It's safe to say that we've been waiting for a good while to see what Microsoft had in store for their new next-generation console. While opinions are a little divided on the company's first Xbox One conference, I myself thought it to be fantastic. Right here, we've got a round-up of all of the big announcements fresh from the horse's proverbial mouth...
- THE NAME- So why 'Xbox One'? In essence, the name derives from Microsoft wanting their console to be the 'one' source for entertainment, combining television, movies and of course video gaming into one all-encompassing experience. Sure, it seems a little odd right now as a name, but so did 'Xbox 360', so feel comforted that it'll all feel rather natural very soon.
- THE TECH- The Xbox One boasts a 8GB Core Processing Unit to bring it completely at equal odds with the PlayStation 4, as well as a Blu-Ray Player to finally ensure that games don't take up more than one disc. This console will also ship with a new and improved integrated Kinect that promises to revolutionise motion and voice control while remaining an optional addition for developers- for instance, Call Of Duty: Ghosts will feature voice squad commands. Throw on top of all this a controller that stays true to the 360's core controller strengths while adding increased trigger sensitivity, and you've got one hell of a piece of hardware at your fingertips.
- THE GAMES- As you'd expect, although not all of them took place at the conference, we've had tons of video games announced for Xbox One! Here's the full list as it currently stands: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag; Battlefield 4; Call Of Duty: Ghosts; Destiny; Dying Light; FIFA 14; Forza Motorsport 5; Madden 25; NBA 14; Need For Speed: Rivals; Quantum Break; Ryse; Thief; EA Sports UFC; Watch Dogs; Wolfenstein: The New Order; Dragon Age III: Inquisition; The Evil Within; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt; Rainbow Six: Patriots; Homefront 2 and many, many more...
- HALO GOES TV- In one of the Xbox One's most surprising announcements at its May 21st conference, Microsoft revealed Halo: The Television Series. Penned and produced by Steven Spielberg, this ambitious new project from Microsoft Entertainment and 343 Industries should expand the series' lore beyond its current video game Reclaimer Saga further than ever before. Expect to hear more in the months ahead.
- THE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS- Right now, it seems that backwards compatability won't be possible, so whether Microsoft intend to span things with the likes of Grand Theft Auto V either digitally or over one or two generations remains to be seen. Also, issues such as whether the console frequently needs online connections and/or ditches the preowned games system are still to be dealt with, so expect to here more on these rumoured developments at E3 2013.
Xbox One will retail in UK stores this Winter for an unconfirmed price, and you'll hear lots more from Microsoft via their E3 2013 conference on June 10th (our coverage coming post-hiatus on June 19th!).