Microsoft announced their next generation of gaming console last week. Most surprising part of the announcement was that Microsoft didn’t call the next Xbox the Xbox 720, but as the Xbox One. This new gaming console features many great capabilities for your home entertainment needs that is more than just gaming.
The Xbox One is a home entertainment device rather than just a gaming console. Yes, users will still get to play games with the new processing and graphics power of this machine that should make games more realistic than before. But what is different about this compared to previous consoles? Well apart from it being a gaming machine and a blu-ray player, the Xbox One connects with your television as a cable box via HDMI in, this way users do not have to switch inputs to watch TV. Most of all, transitioning between watching TV, playing games and running applications works seamlessly as shown during the Xbox One announcement, where there are no load times in between watching live TV and switching to gaming. The Xbox One is essentially trying to replace everything in your living room as the device to use for home entertainment.
The Kinect camera that comes with the Xbox One also adds to the home entertainment experience. It’s newly improved tracking sensors and voice recognition capabilities make it so you can simply talk to your Xbox One to switch between TV, TV channels, gaming and applications without having to move. Even powering on the Xbox One can be achieved through talking to it. The purpose of Kinect appears to help the users simplify their living room to make navigating much easier.
The drawback for the Xbox One is that backward compatibility is non-existent, so Xbox 360 gamers will not be able to play their games on the new Xbox One. Also, the rumour of having to pay an activation fee for pre-owned games for the Xbox One are also not true. People were quick to worry about privacy issues with the Kinect after the initial announcement, but Microsoft has calmed the waters by saying that it can be turned off completely.
The Xbox One seems to make a great home entertainment device as Microsoft continues to try and enter people’s living room. There seem to be little focus on games with this next generation gaming console and more to do with it’s great TV and application uses. Hopefully E3 will show us more.