemented the technology into the One’s operating system, so you can use your TV set to participate in calls, in high-definition.
In a bid not to alienate serious gamers with the Xbox One’s alternative features, Microsoft also revealed it had more titles currently in development that at any other point in the console’s 12-year history.
Fifteen games which are exclusive to the Xbox One are expected to be released within the next 12 months. At the launch event, Activision showed off footage from Call of Duty: Ghosts, the latest title in the successful military series.
For those who like to look back at past glories, the One will also allow users to record and keep action from their games. More information on games is expected to be announced at next month’s giant E3 show in Los Angeles.
Xbox ONE Criticism
Already, however, the Xbox One, the replacement for the Xbox 360, is mired in controversy. Even before the end of Microsoft’s presentation, Twitter had exploded and video parodies of Microsoft’s big reveal were posted on Facebook.
Consumers are unhappy about extra fees for second-hand games. After buying a game, the disc will be installed onto the One and registered to its new owner. But, if a second person is to install the game on their own console, they will face an activation fee to install it to their own account. Game players have responded on forums by branding the move “greedy”.
Xbox ONE Pricing
Larry Hyrb, director of programming at Xbox Live, said: “We have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail. Beyond that, we have not confirmed any specific scenarios. Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend’s house – should you choose to play your game at your friend’s house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile.”
Whether Microsoft has pushed gamers towards it rivals with the second-hand games furore or whether the Xbox One will appeal to a wider market looking to purchase it as an extensive home-entertainment system remains to be seen. Clearly, a lot of it will come down to price.
Although Microsoft has so far only mentioned a release date as “later this year,” a pre-order page from the retailer Zavvi shows a £399 price tag and a ship date of November 30.