E3 Aftermath – The Xbox One

Greetings!

So E3 has come and it has gone.

I have quite a lot of thoughts about it all so here is part one of three. This one is focused on the XBone.

–Hardware–

So the Xbox is running an AMD Jaguar x86 8-core CPU with the GCN 768-SPU stuck in there for the graphical grunt. 8gb of DDR3 memory (running at 2133mhz), Blu-ray, and even a 500GB HDD.

Not bad going, although one immediate thing I note, however, is that this 8gb of RAM isn’t 8gb of memory that can be accessed by games. Only 6gb is actually usable the rest is for the OS. Likewise the HDD won’t have a 500GB capacity.

So all in all it is the weaker of the two big consoles hardware wise. Not by a massive amount but it *is* the weaker one.

Now -as previously blogged- my current PC is better than the PS4 and the XBone is not as powerful as the PS4.

Still it is a decent looking spec under the exterior even though it isn’t anything “special” coming from a PC home.

–Software–

So the XBone will have a Triple-OS. A combo of the Xbox OS with a Windows 8 Kernel and a Virtualisation OS. Pretty interesting as -potentially- any Windows 8 software could work
on the x86 CPU.

Once again the new Xbox offers no backwards compatibility. They’ve argued that no-one wants to play their old games *that they’ve paid for* on a new machine and if you want to play old games then just keep your 360… Sorry, but whut?! No-one wants to play their old games? I have over 250 games on Steam, a further 40-odd from GOG.com as well as actual BOXED games… Now I can grab the discs of Jedi Knight, whack ’em in my PC and then play Jedi Knight… I was playing Rollercoaster Tycoon only yesterday! So I guess it’s just me who wants backward compatibility in their systems?

I thought so Microsoft…

On the software side the Kinect… Now I am all for motion usage in games. The Wii became the largest selling console of the last generation because of it! However, something that analyses you while you watch Television… HELLS no! The Wii and the Playstation Move we’re things that watched you, they saw movement though the controller and converted that into in game movement. That is fine! “Spying” is not fine Microsoft. Not fine at all!

Let’s not even start on the game-sharing policy or the whole online thing!

–Games–

Right, so this is the point of the consoles, right? So what are these Exclusives that these boxes push for that makes them feel special, eh?

Turns out there isn’t many… Forza, Ryse and Dead Rising 3 are the only ones that actually looked interesting. However, Forza can be trumped by The Crew (which looks Amazing!) and Dead Rising 3 can be trumped by any number of upcoming zombie games. So Project Spark, Titanfall, all those sports games, Mirror’s Edge 2 and Battlefield 4 are all coming to the PC… In fact a suprisingly large amount of “next-gen” games are using the PC as the lead platform…

I love being part of the next-gen *right now* baby!

–Conclusion–

The Xbox One is a confusingly named, mess of a console with games which are mostly going to be available on PC and PS4.

The whole point of a system -regardless of console, laptop, tablet or desktop- is that it does what you want it to and that you feel the developers value your money…

On that final note I shall finish with a quote from Don Mattrick, the president of Interactuve Entertainment Business at Microsoft about people who do not have an internet connection or a very poor connection…

“Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity, it’s called Xbox 360”

Thanks Microsoft, glad I am not just a number to you!

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