Microsoft has unveiled its next generation gaming console, the Xbox One. The console is large and sleek, and comes with a redesigned controller and Kinect unit. Xbox fans were expecting the console to be named the Xbox 720, however, it was not. Some users say that Microsoft named the console the Xbox One because it took 359 steps backward since its previous gen console is known as the Xbox 360.

( Meet the Xbox One, the new Kinect, and its controller )

Games and Backward Compatibility

The Xbox One is not backward compatible with Xbox 360 games, unfortunately. This is due to the console’s 64-bit x86 architecture. Some game developers might port their old Xbox 360 games to the Xbox One. Most old games might not be ported to the new console, however, newly planned Xbox 360 games just might. For example, Infinity Ward is developing Call of Duty Ghosts for the Xbox 360, however, the game will be ported to the Xbox One at a later date.

List of confirmed Xbox One games, according to IGN :

  • Assassin’s Creed 4
  • Battlefield 4
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • Destiny
  • Dying Light
  • FIFA Soccer 14
  • Forza Motorsport 5
  • Madden 25
  • NBA Live 14
  • Need for Speed Rivals
  • Quantum Break
  • Ryse
  • Thief
  • EA Sports UFC
  • Watch Dogs
  • Zumba Fitness World Party

Under the Hood – Xbox One Specifications

The Xbox One has a powerful eight-core processor, 8GB of RAM, graphics by AMD, Blu-ray, HDMI in/out, and a USB 3.0 port. In addition, the console will be available with a 500GB hard drive. Not to mention its ‘three operating systems in one’ – XBox, a multitasking interface, and a kernel version of Windows.

The New Controller

The new controller for the Xbox One has an integrated battery, a better D-pad, new thumbsticks, and improved response triggers. The controller is designed to work closely to the new Kinect, and it looks similar in design to the old controller, however, this one is definitely better.

( Photo of the new Xbox One controller )

The New Kinect

A new Kinect will come with every Xbox One purchase. It has improved accuracy, a 1080p camera, and an understanding of rotational movement. According to Microsoft, the new Kinect can read the person’s heartbeat, and recognize the gaming console’s controller. In addition, the user can use voice commands to perform actions on the console. For example, say “Xbox One” to turn on the console. By saying “Go to Internet Explorer”, IE should open up. By saying, “Go TV”, the console will switch to TV.

There are rumors that state the Xbox One is unable to function without the new Kinect, however, if that is true, it should not be a problem since it comes with the console at no additional cost. The Xbox One uses the new Kinect for almost everything, so that might just be true.

The Xbox One Always Listens To You, Even When It’s Off

It is cool that the Xbox One can turn itself on by simply saying, “Xbox One” thanks to the new Kinect that comes with the console, however, it’s also creepy. Who knows if Microsoft keeps records of what people say when they are next to the console. That’s why it is important to read the Xbox One’s privacy policy before ordering the console. On the upside, it is required to listen to you so that it can respond quickly and naturally to you, according to Microsoft.

XBox One And Used Games

After installing an Xbox One game on the console’s hard drive, that game is tied to the person’s account and will not require its disc again – meaning, a disc will not be required to reinstall the game. That’s all good and dandy, however, that implies that there is a digital signature that locks an installed Xbox One game to a specific user account.

There will most likely be a policy for used games, and there are rumors that are spreading around the Internet saying before a used game can be played, its full retail price must be paid. Now, what’s the point in buying a used game just to pay again to play it? To this date, playing used games on the Xbox One is unclear, however, most likely the owner of the used game can play it on a friend’s console if he/she signs into his/her Xbox account on that console.

Can The Xbox One Play Games Offline?

Yes, the Xbox One can play single player games offline, however, the console does require an Internet connect. In addition, the console is required to connect to the Internet once per day to use. There is no details of what might happen if the user fails to connect to the Internet once every 24 hours, however, most likely there will be an error saying, “please connect to the Internet to use”, or something like that.

Release Date and Price

Microsoft has not revealed the console’s exact release date, however, the company did mention that it will be available later this year. There is also no word about the console’s price tag.
Hopefully Microsoft reveals more details about this at E3 in June, 2013.