Xbox One (teaser 006)

Today’s the new Xbox day. After Sony on February 20 revealed its PlayStation 4 without actually showing anything in way of the hardware, the Windows giant during a special event at its Redmond headquarters announced a next-generation Xbox console dubbed the Xbox One. The system is billed as an “all-in-one entertainment system” which promises to “put you at the center of a new generation of the living room.”

Key features include a built-in Blu-ray drive, Skype, voice input and live TV functionality, the new gamepad and an enhanced Kinect camera sensor with 1080p resolution. On the surface, the device appears to pack in more advanced features than Sony’s PS4 while sporting useful set-top box functionality.

Digging deeper, the One wants to replace your Apple TV, Roku, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation and any similar box by becoming the only box your TV set really needs. And yes, it indeed has what it takes to become the center of your living room. Go past the fold for the full breakdown…

On the hardware front, the One is a powerhouse: it runs an eight-core x86 processor with 8GB RAM, has USB 3.0 and 500GB of storage space and HDMI in and out. Microsoft also touted over five billion transistors driving the One.

Xbox One (teaser 003)

The console’s unassuming design may come as a disappointment to some of you, but being hiddable has its advantages given a plethora of fugly set-top boxes already fighting for space under your TV set.

The system relies on the enhanced Kinect for pretty much everything you do. That’s why the Windows maker has decided to ship a Kinect sensor with every Kinect One sold. That’s right, the Kinect is no longer an optional accessory and now comes standard with every Xbox One unit sold.

Xbox One (teaser 002)

The new Kinect is responsible for voice-activated features used throughout the system. In addition to powering the system up and down with your voice, you can pause a movie by saying ‘Xbox, pause’, resume playing (‘Xbox, resume’) and so forth.

And the instant you power up the system, the One recognizes who you are, what movies and television shows you like and tailors the revamped Home screen to your liking.

And here’s the redesigned controller.

The unsightly battery bump on the back is finally gone for good, enabling Microsoft’s industrial designers to create a sleeker unit. Not only does the redesigned controller feels more natural in your hands, it’s control buttons are more accessible now.

Xbox One controller (teaser 001)

Another cool feature: the One’s built-in Kinect microphone is so sensitive to your presence that it can pick up your heartbeat while you’re exercising and process audio personalized to specific individuals. In fact, the One’s always-on listening mode means the system is “ready when you are.”

Xbox One (teaser 011)

Specifically, the new Kinect listens to you at all times, allowing you to power up the One simply by saying ‘Xbox On’, even when the console is turned off. The always-on listening relies on the One running in an extremely low-power state which keeps only the basic features active.

Xbox One (teaser 007)

Another killer feature: the One integrates with your existing cable set-top box, a feature we’ve long held Apple should add to its Apple TV hockey-puck. This means you can navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your One.

Xbox One (teaser 010)

And with the ability to switch to, say, ESPN straight from a video game just by saying ‘Xbox, ESPN’, the new Xbox has a lot to offer as a home theater entertainment device.

Xbox One (teaser 009)

But wait, there’s more.

With the new Snap multitasking feature, you can play a game while watching your favorite movie, or chat with friends on Skype (group Skype calls are supported) while watching live TV or track your fantasy team on TV as you watch the big game.

Xbox One (teaser 004)

They also have a tailored program guide called OneGuide which lets you search content by network, name or time, just by asking.

Xbox One (teaser 008)

Topping it all off, your One features NFL Fantasy Football integration, has Skype and Smart Glass (basically Microsoft’s AirPlay) and will install games on built-in storage.

Here’s more on that multi-year NFL partnership.

With features like these, the One admittedly stands a chance of becoming an all-encompassing home entertainment system.

Here’s your Xbox One unveil video.

Another one with Xbox executives Yusuf Mehdi, Phil Spencer and Marc Whitten discussing how the One brings your games, TV, movies, music, sports and Skype together.

Microsoft as of today has 76 million Xbox 360 units worldwide and 46 million users connected via the Xbox Live service. Xbox Live itself is powered by a network of an astounding 300,000 servers – that’s more server computing power than was available in all of the Internet in 1999, according to Major Nelson.

And right below is the behind-the-scenes video with Lisa Gurry and Major Nelson explaining how the Xbox One was created on Microsoft’s Xbox campus in Redmond, Washington, where the magic happens.

Here we get to catch a glimpse of Microsoft’s in-house model shop with 3D printing, extensive testing in its accessories lab (with robots and simulated button pressers testing the lifecycle of the controller with up to two million pressers per controller), an anechoic chamber used to advance speech recognition in Kinect, and the Xbox Operating Center, which acts as the hub of online excellence for Xbox Live.

For those wondering, Microsoft has over 3,200 employees working on the Xbox project.

Microsoft also posted the following clip titled ‘Xbox One Anthem,’ basically a celebration video of the Xbox community with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and film director Steven Spielberg, along with users and creators, discussing why the new console sets the benchmark for everyone else.

Summing up, all this whiz-bang technology comes at a price: the One won’t play your existing Xbox 360 games – but who the heck cares about legacy games, anyway?

Speaking of games, here’s Quantum Break, a new title from the creators of Alan Wake and Max Payne that promises to blur the line between gameplay and television.

Forza Motorsport 5 from Turn 10 Studios, an Xbox One launch exclusive.

Call of Duty: Ghosts Reveal also looks promising.

And here are EA Sports upcoming One titles powered by the new Ignite engine that incorporates human intelligence algorithms, true player motion and living worlds.

Microsoft will have more Xbox One news, including pricing and availability, coming up at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which takes place June 11-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

In the meantime, read Microsoft’s press release, check out the official Xbox web site or browse Xbox on Instagram.

An avid gamer like myself would praise Microsoft’s execution of today’s unveiling. I’ll just go ahead and admit that I’m pretty stoked about the One.

Xbox One reveal

With that off of my back, it’s worth pointing out that not only is Microsoft pushing aggressively into the home entertainment space with the new Xbox, it’s also keen on not repeating the mistake of Google (Nexus Q Orb), Apple (Apple TV) and others.

At a time when people are growing increasingly wary of unsightly boxes, methinks Microsoft has created an unsuspecting, stealthy gadget that just unassumingly sits right under your telly, “ready when you are.”

And make no mistake about it, Microsoft’s One sure as hell means trouble for the Apple TV (not everyone agrees, of course).

So, what do you make of all of this?

  • Markus Hudobnik

    Apple really has competition. The Apple TV is nothing compared to this.

    • Boss

      What about the Apple Pippin? Lol

      • Markus Hudobnik


      • PainToad

        Find it funny you people claim to be Apple fans yet don’t even know what the Pippin was. Bloody posers.

      • Markus Hudobnik

        Not even an apple fanboy

    • TesticularFortitude

      Wait? A set-top-box doesn’t compete with a gaming console? You don’t say!!

      • Markus Hudobnik

        Gaming aside. The One has everything for a successful entertainment system.

      • TesticularFortitude

        My Roku handles all my entertainment needs.

      • Markus Hudobnik

        Okay, yours. Good for you! If that’s all you need, great.

      • Subwoofers? Speakers? Screen? Sorry, not EVERYTHING!

      • Markus Hudobnik

        Haha okay true. Not everything

      • It would be cool if it had a built in ice pack or cooler to keep my beer cold while im playing. Or a remote controled arm to extend and grab a beer for me when i ordered it to. Lol. Now that would be nice. 🙂

      • Apple TV – subwoofers? Speakers? Screen? Sorry, not EVERYTHING!

      • ReanimationXP

        It honestly has nothing more than every previous gaming system. Except now they integrated Windows Media Center and I don’t have to press Input to switch to it. Finally! Not.

        Guess how many people use MCE? None. Guess how many developers will successfully code games to utilize 8 cores? None. Guess what we LOST with this generation, as far as I can tell? All backward compatibility, all game rentals / used games, and all hope for a DRM-less humanity.

        Zero fucks given, try again M$.

      • Markus Hudobnik

        Well first of all, ps4 and Xbox one both have issues with used games. Microsoft has clearly stated that the Xbox will be able to play used games (through some sort of fee).

    • AndroidSucks!

      Um apple is foolishly refusing to enter the home games business officialy

      • Aaron de Silva

        I thought they were planning to do something big with Apple TV (like way back to Q4 of 2012 there were talks on some sort of new Apple TV with app like features. Who know could be big)

    • The Xbox One’s “Always On” feature fits just right with Microsoft’s Spy patent from late 2012: http://zd net/11jSU6p

      Say goodbye to your privacy as soon as you own one.

  • pauleebe

    “Wit” – typo

  • Markus Hudobnik

    And I’m excited about this! I hate all the devices that have one function. Apple TV, my current Xbox, Bly-ray player, and my cable box. It’s annoying. I like how the One will be the best of both worlds in entertainment. I can literally have everything there. And using your voice for turning the One in on is so legit.

    • Nashafa

      This just reminded me that I hope the Xbox One doesn’t turn into the Surface where you get the “best” of both worlds.

    • Adrian12369

      I like the way they named it…whenever someone mentions it they call it the one.

    • AndroidSucks!

      As long as xbox online costs money i will not bite

    • ReanimationXP

      The current Xbox hardly has one function. I use it for pretty much all my entertainment needs – primarily video from YouTube and Netflix. Cable TV is the only thing Xbox One brings to the table, and TV is stupid shit for plebians and has been for almost the past decade.

  • iosPixel

    I don’t get the fuss about consoles anymore. x86 architecture, 8GB of ram. Am I missing something here? This isn’t nothing ground breaking. I just hope these next gens have atleast 2GB of dedicated video memory or the next round of updates to current game engines will once again leave them behind. What’s the point of spending all that money if you can’t even AA at x32

    • BeatModz

      because we’re all not nerds !! some of us dont care about specs, like myself… !! all i know its a bluray player, it play games, netflix, hbogo.. new engines for game.. that’s all i care

      • iosPixel

        I get that, forgive my ignorance!

      • At least the nerds know how to spell and use proper Grammer. And dont forget that the nerds came up with that game console your playing.

    • ReanimationXP

      Agreed. PC master race ftw.

      For the record though, consoles don’t typically have a defined difference between system and GPU memory – it’s usually shared. Also these days they’re also moving toward a platform where there isn’t even a ‘discrete’ GPU anymore, but instead an APU which performs both system/math as well as graphics tasks.

  • rasengan720 .

    holly mother of krill!!!

  • Mr. E

    I just want to know the price

  • makedonii

    first and foremost! awesome post! by far the most informativ and “worth reading you got it all in there”

    cant wait for both consoles to come out!

  • How can this big bulky expensive piece of technology be considered competion for the Apple TV. If they want to compete with the Apple TV at least compete on price since really it’s the price of the Apple TV that makes it such a good entertainment system…

    • ExRoot

      So you think this should cost $89?

      • If it wants to be a serious competitor for an Apple TV then yes, if it wants to be a games console then no but really it shouldn’t do both in the same sense that a phone is a phone and a tablet is a tablet there is just no need for a phablet…

      • ExRoot

        What heck are you talking about. Are you talking about the actual $99 Apple puck or are you caught up in this fictitious Apple TV nonexistent concept nonsense that I see on a almost daily basis. If your referring to the actual $99 puck that I have, I would venture to say….WTF are you talking about? That puck does not even compare to my ROKU that sits right next to it. The only reason I use my AppleTV is for airplaying movie box from my iphone to my 50 inch. Otherwise, come on dude. Get real. Nothing special about an AppleTV. As usual Apple is too concerned with keeping a lock on products they think they can make .02 next week. Maybe that extra 2 cents can go towards their tax bill.

      • “Nothing special about an AppleTV”

        Which is why in the states it’s the most popular device for accessing Netflix now is it?

      • ExRoot

        WRONG….WRONG….WRONG! Not sure if it’s even close. Take minute before your next response and search “most popular device for Netflix”. As stated by the Verge, pcmag, gamespot, ign, Forbes (shall I keep going?) as of December 2012 the Sony PS3 is number 1. Almost everyone I know watches Netfilx. Not one of them watches via AppleTV. Based on my experience only a very small percentage of people even know what it is. Even Idevice owners. I was in the Apple store yesterday and for the very first time they have a Sony monitor set up with with an AppleTV. It looked out of place in the rear of the store.

        I will not respond to this post anymore. Your just spewing propaganda.

      • Dan

        well said

      • Joe Gonzalez

        Might I ask what you use the ROKU for when Apple TV is sitting right next to it? Apple TV is all I use… Stream movies from Mac or iDevice? Check. Stream movies that WERE NOT PURCHASED from iTunes? Yup. In fact, the only thing I need to do is download a media file and I’m playing it in HD on my TV.. It’s.. really quite simple…Netflix? Hulu Plus? I’m confused, sorry. Please enlighten me! HBO Go? I mean, being that you’re at a jailbreak site, surely you know about jailbreaking Apple TV, right?

      • ExRoot

        In not interested in jail breaking my AppleTv. Nor my iPad 2 or even my 10 year olds iPad 4 or his iPod touch 4th gen. Only my iPhone. I don’t feel a need to jailbreak every Idevice in my home. Sorry if that disappoints. As for Roku, hummm let’s see. There are over 75 live streaming channels, over 50 sports channels including Lacrosse drills & tips library, 109 movie & tv channels, 63 music channels, 39 news and weather channels, 21 science & technology channels, 23 food channels, 28 photo & video channels

      • ExRoot

        Continued….39 fitness & outdoor channels, 16 travel, 70 special interest, 193 spiritual & religion, 58 game channels…..shall I keep going?

      • s0me

        What are you on son? How can you say a phone is a phone in 2013? a phone is a smartphone nowadays, wich can make phonecalls. You dont need a camera, laptop, ipod, gps in your backpack anymore.

      • Except that’s not what I was saying now is it. What I said was a phone is a phone and a tablet is a tablet (we do not need a phone and a tablet – or as I dubbed phablet – all in one). Games consoles should stick to being games consoles. I have Netflix on my Ps3 but hardly use it and prefer accessing on my iPad or PC and others do too as it turns out as only 40% access via a TV screen (source: Endgadget 2013). So yes I may have been wrong about my initial stats but I did not think I had to state it was from when I last checked them (which as you can probably tell was a long time ago). Also how can I say a phone is a phone in 2013? Well I’m sorry but it just is to me. A phone is all very well and all but will never replace specialist products (such as the ones stated above, e.g camera, laptop,ipod, gps) unless the manufactures of such things adopt a phone of their own or specialist hardware/software for other people’s phones that can do the job as well as the aforementioned products. For example a camera on a phone is brilliant but will never replace a full blown DSLR camera. This is all my opinion and an opinion can not be wrong as it is based on what one thinks as opposed to what one knows. Therefore if anyone thinks or knows differently that is fine as you are entitled to think/know differently as am I. However I do not appreciate others criticising my comments for “thinking differently”…

    • Dan

      They are not trying contend with the Apple TV. The point is, for anyone who will buy this device, the Apple TV will be obsolete. Indirectly, they will hurt Apple. Every Xbox fan who previously bought the Apple TV will not need to anymore.

      Sidenote, Apple TV is nothing impressive imo, I had one for two days then brought it back. It’s functions are way too limited.

  • iBanks

    Yup! I will have one.

  • “Apple should be worried” The whole article sums it very concisely not saying what does the ass has to do with the eyelashes.

    (yeah, I get the whole “Apple TV killer” but it looks more like an infomercial of the console than an article that lists objectively why Apple should worry. the Pippin is safe so far).

    • chjode

      Yep. I don’t see why Apple should be worried as they don’t make a game console. Even if you compare the Xbo Xone to the Apple TV purely as a media player, I think they’re clearly in different categories– the Xbox is a giant, hulking shotgun approach with TV overlays and whatnot whereas the Apple TV is a small, low power streaming box for iTunes and a few other services.

      • TesticularFortitude

        His choice of words are designed to get you to click on the story. Roku, Apple TV, etc have nothing to be worried about. People who are in the market for an $89 Roku or Apple TV won’t be buying this as an alternative. For example, my mom loves my Apple TV, do you think she will go out and buy this instead? Nope.

  • So many video to buffer

  • Xbox does it again.

  • Apple + Sony = Microsofts death

    • Markus Hudobnik


      • yes… but they probably wont ever team up ;p

    • Dan

      I’m hardly a microsoft fan, but you are way off

  • JerseyD

    Great article. This is better than the write ups I’ve seen on gaming blogs. I am excited about the Xbox One and any product Apple releases to compete with it.

  • Steve

    Always listening, sounds like we’re getting closer and closer to Orwell’s 1984. It’s a novel idea, and has promising applications, but I want my things off when I turn them off…

  • TesticularFortitude

    “At a time when people are growing increasingly wary of unsightly boxes, methinks Microsoft has created an unsuspecting, stealthy gadget that just unassumingly sits right under your telly….”


  • Jeremy

    Totally buying this 🙂 a much needed improvement over my crappy original Xbox 360

  • Brian O’neil

    Can you install XBMC on this device?

    • Markus Hudobnik

      Yup we know that already…

      • Brian O’neil

        You know what mark are you saying you can install xbmc on the new xbox

  • Right… a $99 set top box vs a $400-$600 gaming console… and the XBox wins? You don’t say? I’ll stick with my $99 ATV3 + iMac thanx.

  • iOops

    There is no way the Apple TV can compete with this, except maybe for price. This will be the king for some time to come.

  • Altechi

    My big issue is that have to pay to play used games, there is no ability to change hard drive. The xbox won’t work without kinect. And that all the TV features are USA only. I think I’m sticking with the Playstation 4. Lots of the games shown aren’t exclusives anyway

    • Markus Hudobnik

      There at least 15 exclusives for this year coming out for Xbox One

  • The console is dead…mobile games will take over soon and there is nothing ms, Nintendo or Sony can do..people are not going to pay $50 for a game and those that do are the niche market that will continue to fuel the dying gaming industry until someone realizes that mobile game is taking over…

    • Dan

      If you’re trying to say that games like Angry Birds and the drivel that comes out of Gameloft’s studios will replace real games such as Dead Space/Bioshock/Mass Effect, then you are delusional.

    • mobile gaming is still nowhere near ps2 or xbox , let alone xbox 360 and ps3 leave mobile game to dust. mobile games are just cheaper but lack hardcore gaming , only very few games are there that can be said hardcore.

  • Bing Beta

    nothing great really. just a lump of crap

  • Whatever. AppleTV is a gloried VCR. The XBox is trying to be a full blown entertainment system, but still a gaming machine at its core. While it would be cool to import some games on AppleTV, you can do that via an iDevice and AirPlay mirroring.

  • girish

    console gaming is over,,,,,,
    mobile gaming is the new era,, 😉
    if they want to keep console gaming,,then they must decrease the price of the games by far,,

    • keep playing angry birds my friend , till than i play cod with my friend , go on adventure in skyrim ,than go rampant on gta 4.

      • girish

        good for you then,,,
        mi dont have so much time to play in front of tv,,
        i turn on ma ps3 rarely nw,, 🙂 due to job 😉
        i enjoy console quality graphics in ma iphone n ipad

      • Reaching to a point that i have no job , how smart of you , so you play games during work , great , nothing now i can say , playing games on 55 inch tv and 4 inch is a big difference, what console quality games are you talking about please clarify me ?

  • n0ahcruz3

    Consoles are over, Its all about mobile. And prices of games are way too expensive imo.

  • Blip dude

    Not exactly in competition with Apple TV but after trying it out I am definitely not paying $99 for Airplay mirroring (one trick pony?), especially when a $10-$20 HDMI cable and HDMI dongle (no pun intended) will do the same and can also be used for the Xbox, PS3/4, Roku (which offers more), TV, etc.

    Who I believe should be worried IMO is google. They have been trying to push their Google TV ready set for a long time now, and so far its failed (though not miserably).

    Anyhow, I am really not feeling the Xbox after finding out all the Negatives. Ill see what the PS4 has to offer, otherwise Ill proudly stick with my 360 for an extra 2-3 years.

  • girish

    as far as designs are concerned,,,
    sony ps4 will kill this,,,
    bt in terms of entertainment,,lets see wat sony has against the xbox One

  • So you are comparing a set top box with a gaming console and then say Apple should be worried,stop sucking Apple’s d**k soo much because they should be worried of samsung and Android !

  • Kurt

    Thanks for the awesome review Christian!

  • wonderboydave

    really great console. so its pretty much 3 weeks till E3.. really amped up to see the next gen video games.

  • Bob

    Why should Apple be worried? You obviously only wrote that in the title to make this article relevant to this site and accumulate some more traffic, but it isn’t. Apple TV & Xbox One are aimed towards different markets and price points. The Xbox one will also cost significantly more. I’ve spoken to you on your yellow journalism techniques before Christian. Respect your user-base. I shouldn’t have to tell you about this again.

    • Gorgonphone


  • therealjjohnson

    So there is a built in camera that is always watching…umm ill pass. At least with the connect or the play station eye you can unplug them. I don’t want facial recognition on everything. Am I paranoid? Yup.

  • John Smith

    The graphics look incredible, but it f***ing listens to you ALL the time. 1984, anyone?

  • f5faith

    I live it the UK~ American made TV integrations have no use to me what so ever~ To me it’ll just be another standard console with expensive purchasable multimedia content. Maybe one day there will be a UK version but from past experiences it’ll be poorly implemented and horrendously unsupported.

    • Gorgonphone

      im British to but i moved to

  • Is the NFL license over with EA yet?! If only 2K games can get it back, we’d have a better football game than what EA has been churning out lately.

    • Gorgonphone

      people will complain no matter how good they make the game,,,llolol

  • I just don’t get why you have to call someone a nerd b/c of the type of technology they prefer to have. Iospixel was just expressing what he would like to see in future gaming consoles you didn’t have to call him a nerd b/c of that.

    • iosPixel

      Thanks dude! But alas I am a nerd! Albeit one that breaks the stereotype of the dude with glasses and buck teeth!

      But to those that are avid console gamers (An important point – I own every current gen console so no hate @ xbox but I also know long term value for money and enjoyment can be gain from a Desktop. Consoles do have that immediate social thing which is appreciated by many and offer an instant even playing field on most occasions) watch the market.

      Alternatives like Steams offering “Steam Box” are on the horizon. Last I heard nVidia are working on a console of some sort too.

  • felixtaf

    A basic question… FPS shooter games are easy to play with controllers?

    • Gorgonphone

      they are impossible on touch screen and great on controllers apple e needs a controller for IOS..

  • Aaron de Silva

    Apple TV is cheaper compared to this. I would still prefer an Apple TV however I would like to see apple add in the option to switch to TV or some of the practical media features. As for gaming, this device wouldn’t be fantastic unless you have a good connection since its heavily reliant on the cloud. Overall I say this is one mean home media device.

  • William B. McIntyre

    Do Apple even release things anymore? Seems like a very very long time, since Apple released anything actually “new”.ts22tx5

  • Marco A C Zaragoza

    Wow! What a bunch of nice features.

    Oh, but I don’t live in the United States…

    What a shame.

  • ReanimationXP

    I love my 3DO 🙂

    • Taf Khan

      Yes well… I never loved my Atari Jaguar! The biggest waste of cash ever in my younger days.

  • The Xbox One’s “Always On” feature fits just right with Microsoft’s Spy patent from late 2012: http://zd net/11jSU6p

    I think I’ll pass on the 24/7 spybot…