Microsoft’s Xbox One will launch just after midnight tonight, just days after Sony launched their latest gaming system, the PlayStation 4. One big difference between these two competitors is that the Xbox One is not only a gaming console; it’s an innovative and futuristic complete entertainment system that’s poised to hijack your living room.
Not only has Microsoft’s Xbox One seen some early success with pre-orders, but consumers have already been lining up at some retailers as early as Wednesday. With this success so early on, Microsoft should easily match Sony’s launch, which saw over a million PlayStation 4’s being sold in their first 24 hours after the PS4 launch last week.
The Xbox One and the PS4 have very comparable specifications, as the Xbox One will ship with a faster CPU while the PS4 contains a faster graphics processing core and faster ram. The latest Xbox will sport a lightning fast 8-core CPU, coupled with 8 gigs of DDR RAM, an 853 MHz Radeon GPU and a 500 GB hard disk. In future, Microsoft has plans to integrate their system into the cloud, which would allow virtual upgrades to the hard disk space without having to purchase a new larger hard drive.
What casts the Xbox One ahead of the PS4, is that the system integrates into a consumer’s television via an HDMI In and HDMI out. This innovative setup will allow some family members to play a game, while others can view live feeds such as Twitter and Facebook, and have other family members watching TV, all in a picture-in-picture view. This innovation is Microsoft’s attempt at hijacking your living room by offering a complete entertainment system in one box, as their newest console is much more than just a gaming machine and blue-ray player.
The Xbox One will launch with a price of $499 and include a controller, headset/microphone, brick-sized power supply, and the newest Kinect 2 voice and motion-sensing control device. At the time of launch, 22 games will be available with a nice mix of choices and game styles, sure to satisfy any gaming enthusiast.
Including the much-improved Kinect 2, at first purchase, is a bold move for Microsoft, and really solidifies the Xbox One as an innovative and futuristic approach to entertainment. The Kinect 2 includes a much better motion-sensing and voice-control function than its predecessor and the functionality will be rooted much deeper into games.
The Kinect 2 will be able to recognize a multiple player scenario and automatically log multiple players into separate accounts simultaneously. It will differentiate voice commands from each user and respond to a player’s requests based on their own preferences. Also improved, is its motion-sensing ability. The Kinect 2 will be capable of gauging a player’s heart rate by sensing their pulse via their face, and operate in a much smaller room than the first version, a problem that plagued many gamers in the past.
The voice-commands have also been improved from the last version, which saw some challenges when gaming in a room with lot of background noise. What would normally take three or four button presses of the controller, can now be called up instantly using a single voice command.
A variety of streaming TV services are available, and what is not available through the console, can be accessed through the internal internet browser. The Kinect 2 will integrate with these services, providing the user with a programming guide and voice-activated control of what channel you’re watching, as well as other TV functions.
Microsoft’s bold new strategy, with the Xbox One, is set to cast every member of the family into the future. If they’re successful, they will control and hijack the television in everyone’s living room.
By Brent Matsalla