At Microsoft’s XBOX One Press Conference, which has been streamed live and can be viewed below:
Microsoft revealed a few things about their console, and that it would integrate various technological advances into one system. With live streaming TV, complete User Interface navigation via motion control, a Blu-ray player, on-board 802.11n wireless connectivity and Internet Explorer, DVR capabilities, and Skype video conferencing, the XBOX One is looking to innovate by integrating almost every single technological device into one home console. Perhaps this can be seen as a breakthrough, or it can spell trouble for the new console, as two leading industry analysts offer mixed interpretations over the future of live entertainment.
According to an article on GamesIndustry International, analyst David Cole expresses concern over the company marketing the system with too many hands in too many places:
Just the name Xbox One says a lot. Microsoft desperately wants to have their system be the centerpiece of living room entertainment. Sony also wants that but they seem to be going in a much more game centric direction. In terms of which strategy will win we would put our bets on targeting gamers. The concern with Microsoft is that they are going after a need that isn’t really there. Yes, it is convenient to have your game system play video but there are all kinds of devices that do that. If a consumer is putting that kind of money down they want the system that plays the best games.
However, analyst Michael Pachter sees things differently. He argues:
It’s very much an entertainment focused box. They only gave us a glimpse of games. 15 exclusives and 8 new IPs, that’s pretty cool… But they kind of did exactly upside-down what Sony did. Sony was all games all the time and this was all entertainment, saying games would be at E3. The gaming press was really excited by the games focus by Sony, but I think this has more mass appeal and I think E3 is a games focused show so I think maybe that strategy is smarter.
They have 15 exclusives coming to the XBOX One, including EA Sports titles FIFA ’14, Madden, NBA Live ’14, a new title for the UFC, developer Remedy’s (known for Alan Wake) new Quantum Break, and Forza 5. Hardware specs are also going off the deep end a bit as well, with an 8-core processor on a board architecture with over 5 billion transistors, 8 GB on-board RAM, a 500 GB hard disk drive, wireless internet connectivity, 1080p HDMI Input/Output, USB 3.0, and Blu-ray. Pachter estimates that this little console will open in the market for around 400 bucks!!! That’s at least a $1,000 PC at a fraction of the price!!! If that’s true, then there is no doubt that this console will outdo the market by a huge margin!
Considering that most video cards are barely scraping on utilizing Quad processors, does this mean that the hardware will be upgradeable in future updates to the console? Am I misunderstanding current technological standards?
I’m sorry Mr. Cole, but I have to side with Pachter on this one.
The console also offers a navigable User Interface using motion capture technology and voice activation, integration of the Windows 8 kernel for their operating system (I still don’t understand what he means by 3 separate OS’es), 300,000 servers world-wide dedicated to cloud storage, an upgraded Kinect sensor that is capable of measuring heart rates, and a complete social network for sports and gaming. According to the developers at Activision, the new hardware allows its developers to create better textures on a new HD-engine, which can be seen from the screen capture below:
Is Microsoft leading the industry in innovation? Only time will tell. Let’s wait for their next reveal at E3 to see what else they have in store for this beast!