Microsoft’s Xbox One Initial Presentation – Technology That Will Step Behind the Curtain and Let You Take Center Stage

Microsoft's Xbox One Initial Presentation

“The beginning of truly intelligent TV”…

“A huge day for all entertainment”…

These are some of the memorable quotes from today’s Microsoft Xbox announcement presentation, which included two female media executives sharing the stage, military dogs in the next Call of Duty game, Steven Spielberg, exclusive sport partnerships, and, mostly importantly, the “All in One” Xbox One system – technology that will step behind the curtain and let you take center stage.

I felt this presentation was about smart media integration and expanding consumer offerings more than actual information beyond improved computer power/processing. The big hardware setup innovation was having HDMI cables from the TV to the Xbox One (releasing “later this year”) and the cable box to the Xbox One, which will eliminate the manual switching and hardware headaches. Other hardware specs included USB 3.0, 8-core processors, WiFi Direct and 8 gigabytes of RAM.

Microsoft's Xbox One Initial Presentation

The presentation began on the Xbox One home screen including trending, games TV/movies, music. Users could access all areas and “switch like a TV flip” on the system. All presenters were able to change inputs to watch live TV and instantly switch among different areas using voice commands beginning with “watch”, and “show”. Universal gestures like grab & pan and swipe up were also used. Multi-taskers were treated with the Snap mode (multiple windows), Skype group video call options, and interactive TV options for award shows, political debates and more.

ESPN and the NFL presented exclusive content features including fantasy team integration. Users can customize favorites to create their own personal channel, while the Xbox One Guide helps users find what to watch and keep up with it. The trending area includes live TV and video-on-demand.

Microsoft's Xbox One Initial Presentation

Microsoft’s Xbox One Kinect Skeletal

The Xbox One system includes a console with a revamped Kinect, redesigned controller and Google Smart Glass plus the XBox LIVE service (reinvented by cloud), which will eventually expand to (gulp) over 300,000 servers. The console will have a Blu-ray drive and Xbox One Architecture to power to Xbox One system for “lag free instant and complete experience” where developers can create “bigger matches with more players.” “Your experience. Your way”, and creating a “personal story of how you play” were other common themes.

Microsoft's Xbox One Initial Presentation

Microsoft’s Xbox One Madden

Electronic Arts announced Xbox One exclusive game releases for FIFA, Madden, NBA Live, and UFC using the new EA Sports Ignite game engine while Microsoft Studios promised more new games than ever before with games like Forza Motorsport LIVE at launch. Other games included a mystery/sci-fi game called Quantum Break. MS Studios also promised more than 15 exclusive games in the first year with eight new franchises.

Nancy Tellem, head Xbox Entertainment Studios, presented new opportunities to “jump into action whenever you desire”and consider the role of creator, viewer, community and industry. Then she introduced 343 Industries’ Bonnie Ross, who announced a live action Halo television series collaboration with Steven Spielberg where “technology and mythmaking meet”.

The presentation ended with the world premiere preview of Call of Duty: Ghosts, featuring military dogs and story from Oscar® winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan plus dynamic maps and expanded customization. Microsoft promised another “chapter” in this story at next month’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo).

How do you think Microsoft will top this presentation?

Categories: Gaming, News

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4 replies

  1. I am a bit confused in my feelings. On the one hand I think I want one … on the other hand every reason has NOTHING to do with gaming!

    To me this feels like a very minor evolution in terms of gaming – Kinect has been reasonably successful, but basing so much on it is an interesting gambit. And again – not about gaming. You get a somewhat upgraded set of specs more or less on par with the PS4. Which will produce the next generation of me-too sequels with the same gameplay. Few, if any, risks will be taken – that is the direction we’ve been headed.

    I am also concerned about the used game market – it is no secret EA and other publishers have been actively trying to kill it, and here Microsoft seems to be complicit in helping to make it happen. There might be a way to play used games, but early reports say it will involve a fee similar to EA’s ‘project $10’.

    In terms of media integration … yes please! I can definitely see that being useful. Right now we have a ‘universal’ remote … and also one for the Roku, and to do everything on the DVD we need to use that remote.. The XBOX is elsewhere in the house.

    Oh yeah, and the price is … ? That question remains open.

    • PS4 has better specs. E3 is going to be vveerrryyy interesting this year. It will be interesting to see how Nintendo counters all this hoopla too. Great article on the used game market today. :-)

      • What I read was that most stuff was near identical – XBOX One has on-chip RAM for GPU, PS4 has faster system RAM.

        From ExtremeTech “while there are small hardware differences between the consoles, they will ultimately have very similar performance characteristics. The PS4, with its one, big block of fast RAM, and bigger GPU, probably has the edge.”

        Nintendo? I wonder if they are going to introduce a console this generation … oh, wait … oops … :)

        • 😀 Nintendo countered well with several great game releases plus enough third-party interest. We’ll see if they can keep it up. Xbox One and/or PlayStation 4 owners will enjoy being at the forefront this holiday. I plan on getting a PS4 for sure.