Microsoft and Sony look set to battle it out for the number one spot in the run up to Christmas with the launch of Xbox One and PS4. While both have similar specs and an impressive line-up of games, the Xbox One will cost £80 more than its rival.
Microsoft is billing the Xbox One as an all-in-one entertainment device for watching TV, listening to music, chatting on Skype and playing games. However, it turns out there is one thing the new box won’t be able to do – play your old 360 games! Neither will it be possible for future software updates to add backwards compatibility.
Historically, console manufacturers have tried to ensure new devices were compatible with older games. But it looks like Microsoft will be bucking the trend and forcing gamers to update their software collection.
With this in mind, it looks likely many of us will have Xbox 360 games gathering dust on the shelf that we are unable to play on our shiny new Xbox One. I guess I might sell my old games, which seems a shame, but it could be an opportunity to raise funds for new ones.
There also seems to be some confusion about whether Microsoft is intending to offer unrestricted access to pre-owned games. At the moment, when you buy a game you are free to trade it in, sell it or lend it to another player. The company claims it has designed Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games. But there are fears that games will be tied into user accounts and there will be a financial implication should you want to lend a game to someone else.
Microsoft is set to release an impressive line-up of games at launch and throughout the year, including exclusives such as Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, LocoCycle, Forza Motorsport 5 and Kinect Sports Rivals. Also set for release is Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Just Dance 14 and Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare.
With a two-tone finish consisting of matt grey and glossy black, the Xbox One features a powerful 8 core processor with 8GB RAM and 500GB Hard Drive. The controller has been improved and updated and the console comes with a built in Kinect camera with voice, vision and motion technology.
Xbox also has a subscription feature. For a small monthly fee you can connect to Xbox Live! The service offers several features including the opportunity to download premium content and try out demos. In addition you will be able to play against friends and other gamers online, access social media and stream music, moves and other media.
The Xbox One will deliver an entertainment experience like nothing before, which may help to widen its appeal to the family market. Players will be able to effortlessly switch from games to TV, movies, music and other apps without having to switch cables, close anything down or leave the sofa. The Kinect camera will enable you to sign in and play a game with gestures or scroll through your favourite TV shows with the sound of your voice.