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Everything you need to know about the Xbox One (so far)

The mad scientists at Microsoft have finished building their next-gen creation and finally unveiled it to the world today. It’s a multimedia powerhouse that is ready to go head-to-head with Sony’s PlayStation 4. The Internet is buzzing with a confusing mess of details, so we decided to gather together everything we know about the Xbox One and post it below.

We cover everything in this post, but you can get expanded coverage on everything from our Xbox One hub page here.

The basics

The Xbox One is Microsoft’s all-in-one living-room device. In fact, Microsoft confirmed it called the new system “Xbox One” because it is supposed to be the one device people will need for their entertainment. That means video games are just one small piece of its capabilities.

Basic info:

  • Price: Microsoft didn’t specify
  • Release: “Later this year”
  • No backward compatibility
  • Requires Kinect
  • Single-player games don’t require an always-online connection
  • Used games will work but may require a fee
  • Xbox Live is back
  • Gamertags will transfer
  • Friend-list limit raised to 1,000

Questions we still have:

  • What happens to Xbox Live Arcade purchases?
  • Do used games work?
  • Is there a fee for used games?
  • How much is that fee, and what does it get us?

We’re working to answer all of these questions, and we’ll post the answers here as we find them.

Technical capabilities

Microsoft’s Xbox uses an accelerated processing unit, or APU, from AMD that combines the CPU and GPU on a single chip for increased performance. This is nearly identical to what the PS4 is running.

Xbox technical specifications:

  • 64-bit architecture
  • 8GB of RAM
  • USB 3.0
  • 5 billion transistors
  • Blu-ray disc drive
  • 500 GB hard drive
  • HDMI Out/In
  • Ethernet and Wi-Fi

You can read our detailed breakdown of Xbox One’s capabilities in our story that goes under the hood here.

Xbox One Microsoft

The controller

Over the last seven years, the Xbox 360 controller slowly became an industry standard for console shooters. That standard will continue with some minor tweaks and improvements.

Here are list of features for the new controller:

  • Fundamentally the same as the Xbox 360 controller
  • Deep groves on thumb sticks
  • Impulse triggers
  • Wi-Fi radio
  • “Precision” direction pad
  • Integrated battery compartment

This is a natural evolution of the last controller. It’s not as packed with features as Nintendo or Sony’s gamepads (both of those have touch inputs), but it should please anyone who is used to Microsoft’s design.

Xbox One Kinect

The new Kinect

Along with the Xbox One, Microsoft is also introducing a next-generation Kinect motion sensor. The new console will require this new device to operate. That means this 3D camera and microphone is almost certainly included with every console.

The new Kinect’s features:

  • 1080p camera
  • Wide-view lens
  • Skype support
  • Can sense rotation of wrist and shoulder
  • Detects weight distribution
  • Capability to read heart-beat rate

Kinect is also a central part of Microsoft’s media experience. Xbox One owners can command the Xbox to switch from games to a movie instantly with their voice. Hand gestures will also enable people to pinch and zoom multiple apps that are all running simultaneously on the Xbox One.

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Xbox Live

Xbox Live will continue on Xbox One. Microsoft confirmed that your Xbox Live accounts will transfer to the new system. If you have Xbox Gold on Xbox 360, then you already have the service on Xbox One as well.

Likewise, player achievements and gamerscore will transfer to the new system.

The company also confirmed on Twitter that it is upping the friend limit from a measly 100 to 1,000.

The multimedia features

Microsoft spent much of its presentation focusing on how the Xbox One integrates with television and movies. The company obviously wants to own entertainment delivery in the living room.

With the Xbox One, TV viewers can use their voice to turn their systems on. From there, they can change the channel by saying “Watch SyFy,” and the Xbox One will tune to SyFy. It does this by connecting a cable or satellite box into the One through HDMI In.

These features also integrates with unique viewing experiences from the NFL and a new Halo television series exclusive to Xbox Live.

cod ghosts 1

The Games: Call of Duty: Ghosts

Microsoft didn’t reveal a ton of new games. This event definitely positioned the Xbox One as something more than a gaming console. Despite that, we did get a look at a few new games.

Here are the confirmed titles for Xbox One:

Microsoft and other publishers will show more games at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June. Except announcements from Ubisoft and more.


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