After months of speculation, more than a year of rumours and a few weeks of mistaken reveals, Microsoft has announced the Xbox One, due out around the world “later this year”.
The company’s Don Mattrick took the stage in Redmond, Seattle, explaining that he’s “never been more excited” than he is today. Describing the new box as the “ultimate, all-in-one home entertainment system”, we’re finally able to see what’s been in development behind the curtain for such a long time.
Bucking the recent trend of secretive pseudo-reveals, Microsoft has gone all-out, showing off the machine that is actually going to be on living room shelves when this thing launches (although no dates have been mentioned just yet). The Xbox One itself looks… big. It is another black box, but rather than going small, sleek and curved, MS has headed the other way, with a console that resembles a set-top box (or, in a less-flattering comparison, a 90s VCR). The Kinect has had a serious makeover, now seeming like a smaller version of the full console.
The new controller, on the other hand, looks pretty schmick. We’re expecting more details to filter through, but at first glance we’re seeing a more ergonomic design including – wait for it – concave analogue sticks.
Yusuf Mehdi took the stage to explain some of the inner workings of the new Xbox One – apparently it’s a combination of Xbox architecture and the Windows Kernel, plus another bridging system that makes sure everything works together. With 8GB of RAM and – wait for it – a Blu-ray drive, we’re looking at a relatively grunty console that (as always) doesn’t compare to current-day PCs.