Xbox One Announced, First Details Released [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 26th, 2013 at 8:54 pm,

The wait is over, gamers: Xbox One is here. Well, technically it’s only announced, but with the first look at the console, new Kinect, controller, and the first details on the sweeping changes coming to the Xbox experience, it’ll do for now.

New details are coming as we speak, but trading the old green color scheme and game-focused UI for a sleeker home-stereo style and media integration is enough to get fans excited already.

Although the official unveiling of Microsoft‘s next console is sure to trigger an onslaught of next-gen exclusives, and further details on the system architecture and developer accessibility. For now, let’s start with the hardware.

First and foremost, it’s a box. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, the actual design of the Xbox One is about as clear an example of ‘sleek’ and ‘industrial’ as you can get; gone are the angular edges and glowing green LEDS, replaced with glossy blacks and what appears to be an all-white light scheme with metallic accents. The new Kinect is designed to mirror the look of the console itself, helping to soften the blow of a motion control perihperal that is still not integrated into the console itself.

Xbox One Console Image

Fans will be pleased to hear the controller doesn’t look to be undergoing too drastic a change – and pleased to hear of the “vibrating impulse triggers” being added. Previous reports claimed that the controller would be keeping all components exactly the same, but in a slightly smaller package, and that seems to be the case. Besides moving the new minimalist Xbox guide button to the top of the controller, and replacing colored face buttons with black buttons and colored letters, Microsoft isn’t fixin’ what ain’t broken. Sadly, the new controllers will not be compatible with existing headsets.

While gamers have yet to see what Sony has in store with the PlayStation 4 itself, the overall impression given by the Xbox One is a positive one. The multitude of Tron jokes sure to be made over the coming days and weeks are unavoidable, but whether we’re talking technophiles who long for their consoles and digital receivers to match, or consumers who prefer simplicity over ‘rad designs,’ the Xbox One is nothing if not understated. And that’s not a bad thing.

Xbox One Controller Image Buttons

Especially with the subtle changes in logo and controller color-coding marking this console as one markedly different from the two that came before it. Unfortunately we’re still waiting on hardware details and specifications, hopefully coming either later in the week or in the coming weeks, with games taking center stage at E3 2013.

[Update:] The Xbox One will not require an always-on internet connection, despite persistent rumors to the contrary. The console will be equipped with an eight-core x86 processor, a Blu-ray player, a 500 GB hard drive (not replacable or user-servicable), 8 GB of RAM, and will not be backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. It will include an HDMI IN and OUT port, as well as USB 3.0 (can be used to plug in additional storage), and comes bundled with a Kinect. The new Kinect has also seen significant improvements, from an increased and refined field of vision, the ability to track up to six players and individual fingers, to full 1080p picture.

Xbox One Kinect Image

In addition to the technical details emerging from the post-event panel, Microsoft has released official information on the changes glimpsed during the live presentation. Have at them:

  • Skype for Xbox One. Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in stunning HD, or for the first time ever, hold group Skype calls on your TV.
  • Trending. Stay on top of what is hot on TV by discovering the entertainment that is popular among your friends, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.

As for the changes coming to online multiplayer and the Xbox Live experience:

  • Smart Match. A new Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you are enjoying other activities – reputation fundamentally matters and helps find best matches.
  • Game DVR. A dedicated Game DVR captures and accesses your magic moments, all saved to the cloud. Along with sharing tools, you will have the most amazing bragging rights with Xbox Live.
  • Living Games. Dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.

[Update: Click here to read about the less-fun features you may not know about for the Xbox One]

And for the popular gamers, the Xbox Live friends list is being expanded to 1000 according to Xbox Support!

We’ll keep you updated on all your Xbox One news as it’s released, with a release planned later this year.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

TAGS: Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox One

  • DOOM

    I think I will buy this Xbox one coming near the end of it’s life cycle or even when their is a redesign called the Xbox one slim. Horrendous design.

    • Ken J


      Why exactly does it matter? I bought my friend’s old style Xbox because it was cheap so I can play Forza 4. It sits under the desk my TV is on, don’t even notice it. My PC is still using the case I bought for $9.99 probably over 10 years ago… None of that matters, it’s how fast the internal components are and how well they render graphics on your screen that matters, right???

  • Cait

    the one thing that sucks about this is it isnt backwards compatible, im still keeping my old games and such ill never get rid of the awesome games

  • Ken J

    Ah, so they are playing the Sony “look at how many cores our CPU has!” game with this one???

    Any info on the GPU which is like 10x as important as the CPU when it comes to gaming?? lol

    • Varteras

      From what I heard, and take this with a grain of salt, the Xbox One is using a GPU very similar to the 7790 while the PlayStation 4 is using a GPU similar to the 7870. The 7870 is 50% to 100% better in just about every category compared to the 7790 but do consider that the GPUs in the consoles are supposedly ‘based’ on those cards and not exact copies.

      If the leaks on the processor speed of the Xbox One are true its 8-core processor runs at 1.6ghz which was similar to rumors that the PS4’s cpu runs anywhere from 1.6 to 2.4ghz. Apparently the Xbox One is using DDR3 RAM which is a good deal slower than the DDR5 RAM in the PlayStation 4. If all of this is true, the PS4 has the advantage in raw computational power but both will be greatly overshadowed by high-end PCs.

      Both of them may be able to hang with the PC crowd for about two or three years before they are just not able to keep up visually. Especially considering that Nvidia is prepping its Maxwell cards for next year which will supposedly annihilate any cards currently on the market including the incoming 700-series. Some are suggesting that a dual-GPU 890 Maxwell card, assuming one is made, will be three times more powerful than the GTX 690. Obviously, AMD will respond with its own cards.

      If consoles as we know them continue beyond this generation I don’t see Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo waiting about 7 or 8 years before we get new consoles. I’d expect them to go back to the 5-year plan.

      • Ken J

        “If the leaks on the processor speed of the Xbox One are true its 8-core processor runs at 1.6ghz which was similar to rumors that the PS4′s cpu runs anywhere from 1.6 to 2.4ghz. Apparently the Xbox One is using DDR3 RAM which is a good deal slower than the DDR5 RAM in the PlayStation 4. If all of this is true, the PS4 has the advantage in raw computational power but both will be greatly overshadowed by high-end PCs.”

        Wow, yep, I am using a 7950… LMAO. 😀

        And on a Core i5 2500k which is 3.3GHz, but the “k” means it’s unlocked so I can easily overclock it when I need more juice. From what I’ve read, I can overclock this thing up to about 4GHz, lol.

        And my motherboard can take another video card, so if I need more juice later, I can double up 7950’s pretty cheap considering they’re already only $200 now…

        • Varteras

          Oh yeah you’ll be good for awhile as far as your processor goes. I’m on a Core i5 3570k which runs at 3.4ghz but Turbo Boosts from 3.6 to 3.8 depending on how many cores it’s using and I can overclock it manually if I want. You can definitely overlock that CPU to 4ghz if you wanted to but I hope you have a really good airflow case or water cooler if you do. The i5 and i7 CPUs, as long as they’re 3.2ghz or more, should be perfectly fine for a long time. At least until quad-core is no longer the standard.

          You and I differ on GPUs. I like to go the expensive route on a card and let it peak out. I’m still using the GTX 295 and running most games at max with no problems with some obvious exceptions like Witcher 2 and Battlefield 3. I’m probably going to wait a little longer and just drop a grand+ on the 890.

      • Chris

        I just want to point out the only ram that is DDR5 is gpu and that isn’t a correct measure meant compared to real ram… both consoles have DDR3 ram and both have DDR5 gpu ram there is a difference please notice this.

        • Chris

          excuse the measurement typo..

        • Varteras

          You might want to tell Sony that since they’ve been telling everyone that their system has DDR5 RAM as opposed to DDR3.

        • Varteras

          “On February 20, 2013, it was announced that the PlayStation 4 will utilize 16 4-Gbit GDDR5 memory chips for 8GB of GDDR5 as combined system and graphics RAM”

          From the wikipedia article. Basically, Sony is using GDDR5 memory for both general system use and for the GPU. From what I understand, consoles don’t have general system RAM and GPU RAM separate like PCs do. Whatever RAM is listed for the console is used for both.

  • Cariannis

    Other sources have brought out the fee costs is going to be full MSRP. That’s 40, 50 and 60 dollars a game folks.

  • Hatorian

    So half of these cool features do not even matter to the international audience. Hulu, Netflix, cable provider integration, etc. None of this will work with people overseas.

  • Chris

    the horrible realization that people don’t know the difference of GDDR and DDR scare me when I see it on the interwebs..

    • Varteras

      Consoles don’t use different types of RAM. They use one type on one integrated board. The motherboard of a console is essentially a glorified graphics card. The CPU, GPU, and RAM are crammed together. There isn’t a separate graphics card with its own RAM in the console. The Wii U has DDR3 and it’s evenly split between general use and GPU. XBO uses unified DDR3 for both the GPU and general use. The PS4 uses GDDR5, which can be used like normal RAM, for both its GPU and general use. Unified just like the XBO, just faster.

      • Varteras

        Corrections on the RAM for each system. According to wikipedia, the Wii U had 2 gigs of DDR3 with 1 gig for the system and 1 gig for the GPU, the Xbox One has 8 gigs of DDR3 with 3 gigs for the system and 5 gigs for the GPU, and PlayStation 4 has 8 gigs of GDDR5 with 1 gig for the system and 7 gigs for the GPU.

        • chris

          But without the Xbox releasing what gpu they are using(from what I have seen) can you say they won’t be using a gpu with more gddr then what is believed? Considering the playstation uses a integrated gpu which makes sense in a way why they would use gddr unified. As from what I know Xbox is using a stand alone CPU not integrated. Could be wrong but wondering.

          • Varteras

            No console has ever used stand-alone, modular components like what the PC uses besides disc drives and hard drives. Again, for all three consoles the CPU, GPU, and RAM are all integrated. Xbox One is not using any GDDR. As far as know, the PS4 is the first console to use GDDR. Like I said, consoles are not built like PCs. They do not use standalone graphics cards. Everything is integrated into one board which means they don’t use two different types of RAM.

          • Varteras

            I should say, as far as I know a console has never had stand-alone components. Having two different types of RAM in the same console would increase both the size and cost for no reason. If Sony used GDDR5 exclusively for the GPU and then used DDR3 for everything else you might as well just make the console huge to slap an actual graphics card in with its own RAM and charge 800 or 900 dollars just to squeeze in more RAM that won’t benefit anyone.

          • chris

            Obviously our definitions of integrated are different. The PS is using a gpu integrated CPU the Xbox is not. With that being said I would assume the gpu on the Xbox would still need its own ram before communicating with other components where as the PS gpu communicates within its CPU already.

          • Varteras

            What I mean by integrated is that it’s all on the same board. The same card. Pop open a PS3 or a 360. You will not find the GPU occupying a separate board/card. All of its components were woven into the motherboard. Without getting into details I’ll just say that it is not cost effective or even necessary for a console to run two different types of RAM and certainly not when you already have 8 GB of either DDR3 or GDDR5. From what I understand, you would need a board for each type of RAM you are attempting to use or significantly increase the size of the current board to a stupidly large size.

            Let me tell you what would happen if tomorrow Microsoft announced that in addition to 8 gigs of DDR3 the Xbox One also has, say, 8 gigs of GDDR5. First, the size of the console would be questioned. There is no way that Microsoft has enough room in the box they showed to fit two different types of RAM in the console considering what they would need to do to make that happen.

            Second, the point would be questioned. That would give the Xbox One a total of 16 gigs of RAM. That is absolute overkill. High end PCs with a single high end graphics card wouldn’t even be using 16 gigs of RAM combined. More like somewhere between 10 and 14 gigs total and most games would not even come close to touching that if any of them. It would be a total waste to have that much RAM in one system. 8 gigs of DDR3 is plenty for a machine that is far more focused on gaming than a PC. It’s just not as fast as GDDR5.

            Finally, the price. Considering that Microsoft would have to make a lot more room for the extra RAM for likely a whole new board, which as I said they’d be better off simply jamming an actual graphics card in there, and that GDDR5 is not cheap by RAM standards while already having spent the money for 8 gigs of DDR3, the console would either be overpriced or Microsoft would lose their a**es hard on every console they sell just to put 8 more gigs of RAM in that they didn’t need. If they were going to go with 8 gigs of GDDR5 at any point they could have completely done without any amount of DDR3.

            To sum up, if Microsoft announced that they have 8 gigs of GDDR5 in addition to 8 gigs of DDR3 then that means the system is way overpriced (either for them or the consumer) to accommodate two different types of RAM in which having 8 gigs of one makes having any amount of the other relatively pointless.

  • notcaring

    Actually the XO is using a gpu combined into the 8-core cpu.

    • Chris

      ah i had not heard that and after seeing a spec sheet showing the gpu was an unnamed custom i assumed they did not have the gpu integrated into the cpu. so i would assume both the ps and xbox use close to the same cpu?

      • Cariannis

        PlayStation 4 features 1,152 GPU cores compared to the Xbox One’s 768

  • DanRem1221

    Of course PC will always be better. You can always upgrade and build up your system, if you have the $$$$ for it. Nonetheless, I’m all for PS4. Sony at least seems to care about the gamer instead of just making an entertainment box. I highly doubt anyone in Japan will want an Xbox One. This will probably only attract American consumers.

    • Ken J


      Actually, if you know what you’re doing it’s much cheaper. For example, my PC is already better than the Xbox One and PS4, and the cost to upgrade my old PC to the way it is now was like a hair above $500 and I was able to sell my old hardware for $400… So really, I just surpassed the “next generation” of consoles with $100 and I get to buy games at $10 – $30 cheaper… So I am a PC gamer to save money and not compromise on graphics.