Microsoft’s big Xbox Reveal event is finally here, and Don Mattrick took to the stage to announce the Redmond company’s next-generation console effort: Xbox One. Laden in a glossy, black finish, Microsoft has really stepped up its design game with this one, and with a real focus on software innovation and interactive applications, the general user experience with the Xbox One looks enthralling at first glance.
With so much of a furor surrounding what the console would actually be called, it was nice to see such monikers as "Xbox 720" and "Xbox Infinity" never bore fruit, and although the console’s naming scheme moves things back to basics as it were, the Xbox One is anything but.
One way to describe this new console is an amalgam of the traditional gaming portal and the modern set-top box. There’s a big emphasis on molding the entire entertainment experience into a singular entity, and therein lies the rationale behind the name. Microsoft wants the Xbox One to replace your DVD / Blu-ray player, your preexisting console, your set-top box; and from what we’ve seen so far, it has all of the ingredients to do so.
Voice recognition software is integrated from the get-go, and allows you to control almost every aspect of the Xbox One. You can flit between your apps and live TV stream thanks to the new Instant Switching, and with an even deeper emphasis on Kinect than ever before, the appeal of the Xbox One simply cannot be overstated.
Different apps/elements can run side-by-side, allowing users to, say, browse the Web on IE while watching a downloaded video, and on first impressions, it looks as though Microsoft has really presented the gaming and entertainment world with something to ponder.
Console and Kinect hardware gets a complete new look, so does the game controller with redesigned d-pad.
We’ll be taking a closer look at the console and its features in a post coming up very soon, so stay tuned!