New Xbox: Features & Release Date

By Phill Powell

Microsoft introduced its latest weapon in the console wars by unveiling the new Xbox®. What can we expect from what many had codenamed the Xbox 720®, but which turned out to be the Xbox One®? Lots. The new machine promises to be a gamer’s paradise and turn the heat up in living rooms across the globe.

The Xbox 360® has had a great life (total sales = 77.2 million units-and still going), but its days are numbered with the release of the “Xbox One®,” seen here in an artist’s computer rendering.

Microsoft’s next Xbox® will be the newest player in the $70-plus billion video-game industry and the latest soldier in the fabled console wars. The new Xbox will square off primary against the PlayStation 4 from rival Sony. Why? Nintendo’s cutesy graphics were only recently updated with the Wii U, and while its family-friendly model offers legendary game franchises like “Super Mario,” “Pokemon” and “Zelda,” the PlayStation® more closely delivers the variety and mature type of content that today’s gamers crave. The PS4™ is scheduled for release this fall.

As three technology and entertainment titans fight for control of your living room, let’s ponder the fate of CDs as we move permanently to downloadable content and the possibilities of an always-on console experience. Here’s what we could expect from Microsoft’s new Xbox®:

Xbox Essentials

  • Name: Xbox One®
  • Processing Power: AMD Jaguar-based 1.6GHz x86 CPU
  • Graphics Engine: AMD 7000 series graphics, supported by 28nm Graphics Core Next (GCN) Southern Islands technology
  • Storage: 8GB of system memory/separate graphics. 500GB hard disc.
  • Optical Drive: Blu-ray (finally!)
  • Controller: New additions may include a touch-sensitive strip or even Smartglass integration, so users can receive secondary information via their smartphone or tablet.
  • Price: $299
  • Release Date: It’s possible Microsoft will give us a release date but doubtful. It’s more likely an official release date will be revealed at June’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) industry tradeshow.
  • Smart TV: Microsoft should be positioning the new Xbox® as an entertainment hub, reportedly with the Xbox connecting via the HDMI port. The ultimate goal: let the Xbox® handle all your entertainment needs; delivering both hot game content and streaming movies and TV shows, similar to what Apple TV and Roku do.
  • Kinect®’ed: Microsoft is expecting to announce an improved Kinect® system that will be included standard on the new Xbox®—and be more integrated than ever before.
  • New Games: The Xbox® event is designed to shine attention mainly on the system, but there will be some major games in attendance too—including FIFA 14® (Electronic Arts), Forza Motorsport 5® (Turn 10 Studio) and the new Call of Duty®: Ghosts game (Activision).

 

The Next Evolution of Xbox?
The new Xbox® even comes with its own controversy: Will you still be able to play games on it if it’s not connected to the Internet? We’d definitely like the option. In the end, though, here at DMA the only thing more fun than playing video games is making video games.

The evolution of Xbox®.

This summer at Digital Media Academy you can explore professional game design techniques, like learning to build polygon character models or trying out high-res sculpting with Mudbox®. Plus use the Unreal™ Development Kit (UDK) and learn how to use Autodesk® Maya® 2013 in DMA’s game design camp featuring character design & modding with Unreal™.

Want to learn the same level-creation techniques as professional video game designers? Don’t just play video games, create them.

The next generation of video-game consoles promises to offer a universe of content and the new Xbox® is going to be a great way to experience it. Apps, games, movies and more are all part of a successful strategy. Now let’s see if they can execute it.