The Xbox One was revealed earlier, and here are some answers about the always-online rumors that plagued the console before its announcement. Microsoft VP Phil Harrison said Xbox One doesn’t need a constant connection in order to play games, and you won’t be dropped from single-player games if your connection cuts out. However, it does require check-ins with Microsoft servers. This echoes the Xbox One FAQ, which cryptically says, “No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet.”
The number Harrison gave was once every 24 hours, but Microsoft’s PR department was quick to say that was just one potential scenario, not a certainty. Microsoft also provided half-answers about how used games and game sharing would work. Players will be able to take a game to a friend’s house and play it (using their profile, at least). Players will also have some mechanism to trade and sell used games, but it’s not yet clear exactly how it would work. If one player uses a disc to install a game on their Xbox One, then gives the disc to a friend, the friend will be able to install it, but needs to pay full price to play it.
That scenario, however, assumes both players want to own the game — the second one would essentially be a unique copy. Microsoft said they have a plan for trading used games, which would involve deactivating the game on the original owner’s console, but they aren’t willing to elaborate yet.
When the Wii U was released at the end of last year, Nintendo got a head-start on the long-awaited new generation of video game consoles. Now, Sony has announced a press conference for February 20th that is expected to unveil the PlayStation 4, codenamed ‘Orbis.’ This will precede the announcement of the Xbox 360′s successor, codenamed ‘Durango,’ but that too will likely be announced by E3 in June. Specs for development kits of both systems have leaked widely. The two systems both use 8-core AMD chips clocked around 1.6 GHz. Durango has 8GB of DDR3 RAM, while Orbis has 4GB of GDDR5 RAM, though Sony is trying to push that up to 8GB for the console’s final spec. Reports also suggest Sony is tinkering with its controller design, going so far as to add a “Share” button to let people exchange screenshots and recordings. Developers indicate the systems are very close in power, though Sony’s system currently has an edge. With the upcoming announcement of the PS4, the big-three console makers will kick off a new round of direct competition. They’ll maneuver to one-up each other with the most powerful hardware and the slickest software. However, they’ll also hope the release of three major consoles in rapid succession will help to anchor a part of the games industry that no longer enjoys the dominance it once did, thanks to threats from mobile.
Clarifying a remark taken as the first public confirmation of an upcoming successor to the Xbox 360, the tech company explained that the phrase “new Xbox” in fact refers to a “new Xbox update” due for deployment this fall.
The original story was generated by a telephone conversation between staff members at The Verge and Microsoft General Manager Brian Hall, who explained that Hotmail’s makeover was timed to precede “the new wave of products that we have coming out, with Windows 8, with the new version of Office, with the new Windows Phone and the new Xbox.”
“The comments to The Verge were not understood in their intended context,” was the subsequent official line.
“When Brian mentioned a ‘new wave of products,’ he was referring to the full lineup of products coming later this year from Microsoft, including Windows 8, Office, Windows Phone and of course our fall Xbox update which will bring a host of new consumer experiences like Xbox Music, Videos, Games on Windows 8 and Xbox SmartGlass.”
So it’s a incremental update to the existing Xbox 360 console that makes improvements to existing services while introducing a recognition of other now ubiquitous mobile devices, and definitely not a brand spanking new console to save up for that’s coming late 2013, which would be built from the ground up to act as a conduit for all family room entertainment, and built to work with streaming online media and social networks and boasting full phone and tablet integration plus an overhauled Kinect motion and voice sensing camera right from the off. Definitely not that.
The series will be outed this autumn in the run-up to Halo 4’s November 6 release. Titled Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, it’ll be viewable on entertainment website Machinima and online community Halo Waypoint.
The teaser appears to show the back of Master Chief, who will seemingly be equally as central to the series as he will be in the new game.