Xbox One – will it offer Virtual Reality games?

xbox one

Xbox One

Has there been enough hype about the next generation consoles? More importantly to us is there any Virtual Reality news? Well sadly not but here at the Virtual Reality Guide we suspect the lack of information is for a reason! The Xbox One has more than enough power under the hood to run Virtual Reality games. But we suspect both Microsoft and Sony will wait until Oculus fine tune the Rift and get a consumer version out!

Microsoft need to be careful here. They seem to be making the new console a bit of a ‘jack of all trades – master of none’. At the end of the day, if we actually wanted a piece of kit that could perform all the functions the Xbox One has lined up why would we not simply buy a PC ?

We will let you decide after reading all the details below .

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Xbox one Overview.

The Xbox One didn’t have the smoothest launch. It’s host of exciting new technical features and advanced software were totally overshadowed by its problematic DRM. And in the wake of E3 that’s all anyone is talking about. Internet nay-sayers have already called this generation of the console war in favor of Sony’s PlayStation 4.

But are they being a bit hasty? The Xbox One is being positioned to be something more than just a game console. To be a total all-in-one entertainment package through which you watch TV or Netflix, run your fantasy football team or Skype your friends. There are options like voice recognition and the vastly-improved Kinect motion sensor. So the Xbox One offers the opportunity to interact with your home media center in ways you’ve never dreamed of. And that’s before all the games.

The big sticking point for many consumers will be the Xbox One’s policies regarding used games and internet connectivity. Under new DRM policies, games will be licenses rather than products. Publishers may choose individually whether or not gamers are allowed to sell their used games to others. Also, the Xbox One must connect once every 24 hours to the Internet, even if the user is only playing offline games. This has alienated many gamers from the outset. But in time this may become less of an issue as they get used to the idea – or policies are forced to change.

Not surprisingly Microsoft have actioned a complete turnaround on this policy. They have just announced there will be no restriction on second hand games. Also no need for an internet connection every 24 hours. Nice to see they have taken note on public outcry!

xbox one

What’s Under the Hood?

On paper, the Xbox One’s specs seem a little underpowered when compared to the PS4. But that’s missing half the picture. Running on eight gigabytes and a custom 8-core Microsoft CPU, the Xbox One is able to operate two virtual machines side-by-side, allowing for seamless, nearly instantaneous switching between games and applications without sacrificing performance in either. This allows a range of possibilities – from waiting in a matchmaking queue in one game while playing another. To Skyping with someone while you both watch the same movie.

Next, there’s the Kinect. Initially little more than a gimmick when it was introduced on the Xbox 360. But the new Kinect has advanced in leaps and bounds. Compared to the previous model, it has a 60% larger field of vision with its two 1080p, 60fps cameras, as well as an IR sensor that lets it function in a pitch black room. Its ability to perceive the user borders on scary! It can track everything from finger twitches, to shrugs, to what leg you’re putting your weight on. And can (reportedly) can tell your heart rate just by looking at you.

This functionality will be integrated with the voice command functionality to accurately track when you’re trying to command the Xbox One and when you’re speaking to another human. This technology may have limited use for gaming. But it demonstrates the holistic response to home entertainment that Microsoft is banking its chances on this generation.

The Kinect is bundled with the Xbox One, along with Kinect Sports Rivals, a motion-controlled sports game designed to show off the Kinect’s capabilities. The Xbox One is retailing for $499, which does not include a $60 annual subscription to Xbox Live Gold. This is necessary for online play as well as Netflix, Hulu, and other media streaming services.

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Yeah, Great – What about Xbox One Games?

Microsoft has always been able to secure exciting exclusives for the Xbox platform, and the Xbox One doesn’t break form. Available at launch, exclusively for the Xbox One, will be Dead Rising 3, the latest in Capcom’s arcadey open-world zombie slugfest. Forza Motorsport 5, the newest in the ultra-realistic racing series. And Killer Instinct, the revival of Rare’s venerable fighting game franchise. These are among other new and returning series.

Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One will have fifteen exclusive titles in its first year – eight of which will be all-new franchises. Besides those exclusives, Xbox One owners can also look forward to the latest Battlefield, Call of Duty, FIFA, and Madden games. All with the superior multiplayer experience that Xbox Live is known for offering – and all available at launch. Upcoming sports and dance games designed to work with the Kinect will also offer a range of gaming options for all ages.

 

What’s the Bottom Line?

Well it really comes down to what you’re looking for as a consumer. Someone who only wants a gaming console and is uninterested in Microsoft’s exclusives might prefer to buy a Sony PS4. Someone who’s looking for more than a console, though, will find the Xbox One a far superior media hub – and, in the words of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, a “family experience.”

The Xbox One is designed to offer everything from Netflix to live TV through Comcast – all on top of games. And so turn the gaming console from the sole domain of the gamer to the central device that brings everyone in the family together. It’s a move designed to broaden the Xbox One’s audience at the possible expense of the gaming core. Only time will tell if Microsoft’s plan pays off.