With the dust settling from Microsoft’s lackluster reveal of the Xbox One earlier this week, we now have a relatively clear picture about what the company has in place for their next generation console. With that said, there are still plenty of important questions that remain unanswered.
In this article we have separated all that we know about the Xbox One into four categories; The Good (or at least, The Not Horrible), The Bad, The Ugly, and The Unconfirmed.
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- 8 Core GPU, 8 GB system memory, x86 processor, Blu-ray drive, 500 GB hard drive, 802.11n Wireless with Wi-Fi Direct, HDMI in/out, USB 3.0
- Supports external hard drives
- Three operating systems; Xbox OS, the Windows 8 kernel, and another that links the two together
- Xbox One controller has been updated with “40 design innovations”, including but not limited to; new “impulse triggers” that incorporate additional ruble feedback, a newly designed ”precision” d-pad, new thumbsticks, ergonomic design, Wi-Fi Direct, and an integrated battery compartment.
- Comes with new improved Kinect sensor: 1080P HD RGB camera, 30 FPS color, Time of Flight Technology, improved Microphone Arrays
- New Kinect has an increased field-of-view, better body tracking, can monitor heart rate, new voice controls that learn and improve over time
- Kinect can recognize you, and log you in to your own home screen automatically
- Skype via Kinect, allows for group calls
- Supports SmartGlass mobile app
- Users can instantly switch different functions/apps, for example: switch from TV to playing games, Internet Explorer, watching movies, Skype, etc.
- “Snap” function lets users run two different apps at the same time, for example watching TV and using Skype
- Pass through HDMI feed from set-top-boxes or cable provides, Xbox One has TV guide (OneGuide) and live television features (Trending shows, voice control, etc.)
- Interactive sports deal with NFL
- Xbox Live based on current subscriptions, current subscription covers both Xbox 360 and Xbox One
- Multiple profiles on one Xbox One console can use a single Xbox Live Gold account
- Background updates
- Downloaded games can be installed in segments, and played while downloading
- Game saves, profiles, entertainment content (music, movies, TV shows, etc) saved in cloud
- Gamerscore and Achievements will carry over to Xbox One
- Achievements system is being improved, new achievements and objectives can be added to games over time
- In-game DVR capabilities, saves footage to the cloud, includes sharing tools
- Play against your “shadow” from past performances
- Smart Match: improved matchmaking service that will reduce waiting for multiplayer games
- Family controls will allow for games to be assigned to multiple accounts within the household, however, only one person can play the game at a time - [Update] Microsoft has reversed all of their used game DRM and online requirements for the Xbox One, which has resulted in this feature being axed
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- 500 GB hard drive is “non-user-serviceable” and not replaceable
- Xbox One is not compatible with the Xbox 360 controllers or other peripherals
- Xbox 360 Avatars will not be transferred to Xbox One
- Xbox One will not function with Kinect unplugged
- The chassis can only be laid in horizontal position
- TV features will only be available in the U.S. at launch
- Xbox Live features still locked behind Gold paywall
- No included headset (can be purchased separately), Kinect used for voice over IP
- Only connects to TVs via HDMI
- [Update] The Xbox One has been confirmed to be region locked.
- As presented by Microsoft up to this point, Xbox One does not appear to have video games as its main focus – TV, movies, and sports have clearly taken center stage
- No backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 retail games and XBLA games
- All software (games) must be installed to the hard drive, will not run off the disc
- Games discs are tied to your specific profile – a friend playing off an install from you disc can only do so if you are logged in on his console
- Xbox One does not require a constant internet connection, however, it will not function unless it is connected to the internet on some unconfirmed periodic schedule (possibly daily)
- Periodic connection to internet required for updates and software license checks
- Kinect can never be fully “turned-off”, at its minimum setting it is “listening” for voice commands – [Update] Microsoft has stated that Kinect can be completely powered down when the console is turned completely off.
- Indie developers can not self-publish Xbox One games, they must sign a publishing deal
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- Exact release date – [Update] Sometime during November 2013
- Price – [Update] The Xbox One will launch at $499 US, €499 in Europe, and £429 in the UK
- Number of SKUs
- Exactly how long the Xbox One can function when not connected to the internet — [Update] The console has to connect to Microsoft’s servers once every 24 hours.
- Microsoft has not officially and fully detailed exactly how used, or borrowed games will work on Xbox One (early reports indicate there could be a fee that runs as high as the full price of the game) — [Update] No lending, and reselling only at “participating retailers”, and only with publisher approval.
- Microsoft has not addressed how Xbox One will handle rented games, or even if renting will be allowed — [Update] No renting games.
- The required internet connection combined with the required Kinect (camera and microphone) raises privacy issues that Microsoft has, so far, not specifically addressed, other than to say that “strong privacy protections” will be in place — [Update] There will be privacy settings, Kinect must be plugged in.
- [Update] Microsoft holds a patent that describes a DRM system where Kinect watches users to determine if there are too many people viewing a piece of licensed media. It is not confirmed that Microsoft will use the patent in the Xbox One.
Hopefully, Microsoft will fully detail all the remaining questions we have about the Xbox One at E3 next month. If any new information about the console comes to light before their E3 press conference, we will update it into this post.
[Update] Microsoft has reversed all of their used game DRM and online requirements for the Xbox One.Previous