50 Features

Xbox One: Your definitive guide

By Tamoor Hussain on Wednesday 29th May 2013 at 9:30 AM UTC

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The services

Live TV
By connecting the Xbox One to a cable or satellite set-top box, users will be able to navigate and watch live TV. However, the expanded features of set-top boxes, from buying movies or accessing interactive data, may not be accessible.

TV shows can be found on Xbox One using voice and motion controls, by accessing a personal favourites area, or through a trending section that presents data on what is popular at the time with the Xbox community.

Additionally a feature called "Snap Mode" allows users to run multiple programmes simultaneously on the same screen. In effect, Snap makes it possible to mix gameplay with movie or TV or applications such as Skype.

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These features are initially going to be exclusive to US users, but Microsoft has said it is "anticipating a global launch over time".

The company has stated: "Our goal is to enable live TV through Xbox One in every way that it is delivered throughout the world, whether that's television service providers, over the air or over the Internet, or HDMI-in via a set top box (as is the case with many providers in the US).

"The delivery of TV is complex and we are working through the many technologies and policies around the world to make live TV available where Xbox One is available."

For the UK, satellite group Sky has said it will "explore opportunities" for making its content available on Xbox One in the UK.

Xbox Live
Xbox Live is also pitched as a significant upgrade, and now encompasses cloud functionality, an advanced matchmaking system, as well as new social features.

Using the cloud, Xbox Live will supposedly "evolve and learn from actual players, letting you play against your friends' shadow" and that "dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play". Nothing of this was demonstrated at the reveal event, or elaborated on further. But it does suggest there will be an enhanced feedback loop between players and game creators, allowing developers to quickly update games based on play metrics.

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Online play
"Smart Match", Microsoft's new matchmaking system, is said to be designed to keep players better informed as they wait to play an online game. Players can theoretically make Skype calls and watch live TVs as multiplayer lobbies load up.

Remote play
Friends will be able to help each other during tight spots in games, according to one Polygon report.

Like with PS4, one user can remotely take over gameplay and help another through a particularly difficult segment in a game. Microsoft has not confirmed the feature.

Facial recognition ID detection


Xbox One will allow two-way conversations between the console and players, according to Polygon.

The report wrote: "In one scenario, Kinect used its facial recognition to scan a room full of people and note if there is someone in the room it doesn't recognise. It then tells the console owner that there is someone in the room it doesn't recognise and asks the new person to identify themselves. Once the person says their name, Kinect will welcome them and save their information to the console".

Whether such advanced features is technically possible remains unknown.

Play before download
Like with the PS4, games will be accessible as they are being downloaded, Players will be able to install games in "segments", allowing them to start playing before the download is complete. Furthermore, the Xbox One will be capable of automatic background downloads and updates.

Recording and sharing
Using Xbox One's DVR features, players will be able to capture gameplay footage and publish videos flaunting their finest hours and major failings. These videos will be publishable across Xbox Live, as well as popular social networks.

Microsoft's Phil Harrison told CVG that Xbox One's 'Game DVR' function can be set to automatically record certain Achievements or gameplay moments defined by the user.

Xbox 360 gamer profiles and Gold subscriptions
Existing Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will "seamlessly carry over to Xbox One". As of yet Microsoft hasn't detailed the Xbox Live pricing strategy, though it is expected that the current annual subscription model will be carried through to the Xbox One.

Similarly, Gamerscore will also be preserved during the transition. For achievement hunters, Microsoft has "an expanded achievements system" which "captures videos of gameplay and continues to grow achievements over time."

The friends limit has now been set to 1000 people.

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