Jack Naylor

Xbox One hardware spec is ten times better than the Xbox 360

The new Xbox One will be a real step up from the current Xbox 360, they are taking it from an already impressive 500 million transistors to 5 billion, and even those with no knowledge of technology can see the increase in power this must bring. The chips are once again brought to you by AMD, a well-respected manufacturer of processors; hopefully they will stand the test of time. I am sure that's enough to make you want to buy one but just in case:

As well as the increase in processing power they have also increased the on board RAM from a pretty pathetic 512mb to 8GB, this will allow the new Xbox to handle multiple tasks at once, and Microsoft have been hinting at the possibility of having instant switch between games built into the dashboard, but we will cover more about that later.

Xbox One Cloud

As well as the on-board spec the system also offers the equivalent of 3 times this power available in the cloud. You might remember the cloud if you read out post yesterday. Basically this gives games developers the opportunity to make use of additional computing power available on Microsoft’s servers.

Basically what all this means is that developers have the chance to really make use of the latest technologies, map sizes will increase, the graphics will take on a level of detail we have never seen before and as screens advance the console can keep up.

Storage Space

Now let’s get down to storage, the console itself has a 500GB disk space, but once again up in the cloud storage is unlimited. So as long as you’re prepared to wait for your internet connection you can store the entire back catalogue of every artist since time began, but you might want to check terms of service before attempting this…

It does mean however that once streaming media takes over you will be free to store all your movies, trailers and gaming data in one place without the worry of having to pay more subscriptions. Interestingly if the unlimited cloud doesn’t appeal you can add your own USB 3 hard drive to the console, more details about which ones are supported will follow.

Finally A Blu-Ray Player

The Xbox One will support Blu-ray, which is good news for those of use with a growing collection; there is no surprise it’s featured, hand up all those who remember HD-DVD? The console also supports 4K, the next generation HD, this adds an element of future proof to the tech.

Here at Buy Xbox One UK we really hope that this console takes the test of time, and hopefully we will never utter the words “Red Ring of Death” again! We can’t wait to see the tech in action, and we look forward to reviewing the console when we get our hands on it. So if you decide to buy an Xbox One you have a lot of power to look forward too!

The New Xbox One Live and Xbox Cloud

Rumors are flying around the internet about a few topics Microsoft didn’t cover in their E3 games fest! One of the major topics is how will Xbox Live work once the Xbox One is available to buy in November. Well it looks like they have some pretty major changes on the way, they claim to have “rebuild live from the ground up” and it has opened up some changes which all fans have been waiting to hear about.

Friends

Live is getting more social, to start with the maximum number of friends you are allowed to add has been extended to 1,000. The extension is great, maybe over the years, on the Xbox 360, you have managed to cap your list, well good news you can now add more, you greedy people! You contact list will now also be stored in the cloud so you can still access it from a friend’s house, it will also update your Xbox 360 friends list if you do decide to load up your old console, which I think is a nice touch.

Xbox One Live Monthly Fee

Xbox Live will remain free and will still provide a wide and varied back catalogue of gaming content and media, and the Gold price will not change, and to be honest I would be surprised to see a price increase for some time to come, your existing gold subscription will transfer across to your new console and you will be able to access your gold on the old Xbox too, which means at least you only ever need to pay for one subscription.

Cloud Storage

The Xbox One will require games purchased on disc to be installed, this installation is stored in the “cloud” which means if you visit a friend’s house and log in to live you will be able to play all of your games straight from his console without the disc. This includes saved games, trailers and other downloads. Your cloud storage space is unlimited and anything you save within the cloud will be accessible from any location. Q:      Will Xbox Live remain the same on Xbox 360? Do you plan to continue improving the service on Xbox 360?

Xbox 360 Gamertag for Xbox One

You have a choice with this, you can carry over your old Gamertag to your new console or if you choose you can create a new one, it all depends if you want a fresh start in the new world? Of course if you choose to keep your profile, which I am sure most will, you can carry over your achievements and Gamescore. Oh, and if you do decide to keep your Gamertag you can still carry on using it on your Xbox 360, so don’t worry about that either.

The End of Points

Microsoft have decided to put an end to points, and instead will sell in local currencies, I think this is a change that will be welcomed by most customers, it makes it much easier to understand what your spending and it means you don’t have to mess about with odd amounts of points which might be left over from your purchase. If you have points remaining you will receive a full refund calculated when this change takes place. It’s all due to happen when you can Buy Xbox One in Autumn 2013.

Original Image Credit: plusonetwo

Xbox One Box Art, What Do You Think?

Before we reach the final part of our E3 summary I just wanted to show you the Xbox One box art which was also unveiled recently by Microsoft. They always say you should never judge a book by it’s cover, but right now we’re willing to judge them on anything we can get our hands on!

I think the box looks simple and elegant, the matt black finish reminds me a little of the original IPod packaging, which I feel adds a touch of class to the shelf appearance of the console. Compare this with how the second generation Xbox 360 console was packaged, the new generation version is  far more sleek, and generally  much less glossy and I think may be aimed a little more at the older gamer, and when I say the older gamer I guess what I mean really is anyone over the age of 25.

Graphically Microsoft have opted to use an effect known well to many Photoshop users, basically they have removed all colour with the exception of their iconic controller buttons, interestingly this includes using a white logo on black background rather than their green. It isn’t like Microsoft to mess with their logos too much but I like the change.

The highlight colour effect draws the eye, and whilst I appreciate this makes little or no difference to the end user’s choice about which console to purchase it might make the console more attractive in store displays.

Aside for the design Microsoft have predictably decided to show off their controller and console on the box art, no shockers there, personally I love the design of the console, but again not sure it will appeal to the younger console user but who knows again maybe this doesn’t matter too much. It feels a bit like all the consoles of this generation will feel more mature and grown up, this could be an attempt to keep hold of the existing console generation who are now maturing. You can see signs of this in the way they revealed the console before E3, focusing more on an all-round media device which ironically annoyed hard-core gamers rather than encouraging their interest.

Overall the console and box art is a little simpler an more sleek than I personally expected, there is no clutter amongst the artwork and the console itself wouldn’t look out of place alongside any PVR or Tivo box.  Hopefully this will encourage sales amongst older gamers who need something that will fit in with their wife (or husbands) tastes.

Xbox One: What Did E3 Tell Us? Part 2

Welcome back, today we are looking at a handful of the other Xbox One games announced or trailered at E3 2013. We are looking forward to the games we featured in our last article, but the games below all have something special offer to the Xbox market.

The first game we cover is already a classic (in its own special way) it is of course:

Minecraft:

One of the most popular indie games to hit the market ever, and I’m really excited to see it make an appearance on the Xbox One, of course the game is relatively old now, and never made use of amazing visuals. Hopefully though its appearance on the new console will lead to further development from the team and could we be hearing about Minecraft 2 shortly?

Battlefield 4

Battlefield is one of my favourite gaming series of all time. I played hours and hours on BF2142 and more recently played the PC version of Battlefield 3. The trailer for BF4 looks incredible, the map featured in the trailer will arrive on the Xbox One earlier than other platforms which is a nice perk. The console itself will run the game at incredible frame rates, and if the other maps feature visuals similar to the trailer I think this may well be favourite launch title.

We will be covering Battlefield 4 in more detail closer to launch.

Titanfall

Titanfall will be the debut title for new studio Respawn Entertainment. From what we have seen so far it looks like a title which will give any of the established titles a run for their money. At first glance I thought Halo, Half-life and Gears of War all mashed together, who can’t help but love the look of this game?

Finally for today we take a look at a title which has built some very solid Xbox support over the past couple of years.

Halo

No due to hit the console until 2014, we didn’t get to see any gameplay footage, however we did get the confirmation lots of Microsoft’s fans wanted to hear! Halo will return to Xbox within the next 12 – 18 months. Big news, received in a big way!

Image source: Titanfall Official Website

Xbox One: What Did E3 Tell Us? Part 1

Ok so E3 is over, and it's time to take stock and catch up with all those lovely trailers. I must admit at first I was a little unsure about how E3 went for Microsoft, there have been a few announcements which have been met with disgust by fans, I am thinking DRM choices and daily check-in here.

That been said there are plenty of things Microsoft have confirmed, which means at least we know a little bit more about the latest console hitting our shelves.  Let’s start with the price, confirmed in the UK as £429, this means that online retailers will now be able to officially price their consoles, so expect more bundle deals  in the next few weeks.

So the price tag aside let’s take a look at some of Microsoft’s gaming offerings.  Their intro video opened up, unexpectedly, with the new Metal Gear Solid for the Xbox 360 which is an interesting choice as their opening image but why not, it’s an awesome franchise and personally I can’t wait to get a chance to sit down and play it.

I’ll move quickly past World of Tanks and onto the Xbox One offerings:       

Ryse: Son of Rome

A game which was already announced but this time we get to see some proper video footage, the graphics look impressive, the only negative I could see is the excessive use of QTE, or Quick Time Events, you’ll remember these from Uncharted, yes, you know the one where you have to quickly press X five times or you’ll die and have to restart the silly nonsense from the start!

Forza Motorsport 5

No major surprises here the graphics look amazing, the level of detail has once again been stepped up a notch from the 360 version and there is a new addition to the game in the form of a new AI called Drivatar. Basically Drivatar learns your driving style as you play and when you’re at work or school your Drivatar will race against other users and if you win you earn points. Sounds quite unique but I have seen similar things in other games so we will have to see how it compares on release day.

Dead Rising 3

Dead Rising 3 will start 3 days after the outbreak, we will get to meet a new main lead and it will be based in California. Once again the main character can use pretty much anything as a weapon, and the video a few of the combos. One new feature seems to be vehicles, it remains to be seen how these will be implemented.  I really enjoyed Dead Rising, didn’t play the sequel so much, but still this might be on I add to my to play list.

Well that’s the first three major games coming to your Xbox One, in my second part I will cover the big daddy games Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4 and more. So check back later for more!

Finally before we round off our reviews for the day, I think it is worth posting the trailer for the NEW Call of Duty: Ghosts. Although this was shown at the reveal trailer, rather than E3, I haven't had a chance to post the video or pass an opinion yet:

Call of Duty: Ghosts

I think it looks amazing, I really enjoyed the earlier Call of Duty games and although I haven't played the last two hardcore I still enjoyed the occasional round or two on a Sunday afternoon. Once again I think I will purchase this one, even if it is just for the odd blast every week or so. Graphically it is a step up from previous games but I can't help but think that some developers have yet to make full and proper use of the Xbox One's full capabilities. 

Image credit: Microsoft Press Release

 

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