Microsoft Unveils Xbox One, an All-In-One Entertainment System

BY Jason

Published 22 May 2013


Earlier today, after several months of speculations Microsoft launched its much awaited next generation gaming console, the Xbox One at a media event at its headquarters in Redmond.

Microsoft is calling it the ultimate all-in-one gaming and entertainment system. During the presentation, Microsoft focused more on the new console as a living room device than as a gaming console.



On the hardware side, Xbox One is powered by a single custom 40-nanometer system-on-chip made by AMD with an 8-core CPU and GPU, 8GB of RAM and comes with 500GB HDD designed in-house, Blue-ray drive, USB 3.0 and support for 802.11n Wi-Fi. It also features a HDMI pass-through in which the cable box, satellite box, or similar device connects directly to the Xbox One, which then passes the mediated signal to the television via an HDMI-out port. The hardware comes packed in a shiny black rectangular box with side loading Blue-ray drive. If you were hoping for a swanky new design then you will be disappointed. However, Microsoft insists “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”

Xbox One comes with a new Kinect sensor that includes a 1080p wide-angle sensor, which Microsoft says is more precise, more responsive and more intuitive. 


The controller has also been refreshed with “more than 40 technical and design innovations” such as an updated directional pad, new thumbsticks, and an integrated battery compartment. The weird bulge for the battery pack is no longer visible. It also comes with vibrating impulse triggers that will provide vibration feedback.



According to Microsoft, a combination of three operating systems are running the One with the kernel of Windows.

Not surprisingly, the new Xbox’s user interface seems to be inspired by Windows 8, but at the same time seems more of an evolution of Xbox 360. Xbox One includes the following features:

TV on Xbox One: Navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One. Microsoft is committed to bringing live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available.

Home: Turn on your entertainment system with two powerful words, “Xbox On,” and a custom-tailored Home dashboard welcomes you with your favorite games, TV and entertainment.

Snap: Do two things at once on the biggest screen in your home. Use Snap to jump into a multiplayer battle while watching your favorite movie, talk with friends on Skype while watching live TV, or track your fantasy team on TV as you watch the big game and more.

Skype for Xbox One: Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in stunning HD, or for the first time ever, hold group Skype calls on your TV.

Trending: Stay on top of what is hot on TV by discovering the entertainment that is popular among your friends, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.

OneGuide: Find your favorite entertainment easily, searching by network or name, all with the sound of your voice and presented in a tailored program guide.


The Kinect’s 1080p wide-angle sensor enlarges the field by 60%, so you will be able to play with the device in a much smaller room or open area. The camera can also capture video at 60 frames per second for services like Skype’s video calling feature. However, the most impressive aspect of the new Kinect as The Verge explains is its ability to “tell if you’re moving your thumb, and which way your thumb is facing. It can tell which muscles you’re engaging at any given time, and how much — it knows the difference between a jab and an uppercut, and registers them differently. If you’re playing with a friend, it can tell when the two of you switch places, or even when the two of you switch controllers. Kinect knows if you’re smiling or frowning, or if you’re talking or not. It knows if you’re looking at the screen or not, and will only register your commands if you’re looking. It knows, by either remarkable science or sorcery, your heart rate just by looking at your face.”


Microsoft also unveiled the following titles for Xbox One that will be available at the launch along with a brief demo:

Forza Motorsport 5 from Turn 10 Studios is the latest edition of the highest-rated racing franchise of the past 10 years. Built from the ground up to take advantage of Xbox One and the infinite power of the cloud, no game better delivers the sensation of being behind the wheel. “Forza Motorsport 5” sets a new bar for racing games and will be available exclusively for Xbox One at launch.

Call of Duty: Ghosts is the next generation of “Call of Duty” and a stunning leap forward for the franchise. It delivers an all-new world, an all-new cast of characters and an all-new story, built on a new, next-generation engine. The next-generation technical innovations built to support the incredible gameplay advancements make this the most beautiful and immersive “Call of Duty” experience yet. Activision and Microsoft also announced the renewal of their close partnership that will see both the return of the “Call of Duty® Championship,” presented by Xbox, as well as all-new downloadable content debuting first and exclusively on the Xbox platform.

FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, NBA LIVE 14, and EA SPORTS UFC from EA SPORTS will change the way consumers experience and play sports games. Driven by the new EA SPORTS Ignite engine, these new EA SPORTS games will deliver massive innovations in human intelligence, true player motion and living worlds. Adding to its commitment to Xbox One, EA SPORTS also announced the promise of exclusive content to be revealed in the coming months.

Quantum Break from Remedy Entertainment is a revolutionary entertainment experience from the creators of “Max Payne” and “Alan Wake” that blurs the line between gaming and TV by integrating drama and gameplay into one seamless, uniquely immersive experience. How you play the game impacts the show, and the show informs how you play the game.


In addition to the games, Microsoft also announced the following content partnerships for Xbox One:

Halo television series: Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer, Steven Spielberg will executive-produce an original “Halo” live-action television series with exclusive interactive Xbox One content, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios.

National Football League: A multiyear, landmark partnership will deliver the ultimate interactive NFL television experiences for the next-generation Xbox One and leverage Microsoft devices and services to evolve both in-game and on the sideline. The NFL on Xbox will redefine broadcast experiences through innovations around Skype, Xbox SmartGlass and player-worn technology; add an all-new fantasy football solution for the biggest screen in the house; and create a personalized NFL destination only available on Xbox One.

Xbox Live

Xbox Live also comes with number of new features and improvements such as:

Smart Match: A new Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you are enjoying other activities — reputation fundamentally matters and helps find best matches.

Game DVR: A dedicated Game DVR captures and accesses your magic moments, all saved to the cloud. Along with sharing tools, you will have the most amazing bragging rights with Xbox Live.

Living Games: Dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.

Expanded achievements: A new and expanded achievements system captures video of your epic moments, continues to grow a game’s achievements over time and rewards you in new ways, and your Gamerscore carries over from Xbox 360.

Xbox SmartGlass: Xbox SmartGlass is natively part of the Xbox One platform, built in from the beginning with the ability to quickly render content directly onto your device, and now more devices can connect at one time for multiplayer and shared entertainment.

Microsoft says that the native support for Xbox SmartGlass would mean that you will be able to seamlessly connect to the Xbox One with your iPhone and iPad with the second-screen companion app. It will also be able to screen scrape video, encode it to H.264 and send it over to your second screen. Microsoft also promises to bring exclusive experiences for NFL and Skype via the SmartGlass app, however, we’ll have to wait to find out more about it.

Release date and pricing:

Microsoft didn’t reveal the pricing and the release date, though it has said that Xbox One will launch around the world later this year. We expect Microsoft to provide more details at E3, the annual video game conference and show in June.

There have been a number of rumors and speculations that Apple will launch its own television set later this year. So should Apple be worried? While we see a number of Apple blogs saying that it has nothing to worry, we think it is too premature to comment on it, as Apple may have a completely different vision for it.

Xbox One Unveil Video

Xbox Executives Discuss Xbox One

Behind the Scenes at Xbox

Via: Microsoft