What do you know. While I was working the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation decided to do an island wide power outage. Yep no electricity. Which meant I couldn’t have seen the Xbox One reveal. So what was at this one hour event that had the internet at the edge of their seats. This very new huge Xbox that reminds me of the old Xbox…
I guess it is being nostalgic. In either case we have a very new cutting edge console to be looking forward to. Now lets get the specs of this new console into the spotlight shall we.
Processor and graphics: as rumored, a heavily customized AMD chip that combines an eight-core CPU, a GPU tailored for DirectX 11.1 graphics and 32MB of high bandwidth embedded ESRAM memory. The 28nm chip will consume around 100 watts, which is slightly higher than current Xbox Slim and PS3, but Microsoft promises noise from the cooling fans will be “four times quieter.”
System memory: a Sony-rivaling 8GB of RAM, although it’ll be DDR3 instead of the PlayStation 4’s GDDR5.
Audio and video: 1080p and 4K both supported; 7.1 surround sound.
Kinect: This will be bundled with the console and contain 250,000-pixel infrared depth sensor as well as a regular 1080p web cam.
Storage and media: a 500GB hard drive of unknown speed plus a Blu-ray / DVD combo drive that will be used as little as possible. We’re told disc-based games will be ripped to the HDD automatically.
Connectivity: HDMI 1.4 output and passthrough; a “few” USB 3.0 ports; gigabit Ethernet; plus, three separate 802.11n radios to allow the console to communicate with its controller (over a form of WiFi Direct) as well as other devices (such as perhaps other Windows-based phones and tablets) without losing its connection to the internet. At other times, two radios could be used to maintain a stronger WiFi signal.
Looking at the make shift spec sheet stolen from various sources on the internet the Xbox One is shaping up to be one amazing console. Not to forget the epic controls with the Kinect. Yes the new Kinect is a very important aspect to the Xbox One eco system. Talking to the Xbox One and it recognizing your voice and carrying you to your home screen screams Home Media Center. Controlling your TV and switching between Apps and games have never been so easy. With the Windows 8 kernal and the Xbox OS being joined in marriage by the buffer OS. I know that isn’t the name but it acts as a way for the Xbox to interact with each OS interchangeably.
Enough with the technical babble. Do I have to be online all the time to play games? The answer is a definite yes. Here is the proof from http://kotaku.com/xbox-one-does-require-internet-connection-cant-play-o-509164109
The Xbox One doesn’t have to be online all the time, but it does have to be online. Not just once in a while—once a day, according to Microsoft vice president Phil Harrison.
In a Q&A on their press site for the new Xbox, Microsoft tackles the always-on question with a strangely-worded answer: “No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet.”
At the event in Redmond today, Kotaku boss Stephen Totilo asked Phil Harrison for clarification on this. And what Harrison told us might not please people who enjoy playing Xbox on military bases or other locations without Internet.
“There are many devices in your life that require the Internet to function,” he said. “Xbox One is no different in that it requires, at some point in the beginning and at various times through its on state, to connect to our cloud and to our Internet. That is to deliver Xbox Live functionality, that is to deliver download content to you, that is to deliver some of the innovations around TV and entertainment that we showed today. But it doesn’t require it to be online all the time.”
So how often does it check your connection? “Depends on the experience,” Harrison said.
“For single-player games that don’t require connectivity to Xbox Live, you should be able to play those without interruption should your Internet connection go down. Blu-ray movies and other downloaded entertainment should be accessible when your Internet connection may be interrupted. But the device is fundamentally designed to be expanded and extended by the Internet as many devices are today.”
And here’s the bombshell:
Kotaku: If I’m playing a single player game, do I have to be online at least once per hour or something like that? Or can I go weeks and weeks?
Harrison: I believe it’s 24 hours.
Kotaku: I’d have to connect online once every day.
So the system is built to work even if your Internet connection goes down, but you still have to be connected at least once a day to use it, according to Harrison. We’re not sure exactly what would happen if you don’t connect once per day—and that timeframe could change—but this doesn’t sound good for anyone who was hoping to use Xbox One without an Internet connection.
So if you are like me who live online this isn’t a problem. I guess going off the grid once in a while is out of the question. Thank you Big Brother for making me part of the matrix. I guess we only have to see how the PS4 will be able to spin that. I saw their press conference and they are doing the same thing. The only difference I think that going offline isn’t a problem. With the rise of online presence in our everyday life has become so consuming that soon the internet will be a requirement for every person on the planet. Even those in the hills that still cook with a coal pot.
So lets do the most obvious thing here. Let us compare.
I think they are evenly matched on paper. They both are dedicated to bringing first party games. Sony got Killzone. Xbox got Forza Motorsport 5. I mean we can go head to head with exclusives. One thing the Xbox One have is Xbox Entertainment Studio. Bringing the first ever Halo Live action series headed by Steven Spielberg. That is epic. I am a First Person Shooter fan and love the Halo Universe. I think that was the best thing I heard from that whole event. Compared to Sony event nothing really shouted at me. I mean Sony didn’t even showed us the console. Oh yeah that will be in June. SMH….. Anyway I am trying to not sound biased but right now both consoles are not giving me something that make me want to shell out $500 to $600. Cause we all know once the price hit the market it will be inflated to astronomical proportions.
Where does all these services leave us here in the BVI. Well if you don’t have a VPN server and paying a yearly payment to get a US DNS IP address you can kiss half of those Xbox One TV services goodbye. Also some of those DLC for some of those games are region based. Like the Gears of War 3 DLC that I bought which told me nicely that I need to be living in the US to use. But was nice enough to take my money. I know that it isn’t the Xbox fault but I wonder if they only think that only the USA will buy their product. Well on the flip side with Xbox Live becoming “aware” will make it much better to link with friends online and getting to play that new DLC from Call of Duty Ghosts. Which I want to say didn’t impress me. They didn’t show anything in the trailer to suggest anything breathtaking.
There was a few things that had me laughing. First of all they said that they will be adding a new animation to when jumping over a wall. BF3 been doing that. They want to incorporate leaning when shooting. Seriously Medal of Honor Warfighter did that. Soon they will say that they will incorporate sliding. Epic Fail. Come on Infinity Ward is it so hard to try something no one have done. I am just gonna look forward to Battlefield 4 for my FPS fix. I mean bringing the director of Traffic Stephen Gaghan to re-invent the story of Call of Duty was pretty cool. Will it save it..maybe.
So my thoughts about the little reveal Xbox had was not awesome. It was interesting and informative. Was it better than the PS4 event. Not so much I feel both did nothing for me. They both could of waited for E3. I guess with Nintendo pulling out from E3 and showing that they are no longer relevant in the console wars is a sign that the PS4 and Xbox One will be the consoles of choice this coming holiday season.