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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Xbox One-Next Generation Gaming Console

Gamers all around the world finally got a taste of what next-generation gaming would be like. In the Xbox reveal event this Tuesday, Microsoft showcased the successor to massively popular Xbox 360-the Xbox One. With Xbox One, Microsoft approach is clearly towards offering a complete home entertainment system. So how well has Microsoft done?


Let's start with the basics-the name of the console to be precise. The console was developed under the codename Durango with several rumors suggesting that the console would finally be named as 'Xbox 720'. There were rumors that claimed 'Fusion' as a possible name too. However, Microsoft named the console as Xbox One in accordance to its approach of all-in-one Home entertainment device.

Technical Specifications: So lets get down to the real business now. Xbox One is a powerhouse-better and faster than Xbox 360 in all sectors. Xbox One comes with 500GB of storage on-board. It has 8GB of RAM, 8-core AMD chip and also has a native 64-bit architecture. Add a Blu-ray drive, bluetooth 3.0, HDMI in and out ports (including pass through capabilities so that you can pair your existing home theatre setup), two USB 3.0 ports, an ethernet port for internet connectivity, 802.11n Wi-Fi. Nothing missing at all in terms of connectivity options.

Kinect get some major upgrades: As expected, Microsoft has introduced Kinect 2.0 sensor along with Xbox One. The Kinect sensor can now capture 1080p videos, detect many more points on the body for accurate recognition of body movements, measure your heartbeats while you are exercising or working out with one of those fitness gaming titles and is also capable of recognizing gestures and voice inputs much better. All these improvements and additions would surely help Kinect work in a much more natural way and would significantly improve gaming and overall user-experience.

Voice inputs and gestures, Snap Mode: Kinect sensor enables Xbox One to provide a brilliant user-experience. Xbox One can be easily controlled with a set of easy-to-learn gestures and a combination of voice commands. For example, command "Go home" takes you back to the home-screen which is optimized to display everthing you like-right from your favorite games, music, T.V shows, etc. A simple voice command will log you into your user-account and from there, its just the beginning of the possibilities.
 

Here's where all-in-one really becomes realistic: No need to plug and unplug the console to switch between live T.V and games. Just say "watch T.V" or "Show Guide" or something similar and you would seamless switch between these activities without any plugging or unplugging of any sort. There's Skype Video Chat available too.


An interesting feature is Snap Mode. Its allows you to do two tasks simultaneously on the same screen by sharing a bit of screen space between the two. A good example would be attending a Skype call while watching live T.V or playing your game without having to pause or stop your ongoing task. You might also use built-in Internet Explorer to browse the web while watching that awesome Sci-Fi flick. Also, you can use your Windows smartphone as a remote controller to move around menus and things; awesome isn't it?
Microsoft and EA partnership: At the launch event we got a glimpse of what the alliance between these two giants would bring for the users. EA would add some Xbox One exclusive features to its titles which means playing FIFA 14 or some other EA title would be a very different experience on Xbox One and other platforms. Also, be ready to experience improved Artificial intelligence, more real-to-life gaming and improved gameplay.

Pricing and release date: Both of these is still officially unknown. Only thing 0stated about the release date was "as early as end of this year". Microsoft was totally numb on pricing. However, numerous sources state that Xbox One would be priced at £399 or somewhere around that and would ship just in time for the Christmas.

What are your views about Xbox One? Which feature did you like the most? Is there anything missing? Will you be buying a Xbox One? Comment and let us know.

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