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The Xbox One will unite your living room

Evan Dashevsky | May 22, 2013
It’s been eight years since the Xbox 360 made its debut, and the Xbox One will find itself competing in a far more crowded marketplace than its predecessor.

The new specs
The new Xbox will be powered by an octa-core processor with 8GB of RAM, USB 3.0 ports, 500GB of hard drive storage and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities. The new, updated Kinect comes bundled with the console and contains a 250k-pixel infrared tracking module and can process 2GB of data per second--that means it can register individual rotations of writs and shoulders and even how hard you commit to an action. Additionally--and perhaps kind of freakily--according to Microsoft's Mark Whitten, the Kinect can "read your heart beat."

The Kinect will work in concert with the controller and the console to offer a welcome new dimension to gameplay. With the new gaming interface, for example, raising your controller might prompt your game character to raise a shield.

The underpinning of the greater Xbox ecosystem will be powered by 300,000 servers--more computing power than existed in the entire world in 1999. Xbox Live members will be able to store all their movies and games in addition to recording moments from gameplay to edit and share with friends. That massive amount of cloud computing muscle will also allow game creators to create living, persistent worlds that change with gameplay and community behavior.

The New Stuff
As far as what new content will be available for The One, Tuesday's presenters largely seemed willing to kick the can down the road, promising more news to come in a few weeks at the E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles.

The new Kinect.

We did, however, get some glimpses of games that should be coming down the line. EA Sports's Andrew Wilson came on stage to announce that the company would be releasing four new games soon for the One powered by the new EA Sports Ignite engine that would "blur the line between real and virtual." Specifically, gamers will soon be able to get their hands on the new FIFA, Madden, UFC, and NBA Live.

Phil Spensor from Microsoft Studios took the stage to show the trailer for Forza Motrosports Five, which will be available when the One launches. He also promised that the company currently has more games in development than at any time in its history. Currently, Microsoft's studio is developing 15 games that will come out in the first year of the One's release, eight of which are completely new franchises.

Nancy Tellem, the head of Xbox's original non-gaming entertainment arm, said her organization was working on TV that was "no longer a one-way street" and will immerse you. We weren't given too many details, but she did break away to introduce a prerecorded message from director Steven Spielberg who will be bringing an original series based on Halo to Xbox Live. (We've previously taken a deeper look at Microsoft's original content plans.)

 

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