Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Nov 2013 11:43 UTC

While Microsoft has demonstrated early versions of the Xbox One user interface and base operating system in the past, previous demos have been carefully choreographed affairs operated completely by company representatives. So I was very excited to get my first actual hands-on (and voice-on) test of the Xbox One's underlying platform at a Microsoft-hosted event last week (even if it was partially guided by two Xbox representatives who sometimes took control or suggested what I should try).

While an hour is hardly enough time to get a comprehensive feel for all of the console's system-level controls and features, I came away from the demo surprisingly enthusiastic about the multitasking and voice control features that I had come in rather pessimistic about.

Looks impressive, but I'm not sure any of this actually enhances the, you know, games.

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It does nothing to enhance the games
by nabil2199 on Fri 8th Nov 2013 12:22 UTC
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IIRC they even said that a portion of the GPU's power is taken by kinect.

Reply Score: 1

kwan_e Member since:

To be fair, you don't need to have full GPU utilization to have a good game.

Reply Score: 3

nabil2199 Member since:

You don't, but both xbox one and the ps4 have weakish GPUs to start with

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:

IIRC they even said that a portion of the GPU's power is taken by kinect.


However, the original XBox 360/PC version also did use the GPGPU for data processing.

Kinetic algorithms are too heavy to run real time on the CPU, even with multi-core support.

Reply Score: 3

Singing and Dancing games
by andrewclunn on Fri 8th Nov 2013 13:57 UTC
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I'll admit, I love some of the dancing games for the kinect and 360. The issue is though that they sometimes involve "singing" portions of play. I say "singing" because there's no real attempt to make sure the person "singing" is anywhere on key. If improved functionality of the kinect stops these games from encouraging people who can't sing and convincing them that they should (when they REALLY shouldn't) that's an improvement to game functionality that I'd be very grateful for.

Reply Score: 6

by TheIdiotThatIsMe on Fri 8th Nov 2013 15:20 UTC
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Looks impressive, but I'm not sure any of this actually enhances the, you know, games.

To be fair, I don't believe the Xbox One was meant to be a pure games machine. IMO, Xbox as a brand is moving away from exclusively games to a broader entertainment/lifestyles brand; hence Xbox Music, Xbox Video, Xbox Fitness, etch, especially with the availability of much of this on Windows 8, Windows Phone, and even android and iOS (with Xbox Music). It also shows why there's so many cable apps now on the 360, and I'm sure that'll only expand with the One.

It's a gamble for sure, as there's a chance the focus change could backfire among "hardcore" gamers, but it also opens up more revenue channels through the Xbox brand, where depending on what source you're reading is in serious need of mitigating losses/return to profitability. It also helps hedge the brand across multiple mediums where there's explosive growth (such as mobile). The games industry, as large as it is, is hypercompetitive, and this shift could help differentiate the Xbox without competing on pure price/specs.

I don't know if the Xbox One has ever been sold as a pure games machine. Yes, it's obviously a main point and one that will be advertised the most, but even from it's initial reveal it's always been aimed at a much broader idea -entertainment. Hence the "all in one entertainment machine", and the name Xbox One.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Games
by PieterGen on Fri 8th Nov 2013 16:33 UTC in reply to "Games"
PieterGen Member since:

"Do one thing well" versus "one integrated solution"
"Tablet and Laptop" versus "Surface"
"Many desktop environments" versus "Tiles, tiles, tiles"
"Gameconsole and settopbox (or PC)" versus "XBoxOne"

I don't believe in one single machine that does it all. Amphibic cars, road bikes that do downhill and BMX too, magical kitchen machines that cook, bake and do the dishes too - No thanks. Give me dedicated tools please!

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Games
by lucas_maximus on Fri 8th Nov 2013 19:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Games"
lucas_maximus Member since:

Ermm most people that cycle know that you would use a X-country MTB/Cyclocross bike to do semi-on-road off-road well.

Same with a computer. Anything that is PC like can pretty much do any task at hand for normal use cases.

Xbox One looks like something my parents might use for film, tv and communication that needs minimum looking after.

Tablets do this somewhat but don't have the media aspect (films on a largish screen).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Games
by WorknMan on Fri 8th Nov 2013 16:34 UTC in reply to "Games"
WorknMan Member since:

To be fair, I don't believe the Xbox One was meant to be a pure games machine.

Yeah, not too many people are gonna pay $400+ for a box to play military shooters on (including myself)... probably not enough to sustain it.

Me? I LOVED the first Kinect, except for the fact that it pretty much only worked when it wanted to ;) I'm interested in it as a fun way to burn some calories.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Games
by osvil on Fri 8th Nov 2013 17:33 UTC in reply to "Games"
osvil Member since:

And I think there is a problem with Microsoft's strategy in this market.
They are selling a games machine to gamers, but expect to get media consumers as a result. Its console being quite oriented to "core" gamers. The problem I see is that gamers like to expend time gaming, and that means they are not going to be heavy media consumers (on stuff other than game).

IMO games are substitutes for movies, for example. So they get a place in the dining room, but mostly in the dining room of people that play in the console games in the dining room.

Yes, there may be some overlap, but I would bet that the biggest potential consumers for a box for entertainment (other than games) and lifestyle are not into games, so it is a hard sell.

Of course, all gamers will disagree with that because they play games and like movies and ..., but truth is that if the time you expend gaming is time you are not watching movies.

Reply Score: 1

Kinect could be awesome...
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 8th Nov 2013 15:37 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
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But there are a few things going against it:

Lack of innovation in the industry: sports game: year, War game, FPS, etc

Need for companies to have the widest market possible for games requires them to be cross platform, which means they need to support a conventional controller as well.

Kinnect needs games written by innovative UI designers to take advantage of it. Having it built in to the console should help, but I'm not holding my breath.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Fergy
by Fergy on Fri 8th Nov 2013 21:06 UTC
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The idea of never having to use a controller to search through menus and sub-screens to find my apps and games seemed pretty appealing after just a few minutes of talking my way through a variety of Xbox One functions. There is a slight, noticeable voice recognition pause of roughly half a second after saying each command, but it didn't seem to get in the way much during the demo (and it seemed shorter than the similar pause on the Xbox 360, in any case).

Either MS really has solved voice recognition for the first time in human history or this reviewer is extremely biased.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Fergy
by moondevil on Sat 9th Nov 2013 14:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by Fergy"
moondevil Member since:

Every time I see such demos I wonder how they work in languages besides English.

My native language experience is between bad and even worse.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Fergy
by lucas_maximus on Sat 9th Nov 2013 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Fergy"
lucas_maximus Member since:

Or with accents.

My accent is thick enough that native English speakers from the US have trouble.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Fergy
by Soulbender on Sat 9th Nov 2013 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Fergy"
Soulbender Member since:

Now I picture you with a thick cockney accent. Kinda like Michael Caine x 4 ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Fergy
by lucas_maximus on Sun 10th Nov 2013 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Fergy"
lucas_maximus Member since:

I have more of a farmers accent. If you ever listened to the archers it isn't far off.

Reply Score: 2

Xbox and PS4 is not all about games anymore
by riha on Sat 9th Nov 2013 10:44 UTC
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So, even if those extra features does not enhace the games, they enhance the rest of the features of Xbox.

An example, of all those people that have an PS3 today, how many use it solely for games? 30% 40%?

Most people in some way use it as an media player as well and streams movies from their pc and so on.

So, if microsoft and Sony does not add all those extra features, then people would complain even more.

Reply Score: 2

It doesn't
by p13. on Sun 10th Nov 2013 08:28 UTC
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Expect the XBOX Two to come with direct cranial brain interface and integrated fizzy drinks dispenser, which hooks up to your VAAAAINS.

Anyway, most of the extra functionality (if you can call it that) won't work up here in good ol' belgiumz anyway. So the f--ks i give hover around zero.

I used to be interested in consoles from a purely technical point of view, and that's why i bought them. PS2's emotion engine was very interesting. The PS3's cell held amazing potential, but it was mainly wasted on shooting german nazis in some stupid 18th rerun of the same shit. The XBOX360 was a real powerhouse in it's day, and a damn good console.

Now that they've all gone x86 and subscription this and that, there's no real reason for me to buy one anymore. The games certainly aren't changing. Same things over and over.

I'm keeping my eyes on valve/steam, and what they're up to. Not only for the console, but what they might bring to the leenucks ecosystem.

Edited 2013-11-10 08:32 UTC

Reply Score: 0

It's more about just games...
by BluenoseJake on Mon 11th Nov 2013 13:51 UTC
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it's about taking over the living room. It's about lowering friction, making games/apps/media all more accessible and seamless.

Oh and selling you shit.

Reply Score: 3