Xbox One

Microsoft officially unveiled the successor to the Xbox yesterday, announcing at a press conference that the next-gen console will be known as Xbox One.

The Xbox One comes with a 500 gigabyte hard drive, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and an 8-core CPU. It contains a Blu-ray drive as well as HDMI in and out ports. The system will also support USB 3.0 and 802.11n wireless.

Lost amidst the hoopla is a new version of Kinect. The newest iteration of Microsoft’s motion-tracking device will feature a 1080p camera with a 60 percent larger field-of-view that can detect up to six people. Perhaps the biggest improvement is that the new Kinect can see people four feet closer, making it a lot easier and practical to use since it will be more effective in smaller rooms.

One item that should put gamers’ minds at ease is that the long-rumored “always on” feature–requiring a constant connection to the internet in order to play games–is not accurate. The Xbox One will not require a round-the-clock connection, meaning players will not have to online in order to play a game.

Speaking of playing games, the Achievement system is getting an upgrade, too. Xbox One’s achievements will be cloud-based, meaning developers can update and add new achievements as they see fit as well as create achievements that span games. They will also now be able to create Challenges for their games, similar to the daily and weekly challenges currently offered in Halo 4 and Call of Duty. The console will also be able to record “magic moments” from games on video and share them online. Developers can program the system to record special events in a game, or players themselves can tell the system when they want to record something.

Another cool feature is that gamers will be able to save and resume games at any point in the game. Xbox One will also have a universal pause feature that allows a user to pause whatever it is they are doing on the console

Aside from gaming, Xbox One will also boast a number of other abilities such as voice commands, live television, internet browsing, music, and Skype. Users will be able to use Skype while also using other applications. Also, the new console will be compatible with cable television service.

The new console will not be backwards-compatible with Xbox 360 games and Arcade content. However, any music, movies, or television downloads can be transferred from an Xbox 360 to the Xbox One.

No pricing or release date details have been revealed as of yet, but it is likely that the Xbox One will be available this holiday season.