The Xbox One will go head to head with the PS4 this Christmas in the games console battle of the century. This is your one stop shop for the Xbox One release date, pre-order, specs, price, features, functionality and more.
See also: Xbox One launch: as it happened.
Xbox One release date: when is the new Xbox out?
Get your Christmas list ready becuase Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One will be released in time for the festive season. The Xbox One will be released on 22 November in the UK.
How to Pre-order the Xbox One
The Xbox One is set to be a popular product this Christmas so you'll probably want to pre-order it to avoid any disappointment. You can head over to the official Xbox site for a list of retailers (the device is out of stock on the Microsoft Store at the time of writing).
See also: Xbox One pre-order prices to find out more.
Xbox One specs
- 8 Core x86 AMD CPU
- 8 GB System Memory
- 500 GB HDD
- Blu-ray Drive
- 802.11n Wireless with Wi-Fi direct
- Gigabit Ethernet
- HDMI in/Out, 1080p, 4K support, Optical out
- USB 3.0
Xbox One Price in the UK
The price of a new Xbox One in the UK is £429 which is £80 more than its Sony rival, the PS4. Although it's more expensive, your money will get you an Xbox One console, Kinect sensor, commemorative controller, exclusive achievement, HDMI Cable.
The price of the PS4 doesn't include a PlayStation Eye camera, the equivalent to the Kinect.
To add some perspective to this price, when the Xbox 360 launched back in 2005 its initial price was £279. For those math junkies out there, that's a £150 and 53.7 percent increase.
Will the Xbox One be backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games?
At the moment, the situation is that the Xbox One will not be compatible with older Xbox 360 games. However, Microsoft has hinted that this feature may still be on the way.
"That's one of the things that makes [the cloud] at the same time both totally interesting and hard to describe to people. Because what the cloud can do is sort of hard to pin … Using our Azure cloud servers, sometimes it's things like voice processing. It could be more complicated things like rendering full games like a Gaikai and delivering it to the box. We just have to figure out how, over time, how much does that cost to deliver, how good is the experience," said Microsoft Senior Director Albert Penello.
"The power of the cloud brings many possibilities on Xbox One. Albert was speaking theoretically about backwards compatibility as an example of the features the cloud could enable in the future," clarified Microsoft in a follow up statement.
Will GTA 5 be out on Xbox One?
Rockstar, the developer of GTA 5, hasn't made a formal announcement on next-generation support for its blockbuster title. However, it seems likely that the game will be released on the Xbox One after a note to investors stated that a further release of GTA 5 would "help extend the value of the franchise".
Head to the next page for Xbox One features, cloud, always online and more
Xbox One features
The Xbox One is much more than just a games console. It is a set-top box that allows the user to watch TV, Skype, listen to audio and browse the web. And it can do these things simultaneously, using the Windows 'Snap' feature. "This is the beginning of truly intelligent TV," said Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi.
The new Xbox One has a new processor, 8GB of memory, a Blu-ray Disc drive and 500GB hard-disk drive and Wi-Fi Direct. It's based on a new architecture that combines a dedicated Xbox architecture with the Windows kernel, on which web apps are run. Microsoft described it as running three operating systems at once.
The Xbox One is controlled by a combination of voice, gesture, the controller and the user's smartphone or tablet. "Xbox On," said Mehdi during the demonstration. The Xbox One is controllable via voice, and proved it by springing to life and presenting a personalised home screen.
Mehdi skipped through a series of commands during his demonstration: "Xbox, watch TV" and so on. It worked seamlessly during the demo, or at least appeared to.
Xbox One and the Cloud
The Xbox One "unleashes the power of the cloud [and] connects you to thousands of games, songs, TV shows, movies and sports. More importantly, it's a scalable source of power that will grow stronger over time. Best of all, your games and profile are stored in the cloud, so every Xbox One console behaves like your very own. And because it's all one service, your Xbox Live Gold membership will work on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One." Nifty eh?
Xbox One requires an internet connect to work: U-turn
Initially the Xbox One was intended to only work when connected to the internet. Here is what Microsoft initially said about the Xbox One and an internet connection:
- 1.5MB internet connection is required.
- A persistent connection is 'not required', but one is if you want to 'verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend.'
- You can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies.
However, after a impressive backlash from the public and the media, Microsoft has now done a U-turn on the ‘always connected to the internet' feature. Don Mattrick, President, Interactive Entertainment Business at Xbox said: "An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again."
He added "Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360." ?
So it's pretty much as you were with the Xbox 360…phew!
The Xbox One's "all-new Kinect'
The Xbox One has given its Kinect camera a bit of a revamp too. Kinect now comes built in to the Xbox One and Microsoft claims "It's more precise. More responsive. More intuitive. Its unparalleled voice, vision, and motion technology lets you reach into games and entertainment like never before."
New Xbox One's Kinect features
Kinect Real Vision technology dramatically expands its field of view for greater line of sight. An all-new active IR camera enables it to see in the dark. And using advanced 3D geometry, it can even tell if you're standing off balance.
Kinect Real Motion technology tracks even the slightest gestures. So a simple squeeze of your hand results in precise control over a game or app. Whether you're standing up or sitting down.
Kinect Real Voice technology focuses on the sounds that matter, thanks to an all-new multi-microphone array. Advanced noise isolation lets Kinect know who to listen to, even in a crowded room. And, for the first time, you can use your voice to launch any Xbox One experience from anywhere in the system, so you can quickly move from one thing to another.
The new Xbox One controller
You can probably guess that with the new Xbox One console comes a new Xbox One controller. Here's the new features in a nutshell: "The best gaming controller [according to Xbox] just got better with over 40 technology innovations. New Impulse Triggers deliver precise fingertip feedback for more realistic experiences. We have streamlined the thumbsticks, D-pad, and contours for improved precision and comfort in your hands. Simply put, it is the best controller we've ever made."
Xbox One and Xbox SmartGlass
Xbox has been a little vague on SmartGlass. It clearly has huge potential as it offers user and second screen (a touchscreen no less). However, all that has been said so far is that the SmartGlass "serves up extended experiences of your favorite TV shows, movies, music, games, and sports" which is pretty much what it does right now for the Xbox 360.
Other new Xbox One features
Play without the wait
With Xbox One, you can start playing immediately as games install. And updates install seamlessly in the background, so your games and entertainment won't be interrupted.
Split your screen. Not your time
Ever wish you could chat with a friend on Skype while watching the playoffs? With Snap you can do both at the same time. On the same screen.
Pick up right where you left off
Want to check sports scores in the middle of a game? No problem. With auto-resume, your game is suspended right where you left off. So you can jump back instantly to the same spot. You can even start a movie or a game on one Xbox One and finish it on another.
Always ready when you are
Xbox One wakes up instantly, so it's always ready when you are. Because less time waiting means more time playing.
Instantly and effortlessly jump back and forth between a game, TV, music, and apps. Now there's no need to back out of one experience before you jump right into another.
Take a look at the next page to see our rumour round-up from before the official launch.
By Tom Morgan - 8/2/13
E3 2012 has been and gone without Microsoft letting slip any information about the Xbox 720 release date. Not even confirming if it will be called the Xbox 720, if it will play Blu-rays, or how much the Xbox 720 will cost? So let's wade through some weird and wacky online rumours. There's been no official word from Microsoft relating to these questions, so take some of these rumours with a pinch of salt. Updated on 08/02/13. See also: Microsoft launches Xbox One - as it happened, details.
Update:The latest rumours on the Xbox 720 include that it will require a constant internet connection to function. It is also claimed that physical games will come with an activation code rendering them useless as second hand. Lastly, the new version of the Kinect sensor will have improved, Siri-like, voice recognition, for wake on voice, natural language controls, speech-to-text and more.
Xbox 720 release date and pricing
Admittedly, it's always hard to confirm the reliability of a 'leaked document'. They can come from anywhere, which often includes somebody's Photoshop canvas. Perhaps the most noteworthy leak arrived in the form of a 56 page business plan titled: "Xbox 720-9-24 Checkpoint Draft 1". See also Fifa 13 release date, features and screenshots
The PDF was originally featured by file sharing site Scribd and spread to other online news sites including Reddit and Nukezilla. Although the text dates back to August 2010, it was leaked only last month. Soon after, The file was removed by a law firm associated with Microsoft due to copyright infringement. The 'confidential' text pointed to a holiday 2013 launch date for what it referred to as the "Xbox 720" and the accompanying "Kinect V2". Now for the obvious question: Surely if this was a fake document Microsoft wouldn't have bothered to pull it from the net? Visit PS4 release date, specs and rumour round-up.
Threats from entertainment giants such as Apple and Google mean that Microsoft will need to do its best to compete. A section of the file acknowledges that Nintendo and Sony might be dishing out a system around 2013 too, so it would make sense to join the console battle around the holiday season. See also GTA 5 release date, features, maps and rumours.
From what we've seen online, it's looking like the Xbox 720 may not be as expensive as you think. The file removed by Microsoft's legal team quoted a launch price of $299 with the new Kinect. This is surprisingly cheap for a launch console, considering that back in 2005 the Xbox 360 came out at £279. Such a small price tag on a console yet to be announced is one of the more questionable rumours we've stumbled upon.
Xbox 720 Features
We've discussed pricing and release dates, but what about some of the rumoured features? Let's take a look.
Xbox 720: You can play it wearing fancy glasses if you want to
The 56-page leak was bursting with juicy hardware and software rumours, including news that Microsoft could be introducing augmented reality glasses for use as a peripheral. It's a concept that sounds reminiscent of Google's Project Glass, which was announced back in April. Don't get too excited just yet, though. The Xbox 720 timeline within the document claims that augmented glasses would come much later than the consoles initial launch.
Xbox 720: You can play it in 3D
'Full 3D', to be precise. This means you'd be able to play games and watch films that literally jump out at you. 3D technology would spark a new lease of life into games that have become synonymous with the Xbox. Maybe we'll be seeing a 3D Halo title in the future.
Xbox 720: You'll be ducking and weaving in front of an improved Kinect
We could eventually be getting our hands on a new version of Microsoft's motion sensor in the form of the "Kinect V2", which will supposedly include a host of features, such as: better 3D play space, improved voice recognition, 4-person movement tracking, dedicated processing and an upgrade to the camera included with the current Kinect. You won't need to rearrange your living room before playing, as the improved camera can see your playing environment 'better than ever'.
If these rumours hold any truth, you'll also be able to play a game via the new Kinect V2 with up to 4 players simultaneously. The document says the evolution of the sensor is 'an incremental improvement'.
Xbox 720: Blu-ray support will be included
The Xbox 720 could ship with the ability to play Blu-ray DVD's, along with built-in DVR features. The new system will be the "only box you'll need for premium living room entertainment", says the leaked document.
Xbox 720: The console will run faster with a new interface
4x – 6x faster, potentially. Playing exclusive next-gen AAA titles at six times the speed you're used to would be a treat. A nippy new Xbox would undoubtedly do wonders for the proposed dashboard changes, too. The leaked PDF refers to a "NextGen interface", so we could be seeing a shiny new UI to compliment returning applications such as NetFlix.
Xbox 720: Cloud gaming will be a key focus
Microsoft would be wise to explore the cloud gaming market as its proved very popular elsewhere. Cloud-based gaming service OnLive boasts millions of online users and is a major competitor. Sony also has an eye on working with similar technology, following its recent acquisition of Gaikai for $380m.
Rumours from a number of sources claim that you'll be able to access your Xbox content on devices other than your Xbox, and the leaked PDF supports this theory. One of the images in the leak shows a man playing football on the TV, using a tablet as a second screen to display team information from the game. A unified system that would allow users to switch from one device to another would be very handy indeed. Potentially, your content could be shared across your console, PC, and Windows phone.
What are your thoughts on the latest Xbox rumours? Let us know in the comments section below.