Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One on Tuesday, and with it comes the next generation of content for its Kinect motion control technology.

From a hardware standpoint, while everything is more powerful, little is radically different from the Xbox 360. Similar to Sony's PlayStation 4, the Xbox One has a custom-built 8-core CPU, with 8 gigabytes of RAM, a 500 gigabyte hard drive, USB 3.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and a Blu-ray drive.
The controller has received some cosmetic changes to its exterior, adding a more precise joystick. The once removable battery is now fully integrated, but at its core, it offers the same game-playing experience it always has.

The console itself is more angular and practical looking than either of its two predecessors. Flat and rectangular like a cable box, you could almost call the design reserved. But it is by no means unattractive, and will probably sit tucked away in a cabinet anyways.
Using the Kinect to interpret voice commands, Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi was able to turn the Xbox on from its off state, and switched from gaming to apps to TV watching almost effortlessly.
Mehdi then demoed a new feature borrowed from Windows 8: Snap Mode. With Snapmode, users can dedicate part of their screen to a widget delivering supplementary information. One such example was bringing up player stats in the snap widget while a basketball game played out in the main screen.
And of course, Kinect is able to function as a 1080p Skype cam, turning your living room, into a Jetsons-like communication room. (Microsoft owns Skype).
In general, much of the interaction with the Kinect camera revolved around controlling the Xbox UI, and none of the games on display made any real mention of integrating Kinect controls. With the more powerful hardware on display, it will be curious if more developers embrace the Kinect for serious gameplay.
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