After eight years on the shelves and having sold some 70 million units, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is finally getting a successor today. The Xbox One was revealed today, and here are some of the highlights of today’s event:
*It responds to voice commands and will be tied to a specific user’s voice and its commands will be “conversational.”
*It’s called the Xbox One, and will boast 8 gigabytes of system memory, a 500 GB hard drive, a Blu-Ray drive and USB 3.0 and HDMI connections.
*It will have “snapmode,” which allows players to open multiple screens in Windows-like tiles. One example shown was watching a basketball game and using voice commands to bring up your fantasy league in a sidebar. It’s what Microsoft calls “interactive TV.”
*The controller has 40 design innovations, many of them used to enhance ergonomics and control precision, such as a newly shaped D-pad, and is more of a series of “tweaks” to the current controller.
*It can recognize your heartbeat while you’re working out, much like the current Kinect system does
*My personal favorite: 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross announced that Steven Spielberg will be the executive producer of an original “Halo” live-action television series:
"For me, the ‘Halo’ universe is an amazing opportunity for the intersection” of “mythmaking and technology."
*A new Madden, NBA Live, UFC and FIFA will be coming out for it, and a video shows how EA Sports’ games will look and play on Xbox One. You can see the reflection of the defensive line in the faceguard of Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin, advanced physics in the players’ every movement, from how the running back chips an oncoming defender, to how RGIII holds a defender off while diving into the endzone.
EA Sports studio head Andrew Wilson:
"All four will be revolutionary and Fundamentally change the way you play."
*Microsoft’s Don Mattrick talks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss NFL-focused apps, such as integrating fantasy football with games.
*Mattrick concludes by introducing Call of Duty: Ghosts, noting Xbox will continue the exclusive downloadable content deal with Call of Duty and Activision.
Some bad news did come when Microsoft Xbox Live VP Marc Whitten confirmed to The Verge that the new Xbox One console will have no backwards compatibility whatsoever:
"No, there’s not. The system is based on a different core architecture, so back-compat doesn’t really work from that perspective."
And that’s a wrap for the Xbox One reveal. Microsoft will have more updates and details and an incredible lineup of games at E3 in 19 days.