The release of the much anticipated Xbox One and the new Xbox games coming out has dedicated gamers anticipating a revolutionary kind of gaming console that melds the most popular forms of entertainment into one sleek unit. Currently the costliest Microsoft console ever, developers are gambling that its all-inclusive entertainment features will convince consumers that the Xbox One is truly all they need for all their electronic entertainment needs. Offering live TV, movies, internet services such as Skype, and, of course, innovative and exciting games, the Xbox One is truly the ultimate entertainment center.
This gaming system has an HDMI-in as well as an HDMI-out port so that set-top boxes can integrate with the Xbox One to enhance your television watching. To turn it on, just talk to it and it will take you to your personalized start screen where you’ll have instant access to all your music, games, and movies.
Kinect Has Improved Features
Kinect’s voice recognition features are used to control your entertainment; Xbox users who are familiar with Kinect will be pleased with the improvements and responsiveness. You’ll notice that it responds immediately to gestures as well as your voice commands. In fact, not only can you tell it to switch to the TV but designate which channel you want to watch as well. It has a sleep mode to save power if you leave it for any length of time rather than switching off like the Xbox 360 pad. As soon as you pick it up, it powers up again.
The video provided by the Xbox One is seamless at 60fps, unlike past versions that tended to lag or jerk. The camera has also improved, providing a larger field that is more forgiving if you’re not exactly where it wants you to be. The camera now works in the dark thanks to new infrared capability.
You’ll Like The New Sharing Policy
In response to consumer feedback, Microsoft has finally scrapped the mandatory online check-in and some restrictions as to the games you can play on it. With the new console, you just have to make a single one-time connection when you set it up, then you can play any game without going online ever again if you don’t wish to. The company has also changed their sharing policy. With previous versions of Xbox, you could only lend someone a game if they were on your friend list for over 30 days and only for one time. Now you can share your games, lend them out, and resell them with the exception of downloaded titles. There are no longer any regional restrictions.
Powerhouse CPU And Blu-ray
You’ll find that the Xbox One is more powerful than its predecessors. It has an x64 8-core AMD Jaguar CPU with USB 3.0 ports and a 500 GB hard drive with 8GB DDR3 RAM. You can swap data among your devices using 802.11n Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct functionality and it comes with a Blu-ray drive. The addition of the Blu-ray is Microsoft’s first venture into the disc format that has proven so popular with other gaming systems.
Reputation System And Social Interaction
One of the most innovative features of the new console is the reputation system. Microsoft, in an effort to improve the gaming experience for its users, has developed software that reads your social interaction style while gaming and shifts you into the community you are best suited to. In other words, if you are a bully you will be playing with people with similar behavior. You can still create a private place to game with friends but you can also play with those who have similar communication styles. Your friends list is not touched; the new system is intended to make it easier to meet people with attitudes similar to your own. Safeguards prevent your reputation being trashed; the system works strictly on your own behavior and not from feedback. The friends list is now unlimited, unlike Xbox 360m, and Microsoft points will be replaced with real money.
3 Dozen Upgrades To New Controller
Xbox One’s controller bears a resemblance to previous versions but it’s been improved by more than 3 dozen upgrades and design changes. This unit delivers more control and precision and the new vibrating triggers give very precise feedback, allowing you greater immersion into the game. The wireless controller is specifically designed to work with Kinect and provide smooth player syncing. It feels very natural in your hand; its seamless lines are comfortable and the battery case no longer protrudes.
Record And Broadcast Your Gameplay
The Smart Glass feature allows you to start a single player game and look at the leader boards from your tablet if you want to. Microsoft has also partnered with streaming games company, Twitch so that players can record their gameplay and broadcast it complete with voiceover. In addition to being able to upload your gameplay to Twitch, you can also stream content from Twitch on Xbox One.
There will be 15 Kinect games released in the coming year including Call of Duty: Ghosts, Forza Motorsport 5, Halo 5, Quantum Break, and Ryse. Kinect Sports Rivals, for example, is bound to be a very popular full body game; the Day One edition includes exclusive sporting equipment. You can use your own likeness to become a world champion in the sport of your choice. If you’re into the new zombie culture, you’ll enjoy Dead Rising 3 with its customizable characters and intense, realistic action. Set a decade after Dead Rising 2, it’s your job to escape a zombie-infested city before the military turns it to dust. These and other games scheduled for later release will surely make Xbox One a contender for the most popular entertainment system on the market.
Microsoft has also increased its number of servers from 15,000 to 300,000 in order to ensure that everyone, no matter where they are, has instant access to all of the features offered by Xbox One.
Release Date And Price
Xbox One is currently scheduled to be released in November of 2013. Microsoft is accepting pre-orders of the Day One Edition that includes a commemorative controller, Xbox One chat headset, and special-edition packaging, available in limited quantities. The pre-order price is $499.99. The new Xbox games coming out and all the new, innovative features will surely make Xbox One and the titles on the Kinect games list a priority for gamers everywhere.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the new digital glasses that Google is set to introduce next year. The name of the product is fittingly called, “Glass” and it even has its own website for you to see what its all about. I knew that with the speed in which technological innovation took place, that you wouldn’t have to wait too long until the standard sci fi fare “space goggles” were part of our digital world. Well, it hasn’t gotten to that point yet but I’m sure that with how fast cool breakthrough tech products proliferate though society, it won’t take too long – remember the introduction of the iPhone?
These glasses have actually been around for about a year but it’s been mostly made available to software developers for testing. They even launched a campaign where they asked people to share on Twitter and Google+ their ideas of how they would use the glasses. Those people will then have the opportunity for Google to pick them to, get this, pre-order the developer version of the Glasses for $1,500 – nice.
There are a number of features on the glasses which stand out. First is voice control function where you can prompt commands to display images, snap a picture or record a video. You and even bring up the 3D navigation function, which shows up on one of the lenses.
The look of the Google Glass isn’t exactly inconspicuous. It still has to contain a processor, camera, touchpad and display box. I happen to live in Silicon Valley and the other day, I was at a Thai restaurant within a quick drive from Google’s Mountain View campus and I saw a woman wearing a pair of these glasses while eating her lunch. I was like, “Come on, seriously? You’re really going to wear this contraption while eating lunch with a friend? Enjoy your lunch!” Perhaps she just wanted to be “cool” and the first to show off the much talked about Google glasses. That’s what you get for living in Silicon Valley.
Well, not quite yet. You’ll have to wait a little while longer. It’s still early enough in the year to write something about the exciting new digital products coming out for 2013. I’ll probably go more in depth later but I know one thing for sure – new gaming consoles are more than rumored to come out from Sony and Microsoft this year and perhaps 2014! For those of you who like the old school consoles, the release of these products will be much anticipated. During a time when social gaming has taken everything by storm, it’s nice to see console gaming come out with two potential game changers.
Let’s start with the Microsoft Xbox 720, as it is rumored to be called. Actually, it’s been reported that Microsoft has been out on a URL buying spree so it’s really anyone’s guess what name they will settle on when this thing goes to launch. Now to the things we all want to know.
It looks like this console will be based on Microsoft’s Kinect platform and it will be the next generation version with talk of 3D wall projections to truly enhance your gaming experience. Talk about how gaming has evolved! Compare that to the NCAA Football 2003 game that I used to play with my controller. Imagine playing QB for the Florida Gators and facing a fierce Bama d-line in 3D on your living room wall ready to come at you at full speed at the snap of the ball – Yo, bring it on! Now you wonder why gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry with no end in sight.
The graphics chip of the new Xbox 720 is also rumored to be using a improved version of AMD’s 7000 series graphics architecture. This would put the new Xbox on the same playing field as the new PS4 if true. I’m one of those people who always looks at processing power in gaming consoles as a way to look into the possibilities with the new games coming out and what they are able to do to “one up” the competition.
People who have been following the new Xbox rumors probably remember last summer when it was leaked that Microsoft’s new unit will come with 1080p and full 3D support. It was also reported that a Blu-ray player and DVR functionality will be added, which would be pretty nice. I remember that being a swaying factor in what to buy during the last generation of Xbox and PS units, and when the PS3 came with the Blu-Ray player, it made the decision a little easier for some people.
When and how much is what everyone wants to know. How about this – Christmas time and who cares. Just go buy it! With all that functionality, expect it to be over $300. Of course that all depends on when the PS4 launches. As we all know, competition brings better pricing.