Tag Archives: Xbox

Fable Legends to have 5-10 year lifespan

Lionhead Studios expects its recently announced online-focused Fable Legends to have a lifespan of 5-10 years on Xbox One, according to new studio boss John Needham.

“We’re playing the long game with this,” Needham told GamesIndustry International.

To achieve the lifespan Needham hopes for Fable Legends, the game will make use of the Xbox One’s suite of features and services, including the cloud, he said.

“This is the next big Fable game that is going to be out for five to ten years so it needs to be big, it needs to be interesting,” Needham said. “There needs to be a lot of stuff to do, it needs to integrate all the cloud and Xbox One features so we keep our community alive and growing. So yeah, it’s big and ambitious, but it needs to be because it’s going to be around a long time.”

Just because Lionhead Studios will be working on Fable Legends for the next 5-10 years does not mean the company won’t also spend time on non-Fable projects during that time. Needham said though the company is focused on Fable Anniversary and Fable Legends right now, the studio also has an incubation group to brainstorm new ideas.

In addition, the company’s third annual Creative Day will be held next week, where employees can present game ideas, services, features, or art projects they are working on. Needham said this event is “great fun” and has in the past led to ideas that have been used in full products.

Lionhead Studios today delayed Fable Anniversary for Xbox 360 until February 2014, while Fable Legends does not have a release date. A beta for the game will begin next year. For more on Fable Legends,



Microsoft’s Xbox One comes packed with latest technologies

imageXbox One, the highly-awaited successor to the Xbox 360, has been in the news for all the right reasons. Microsoft’s new gaming beast which has already created hype among fans with its enhanced features and a book-like black metal body has recently got competitors shaking as more details of the product are revealed. According to latest news, the Xbox One will come packed with Microsoft’s first ever in-house built processor. That’s not all; the beast of all beasts will reportedly also be able to cool itself and prevent over-heating. With radical new features including social media apps, a Cloud Storage system and the new Kinect camera, Microsoft has turned a mere gaming console into something revolutionary.

According to US-based tech sites, this is the first time Microsoft has designed a processor for any of its hardware components in-house. Previously, it always commissioned independent chip manufacturers for the purpose. Reports also reveal the company has around 200 people working on producing the microprocessor in-house. With this step, Microsoft has joined the likes of Apple, which has been building its own ARM-based SoCs for its iPhones since the 3Gs.

The Xbox One will also be ‘heat-aware’, able to adjust its own temperature. While PC users might be familiar with this feature, the idea is new for Microsoft’s Xbox console. It will be able to cool down itself in multiple ways. The machine will first begin to cool down by pushing up the fan to a higher speed. If that doesn’t work, the machine will switch itself to a lower power state for maximum protection. This feature is set to optimize the battery life and protect it from possible temperature damage.

While Microsoft has taken every step to prepare itself against Sony’s Playstation 4 also due to release later this year, there is still some time to find out how the new processor and the newly-enhanced features will work out.

Google at work on Android watch, video game console

Google could be building both a wrist watch and a video game console, both of which would be powered by Android.

Original Author: Matthew Shaer

google Android watchThat’s the word today from The Wall Street Journal, which reports that at least one of the Android-powered devices could be unveiled as early as the fall – thus theoretically putting the console in direct competition with the forthcoming Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4. The watch, meanwhile, would probably be an attempt to stave off similar hardware reportedly being developed by Apple.

There are a lot of maybes here, and the Journal has sourced its article only to “people familiar with the matter.” Google isn’t commenting at all.

Still, as Rik Myslewski of the Register points out, there’s plenty of reason to believe the report.

“If Google is serious about its plans for world domination – and there’s never been a scintilla of evidence that it isn’t – the extension of Android into more and more types of devices is most certainly part of that plan,” Mr. Myslewski writes. “In addition, Google has also not shown much compunction about moving into hardware areas in which its partners now play. Not much success, either – but that could change.”

So what would a Google video game console look like? Well, it’d likely be targeted at casual gamers, and be sold for a much lower price than the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. And it’d also probably do double-duty as a multimedia hub.

In related news, Ouya, the much-hyped Android video game console, hit shelves in the US and UK, with a price tag of a hundred bucks. Although the device received some praise, most reviewers were unhappy with the performance of the hardware, and particularly the controller, which was described as flukey and inaccurate.

“Everything about [the Ouya] screams its desire to be the noble champion of indie games,” one reviewer lamented. “Instead, the console I played with… comes across more as the noble champion that some dirty, no-name mercenary humiliates in 10 seconds flat.”


Assassin’s Creed 4 DLC Will Feature a Pirate Named Adewale

The discovery of the Season Pass for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag has outed the existence of yet another Assassin aside from the game’s protagonist Edward Kenway and Aveline, who features heavily in three bonus missions exclusive to the PlayStation 3. Aveline is the main character of Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation for the PS Vita.

The new character, named Adewale, is Edward Kenway’s first mate, and his existence was revealed through the DLC Season Pass for the game on Best Buy, as discovered by AllGamesBeta (via GameRanx). According to the retailer, players will take on the role of Adewale in a series of DLC missions and be treated to an alternate perspective with a deeper look at the events that made up the Golden Age of Pirates, the period in which the game is set.

The Season Pass carries a price tag of $20 and offers a 50 percent saving on purchasing the content separately. The game itself is slated for an October 29 release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s slated for release a few weeks later on the PC. It is set as a launch title for next-gen platforms.


E3 2013 Need for Speed Rivals Impressions


I finally got my hands on a DualShock 4 and raced down Redview County in a team of racers and cops in the upcoming Need for Speed Rivals. The goal? To get as many speed points as possible in just seven minutes. To accomplish this goal you must drive recklessly, performing stunts, challenging someone to a race, and taking down all opponents possible! My first impressions oh the game were good. I did however feel like the controls were a little slow to react; then again, this isn’t the final game. I’m sure they will fine tune it a bit more before release.

That being said, it was amazing as a racer to be in the new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and breaking more than a few driving laws. One thing to note, Ferrari has been non-existent in the NFS series for quite some time, so it’s nice to see them back in the game. The game itself looked extremely detailed in comparison to the last iteration (Need for Speed Most Wanted) and has a noticeable difference. The world was still similar to prior titles, with its highways, mountain hairpin turns, and redwood forest. Completely amerced with headphones, you can hear the V12 engine sing at every turn or straightway.

For the set up at the EA booth, you didn’t get any choices on cars or a menu system, Ghost Games simply wanted you to pick up the controller and be a racer or a cop. This seems like a good idea, but with five other players also not really knowing what to do or what was available, we all just became loose cannons. For this demo as a racer, you only got EMP blast or Turbo boost as your equipment. The EMP blast was similar as before; keep the line of sight for several seconds on your target, shoot the EMP, and disable your opponent temporarily. The turbo worked as advertised, as it blasts you away immediately in one direction.

One new feature was the way you challenge other players to a race. Similar to shooting an EMP, you simply find a rival in front of you, hit L1 to challenge them to a race, and the race begins if the challenge is acepted. Very simple and to the point, no waiting, no loading, just go! While I didn’t have too much time in front of the game, I can say that it looks better than ever. Playing in teams of racers and cops was fun, and I did get a red racing shirt out of it. I can’t wait to play the full game and to really see what AllDrive can really do.

Need for Speed Rivals comes out November 19 for PlayStation 3, XBOX 360, and PC. It will also be released for PlayStation 4 & XBOX ONE when the two new consoles launch in the holiday season.

I’ll leave you with a new game play trailer from E3, enjoy.

‘GTA 5’ will feature advanced police tactics, new screen released (Photos)

Grand Theft Auto V

View the full slide show

Even though the game will release in a few months, Rockstar Games continues to give few updates regarding “Grand Theft Auto V.” According to a post from GameStop’s official Facebook page on June 13 however, it was revealed that the police inside “GTA 5” will use various tactics to catch the title’s three switchable protagonists.

Along with releasing a new screenshot for “Grand Theft Auto V,” GameStop revealed that cops will utilize advanced driving maneuvers and seek the high ground to maintain visual confirmation of players in order to apprehend the main characters from the next installment of the “Grand Theft Auto” series.

Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V (Photo credit:  Rockstar Games)

Grand Theft Auto V” is currently scheduled to release on Sept 17 for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The upcoming “GTA” title will return fans to San Andreas, a fictional state based upon real-world California. Players will take control of three protagonists inside the game as they plan and execute a series of high-profile heists.



Sony undercut Microsoft by £80 in PlayStation v Xbox war of the consoles

SONY announced that the PlayStation 4 will sell for £349 and give consumers the ability to use pre-owned games, whilst the Xbox will cost £429.

Sony's Andrew House unveils the Playstation 4

SONY gave Microsoft a bloody nose yesterday – unveiling a new console that’s £80 cheaper than the Xbox One.

Microsoft had announced their games machine would cost £429 when it launches in November just hours earlier.

But at the E3 electronics trade show in Los Angeles, Sony’s Welsh chief executive Andrew House gave the PlayStation 4 the edge in the console wars.

It will sell for £349 and won’t put restrictions on owners buying second-hand games or borrowing them from pals, while Microsoft will.

That could be the deciding factor in which console comes out on top in the £18billion-a-year industry.

Yesterday was gamers’ first full glimpse of the PS4.

Alex Simmons, UK editor of entertainment website IGN, said: “It looked fairly even until Sony gave Microsoft a bloody nose with their £349 price point for PlayStation 4 and reinforcing they would allow the sale of pre-owned games and not require a permanent online connection like their rivals.

“With both consoles offering similar technical specs, the £80 price difference and ability to buy cheaper pre-owned games might push die-hard Xbox fans to try PlayStation for the first time.”

The PS4’s specialist features will include giving independent gamers the ability to broadcast a live stream of their play, as well as being able to access films, TV shows and music.

Sony will also be developing cloud technology, allowing owners to play their old games from previous PlayStation models via the internet.

Among the first wave of games to be released alongside the console will be Killzone: Shadow Fall, Drive Club and Knack, with at least 80 more due in its first year.


PS4 release date, news and features

PlayStation 4 is headed for a ‘Holiday 2013’ release date

At GDC 2013 at the end of March, a room full of would-be PS4 developers and press got some new details about the hardware, controller, online and social functions of the forthcoming PlayStation 4.

Well before Microsoft eventually announced the Xbox One, Senior Staff Developer Support Engineer Chris Norden unveiled the news under an overarching theme of a “frictionless and seamless” gaming experience.

We’ve known that the PS4 will track both the controller in a gamer’s hand, as well as their face, since the console’s launch in Feb. But during his GDC talk Norden revealed some interesting ways that this technology will be implemented in games.

For example, the old multiplayer standby of split screen, divvying up television real estate when two or more players go at it, will be aided by this tracking tech. If a gamer gets up and moves right or left, his section of the screen will automatically be swapped.

So here’s everything we know about the PlayStation 4 so far…

PS4 release date

The PS4 release date is “Holiday 2013” for the USA. That’s the only official detail Sony revealed at the launch in February and it’s unclear which other territories it applies to, if any.

However, Sony recently took out a newspaper ad in the UK, clearly advertising the PS4 release date as ‘2013’. That tallies with an interview in May with our buddies at CVG, a source inside Sony said that the company is pulling out all the stops to launch worldwide in 2013 and ensure that the PS4 is not trumped by the new Xbox.

Sony also advertised at the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium, London, with ‘PS4 – coming 2013’ signs.

Officially, Sony has said it wants the PS4 release date in Europe to be as soon as possible but makes no promises on whether the UK and other European countries will get a release date in time for Christmas this year or whether it’ll be an uncomfortable wait until sometime in 2014.

Stock issues might be the reason for this, and that’s exactly what happened back in 2006/2007 when the PS3 launched. It went on sale in the US and Japan in time for Christmas and Europe and the rest of the world had to wait for March the next year.

But that newspaper ad certainly seems to confirm that we’ll be able to get our hands on the PS4 before Christmas in the US and Europe.

What we know for sure is that we’ll get our first glimpse of the PS4 at E3. Check out the PS4 teaser video.

PS4: Hardware specs

AMD, as we guessed all along, is coursing through this new system’s veins.

Post-event, Sony revealed the system runs on a single-chip custom processor and utilizes eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU cores, with a next-gen AMD Radeon based graphics engine powering the way.

So it’s very much a PC-based system then, which is great news for developers who will find it much easier to code games for the next gen consoles and for PCs. However, that CPU is hardly next-gen – it may have been modified for this system but the AMD Jaguar platform is by no means the fastest of its kind – indeed it’s slower than Intel’s fastest by orders of magnitude.

However, with fewer redundancies than a PC has, the PS4 will certainly be able to make use of every single Watt of power it draws.

The “highly enhanced PC GPU” is another story. It’s another AMD part – something along the lines of a Radeon 7850 card – and packs 18 GCN units. That may sound a like a lot of techy mumbo jumbo but what it essentially means is that the GPU packs 18 processing clusters, each packing up to 64 cores. That provides a lot of parallel processing power, and will thus handle the majority of the PS4’s grunt work. It hits 1.84 TFLOPS of processing mojo. This is a far more powerful component than the Jaguar CPU and is rumoured to have the edge on the GPU inside the Xbox One.

Sony announced at the NYC event that the console will even use GPU compute features to take advantage of the GPU’s raw power – it’ll be used for general computation tasks as well as making games shiny.


The PS4 will ship packing 8GB of GDDR5 memory. That’s some super-fast stuff right there and should enable lightning fast performance.

Indeed, Sony has revealed that you will be able to power down the PS4 mid-game and then switch it on again in seconds and pick up right where you left off. That’s the sort of loading power that this memory enables.

Other specs

We’re also looking at Blu-ray disk support plus good ol’ DVD, plus HDMI output support as well as Analog-AV out and an optical digital output.

PS4 camera

PlayStation 4 Eye

What’s really grabbing though is the development of the PlayStation 4 Eye, a newly developed camera system that utilizes two high-sensitivity camera equipped with wide-angle lenses and 85-degree diagonal angle views.

Sony said the cameras (amounting to 1280 x 800 pixels) can cut out the image of a player from the background or differentiate between players in the background and foreground, enhancing game play handily. There’s also mention of logging in using facial recognition and using voice and body movements to play games “more intuitively.”

If you want to know how these specs stack up against what we know so far about the Xbox One (clue: PS4 is more powerful) – check out our comparison of PS4 and Xbox One specs.

dualshock 4

PlayStation 4 Specifications

  • CPU: low power x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores
  • GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ Graphics Core Next engine
  • Memory: GDDR5 8GB
  • Hard Disk Drive: Built –in
  • Optical Drive (Read only): BD 6xCAV, DVD 8xCAV
  • I/O: Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0), AUX
  • Communication: Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)
  • AV output: HDMI, Analog-AV out, Digital Output (optical)

DualShock 4 specifications:

  • External Dimensions: Approx. 162mm x 52mm x 98mm
  • Weight: Approx. 210g (tentative)
  • Buttons: PS button, SHARE button, OPTIONS button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Left/Right), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), R1/L1/R2/L2/R3/L3, Right stick, Left stick, Touch Pad Button, Touch Pad 2 Point Touch Pad, Click Mechanism, Capacitive Type
  • Other Features: Light Bar, Vibration, Built-in Mono Speaker
  • Ports: USB (Micro B), Extention Port, Stereo Headset Jack
  • Wireless communication: Bluetooth® Ver2.1+EDR

PS4 camera specifications

  • External Dimension: Approx. 186mm x 27mm x 27mm
  • Weight: Approx. 183g
  • Video Pixel: (Maximum) 1280 x 800 pixel x 2
  • Video Frame Rate: 1280×800 pixel @ 60fps, 640×400 pixel @ 120fps, 320×192 pixel @ 240fps
  • Video Format: RAW, YUV (uncompressed)
  • Lens: Dual Lenses, F value/F2.0 fixed focus
  • Field-of-View: 85 degrees
  • Microphone: 4 Channel Microphone Array
  • Connection Type: PS4 dedicated connector (AUX connector)
  • Cable Length: Approx. 2m (tentative)

PS4 pre-orders

We don’t yet know what the PS4 price is going to be in any territory, but in the UK at least, retailers are clambering all over each other to take £20 deposits in return for guaranteed PS4 consoles on release date.

So far, you can pro-order your console at ShopTo, GAME and ASDA.

PS4 controller: DualShock 4

If you have an eye for details you may have noticed that the PS4’sDualShock 4 controller has no Start or Select buttons. Norden confirmed this, saying that it will have a so-called Option button instead, as well as the much bandied about Share button on the rear.

The analogue sticks have been tightened up to be more precise, and the controller also features a brand new three-axis gyroscopic motion sensor with three-axis accelerometer which should be great for getting you immersed in the games. The camera continuously tracks all four controllers with precise accuracy. Rotational tracking is provided by the internal components and.

The controller has a two-point Vita-like touchpad on the front with a 1920×900 resolution, and a tactile clicking sound letting you know you’ve pressed it. The light bar on the front will glow different colours depending on whether you’re player 1, 2, 3 or 4 and will be tracked by the new PS Eye camera. It also has an Xbox-style headset jack and a mono speaker inside it.

Video-watchers take note

This new PS4 controller won’t accidentally fast forward when you set it down. Norden said this was one of the biggest complaints his team heard about the PS3’s DualShock. The PS4’s controller has triggers designed not to depress when set down. What’s more, Norden even said he’d been dropping controllers without skipping a single frame.

That touchpad on the DualShock 4 will be capable of two simultaneous inputs. The light on the controller will glow blue, red, green or pink light, depending on whether you’re player one, two, three or four.

The Share button

The PS4’s ardware encoder always records the last several minutes of game play without using any additional resources from the game, by pressing the Share button you can then upload or save your gameplay and show your friends or keep it just for your own amusement.

PS4 Streaming

PS4 streaming lets you stream out live gameplay to your friends. This is all built into the hardware and does not need to be supported by developers. Users can react to the video by typing comments in real time. You can do this to friends, or public.

PS4 user interface

The XrossMediaBar (XMB) interface of PlayStations past has been completely ditched in the PS4, with Sony instead choosing to design a new OS that looks a lot more like that of the Xbox 360 than the PS3.


Will the PS4 be 4K capable?

In a chat with Kotaku, Sony has revealed that the PlayStation 4 will be able to playback 4K/Ultra HD video. However, it will not upscale to 4K or play games at 4K resolution.

Sony has also confirmed that it will definitely launch a 4K movie service on the PS4 and is looking at ways it can get around the 100GB downloads required.

Backwards compatibility

The PS4 will definitely not offer native support for PS3 games. However, there will at some point be a service on the Sony Entertainment Network that offers server-side emulation and streaming of games from PS One classics right through to PS3 Platinum Editions.

ps move

PlayStation Move

Sony has confirmed that PlayStation Move will play a big part in the PS4 ecosystem. However, it has not yet been revealed whether the PS4 will launch alongside a new PS Eye camera and new Move controllers or whether the peripherals are staying the same with all the enhancements made console-side.

By tracking the light bar on the DualShock 4 pad and associating it with faces in the image, the game can identify which player face is connected to which game avatar. By using facial recognition the game can associate a face with a PSN profile.

  • High sensitivity, dual color cameras. Two cameras here.
  • 1280x 800 12 bits/pixel, 60hz
  • Higher frame rates at lower resolutions
  • Wide angles – diagonal field of view is 85 degrees
  • 3 axis acceeletromter, tilt sensor
  • Wide baseline 4 microphone array
  • Dedicated port, exclusive SCE connector
  • Game-loop sync can be changed, depending on framerate of game

PS4 Blu-ray drive

Not only will the PS4’s 64-bit x86 architecture and 8GB of GDDR5 memory blow its predecessor out of the water, its Blu-ray drive will be three times faster.

“If you’re coming from the PS3 you’re probably quite used to the headache of having to split memory arhchitecture, you can’t quite use all of it, the speeds are really wacky on some of it – we don’t have that with PS4,” said Norden.

He added that this would offer developers “crazy high bandwidth”.

Synergy with PlayStation Vita

Sony has revealed that the PS4 will launch with the ability to stream games directly to your PS Vita. In exactly the same way as the Wii U allows you to switch off your TV and continue playing on the tablet controller, the PS4 will wirelessly send your games to the Vita.

There will be similar synergy between “all Sony devices” which means Xperia handsets and tablets, Bravia TVs and BD players.

Sony hinted that there will be more announcements in this area, too. We think the obvious next reveal in this area is the ability to play PS4 games on your Vita from any location using a wireless connection.

PS4 Instant On

The PS4 will be one nippy device if Sony is to be believed. It will have an instant on/off feature allowing your to shut down during a game and then boot up from scratch in seconds and resume where you left off. The days of waiting 60 seconds as your console loads up are about to end.

What’s more, Chris Norden has stressed that Sony has three tenets of PS4 design: simple, social and immediate. Gamers will be able to start playing titles before they’ve even finished downloading.

And with one button sharing, Norden says the goal is to make it so simple users will “do it without thinking about it.”

PS4 price: how much will it cost?

We really don’t know what price the PS4 will fetch. Some rumours suggest a figure of around $450/£399. But it’s pure speculation at the moment.

The sake Zavvi page which lists the UK release date as 31st December 2013 has a pre-order available for £399. Again, we’d take that with a pinch of salt, but if it’s their best guess, there might be a grain of something in it.

PS4 launch titles

A number of games have been revealed for the PS4. They Are: Deep Down (Capcom), Destiny (Bungie), Diablo III (Blizzard), Driveclub (Evolution Studios), Final Fantasy (Square Enix), Infamous: Second Son (Sucker Punch), Killzone: Shadow Fall (Guerilla Games), Knack (Sony), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED), Watch Dogs (Ubisoft).

US talkshow host Jimmy Fallon was the first to get near Killzone 4…

What will the PS4 actually be called?

It’s the PS4, of course!


Xbox One release date, news and features

Microsoft has revealed its new Xbox console to take on the PS4

Xbox One release date, news and features

As the new Xbox One finally touches down, Microsoft is ready to enter a new era of console gaming and take on a new generation of multimedia consumers.

English: The original controller for the Ameri...

English: The original controller for the American Xbox video game console, sometimes called the “Duke” controller. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The company described the Xbox One as “the ultimate all in one entertainment system – one system for a new generation.” It has the second generation of Kinect baked in nice and deep and has powerful specs similar to those of the Sony PS4.

The new Xbox wants to be the one-stop entertainment solution for your living room, integrating live TV, games, movies and web services like Skype, all controlled using Kinect’s improved voice recognition features.

Xbox One specs

No big surprises here, really. The Microsoft Xbox One comes packing an x64 8-core AMD Jaguar CPU, USB 3.0 ports, 500GB hard drive and 8GB DDR3 RAM. Connectivity-wise you’ve got 802.11n Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct functionality for exchanging data between devices – specifically the new Xbox controller.

There’s also the addition of a Blu-ray drive, which marks Microsoft’s first move to embrace the disc format created by Sony et al, which vanquished HD DVD back when TechRadar was but a glint in someone’s eye.

So as expected, then, the new Xbox One is more like a mini-PC than any Microsoft console that’s come before. These specs put the console on a par with the PS4 and bode well for developers who want to make cross-platform games.

The console has not only an HDMI-out port but also HDMI-in too. This is for interfacing with set-top boxes in order to integrate the Xbox One with your TV-watching experience. As far as you’re concerned, you’ll only have one device instead of two.

Xbox One: Kinect

The new Xbox One has Kinect functionality built into its very core. To turn the console on, you need only say the words “Xbox on” – the console is always listening.

kinect 2

A live demo at the launch event showed Kinect instantly responding to hand gestures and voice commands. That simply isn’t possible on the current hardware with the Xbox 360 and suggests that the new Kinect v2 is the gesture and voice controller we always wanted it to be.

The demo showed the ability to switch between games, videos, music and live TV instantaneously using simple voice commands such as “Xbox watch TV”. You can even ask to watch a specific channel – HBO was an example they used – and Xbox will take you there straight away.

Microsoft says that Kinect 2 is so fast and powerful that it detects motion in just 13 billionths of a second – the time it takes light to get from you and into the camera.

The Kinect sensor as a resolution of 1080p which means its footage will look great on your HD TV, and it captures video at 60fps which means footage that’s lovely and smooth.

The camera also has a field of view that’s 60 per cent bigger than the original Kinect which means less faffing around trying to stand in the exact spot it tells you to. That combined with the more powerful processor means you’ll be able to get a lot more people gaming with Kinect all at one time.

What’s more, Microsoft says that the new Kinect uses infra-red, which means it works in complete darkness.

Read our Hands on: Xbox Kinect One review for our early thoughts.

Xbox One controller

The new Xbox controller is very much based on what’s come before, but under the hood there are 40 technical design innovations. The pad has an integrated battery which takes AA batteries.

Microsoft confirmed to us that this will work much in the same way as the 360’s, but the integrated build will obviously be a lot more comfortable. The biggest change from a gameplay point of view are that the re-designed triggers will now give you vibrating feedback in-game.

All of the other buttons and surfaces have been tweaked as well, but most of the changes are out of sight.

We were lucky enough to get some hands on time with the new Xbox One Gamepad where we got a peek at a few of the 40-plus improvements that have been made over its predecessor.

Xbox One Gamepad

Based on our brief time with the new controller we felt that the impulse triggers possessed the most promise and potential for immersing players that much deeper in the game play, while subtler features, such as magnetic sensor-equipped triggers and a battery case that no longer protrudes from the back of the controller, hint at the many ways the controller will provide improved precision in your games and comfort in your hands.

Read our Hands on: Xbox One Gamepad review for more.

Xbox One: discs

The Xbox One games will come on Blu-ray discs but they’re only for one-time use. Once you’ve installed the games onto your hard drive, you no longer need them as the game is tied to your Xbox Live account. This is a similar idea to that employed by Steam and Uplay on the PC.

Xbox Live upgraded

Live is the most popular online gaming platform on the planet and it’s getting a huge behind-the-scenes overhaul for the new generation.

While current games servers number roughly 15,000, Microsoft is expanding that to a barely conceivable 300,000 in order to ensure you have instant access to your games and content no matter where you are.

Xbox One personalisation

You can turn on the Xbox One by simply walking over and talking to it. It turns on instantly, and Kinect will recognise you and take you straight to your own personalised home screen. Here you have access to your own personal movies and music, as well as leaping straight into your own save games.

xbox one

Xbox One: always on? Nope!

One rumour that put the fear of God into many gamers was that the new Xbox would require an always-on internet connection. But this is in fact not true. “No, it does not have to be always connected,” says Microsoft, “but Xbox One does require a connection to the internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.”

Xbox One games

Microsoft has announced that its own games studios will release 15 games in the first year of the Xbox One’s life cycle. Other than that, we also know that FIFA 14 will launch on the console with exclusive content, and the new COD game, Call of Duty: Ghosts, will also have exclusive content on the Xbox.

The confirmed exclusive titles are Forza Motorsport 5, Quantum Break, Halo 5 and Ryse. Many other cross platform titles have also been confirmed and you can get the full lowdown on them all over on OXM’s Xbox One games page.

Xbox One: backwards compatibility

Because the Xbox One uses a completely different system architecture to that of previous Xbox consoles, it will not be compatible with any Xbox 360 games.

However, it is yet to be seen whether the cloud might come to the rescue and allow games to be streamed over the web. Perhaps E3 has the answer…

Xbox One release date

Microsoft sadly made no mention of an Xbox One release date during its Redmond launch event. However, more details are promised for E3 in July, which is when we should find out when we can expect to get our hands on one. However, that hasn’t stopped retailers opening pre-orders already.

Many industry experts actually predicted that we’d finally get some hard Xbox info at GDC this year but turned out not to be the case.

All indications are that the next Xbox will arrive in time for Christmas 2013.

Microsoft briefly stated that the new Xbox is imminent in an interview with the Verge before swiftly backtracking and issuing a moderately embarrassing denial.

This is further backed up by a Microsoft job advert which confirms a new Xbox launch is imminent.

Further rumours of an Xbox release date of pre-Christmas 2013 was backed up at the end of November 2012 by a Bloomberg report which cites sources at Microsoft and says we are likely to see the new Xbox make its debut at E3 2013.

But then! In January, a report from Game Informer suggested that we’d actually see Microsoft bust out an all-singing all-dancing event to launch the new Xbox around Game Developers Conference in March.

Why no E3 reveal? Because Microsoft wanted to make a splash away from the noise of the mega-show. Unfortunately, the report indicated that Sony had the same idea for the PS4

Xbox One price

No pricing info has yet been revealed by Microsoft – expect this when we get official confirmation of worldwide release dates.

That leaked document we mentioned earlier mentions a $299 (£190) price point which sounds gloriously ambitious to us.

Many retailers are second-guessing the price, with both £399 and £499 both seen online in the UK.

Xbox Mini

Strong rumours are building that Microsoft is planning a double assault on the console market. The new Xbox will allegedly be joined in the cabinet by an Xbox MIni – a small, Apple TV-like device based on Windows 8, with the ability to stream Xbox 360 games from the cloud.

Xbox One vs PS4

Aah, the eternal question. If you’re not planning to buy both, which one should you buy? We’ll have a better idea of which console is likely to lead the charge into the living room when we’ve gleaned more information at E3 2013, but looking at the specs that we already know, we’ve made an early comparison.

Check out our article PS4 vs Xbox One: which is better? for our early verdict.