After years of waiting and speculating on the part of gamers and the press, Microsoft President of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick today unveiled the company’s next-generation console, the Xbox One, at an event broadcast live from Microsoft’s Redmond, WA campus. The new console, which will launch worldwide later this year, is the successor to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, which launched in November of 2005. The Xbox One is Microsoft’s third home video game console, with the original Xbox having been launched in November 2001.
In a stark contrast from competitor Sony’s PlayStation 4 unveiling, Microsoft showed the world what the Xbox One console (pictured above), controller and Kinect sensor looked like almost immediately at the start of the event. All three piees of hardware are primarily black, with the Xbox One and Kinect sensor having hard rectangular shapes. The new controller appears similar in shape to the old one, but has an improved d-pad, triggers and more. Microsoft promised that there are 40 design innovations in the new controller.
Though much of the show failed to focus on actual games, Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios, revealed that Microsoft is working on more than a dozen Xbox One games. “We have more titles in development now than in any other time in Xbox history,” said Spencer. “I’m proud to announce that Microsoft Studios plans to release 15 new games in the first year of Xbox One.” Spencer stated that eight of those titles are brand new franchises.
Tomorrow at 10 am PDT, Microsoft will likely tell us all some things we already know. The Xbox creator will also tell us plenty that we don’t already know. Some rumors will probably be proven true, others false. New games and features will be discussed and, in some cases, shown. Ultimately, the curtain is going to fall on Microsoft’s event before the public hears everything it wants to hear. Microsoft is only going to tease us, with a more complete showing of all its console plans for the years ahead not coming until the console holder’s traditional pre-E3 media briefing on June 10.
But tomorrow we will know something we don’t know today. We’ll know something about what direction Microsoft plans to steer the Xbox brand in over the course of the next generation. Sitting here right now, I can honestly say that I know nothing more than any other gamer who’s followed the supposed leaks over the past few years knows about what we’re going to see tomorrow. Rather than make educated guesses about what might be shown tomorrow and at E3, XBLAFans is following up last week’s look at how developers feel about XBLA as it currently stands by having them speak about where they want to see it go in the next generation.
During PAX East this past March, we cornered six game developers and asked them one question: If you could change any one thing or add any one feature to the next-generation version of Xbox Live Arcade, what would it be?
Leading up to the May 21 reveal of the next Xbox—recently rumored to be called Xbox Infinity—, the most talked about feature has been the system’s ‘always on’ internet …
The notable Windows IT Pro blogger that stated last month the new Xbox reveal would be delayed has released more speculations about the new Xbox. Now Paul Thurrott of WinInfo …
Microsoft’s next-generation console, codenamed Durango, was originally rumored by anonymous sources supposedly close to the situation to be getting a reveal at the end of April. However, …
The next Xbox, despite what public statements made by Microsoft over the last couple of years might lead the uninformed to believe, is coming. We don’t know exactly when, but common sense places its release at some point during the fall of this year. We don’t know exactly when it will be announced, but rumors are pointing to an April event. We don’t know exactly what the machine will be capable of, but an Australian hacker claims to know what’s inside the box.
The Wii U is out. Sony has shown its hand with its PlayStation 4 event last month. Valve spent January telling the world about what the press and public have not-so-cleverly dubbed the Steam Box, which may or may not be competition for the Xbox brand.
Still, Microsoft has issued nothing but denials or no comments each time it has been questioned about a next-generation rumor. But Microsoft is discussing the Xbox — not necessarily the next one — right this very moment.
As this article was being written, the company was busy holding an internal meeting with select partners at its Redmond, Washington headquarters. The invite-only session is titled “Xbox Platform Deep Dive” and is part of a series of meetings that make up the 2014 fiscal year version of a conference Microsoft holds annually.
Seemingly everyone’s favorite PC developer-publisher hybrid, Valve, is planning to ship out prototypes of its so-called “Steam Box” micro gaming PCs within four months’ time. The Steam Box — of which there will be many varieties produced by different manufacturers, including one from Valve itself — aims to transplant the PC gaming experience into a living room near you.
Dedicated game consoles have dominated that space ever since the Nintendo Entertainment System brought the industry back from the precipice of what many prognosticators of the time thought was a no-continue bottomless pit the home console business had fallen into in 1985. Microsoft entered the console business in 2001 and has been anything but shy about its designs on owning the living room. Its next console, believed to be launching this holiday season, is no doubt being discussed by some individuals in Redmond this very moment. In addition to the usual competition from Nintendo and Sony, Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox will have to deal with Valve’s boxes attaching themselves to the back of consumers’ televisions like some sort of hidden bloodsucking leach.
Microsoft isn’t worried.
He’s real all right. He is one man, and he really did gain inside knowledge of Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox, among other once-secretive industry projects. But he’s not a former Microsoft employee or developer who has worked on a game for the platform said to be codenamed Durango. He’s a hacker.
The skilled Australian hacker previously known to the public only as “SuperDaE” has at varying times gained surreptitious computer access to Microsoft, Sony, Epic and Blizzard. What exactly he was privy to once on the inside of any of these industry titans’ systems is still up for some debate, as many of the reported details differ between publisher and hacker. However, there was a time when he was almost certainly in possession of myriad whitepapers containing intricate details about Microsoft and Sony’s respective next-gen console plans.
“Was” is the operative word here. SuperDae, whose real name is Dan “Dylan” Henry and who once attempted to sell what was either an actual Xbox Durango development kit or an uncannily convincing replica of one, has been caught. On the morning of Tuesday, February 19, Australian police — along with an American who Dylan alleges to be an FBI agent — raided Henry’s home and confiscated enough items to fill a 6-page police report. In a tell-almost-all, Kotaku Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo recounts in fascinating detail not just the search and seizure of Henry’s belongings, but Totilo’s entire history of dealings with the man who is undoubtedly the most publicly known spiller of next-gen beans.
“I’ve lost everything,” Henry told Kotaku a few days ago. After the seizure of his computers, paperwork, his Blackberry, his Visa, banking records and, strangely, a phallic-shaped cup, the hacker described his life as now being in ruins. Members of Western Australia’s Technology Crime Investigation Unit who took part in the raid reportedly told Henry, who has not been charged with any crime, that he was not allowed a lawyer and taunted him over how he would be treated in prison.
If “people familiar with the company’s plans” are to be believed, then Microsoft has a holiday 2013 release in mind for the Xbox 360’s successor. Bloomberg was informed by anonymous sources that the console that’s said to be codenamed Xbox Durango will make its way to retailers in time for next year’s Thanksgiving.
Bloomberg’s tipsters were, unsurprisingly given the sensitive nature of such information, light on details. The only other tangible morsel of information discussed was what Microsoft has yet to decide: where and when to finally show the console to the world. Microsoft is said to be wavering between pulling back the curtain at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June of 2013 and doing so at special event held specifically to debut the next-generation platform.
E3 seems the obvious choice, as the annual Los Angeles convention is usually the site of more major industry announcements than every other event held in any given year. It was not, however, Microsoft’s choice for the initial Xbox 360 announcement. The current Microsoft console’s coming out party was a May 2005 event all its own that was broadcast on MTV.