Meet the Xbox One
The Microsoft Press Conference ended in a whirlwind – and they have revealed the name of the device – the Xbox One. Not the XBox 720, Durango, Fusion or indeed Infinity as had been rumored for so very long. It was about 60 minutes all told – and during those 60 minutes, Microsoft shared its vision for the future, and for gaming your living room. The question is – does their vision match ours.
Let’s get one thing over out of the way from the start – the conference had a lot of high points, and certainly answered a lot of questions – but at the same time, left us with many a whole bunch of new quandaries.
XBox One Hardware Revealed
The specs of the Xbox One were said to be an X64 based architecture, 8GB of RAM, 500GB hard Drive, 50GB Blu ray and 3 operating systems. THose who’re eagled eyed among you will notice there isn’t any specifics when it comes to either GPU, CPU or RAM. Saying that it is X64 doesn’t narrow it down any – a CPU from 2007 can be X64. A single core CPU that runs at the speed of a pocket calculator could be X64. I jest of course, but they didn’t give the same specifics as Sony – and this was carried over to the RAM and the GPU. Indeed – I got the feeling that they were rushing through the tech specs. The type of RAM wasn’t mentioned – which is a far different story from the approach Sony took. Honestly, Sony use the phrases “GDDR5” and “176GB/s unified bandwidth” if you asked them what they were to have eaten for breakfast. With MS, this wasn’t the case. Is this an indication that the memory is indeed DDR3 and relies on the 32MB ESRAM?
Similarly, the GPU wasn’t mentioned. I heard them mention several times throughout about the power of the XBox One, and the Magic inside – but I wanted to know what that magic was. I wanted to know the wizard behind the curtain. What GFLOPS of processing power does the GPU have? 1.2TFLOPS compared to the 1.84TFLOPS of the PS4? Or, are MS not telling us because in reality their console is faster than the Sony machine, but want to wait until the right time for us to find out?
They also went over the details of the Operating System (skimmed over would be a fairer statement). I realize they had a lot to go through, but I’m sure lengthening the event by 10 minutes to slow down the tech would’ve been okay with everyone. As far as we understand with the operating systems – the first operating system allows low access to the consoles low level functions. The second is a windows kernel – allowing easier programming. The last is the ‘control’ OS, allowing you to move through menus and so on of the XBox One.
There was a small problem with the event though – Microsoft didn’t address the big issue hounding the system. There was no mention about the used games debate, or the always online. I wish Microsoft had cleared up that rumor and told us one way or the other. Perhaps it’s possible they’re trying to make a decision on just how “strict” they are.
Lastly, the Kinect 2,0 functionality for the Xbox One.
Well, the Camera is a 1080P and and is supposedly able to do so much more than last time. Including able to read wrist and shoulder movements, the force you’re using with movements and more. Indeed, Kinct 2 can even read your heart beat – which could have great implications for survival horror, action games or indeed exercise titles.
I am still not sure about the kinect functionality. All of that sweeping and moving windows looks nice – but honestly, I’m not sure if it’s something that I would want to use much more than a gimmick. I was never that interested in the original kinect, and although this sequel has no latency, much better capture ability it doesn’t sway me that heavily.
Overall – the XBox One is an interesting console. I have a feeling much of the system will be making use of the cloud based functionality.