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So today was finally the day. After months of speculation, rumor mongering, leaks, counter-leaks, and dozens of phony console mock-ups, we finally got to see what Microsoft has been working on this whole time.
- No Durango. No 720. No Infinity. Microsoft's newest console will be the elegantly simple: Xbox One. While not chronologically cohesive, it does get a mark in terms of brevity.
Today was also the first day that we got to peek under the hood and take a good look at the hardware the Xbox One will be bringing to homes this holiday season.The Xbox One includes:
- An 8-core CPU 8GB of System Memory
- A Blu-ray drive
- 500GB HD
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- HDMI In/Out ports
These features were mentioned almost in passing as Microsoft really wanted to show off its new interface and media integration components.
- Snap Mode-a multitasking feature that will allow users to seamlessly jump from app to app with a simple voice command. "Xbox, what's on HBO" or "Xbox, call Dave" for example. Skype was mentioned more than once as an app that will be integrated into the dashboard.
- Live TV- Television was the big, some would say primary, focus of today's event. The Xbox One will allow you to hook your cable connection directly up to the console, and jump between the live TV and in-system apps with voice commands or with the controller.
- Kinect- A newly redesigned controller and Kinect both arrived as expected. The new Kinect features a 1080P HD RGB camera, which can easily be used for Skype calls, 30 FPS color, and an increased field of view. It will be bundled with all new Xbox One devices.
- SmartGlass -Your tablet and mobile devices will be a big part of the new platform. Your tablet or phone will behave as if it's part of Xbox One, according to Microsoft.
- Xbox Trending- By activating this feature with a voice command, "Xbox, what's trending?" You'll be redirected to whatever television is currently popular on Xbox Live.
While we knew that today's event was going to focus mainly on hardware and product launching, saving game releases and hands on demos for E3, some games were confirmed for launch with Xbox One. Microsoft has also promised the reveal of 15 new exclusives and 8 new IPs to be debuted at E3. All of the EA titles are going to be powered by the Ignite Engine.
- Forza 5
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Quantum Break
- Battlefield 4
- FIFA 14
- Madden NFL 25
- EA Sports UFC
- NBA Live 14
And finally, the divisive stuff. The stuff we've been stewing about for better part of the last year.
- Microsoft has confirmed that its new console will require an Internet connection and that all games will need to be installed to the system. So what does this mean for pre-owned games?
- All game discs are installed to the HDD to play. Games will be tied to an Xbox Live account and if you want to link a game to a second account, you'll have to pay Microsoft a fee.
- The Xbox One will NOT be backwards compatible with 360 games.
- You will not be required to have an 'always on' Internet connection for single player games, but in order to access the cloud or engage in multiplayer an online connection will be required.
There's lots more coming for tomorrow. Let us know what you think of the preliminary findings and check back in when we've got full analysis later. What are you feeling most? What are you hating on the most? Get at us and let us know.