Perhaps taking a chapter from Sony’s playbook on its PlayStation 4 launch, Microsoft unveiled just enough details about XBOX ONE today to keep everyone enticed till next month’s E3 trade show. Unlike Sony however, who will be keeping PS4 hidden from view till later this year, Microsoft provided several actual consoles for everyone to drool over during the XBOX ONE presentation on its Redmond, Washington headquarters/campus.
In terms of design, the XBOX ONE is more a throwback to the original Xbox. Square, boxy, and meant to take a prominent space next to your television, you now have to set the console horizontally in order for it to work. So no more space-saving vertical orientation. Another shocking revelation from today’s presentation is the fact that XBOX ONE will not be backward compatible, to the dismay of many hardcore gamers out there. But these are just minor trade-offs when you consider the console’s state-of-the-arts 8-core CPU and GPU created by AMD, along with 8GB RAM, 500GB Hard Drive, a Blu-ray drive, USB 3.0 ports, and 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity. In addition to the console itself, each comes with new game controllers with improved ergonomic design and vibrating triggers for feedback. But the most notable change within XBOX ONE pack is the new Kinect unit. Now with a 1080p wide-angle sensor, you can command every function on the XBOX ONE through gestures or voice thanks to the improved Kinect.
As an effort to replace your tablet device, PC, DVR, and cable set-top box, Microsoft designed the XBOX ONE to do an assortment of things. You can host an HD video conference call through Skype, surf the Internet with voice/gesture control, or “interact” with television programs such as playing fantasy football while watching an actual NFL game. And if the Internet connectivity is down, you can still play your offline or watch original programing like Halo: The Television Series by Stephen Spielberg.
With limitless options, little wonder why analysts called the XBOX ONE an entertainment console.