Xbox One launches with Blu-ray drive, focus on live TV and voice controls

21 May 2013

Xbox One

Microsoft has today revealed the new Xbox, called Xbox One. Xbox One aims to be a complete home entertainment system, using voice and gesture controls to allow you to flick between live TV, music and gaming.

Although an Xbox One price has not been confirmed, UK retailers Zavvi and ShopTo have set the pre-order price at £399.99 and claimed a November 30th release date for the new Xbox.

The "all-in-one system where it all comes together", says Microsoft, features games, movies, music and now live TV. The Xbox One has HDMI inputs and outputs, and a Blu-ray drive – five years after the failure of HD-DVD.

The Xbox One will also support 3D and 4K, confirmed by Larry Hryb, Director of Programming for Xbox Live, in a Yahoo! Chat session: "Xbox One supports both 3D and 4K".

It seems likely that this "4K support" will simply mean 4K upscaling for now, seeing as no 4K Blu-ray standard has been set for 4K games or movies.

On the subject of movies, Microsoft even got Steven Spielberg involved at the Xbox One launch, announcing plans for Spielberg to deliver a "premium TV series" based on the hugely popular Halo game, while there was news of an Xbox One tie-in with the NFL American Football league.

Xbox One official

Xbox One official pic

The Xbox One won't be compatible with Xbox 360 games, with new Xbox One games coming on Blu-ray discs. You won't need to insert the discs every time you want to play, according to Wired.

The rumour is games will be installed from the disc to the console's hard drive, allowing you to play the game without inserting the BD disc every time. We can't help thinking the Xbox One's 500GB hard disk drive would fill up pretty quick.

Microsoft calls the Xbox One, "truly intelligent TV", with the new console cleary focusing on live TV, on-demand streaming and cloud content, aiming to be much more than just a games console.

xbox one console

xbox one controller

 

The Xbox One has an 8 core CPU, custom built by Microsoft, a D3D 11.1 graphics chip with 32MB of in-built memory. The conosle has 8GB DDR3 of RAM and 500GB of hard disk drive storage.

As well as the Blu-ray/DVD drive and HDMI input and output, there are two USB 3.0 inputs, a digital optical audio input and an Ethernet connection.

The Xbox One also supports 802.11n wireless networks – and uses wifi to connect to the new controller. There's also support for WiFi Direct streaming.

There's a new version of the Xbox Kinect sensor (with a dedicated port for the sensor as well), complete with a 1080p HD camera.

There was no mention of 3D support, perhaps no surprise, but also no mention of 4K, which we many expected the Xbox One to support.

Microsoft has been expanding its Xbox content and connectivity with the launch of Xbox Music and the Xbox Smartglass smartphone and tablet app.

Xbox Music is a streaming music service to take on the likes of Rdio and Spotify, with free and premium versions available for your Xbox.

Xbox One console

xbox one system

Xbox has also revealed details of a host of new games for the Xbox One, including versions of the hugely popular FIFA, Forza and Halo franchises, while also confirming the Xbox One wouldn't be backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games.

The Xbox One will be launched "around the world, later this year". So no word on an official UK release date (or US, for that matter), or indeed confirmation from the US giant on the all important Xbox One price.

Rumours before the Xbox Reveal event suggested two price models for the next Xbox, with a standalone version for $499 and a $299 version that requires a two-year Xbox LIVE Gold commitment, at an expected price of $10 per month. We shall see.

There will be more news on the new Xbox One at the E3 gaming convention in a few weeks time.

Written by Joe Cox

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Comments

i want a games machine, none of the other rubbish

 i have a blu ray player with smart features, i have a smart tv, the xbox360 has all the smart stuff

so why put the cost of a new console by adding more rubbish onto it that most people already have several times over.

 i have a pc for internet and facebook etc

 

just release a games console without all the gimmicks

 

at least the ps4 focused more on games.

saying that i will probably end up with both just like i have now

I've got mixed opinions about the xbox so far  (& some things which I hate, but I digress...) I would like to know:

1. Is there a Usb port on the front, I can't see one...

2. ReValveiT your not impressed by 32mb I take it...I'm don't understand what this 32 mb means so what should it be by todays standard? I think ps4 has 32mb too though so It's not like I've got a choice here.

3. Will it play blu ray disc - films instead of just blu-ray games.

"a D3D 11.1 graphics chip with 32MB of in-built memory"

 

Wow! That brings the spec in line with my Voodoo card from 1998!

 

32MB... Just WOW!

 

Smile

I have to agree with the OP, that it'll look good on a HiFI rack. It's quite tastefull IMO.

My Xbox 360 is undoubtedly the ugliest thinng in my system (And I have an onkyo 905!)

Interesting now to see how the PS4 looks now. Way too early to make any other judgement though.

Have to pay to play preowned games? Think they just handed the home console market to Sony.

Cliff.

I like the sharp look; it will look much more at home next to other devices such as amplifiers or Blu-ray players (which makes sense considering Microsoft's aim at it becoming the living room's central media hub).

 

To address some of your questions:

- The Xbox One will have "802.11n Wireless with Wi-Fi Direct" (built in).

- The console will be "virtually silent". 

- Xbox 360 controllers will not be compatible with the One.

 

I agree that the lack of backwards compatibility is a real bummer.

Firstly, it's looks big and ugly, all those sharp corners, yuk!

What about owners like myself who already own a Xbox 360 console - will the old controllers be compatible with the Xbox one? If your report is true in that the new Xbox one will not be backward compatible with the old Xbox 360 may prove costly and delay potentials customers adopting the new console. 

 

Let's hope that the new batch of machines are robust and do not suffer the same malaise of the early Xbox 360 being noisy and unreliable ... I'm of course referring to  the red ring of death.

also I do hope the new machines have wi-Fi as standard and not an optional extra and a digital out for audio as well as routing audio through hdmi.

 

 

too many questions unanswered ... Looking forward for further information to be revealed.