Microsoft Xbox One: New Kinect, Controller, Snap Mode, SmartGlass Compatibility, And Skype Integration

Posted May 21, 2013

Microsoft announced the Xbox One console at their headquarters in Redmond, Washington today.  The Xbox One has a new Kinect sensor that is going to launch later this year.  There is an emphasis for Xbox One users to “have a relationship with your TV.”  The Xbox One has 8GB of RAM, 8-core CPU, 500GB hard drive, Blu-ray drive, USB 3.0 connectivity, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11N WiFi, and HDMI in/out.

The Xbox One supports voice controls.  You can say “Xbox on” and the console will power up.  There is no manual login required nor will you have to wait for system updates any long.  The Xbox One also supports live TV viewing with a way to switch between games, music, and live TV.

The Xbox One has a guide so that you can watch TV programs in a way that is similar to a cable box.  There are additional features like trending TV shows.  Xbox One does not have a TV tuner or DVR features built-in.  Your cable box connects to an IR port on the back of the Xbox One.  Skype is also built into the Xbox One.

New Kinect
The new version of Kinect has a 1080p RGB camera and 30fps sensing.  It also has a “time of flight” measurement feature that accounts for how long it takes for light to get from the Kinect user and back.  The sensor can even detect heartbeats and recognize individual joints.  The camera on the new Kinect has an increased field of view and is more sensitive than the previous model.

Three Operating Systems
The Xbox One has three operating systems.  One of them is a “Host OS” that powers the console on and runs two other systems.  The Shared petition is used for secondary apps like Skype, Netflix, and the Kinect sensor.  The Exclusive partition handles all of the games.

One of them will have Windows 8-like features so that developers can use the same Kernel on Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox games.  Unfortunately, the Xbox One will not work with Xbox 360 games so your old games are going to start collecting some dust if you are an early adopter.

Snap Mode
The Xbox One will support gesture controls that can be accessibile anywhere on the console.  You can pick up content like movies and stretch them to fill up a screen.  You can also shrink the content.  The Xbox One can be snapped through a new “Snap Mode” feature, which lets you open up a browser window and move it to the sidebar while watching a movie or playing a game, according to TheNextWeb.  The Skype can also be snapped to the sidebar of the screen.

New Controller
The Xbox One will come with a new Kinect sensor that can detect more joints and has a lot less lagging time.  The Xbox One comes with a new controller that has a newly designed d-pad.

New Gaming Engine
Electronics Arts has announced a new gaming engine that is called Ignite.  There are four new games that will be launching on the Xbox One including an NFL, a FIFA, and a UFC game.  The Ignite engine supports 3D crowds, dynamic sidelines, and ten times the animation depth.  One of the games is called Forza Motorsport 5.  Forza has details like paint flake and plastic texture.

The Xbox One has a new gaming franchise that is called Quantam Break.  Quantum Break is one out of fifteen games that Microsoft Studios will publish in the first year of Xbox One.  Eight of those titles are now franchises.  The downloadable content for the next Call of Duty will even be exclusive to the Xbox One.

Microsoft said that SmartGlass will be compatible with the Xbox One video game console.  SmartGlass will work as a second-screen companion app that can be integrated with the Xbox One.  SmartGlass has been downloaded over 10 million times.

NFL Partnership
Microsoft said that they have partnered with the National Football League (NFL) to bring their content to the Xbox One console.  The Xbox One will have fantasy football integration.  This means that users can pin their fantasy football team to the side of the screen as they watch the real game.  When your players are in a game, their stats and scores will live-update.