Microsoft has just taken to the stage to debut the Xbox One, the Xbox 360’s always on successor.
The system will be powered by a revamped Xbox LIVE that will allow users to record and share video game content. It will also let developers use the service’s servers to create bigger and more complex games by offloading computations to Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform. Microsoft will finally do away with the friend limitations of the Xbox 360. Instead of 100 friends, users will be allowed to have 1000 friends according to the console’s Twitter account.
Every version of the Xbox One will come bundled with an upgraded version of the company’s Kinect sensor which should please users since the company says the Xbox One will require the use of a Kinect sensor to function. Using Kinect and the console’s new power states, this Xbox will always be on in various states. In fact, during today’s presentation Marc Whitten actually began the presentation by yelling the command “Xbox On”, implying that the console is always listening, even if it isn’t fully powered on. The device will instantly boot as well, a feature that it might have picked up from it’s shared core with Windows 8. The device will have multitasking, and will allow users to snap applications to one side of the screen, similar to the way they are able to do so on Windows 8 machines.
The Xbox One will also fundamentally change the way users purchase and play games. Game discs purchased in stores will essentially only act as the way games are installed on the console. Once installed, users won’t need to place the disc in the system’s Blue-ray drive anymore. Instead, the console will store the entire game on the it’s hard-drive and possibly tie that game install to the Microsoft Account of the user.
It’s unclear how that would effect users who purchase a game and want to use it with more than one Microsoft Account. More recently reports have indicated that this isn’t not the case however, so we’ll continue to monitor and report any additional information when come across.
Microsoft will releases the Xbox One sometime this year. We’ll have more about the new experiences that users can expect with the new Xbox One as it becomes available.