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Microsoft fires the first shot in the "NEXT" generation.... - Page 197  

post #5881 of 7006
This puts me in a weird position where this machine does not appeal to me at all for games, but I could see using some of the extra features. It mostly boils down to me moving over to PS4 for games and taking a wait and see approach for xbox.
post #5882 of 7006
http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/21/4352404/microsoft-xbox-one-everything-you-need-to-know

excerpts:

Xbox One: game console meets set-top box

Unlike Sony, which has kept the PS4’s hardware under wraps, Microsoft had no qualms about showing off the Xbox One. The machine resembles a shiny black set-top box with a slot-loading Blu-ray drive, and it only works in horizontal orientation. Microsoft and AMD partnered to make the custom 40-nanometer chip with an 8-core CPU and GPU that powers the One. It has 8GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, USB 3.0, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The system isn’t just a game console, however. The One has good reason to look like a set-top box: it doubles as one. It features an HDMI pass-through so the console can sit between your cable or satellite operator’s set-top box and your TV. You can tune channels with your voice, use a TV guide directly from the Xbox, and multitask between gaming, TV, Skype, Internet Explorer, and more.

Vibrating triggers

Microsoft also unveiled the new Xbox One controller with more than 40 "technical and design innovations." The biggest change, aside from "new ergonomics," is a set of triggers that will provide vibration feedback. The new controller also features an updated directional pad, new thumbsticks, and an integrated battery compartment. It’s designed to work closely with the new Kinect for player syncing and extra control options. Based on looks alone, the controller hasn't evolved much.

A new Kinect is front and center

Bundled with every Xbox One is a brand new Kinect sensor. Microsoft’s major focus with the refreshed Kinect, for now at least, seems to be on voice controls, which never quite worked on the Xbox 360. Say "Xbox On" and your console will turn on, say "Go to TV" or "Go to Internet Explorer" and Xbox can take you there — it all worked very well on stage today. Microsoft says it has done massive upgrades on the microphone since the previous generation, allowing One to detect voices even in loud environments. It has also upgraded the Kinect’s camera. Using a 1080p wide-angle sensor, the camera can detect your gestures to help navigate Xbox One’s interface. It can also be used for Skype, and even detect your heartbeat. The Kinect’s final trick: recognizing the new Xbox controller for simple player syncing as well as adding "additional interaction" to games.

And, it's always listening.

A new UI that looks awfully familiar

New Xbox, new user interface, right? Well, we’d call the Xbox One’s UI more of an evolution of what we’ve seen before on the 360 and Windows 8. The homescreen should look familiar, but everything now has a more home theater-friendly black look. The big functionality improvements come with non-gaming features like the addition of a full TV guide (more on that below) and apps like Skype and Internet Explorer. Just like Windows 8, Microsoft showed how you can use "Snap Mode" to multitask on the Xbox One. For instance, you can watch a movie while leaving Internet Explorer open on the right side of the screen, or watch TV and play a game at the same time. Kinect-enabled voice and gesture controls allow you to instantly switch between these features. To handle all of this functionality, Microsoft is using three operating systems in the One: the Xbox OS, the Windows kernel, and a third that facilitates instant switching and multitasking.

Xbox Live evolved, but Gold's here to stay

Xbox Live has long been key to Microsoft’s gaming console plans, so it’s no surprise that it's refreshed the One's online services. Xbox Live still has achievements and a premium Gold subscription (both of which will carry over from your 360), but there’s some new functionality, too. A new "Game DVR" will allow gamers to record, edit, and share gameplay videos, and players will be able to start playing downloadable games after installing just one segment of them. The "Smart Match" matchmaking system offers an estimate for when you’ll be entered into a multiplayer game — allowing you to watch TV on your Xbox while you wait. The features certainly go head-to-head with what Sony’s teased for the PS4, but with Gaikai streaming and Ustream integration the Japanese company may have the upper hand here.

Skype’s chance to own the living room

Naturally, Microsoft’s push for interactivity with Xbox One includes communicating with friends. To that end, the company debuted Skype for its next-generation console, allowing users to make HD video calls with friends using the Kinect camera. The service will support group video chats, picture-in-picture calls while you’re playing a game or watching TV, and voice control commands. The new Skype app was demonstrated on the Xbox One, but it may also be available for the Xbox 360 in the future.

Yes, you can play offline

If you were hoping the Xbox One would offer backwards compatibility for your Xbox 360 games, you’re in for some bad news. Microsoft confirmed that it will not feature support for older titles, due to the Xbox One’s 64-bit x86 architecture, which differs from the PowerPC-based Xenon processor found in the Xbox 360. Still, Microsoft intends to keep selling the Xbox 360 alongside the One, so it should be able to get some more mileage out of the best-selling console.

As far as installation, when you first insert a disc into the Xbox One, it’ll install the game to the hard drive — you won’t have to use the disc again. Microsoft says that while the Xbox One does require an internet connection, you won’t be restricted from gaming if your connection drops. As for used games, Microsoft will allow Xbox One owners to trade in and resell them, but additional reports have suggested secondary use of a game will require a fee.

Microsoft assimilates your set-top box

The Xbox’s streaming TV and movie options (including Netflix and ESPN) are already a major draw, and Microsoft it expanded that with full access to live TV through cable or satellite. The Xbox One will connect to a set-top box via HDMI and can overlay its own interface, including custom "trending" and "favorites" sections and a content guide. As expected, it also integrates SmartGlass capabilities. Perhaps the most intriguing feature is extensive voice control: the set-top box and TV can both be turned on using voice, and it’s possible to check listings, switch channels, or even switch from TV to other Xbox apps by speaking. These TV services will be US-only at launch, but eventually Microsoft plans to expand worldwide.

Teaming up with the NFL

Sports remain one of live TV’s biggest draws, and it’s also one of the easiest categories to annotate with "second screen" options. To take advantage of this, an NFL partnership gives Microsoft the exclusive rights to create interactive experiences around its football games. Microsoft showed off a fantasy football overlay, which lets players see stats and player information on one section of the screen while a game played on the rest of it. SmartGlass isn’t getting left out: Microsoft also gets the rights to develop interactive tools for tablets like the Surface.
post #5883 of 7006
I am for one, pretty excited. I like the design of it. I am glad they went larger. trying to cram all that computing power in a tiny case while yeah, it takes up less space, becomes a cooling nightmare. make it a standard sized electronics piece. A thin AVR-ish size. Hell, make it have the ability to be rack mountable!!smile.gif

I don't really see a difference in the TV and other integration from the 360 except for the being able to do multiple things at once. I like the increased functionality in the Smart glass app. We already use the Xbox for music and PPV movie content as well as Amazon, netflix crackle etc... So how people are finding fault with something the 360 already does except better... I can't figure out.


I have to disagree with Lizard on the used games. And wouldn't the correct analogy be used CD's or books? yes cars and homes can be used or anything that gets resold it all comes down to scale and the fact that a digital copy is for intents and purposes as good as new where a car or home or lawnmower etc is not. Games aren't just purchased by 25 and ups. Kids buy a large portion of those used games or even kids in the fashion that their parents or relatives will buy those used games. It's not about how people should be spending their money. buying a used game at a reduced price helps get that game out "there". it gets that game more attention. I can say with confidence that over a 100 games have been purchased just by my son loaning a game to his friends. Taking a game he has to a friends house to play and those friends then getting that game so that the multiplayer aspect can be enjoyed. There have been lots of games I hoped I would like that for what ever reason I hated or it just didn't draw me in. But my son or daughter liked it. So now I have to be burdened with spending double the money (on a no used game policy)? That IS unacceptable and if you think that game developers are hurting now even as large as the gaming industry is, it will be worse. I will not try a new game. So my purchases of games will go from 20-30 a year to less than 5. And that is just on my own Xbox. We have four. I know I am in the minority there but my guess it will affect sales of games and the XBOX ONE IF and only IF Sony does allow used games. You as a developer want to charge a fee above and beyond the cost of the initial game use as in a second/third Xbox for multiplayer to cover the cost of the servers and bandwidth, then I am OK with that. I will warn that if it gets to be to costly or your game sucks or the connections are affected, the game will fail.
post #5884 of 7006
I wonder when they will announce just how much room you need for Kinect.
post #5885 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/21/4352404/microsoft-xbox-one-everything-you-need-to-know

Unlike Sony, which has kept the PS4’s hardware under wraps, Microsoft had no qualms about showing off the Xbox One.

MS showed off the box, but didn't talk about the hardware but in glancing. Sony talked about the detailed hardware, but didn't show off the box.

I'd say thats a draw, and not really worth that characterization.

they both got more splaning' to do
Edited by TyrantII - 5/21/13 at 4:10pm
post #5886 of 7006
Looking at the back of the unit. Besides Hdmi there doesn't seem to be any priority output for component cables etc.... I know a few people that use component and vga for their 360's. Am I missing it or has it been removed.
post #5887 of 7006












post #5888 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubdenno View Post

I don't really see a difference in the TV and other integration from the 360 except for the being able to do multiple things at once. I like the increased functionality in the Smart glass app. We already use the Xbox for music and PPV movie content as well as Amazon, netflix crackle etc... So how people are finding fault with something the 360 already does except better... I can't figure out.

Well (for now), XBOX 360 can be used as an extender that can tap into my media library and DVR on HTPC. Love it for that. If the Xbox One doesn't offer this in some capacity, it'd be a shame.
post #5889 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by americangunner View Post

I will say, that is one sexy controller. I have always loved the feel of the Xbox controller over the Dual Shock. I guess we will all just have to wait for E3. I knew they wouldn't show many games from listening to Major Nelson's podcast, but I was hoping for at least some game play footage.
I'm not a fan of the layered look, I like the simpler look of the 360 and Wii U Pro controllers.
post #5890 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacey Adam View Post

Looking at the back of the unit. Besides Hdmi there doesn't seem to be any priority output for component cables etc.... I know a few people that use component and vga for their 360's. Am I missing it or has it been removed.

yeah, I fear that they are removing component. the whole industry is trying to remove component as an option because you can't protect it. it's hard to find component on any HD settop box nowadays. component is how I record my Netflix movies in HD. we'll see what happens. it could be some kind of breakout cable. I have a streamer that doesn't have component ports on the back but it has a breakout cable that provides component.
post #5891 of 7006
The lack of component cables is a non-issue for me. The more I think about it, the less worried I am about this next Xbox. The sports features sound cool. I will have to see what they will do with used games and how the will charge for it, but that doesn't affect me. I don't buy used games and rarely trade them in anymore, unless the game sucks. I like the idea of loading the game onto my machine so I don't have to worry about switching discs. And I just loved how quick it was moving to different things.
post #5892 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by americangunner View Post

I wonder when they will announce just how much room you need for Kinect.

In the Wired piece, they said a 6' guy who worked at Microsoft was able to have the new Kinect fully see him from even just 3 feet from the camera.
post #5893 of 7006
Thread Starter 
Microsoft must have completely given up on the Japanese market. No way will they want to buy a console so freaking huge. Not from an American company at least...
post #5894 of 7006
So while all of you are crying and complaining about features that aren't even fully realized, I'm wondering what's up with what used to be the headset port on the controller. Looks to be some sort of proprietary connection now.
post #5895 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

In the Wired piece, they said a 6' guy who worked at Microsoft was able to have the new Kinect fully see him from even just 3 feet from the camera.
So then most people won't have any issue with using it in their living rooms. That's good news.
post #5896 of 7006
This is the first console that you could stack. I love the look. It doesn't look childish for once!
post #5897 of 7006
It looks okay but I was hoping for some actual info. The video they put up today was about as useless as an "unboxing" video.
post #5898 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Microsoft must have completely given up on the Japanese market. No way will they want to buy a console so freaking huge. Not from an American company at least...
I don't even expect a Japanese release from them.
post #5899 of 7006
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/05/xbox-one/

excerpts:

I don’t think I’ve ever hated a piece of cloth so much in my entire life.

It’s Monday morning in mid-April, and I’m sitting in a many-couched conference room at Microsoft’s campus in Redmond with three other entities: chief product officer Marc Whitten; senior VP of marketing strategy Yusuf Mehdi; and a pedestal in the corner with a cloth draped over it. For 30 minutes, the two executives have been talking about the future of Xbox—about the need to “re-architect the living room for the 21st century,” about “a new generation of entertainment,” and other lofty corporate statements that tend to go hand in hand with many-couched conference rooms. They’ve also been pointedly ignoring the pedestal. I know what they’re doing, and it’s working. I want to see what’s under that cloth, and it’s driving me crazy. Little-kid-on-Christmas-morning crazy. Very-nearly-squirming-in-my-seat crazy. Finally, Whitten takes pity on me, and he walks over to the pedestal. “Here it is,” he says; he lifts the cloth.



And here’s the Xbox One.

My first thought, honestly, is how boxy it is. In 2010, Microsoft released a “slim” version of the Xbox 360 that was literally streamlined, with a curvilinear X-shaped form that made its predecessor feel clumsy in comparison. The Xbox One is a bit bigger than the 360 and as rectangular as it gets. It’s not without its flourishes, though. It’s a deep, glossy black that the industrial design team calls liquid black. The top of the console is subdivided into two 16:9 rectangles, derived from the traditional aspect ratio of widescreen televisions—one is solid and glossy, the other a matte panel that’s entirely vented to help as much air pass through the system as possible. The front is nearly without embellishment; even the optical disc drive slot blends into the frontpiece of the box. On the whole, it looks more like a TiVo than any gaming console I’ve ever known.

A deep chamfer at the base of the front panel makes it appear to levitate, and similar touches on the Kinect sensor make it look almost cantilevered, like Wright’s Fallingwater. Both are squatter than their predecessors, with a powerful heft. The controller, too, is noticeably changed: the humplike battery pack on the underside is all but gone; the odd circular directional pad has been replaced by a more precise cross-shaped one, the triggers and shoulder buttons are carved from a single graceful swath of material that extends from one side to the other. Over the next two days at Microsoft, I’ll see just about everything that went into making the Xbox One, from laser-printed controller mock-ups to Kinect-enhanced game prototypes. But standing on that pedestal right now, it’s all just a cipher.

When the 360 launched, smartphones hadn’t yet trickled out of the corporate world; Netflix was strictly a DVD delivery service; the “cloud” was something that got in the way of a suntan. (Hell, in 2005, people suntanned.) And a big part of the 360’s longevity was Microsoft’s ability not only to develop games but also to forge partnerships that took advantage of these new staples of online life. So as those deals proliferated, so did the things the Xbox 360 could do. People played Halo 3 on their Xbox, but they also watched Netflix. They bought Kinect sensors for controller-free experiences, but they also burned through seasons of Deadwood on HBO Go and caught sports highlights on an ESPN app. But all of this new functionality was built on patches and firmware updates. The 360 simply wasn’t constructed that way, so when the Xbox One was greenlit in the fall of 2011, “the decision wasn’t, ‘We need a gamebox,’” Whitten says. “It was, ‘We need a living-room experience.’” Built that way from the ground up.

So the charge was twofold: the new Xbox had to deliver enough horsepower to fuel a generation’s worth of gaming—but it also had to deliver everything else: live TV; an OS architecture that allows for smartphone-style multitasking; a new Kinect sensor that can handle hi-def Skype calls and monitor your heart rate. The Xbox One isn’t just a console. It’s an entertainment borg that hopes to assimilate everything from your Blu-ray player to your cable box.

The Hardware

But still, first it is a game device. And to that end, it needs to feel like a step forward. For seven generations now, consoles have delivered increasingly sophisticated visual experiences, from the soundless and rudimentary Magnavox Odyssey in the pre-Pong mid-’70s through the Nintendo-Sega wars of the ’90s to the lens-flare and motion-capture effects of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 today. As we brush against photorealism in our games, though, we also reach the problem of too perfect. It’s a corollary of the uncanny valley, that conceptual chasm that induces a faint feeling of disgust when we see virtual humans that are not quite right: the ideal is actually not ideal. So early demos of racing game Forza Motorsport 5 for the Xbox One try to skirt that issue by modeling imperfection itself: scuffs on wheels, orange-peel pattern on paint, tire marks where Armor-All has worn away.

Quantifying graphical performance is notoriously squishy. That being said, Microsoft touts the Xbox One as delivering 8 times the graphic performance of the 360. If you were to go by raw transistor count, that performance jump would be closer to tenfold: the Xbox One boasts 5 billion to the 360’s 500 million. More concretely, those paltry 512 MB of memory have been boosted to 8 GB.

Allow me a few sentences of total geek-out on this: A new 500-GB hard drive was designed in-house, likewise a custom-built Blu-ray–capable optical drive. A single 40-nanometer chip contains both the CPU and GPU rather than the two dedicated 90-nm chips needed in the 360. In fact, a custom SOC (system on a chip) module made by AMD contains the CPU/GPU chip, the memory, the controller logic, the DRAM, and the audio processors, and connects directly to the heat sink via a phase-change interface material. Whew.

Perhaps most intriguing, however, is that Xbox One gives game developers the ability to access Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform. That leads to a few obvious and immediate applications: All your downloaded and installed games and achievements are synced to the cloud and can be accessed and played without interruption on any Xbox One you sign in to; stable, dedicated servers for every multiplayer game rather than the notoriously fragile practice of hosting matches on one participant’s console; even multiplayer matches that can grow to 64, even 128 participants, rather than the usual limit of 16 or 32.

But other possibilities also come to mind. If developers are able to offload significant chunks of processing power to the cloud—conceivably even fundamental game mechanics like physics engines or collision-detection systems—that frees them to use local processing for even more intensive processes. In other words, the possibilities are limited only by the imaginations of thousands of game programmers. “It’s not like on day one, everyone will have figured out how to take advantage of that power,” Whitten says. “It’s just one of those stakes we’re placing.”

The Kinect

The original Kinect sensor, introduced in 2010, arguably extended the 360’s lifespan by attracting an entirely new audience: 8 million Kinect units were sold in its first two months. But while the sensor’s gesture and voice control allowed for controllerless gameplay and the admittedly Jetsons-era ability to say “Xbox, pause” to interrupt a Breaking Bad binge, its internals were clearly a first draft. So if the revision of the console consisted mostly of upgrades to its components and architecture, the Kinect received a head-to-toe retooling.

When the original Kinect launched, apartment dwellers lamented that they had to move couches and tables just to be recognized by the its depth sensors, let alone play a physically involved game like Dance Central. The restricted field of vision also made it next to impossible for different-sized people, like parents and kids, to play the same game. This time around, a 1080p camera enlarges the sensor’s field by 60 percent—a fact that the entertainment division’s lanky hardware guru, Todd Holmdahl, demonstrates for me by walking his 6′ 4″ frame toward the sensor. Even 3 feet away, the Kinect’s onscreen display clearly registers his entire body, and he still has room to lift his hands above his head.

The camera can also capture video at 60 frames per second for two-way services like Skype—but more impressive still are the Kinect’s tracking capabilities. It’s now so sensitive that it can measure your pulse by monitoring pigmentation change in your face. (It’s partially done via infrared light, which means it works regardless of skin tone.)

The original sensor mapped people in a room using “structured light”: It would send out infrared light, then measure deformities in the room’s surfaces to generate a 3-D depth map. However, that depth map was lo-res to the degree that clothing and couch cushions were often indistinguishable. The new model sends out a modulated beam of infrared light, then measures the time it takes for each photon to return. It’s called time-of-flight technology, and it’s essentially like turning each pixel of the custom-designed CMOS sensor into a radar gun, which allows for unprecedented responsiveness—even in a completely dark room. (See the video for the evidence.)

In fact, the Kinect will be used for that most fundamental of tasks: turning the whole thing on. Xbox One utilizes multiple power states; it can thus ramp up as needed and consume different amounts of juice depending on use, whether games or movies. And it also possesses a low-power standby mode, allowing Xbox Live and game updates to be pushed to the Xbox One overnight — or whenever the box knows your usage is lowest — without keeping the console all the way on. (Don’t worry; you can still play a single-player game without being connected to the Internet.) It also means that when you walk into your room and say “Xbox on,” the Kinect sensor hears you and turns on your entire setup via infrared blast: TV, Xbox One, even your cable box.

But why, you may ask, your cable box?

The Entertainment

Live television is the main competitor of any online gaming service. Take Xbox Live: 48 million people use the service, whether for gaming, Netflix, or anything else, an average of 87 hours a month. Meanwhile those users are watching television somewhere around 150 hours a month. Microsoft wants to be part of those 150 hours. Its gambit: Turn the new Xbox into a TV conduit.

Last year, Nintendo’s new Wii U console delivered some television tuner functionality, but it was a kludgy and fragile experience, and many users (like me, with my cablecard-equipped TiVo) were shut out. Xbox One will utilize a few different methods to deliver live TV to the Xbox universe. Chief among those—at least in the US—is HDMI pass-through, in which the cable box, satellite box, or similar device (e.g., the aforementioned cablecard-equipped TiVo ) connects directly to the Xbox One, which then passes the mediated signal to the television via an HDMI-out port.

Because of that direct pipe from your TV provider to the Xbox One, you can watch TV with varying degrees of Xbox overlay. It can look exactly like your plain old TV interface, being controlled with the original remote. Alternately, you can use Xbox’s electronic programming guide, which presents a lineup based on your favorite channels or tells you what your friends are watching and can be controlled via voice, gesture, and game controller. Or, thanks to Xbox SmartGlass, the second-screen functionality that Microsoft introduced in limited capacity last year across multiple mobile platforms, you can use your smartphone or tablet to change channels with a no-look flicking motion. (For more granular control, SmartGlass will eventually be able to turn your phone into a skeuomorphic remote control, able to emulate any other control device.)

Ashley Speicher, principal development manager of Live TV, walks me through a demo. The team has been working feverishly to get it ready for the official unveiling, but this is clearly an early build; when she turns on the program guide, the green screen of the developer’s OS screen shows through in the gaps between tiles. “Xbox,” she says, and a small faint Xbox logo in the upper right-hand corner of the screen begins to glow; the Kinect is listening. “ESPN,” she finishes. The guide, which is currently highlighting Seattle’s local channel 4, switches to channel 206: ESPN. Because the Kinect’s voice control is already engaged, she doesn’t need to prompt it again, so she just says “watch.” There’s a flash as the connected DirecTV makes the change, and all of a sudden SportsCenter comes on the screen. The most shocking part about it is the ease; there’s no more hunting through your guide for FX or Travel Channel or whatever network or show you’re looking for. You can just say “Xbox, watch Travel Channel” or “Xbox, watch Sons of Anarchy,” and you’re there. If the show itself isn’t on, a global search will collate all of your options for watching it, from on-demand to streaming services.

But then Speicher goes one better. She goes back to the Xbox One’s home screen—a mashup of the 360’s Xbox Live environment and the Microsoft design language so familiar from Windows 8 on PCs and Surface tablets—and opens Internet Explorer instead. Now the TV is filled with Bing’s landing screen. “Xbox,” she says, “snap in Live TV.” A sidebar slides onto the screen from the left; at its bottom is a list of her favorite channels, and at the top is SportsCenter, playing live. “Switch,” she says, and the sidebar is highlighted, allowing her to pick and watch any of those favorite channels. “Watch,” she says, and the sidebar takes over the whole of the screen. Back to SportsCenter.

“Snapping in” is the Xbox One’s task-switching mechanism, and it’s made possible by some serious operating system kung fu. The Xbox One simultaneously runs three separate operating systems. First comes the tiny Host OS, which boots the machine and then launches two other hard-partitioned systems: the Shared partition, an environment that runs any apps (Skype, Live TV, Netflix, etc.) and helps provide processing power for the Kinect sensor and its gesture and voice controls; and the Exclusive partition, which is where games run. Because of the way memory is apportioned in the Shared partition, you can switch between apps with little to no load times, and even snap them into another app or game to use both at the same time.

This, more than anything, is the Xbox One’s killer app: instant access to all the entertainment services you already use, and true multitasking. Skype calls while you’re playing a game? Sure. The Kinect already uses a combination of noise- and echo-cancellation and waveform “beam steering” to hear you over the sounds of anything you’re playing and watching, so you won’t even have to raise your voice above normal conversational levels. Keeping an eye on your fantasy football team while you watch Monday Night Football? Done. It’s the second-screen experience—all on one screen.

The Future

At this point, fewer than 2 million Surface tablets have been sold. Windows Phone has a 3.2 percent share of the smartphone market. The Xbox 360, on the other hand, has sold 77 million units and has been the bestselling game console in the US for 28 straight months. Not to take anything away from Microsoft’s other consumer products, but there’s no longer any question which side the company's bread is buttered on. And if the Interactive Entertainment Business division gets this right, the Xbox One is going to be a very, very big piece of bread.

We have no idea what the videogame landscape will look like seven years from now, just as we had no idea in 2005 how foundationally streaming and smartphones would change everything. The very concept of any physical media box may well be obsolete within a decade. But even if this is the last true console we ever see, one thing is for sure: Gaming isn’t just games anymore. And the Xbox One intends to keep it that way.

The real question, though, is what that means for Microsoft’s future plans. Apple’s a hardware company, and Google’s a software company, but they both offer an integrated experience that takes place within their walls (whether or not you look at those walls #throughglass or not). Microsoft makes both hardware and software—and does it well—but the company also knows that it doesn't have the install base to lock down the experience. And more important, it's lacking connective tissue. If its investment in Azure lets the cloud become that tissue, then the Xbox One could be the hub of the integrated experience Microsoft sorely needs.
post #5900 of 7006
Quote:
"The Xbox One simultaneously runs three separate operating systems. First comes the tiny Host OS, which boots the machine and then launches two other hard-partitioned systems: the Shared partition, an environment that runs any apps (Skype, Live TV, Netflix, etc.) and helps provide processing power for the Kinect sensor and its gesture and voice controls; and the Exclusive partition, which is where games run. Because of the way memory is apportioned in the Shared partition, you can switch between apps with little to no load times, and even snap them into another app or game to use both at the same time."

So MS is *actually* running two virtualized OSes at the same time? I figured that was just marketing semantics for the presentation. I really don't like the sound of that. A virtualization layer tends to add a layer of inefficiency. I wonder of the extent that this will limit devs from getting to the lowest levels of the hardware, although Im presuming the game OS is built for performance. There's also going to be some redundancy there, but not too big a deal given 8GB of memory. But besides that, the OS itself looks pretty heavyweight, at least in comparison to the PS4, assuming they're not letting you run apps side by side. But overall, on a system that's already running at a pretty significant performance deficit compared to its competitor, this only makes matters worse for them.

Despite them having the same amount of memory, I think its fair to assume the actual memory available to games will be 512mb-1GB less on the Xbox one. There's also the potential for less CPU/GPU resources available, over and above the raw 50% GPU deficit, depending how they handle the apps. That quick switch and side by side functionality won't be coming for free.

It'll be interesting to see how devs adapt the games to suit the platforms. A lot might just aim to max out the Xbox one and leave a lot of the PS4's potential on the table. Some might drop the quality of the nextbox version.

All I know is that given their architectural similarity, if the performance/image quality of games is your number one deciding factor, the choice is really easy this time around, more so than any previous gen. I know a lot of people want to say we can't answer that question until we actually see the games running, I really think its time to face facts - from a purely gaming hardware perspective, the PS4 is superior, there's really nothing to point to on the Xbox one where you can find any sort of meaningful spec advantage. The PS4 hardware beats it on every front. Before anyone jumps down my throat, yes, there are a million other reasons to want an Xbox one, but this isn't one of them.
post #5901 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

All I know is that given their architectural similarity, if the performance/image quality of games is your number one deciding factor, the choice is really easy this time around, more so than any previous gen.

I know! So excited to get the Xbox One! biggrin.gif
post #5902 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

A virtualization layer tends to add a layer of inefficiency. I wonder of the extent that this will limit devs from getting to the lowest levels of the hardware, although Im presuming the game OS is built for performance.
Maybe 5 or 6 years ago... This is totally incorrect today as modern hypervisors can all pass hardware exclusively into VMs.
post #5903 of 7006
Quote:
Originally Posted by c.kingsley View Post

Maybe 5 or 6 years ago... This is totally incorrect today as modern hypervisors can all pass hardware exclusively into VMs.

I'll take your word for it, I haven't run a virtualized OS in quite some time. But they're still competing for the same hardware, which is generally the bigger issue here anyway.
post #5904 of 7006
https://twitter.com/XboxSupport/status/336928585275301888

Xbox Support (1-5)Verified account ‏@XboxSupport
@BjKEdits That is correct, there will be 1000 friends on the Xbox One ^JG


https://twitter.com/XboxSupport3/status/336937800702238722
TouchTheRobotButt ‏@ModronFixer 2h
@XboxSupport So there is no fee for Used Games then? Can you tell us what exactly they got wrong? Because otherwise you could be saving face
Xbox Support 3 Xbox Support 3 ‏@XboxSupport3
@ModronFixer No fee, correct - and they just got that information wrong. As soon as we saw, we contacted them to correct it. ^EM
post #5905 of 7006
HTPC with CableCARD >>>> "Game" Console passing through signal from Cable Box.

Will XB1 be a Media Center Extender? If MS wants to get bigger into media, they should re-invigorate development of the Media Center software, which allows computers running MS software to be the greatest media devices available, and user-customizable. Emphasize also how XB1 works with such computers to bring truly amazing media capabilities to every room in the house. Anything DirecTV Genie, Dish Hopper, or any other "whole-home DVR" can do, a CinemaPC or other HTPC can do MUCH better. And XB1 could expand on that dominance in the media arena, but only if MS keeps Media Center vital.
post #5906 of 7006
http://www.joystiq.com/2013/05/21/call-of-duty-ghosts-written-by-syriana-and-traffic-scribe-s/

excerpts:

Call of Duty: Ghosts written by 'Syriana' and 'Traffic' scribe Stephen Gaghan

The latest Call of Duty, dubbed Ghosts, has drafted Syriana and Traffic writer Stephen Gaghan to provide its fiction.

Games don't get more Hollywood than Call of Duty, and Activision has shown little hesitance in acquiring composers and writers from the silver screen to aid in its ever bigger and brasher efforts. Gaghan's work on Traffic, a dour crime drama, and political thriller Syriana made him a standout candidate for Ghosts. The game follows the remainder of the US military in a world scarred by a weapon of mass destruction.

According to developer Infinity Ward, Gaghan didn't swoop in and drop off a script – he requested an office, and worked from one amidst the game's single-player team all throughout the game's production. That's a sterling gesture, but I asked Call of Duty: Ghosts executive producer Mark Rubin to explain why Gaghan was deemed suitable to write for players, not viewers.

"Basically, we looked at his work – he's a great writer, no doubt about it and that's fine, there are probably lots of great writers out there," Rubin said. "So what we did is we actually got the chance to talk to him a long time before we decided to go forward with it. And we realized he was getting it. We've had writers before, and they know how to write, but they don't understand the game aspect of it.

"And I feel like with Gaghan, he really understood what we were trying to do. He asked more questions than try to sell himself, and that was, I think, a really big selling point. He was asking how things work and how we do things, and was really interested in how we craft the story, not from a writing standpoint but from the visuals and gameplay. He was really asking more questions. Although he was a gamer – he knew it from that side – he didn't know it from the dev side. He really was asking a lot of questions about the dev side, he really wanted to know more. I think that interest in what we were doing is really what drove us to him."
post #5907 of 7006
I am starting to like what they showed now that I have had time to think about it. I know the games are coming in 19 days. Plus the partnership with EA could turn in to a pretty big deal. Going after FIFA like that may help them sell in Europe.
post #5908 of 7006
Not terribly pleased. But at least the specifications look good, the controller looks fine with perhaps an improved d-pad, there's no always online mandate, and the name isn't too bad.

I really hope the report flying around today that seems unconfirmed about requiring a fee to install a used game is nonsense. If the experience playing the single player components of retail games after support concludes years down the road is significantly crippled, I just may bow out.
post #5909 of 7006
I can see the need for a fee since you can basically copy the game to your hard drive and not need the disc. If they didn't do something, then people can just use their friends games and sells will drop. Unless they let you de-authenticate a game when you go to get rid of it.
post #5910 of 7006
I actually hate both of those movies, but still probably 100 times better story than Killzone 3!

Pretty much play shooters for gameplay and level design (which KZ3 several failed in).
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