Xbox One and Only

xboxonelogo

Microsoft revealed their new multimedia console on May 21, 2013. Also known as the Durango project, the new console is the third iteration in the Xbox family. Officially named as Xbox One, this console brings the series to the next level of gaming experience, at least from the hardware point of view.

Unlike Xbox 360 which featured a PowerPC architecture, Xbox One comes with a x86 based one, making the backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games just a dream which will never come true. The processing speed will be determined by 8 GB of DDR3 RAM from which 3 GB will be reserved for apps and OS, the rest of memory being left for the actual games. The graphics unit is based on an AMD GCM architecture. Also the the new Xbox will not have a composite or component video output. The video and audio input and output will be combined into a HDMI 1.4 support which is ready for a 4K video resolution (3840×2160) and 7.1 surround sound output.

Microsoft went to a more simplified design for their new console, similar to PS3 featuring a two-tone “liquid black” finish and a boxy look. By all means, Xbox One is like a black box, with no replaceable components. Even the 500 GB hard drive cannot be changed or removed. The good thing about this design is that the console looks much more compact, with no moving parts. Even the Blu-Ray drive features a fixed retractable system for a more secure way of reading the discs.

xboxone02

In case you want to borrow some games from your friend, you should know that the game discs can be played on more than one console, but only after you pay a fee in order to unlock it on your console. That’s because the games are tied to both Xbox One console and Xbox Live account. Even if the game features only singleplayer you need to have 24 h internet access in order to play it.

The Kinect sensor is now part of the whole system. This means that Xbox One will not function without the sensor plugged in. The new Kinect uses a 1080p wide-angle view in comparison to the VGA resolution of the previous version, and has the ability to process a huge amount of data to read its environment. Therefore the sensor can now track up to 6 players at once, including their heart rate, and their gestures performed with the Xbox One controller.

xboxone04

The Xbox One controller maintains the overall look from the Xbox 360 design. If it works, why would you change it? The design of the directional pad has been changed to a four-way button while the battery compartment is slimmer. The big addition here are the triggers which will feature independent rumble motors which simulate directional vibrations. Imagine firing a gun with a trigger. On the xbox 360 gamepad you would get a vibration effect in the whole surface of the controller. But now, with the new technology, the vibration will focused only on the trigger.

xboxone03

A digital video recorder is the new component available in Xbox One, which empowers the user to record his gameplay. The user can also edit and share their video creations using built-in video editing tools. Unfortunately no one known at the moment if the DVR component will be able to record video from cable or satellite TV services.

The console is schedules to be released at the end of this year. Overall it seems that Microsoft will mark a new financial success with Xbox OneMore, and will be able to attract new users in their ecosystem, because their gimmick  is not just a gaming console, but more of a media center which  can easily compete against with other similar products like Apple TV and Google TV platform. More details and info will be presented exclusively at E3 2013.

Related Posts:

Windows 8 Release Preview has been officially launched

Microsoft announced today the release of the Windows 8 Release Preview, the prerelease of the highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system. Since the February release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first 24 hours, Windows 8 has become the most tested Microsoft operating system of all time, and with the Release Preview, it enters its final phase of development before it releases to manufacturing.

Windows 8 Release Preview delivers the already popular apps like Bing Travel, News and Sports apps, as well as Gaming and Music Xbox apps that integrate with your Zune pass. Compared to the Consumer Preview, this latest version brings notable improvements to the Mail, Photos and People apps that will replace the Windows Live suite. In addition, Microsoft has worked closely with its partners to deliver apps from around the world through the Windows Store.

Beginning June 2, 2012, Microsoft will roll out the Windows Upgrade Offer in 131 markets, including the U.S. and Canada. Consumers who buy eligible Windows 7-based PCs through Jan. 31, 2013, can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99 (U.S.) during the time of the promotion. More information about the Windows Upgrade Offer will be available June 1.

Windows 8 Release Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software.

download Windows 8 Release Preview

Related Posts:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinetic is 1 year old

Microsoft’s Kinect system was designed simply to be a way for the Xbox 360 games console to compete with the Nintendo Wii for a family audience. But one year on it is among the fastest selling consumer gadgets ever as well as being adapted for a wide range of non-gaming uses.

Kinect, originally known as Project Natal, came about after Nintendo revolutionized the gaming industry with its Wii motion control system that brought a whole new meaning to “pick up and play.” Suddenly TV news reports on gaming were no longer of stereotypical greasy-haired teen loners mastering intricate control systems: instead we had families playing together and even nursing home boxing contests.

Microsoft wasn’t alone in wanting to target the Wii-market: Sony came up with its own system for the PlayStation 3, known as Move, with the selling point being more accurate controllers that could be used in traditional gaming. Microsoft didn’t try to create a better controller however: instead it decided that “you are the controller” with a hands-free gaming experience.

The Kinect system is a single horizontal bar that contains a wealth of technological features. As well as a full-scale video camera and a microphone with voice recognition technology, there’s also an infrared projector that is able to detect 3D images and thus track the player’s movements.

The system proved a major hit with players and Microsoft’s investors alike. Within five months of its debut, Kinect had sold 10 million units and was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the “fastest-selling consumer electronics device” in history, pipping even the iPad and iPhone. Revenue in Microsoft’s gaming and gadgets division rose by 60 percent year-on-year, which was enough to boost the company’s overall takings despite a drop in PC sales and thus potential Windows customers.

Kinect hasn’t been without its controversies though. Within weeks of its release enthusiasts were adapting the technology to work with computers, coming up with uses as diverse as motion-controlled Internet surfing to even Kinect-powered banking. At first Microsoft appeared unhappy with the amateur adaptations, citing licensing restrictions and threatening to involve police. Later it decided to go with the flow and made the technology behind the Kinect officially available for non-commercial adaptation.

In another incident, a Microsoft executive appeared to suggest the company might be able to offer advertisers the opportunity to deliver targeted ads based on what the camera could see of the players, specifically giving the example of showing ads to viewers wearing a particular American football shirt. Microsoft later denied it used any of the data collected by Kinect for advertising targeting purposes.

Despite the controversies, the Kinect system remains a confirmed success. It remains far behind the estimated 88 million sales of the Wii, but has truly wiped the floor with the PlayStation Move. It appears to have pulled off the tricky task of attracting new “casual” gamers with interactive sports and dance games while also appealing to the hardcore Xbox audience. One year on there are more than 100 Kinect titles either available now or scheduled for release, and if Kinect achieves nothing else, it will always be remembered for making it possible to play Hole in the Wall in your own living room!

Related Posts:

Valve announces second Portal 2 DLC featuring in-game map editor

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike), just announced that the second game add-on for Portal 2 is in development and targeted for release early next year.

The major update will feature an easy-to-use in-game map editor that will let users design, build and share their own single-player and co-op test chambers with the community, who will be able to view, play and vote on them with a simple click.

Portal 2 was released April 19, and currently holds a Metacritic score of 95%, making it one of the top-rated multiplatform game of 2011. Its first content update, “Peer Review”, came out two weeks ago. Peer Review is a free DLC which comes with an all-new co-op adventure starring Atlas, P-Body and GLaDOS and takes takes place after the events of Portal 2. You and your co-op science partner are once again awoken and assembled for a dangerous new mission.

Let’s take a look a trailer showcasing the Cooperative aspect of the game…

A hilariously mind-bending adventure that challenges you to use wits over weaponry in a funhouse of diabolical science, Portal 2 features expansive single and cooperative multiplayer game modes.

For more information on Portal 2 and its downloadable content, please take a look here. Source http://www.thinkwithportals.com

Related Posts:

New Xbox 360 accessories announced

Microsoft announced two new accessories for XBOX 360 that will debut this year’s holiday. First product is wireless Bluetooth headset with double usage. You can connect it to the Xbox console using radio frequency or you can answer your phone calls by switching to the Bluetooth standard. Using the Bluetooth 3.0 technology the headset will have no problems in being detected by any new smartphone in order to be used. The device will be available in November for $59.99.

The second accessory is the new Media Remote that brings additional control to the playback functions in the XBOX 360 media content. Again, this device has double function by operating either the console or the TV. For the TV control you need to enter its brand’s code in order to connect the remote to it. The new Media Remote comes also with A, B, X, Y buttons, D-pad navigation, so that the user can easily navigate through the console’s dashboard. In case you want it, you have to pay $19.99 in November.

Related Posts:

Microsoft pushes more Kinect-like user interfaces

Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 ditched handheld controllers for gestures and sound, but natural user interfaces don’t have to be restricted to video games.

That’s what Microsoft’s research group said Tuesday as it kicked off the TechFest conference, an annual gathering of research scientists at Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

“In the months and years to come, a growing number of Microsoft products will recognize voices and gestures, read facial expressions and make computing easier, more intuitive and more productive,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft Research “is working closely with Microsoft business units to develop new products” using technology similar to the natural user interface exhibited by Kinect, the company said. “Computers are moving rapidly toward … interfaces that are more intuitive, that are easier to use, and that adapt to human habits and wishes, rather than forcing humans to adapt to computers.”

Several of the 17 Microsoft projects exhibited at TechFest take advantage of natural user interfaces.

Microsoft’s Applied Sciences Group is working on smart, interactive displays using Kinect technology, including one that improves display of 3D images. The project uses “a special, flat optical lens (Wedge) behind an LCD monitor to direct a narrow beam of light into each of a viewer’s eyes,” Microsoft said. “By using a Kinect head tracker, the user’s relation to the display is tracked, and thereby, the prototype is able to steer that narrow beam to the user. The combination creates a 3-D image that is steered to the viewer without the need for glasses or holding your head in place.”

A related project uses a “Kinect-based virtual window,” which tracks a “user’s position relative to a 3-D display to create the illusion of looking through a window,” Microsoft said. Along with other 3-D technologies, the Kinect-based virtual window could improve upon existing telepresence systems, Microsoft said.

Natural user interfaces represent just a few of the projects Microsoft is displaying at TechFest. Here are some more examples:

Face recognition in video. “In the near future, a television or an Xbox will be able to recognize people in the living room, home video will be annotated automatically and become searchable, and TV watchers will be able to get information about an unfamiliar actor, athlete, or singer just by pointing to the person on the screen,” Microsoft says.

Take 3-D pictures with a regular camera. Watching 3-D content is one thing, but creating your own is another. Microsoft is demonstrating technology that can create 3-D images with normal cameras. “Our research demonstrates an easy-to-use system for creating photorealistic, 3-D-image-based models simply by walking around an object of interest with your phone, still camera, or video camera,” Microsoft says. A user can view newly created 3-D images “by spinning it around on your screen, tablet or mobile device.”

“Fuzzy” contact search for Windows Phone 7. A demo application for Windows Phone 7 solves the problem of incorrectly typing in the name of a contact on a smartphone. “We propose a fuzzy-contact-search feature to help users find the right contacts despite making mistakes while keying in a query,” Microsoft said. “The feature is based on the novel, hashing-based spelling-correction technology developed by Microsoft Research India.”

Cloud data analytics from Excel. Possibly useful for business customers, this project brings some cloud computing capabilities to Excel to make navigation of large data sets easier. “Our project shows how we seamlessly integrate cloud storage and scalable analytics into Excel through a research ribbon,” Microsoft says. “Any analyst can use our tool to discover and import data from the cloud, invoke cloud-scale data analytics to extract information from large data sets, invoke models, and then store data in the cloud — all through a spreadsheet with which they are already familiar.”

Social news search for companies. Businesses can build an internal news portal by using social media tactics, such as “crowdsourcing,” to improve the quality of results and identify important stories. “We tackle two questions: How can we use social media to provide a rich, topical, searchable, living news dashboard for any given company, and can we build an environment where the curation of the sources of content for a company page is done by the users of the page rather than by an editor?” Microsoft says.

[Via IDG News Service ]

Related Posts:

Microsoft begins work on the next-generation Xbox

Xbox logo

Xbox logo

Microsoft have yet to have confirmed the news, but have advertised three job positions on LinkedIn with each position looking for people to work on designing new console architectures. The roles currently being advertised include Graphics Hardware Architect, Senior Architect and Performance Engineer for the Xbox Console Architecture Group and Senior Hardware Design Verification Engineer. Quite the mouthful.

The next-gen consoles will have to at least be capable of resolutions that next-gen Television sets will bring. 1080p has been here for quite a while and I see that changing in the next ten years, hopefully Microsoft are thinking of this and not boxing themselves into a corner like the 360 has been put into. A console with outputs capable of 1920×1080 yet 90-percent of games render at below 1280×720 (usually 1200×600 or so).

via

Related Posts:

Microsoft Kinect – the “fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history”

Call it Kinectification. Microsoft said today that its video-game business grew dramatically thanks to sales of its Kinect motion-sensing system.

The Entertainment & Devices division — which includes Xbox 360 and PC games, Zune, Windows Phone 7, and consumer software — generated $3.7 billion in revenue in the quarter ended Dec. 31, up 55 percent from $2.4 billion a year earlier.

Peter Klein, chief financial officer, said in a conference call that Kinect is the “fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history.”

That shows that, after many years of skepticism and losses, Microsoft’s game business has hit its stride. Kinect has given the company a much-needed boost in sales at a time when Microsoft might normally have had to introduce a new game console. The Xbox 360 was introduced in 2005. If it were a normal console cycle, Microsoft would have to introduce a new box this year. But Kinect let the company postpone the new console and keep gamers entertained with something new.

[ More on venturebeat.com ]

Related Posts:

Stay in touch with Soft32

Soft32.com is a software free download website that provides:

121.218 programs and games that were downloaded 237.780.356 times by 402.775 members in our Soft32.com Community!

Get the latest software updates directly to your inbox

Find us on Facebook