Microsoft’s XBox One to satisfy the games-console reality

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Microsoft unveils Xbox One as home entertainment hub | The Australian

Xbox One moves Microsoft closer to living room hub | CNet

Video of press launch

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My Comments

Just lately, Microsoft had launched the XBox One games console which underscores the role of games consoles as a device for watching content and playing games on the TV screen.

This console uses up-to-date computer hardware and software including elements of the Windows and XBox operating systems. As well, it implements up-to-date requirements like USB3.0 connectivity, Wi-Fi Direct wireless connectivity as well as a Blu-Ray optical drive. Similarly, the main unit implements design cues from premium consumer-electronics sold during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

This underscores the fact that the XBox One is designed to work as a multimedia box for the TV as has occurred commonly with the XBox 360 and the PS3 games consoles. This includes an HDIM input for passing video from a set-top box through the console. At the moment, this functionality may have questionable support with various free-to-air and pay TV setups. Personally, I would like to see this function underscored with an add-on digital-TV tuner module in order to pick up digital broadcast TV services.

It also has Kinect which provides motion and voice control and the user experience for changing content is expected to be as quick as flicking between broadcast channels.

Microsoft underscores the use of cloud-hosted functionality for gameplay such as persistent worlds, multiplayer multi-machine play and content “drop-off” points. But they still allow users to watch video content from TV or disc and play games without needing to be online.

Questions have been raised about whether users can sell / give games to others and take games between consoles such as playing at a friend’s home. Another issue I would like to see raised is whether Microsoft will provide an on-ramp for small-time and independent games developers like what has happened with the XNA program for the XBox 360. If such a program existed for this console, it could allow Microsoft to keep their credentials as a company whose founding stone was small-time software development.

Similarly, there were issues raised about the integrated secondary storage that the XBox One came with. Some of the press were disappointed with the hard disk and would like to see it come with solid-state storage and the ability for users to add on extra hard-disk space by connecting or installing a hard disk.

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