Early Look: Xbox One (video)

Xbox One

Although the new Xbox One is a little more pricey than expected ($499), there’s more than meets the eye, providing some serious next-generation innovations that no one else is doing right now.  From the Kinect camera to the live TV integration, Microsoft’s new system offers a lot of “firsts” for gaming.

Design wise, the chassis isn’t anything spectacular.  The polished front of the console contains only a slot-loading disc drive, which Blu-ray discs now, and on the rear houses eight different connectivity ports. The most exciting of those eight connections is the HDMI In. This is where Microsoft makes the Xbox One truly an all-in-one device. When combined with the HDMI Out, this input port allows for pass-through technology that can take over a cable box signal. And we’re talking real live TV here. Gone are the days of having to constantly switch inputs to flip between video games and TV. Now, with the Xbox One’s triple-layered operating system, flipping back and forth is very simple.

Xbox One 3

This instant switching functionality, which is a camera sensor that gamers are going to enjoy using, is built into the new Kinect.  The Xbox One also comes with this 1080p Kinect, right out of the box.  With everyone now owning a connect, considering it’s now included, more developers are going to take advantage of its next-generation functionality and make their games compatible with the sensor.  Kinect can process a massive 2GB of data per second and track up to six skeletons at once. Microsoft’s Time-of-Flight technology also measures the time it takes photons to rebound off of a person or object.

Xbox One 2

The new controller is not bad either.  With over 40 new innovations, its refined dual analog sticks are the most important. Not only are these two joysticks sleeker and smaller than the ones on the Xbox 360 controller, both contain a grippy micro-texture.  MS has also added add impulse triggers to the Xbox One controller’s left and right analog shoulder buttons. Not all Xbox One game demos have implemented this new technology, but the system’s tech demos prove that it’s a worthy refinement.  The controller is even more comfortable now, and with new contoured handles that fit a wider variety of hand sizes.

Microsoft is touting the size and scalability of its next-generation games as proof that cloud and internet connected gaming isn’t just a requirement, it’s a necessary evolution. Offloading the system’s processing power to Microsoft’s server gives developers the ability to create better, more complex games.  The “One” also has a lot of horsepower to make its games and entertainment experiences really spectacular.

More Xbox One reviews to come when production models hit stores in November for $499…

Check out the video…

Posted in: Gaming
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