Microsoft’s next-generation console is finally here, the Xbox One.
The Xbox One is all black and features a two-tone finish with both matte and gloss in equal measure; a slot-loading Blu-ray optical drive sits out front on the left face, while a power button with the traditional incomplete circle symbol is emblazoned on the right side (which looks to be touch-based). A new Kinect was also unveiled, and it powers the console — “Xbox On” is being trumpeted as the most important feature.
“Team Xbox is on a new mission,” Don Mattrick, president of the interactive entertainment business, said.”And that mission is focused on making this an entertainment console.”
He said the goal is to build a system that lines up games, television and software and that the most important part is that it must be “simple, instant and complete.”
“It is time for technology to step behind the curtain and you and your entertainment to take the stage,” Mattrick said.
Yusuf Medhi, senior vice president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, unveiled how voice input can be used to control Xbox One. It will also respond to gesture controls.
“Xbox On” turns on the hardware to power up an instant-on system with a new Home dashboard that is near-identical to Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.
There’s instant switching from the Xbox One dashboard to live television (which seems to confirm that HDMI-in rumor). People using Skype on Xbox One will be able to do group chats now.
Mark Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox LIVE, said the console can detect your heartbeat when you are exercising, using the Kinect sensor.
The Xbox One’s controller was created with game players, Whitten said. It will have improved ergonomics and a new d-pad. ”This is your controller,” he said. The triggers now have a built-in rumble system, which Microsoft’s calling “Impulse Triggers,” and there’s now also a redesigned D-pad. The battery compartment, meanwhile, is much smaller than the previous version.
Whitten said the Xbox One will use more power than the entire world did in 1999.
EA said that it is developing four games for Xbox One: FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Live, and UFC, which will release within the next 12 months.
EA Sports Ignite has been unveiled: “to blur the line between real and virtual.” It will utilize the Xbox One’s exclusive updates for enhanced game play.
“Sports are as much about your head as your feet or your hands,” Microsoft said.
Forza Motorsport 5 announced for Xbox One and will be available at launch. Microsoft Studios plans to launch 15 new games in the first year of Xbox One, including 8 brand new franchises.