Today Microsoft released the long anticipated information related to the Xbox 720. It started off with the announcement that the new generation would be revolutionary. Until now, everyone referred to the next generation of Xbox console and their 8th generation games console, but it’s proper market name was released to us today, with the name Xbox One. The name is good, modern and it’s not surprising they have gone for a simple name like One.
The console looked like a giant Kinect bar at first, but after closer observation, I noticed that what I was looking at was actually the new Kinect bar and the console together.
Now for the more interesting bit, the specifications. The One runs on an 8 core CPU (by AMD, so it is x86-64), has 8GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive and features a Blu-Ray disk drive as well as USB 3.0. In terms of whether or not it is a PC or not is now getting difficult to distinguish. One thing that it now adds is an HDMI in connection which can be used to connect a set top box or cable box as a passthrough to the TV. This allows you to say to the Xbox One that you want to watch television and it will display the input from the HDMI in connection.
Xbox Live is compatible with old gamer tags, but the console itself (probably due to the fact that it is an x86-64 architecture) cannot play any Xbox 360 games or original Xbox games. The console runs on three operating systems including an Xbox kernel and a Windows kernel. Whether or not this is nice or not I’ve yet to decide (I’m not too fond of the whole Windows 8 interface). It also has a third operating system which is designed to link both of the operating systems together.
The controller is very similar to the Xbox 360 controller but now have a nicer design and by the looks of things, better analogue sticks.
The console also has backing from our good friends at EA (who made the absolutely gobsmackingly bad Command and Conquer 4 and destroyed a great series of games and who won the award of Worst Company in America) with new sports games and much more coming to it.
Overall, I was impressed with the design of the console, the specification (it is good that along with Sony they have gone for the x86 architecture like the PC, finally) and I liked the general presentation. However, I overall dislike the Xbox One for some very important reasons. Firstly, the console is another console which is bringing the end to console gaming. It focuses so much on Kinect now which makes it harder to see how the gaming market can ever go back to the classic ways of the Nintendo 64 or PS2. Interaction with the user is the core of the experience, not just immersion in the classics like Halo or Bond games. I also dislike the whole concept of using your voice all the time, or using Smart Glass which to me is a pointless idea.
I will not be buying an Xbox One, because I was not much of Xbox 360 fan; most of games sat on a shelf (bar Halo games) and cannot justify spending that much money. I’m more of a fan of my PC and Wii U because I like Nintendo games (I’ve always been a Nintendo gamer). I also feel that the gap between the PC and the games console has just about been bridged; as both the Xbox One and PS4 consoles are just PCs that simply cannot be upgraded. And finally, I have all these consoles I have accumulated over the years and I do not want any more.
If you ask me, just go and buy a good PC, it will last longer, can be upgraded and will cost less in the long run when you come to replace parts (and will not have issues such as the RRoD).