Microsoft's new Xbox will radically change your living room. Officially called the Xbox One, the new console comes with a built-in Blu-ray drive, extensive cloud capabilities, and the ability to pipe in live TV direct from cable providers and the Internet. In all, the new device is looking more like a premium home theater component than a gaming machine. So is the Xbox One the new must-have console or will its do-it-all personality have hardcore gamers flocking to the PS4?
Microsoft Wants Control of Your Living Room
First the good news. Previous rumors that the next-gen Xbox would require an always-on Internet connection and would stomp out the used games market were pretty much debunked at Tuesday's unveiling in Redmond. While it's true that the Xbox One will greatly benefit from an always-on connection (since many of the device's new features are cloud-based), playing games and watching Blu-ray movies don't necessarily require an Internet connection. Likewise, the rumor stating that gamers would not be able to trade-in and resell games was also squashed: Microsoft said there would be a market for trading in and playing used games, though the complete details of reselling used games weren't completely revealed.
But before you hand Microsoft half of your paycheck, make note that not everything will run smoothly on the new console. For starters, the Xbox One won't be backwards compatible thereby leaving many loyal Xbox 360 gamers with a potentially useless library of 360 games. Likewise, any Xbox Live Arcade games purchased on your 360 won't transfer over to the new console largely due to the Xbox One's new architecture, says Microsoft.
But to help lessen that blow, the new console will come with a redesigned Xbox controller and a smarter Kinect camera, the latter of which will do everything from reading your heart rate to enabling voice commands between your Xbox and your TV.
In the end, there are still many unknowns Microsoft didn't address in yesterday's announcement. Like Sony, the company offered no pricing or an exact release date. We simply know the Xbox One be out sometime later this year, though with E3 just weeks away, we're hoping both companies offer more concrete pricing information, as that will play a major role in consumers' decisions. But in the meantime, what camp are you siding with now, dealnews reader? Xbox One all the way or eagerly awaiting the PS4's launch?
Louis Ramirez is a senior feature writer for dealnews.com, where this article first appeared