THE latest in the new generation of games consoles reaches the UK tonight, with a midnight launch of Microsoft’s Xbox One. Our brief guide tells you what it can do, and how much it will all cost.
The design of the Xbox One is sleek and stark - a large black box without the curves and soft edges of the Xbox 360.
The controller is much the same as the 360’s, albeit with some notable tweaks. The thumbsticks are reportedly taller than on previous models, making for more precise navigation, and the bumpers on either side of the controller can now vibrate independently of each other.
The Xbox One has a 500GB hard drive, a Kinect high-definition video camera, and a processor eight-times more powerful than that in the Xbox 360.
According to Microsoft, the system has been designed to deal with a range of tasks simultaneously, and the One has all the connections needed to make it the focal point of a living room.
The console can both input and output high-definition video, meaning that gamers can run their other devices - such as streaming boxes, laptops, or even other games consoles - through the Xbox One.
The Xbox One is designed to work in tandem with its Kinect camera, with users controlling the device through voice and gesture commands. Microsoft aim for the software to have a 95% success rate, but most reviewers have reported that commands work around three-quarters of the time.
A range of video on demand services such as Netflix, LoveFilm and the BBC iPlayer will be available in the months following the launch, and Sky are reportedly investigating the possibility of integrating their set-top boxes with the console.
The launch lineup for the Xbox One has three key titles - Dead Rising 3, a zombie survival game; Forza Motorsport 5, the latest in Microsoft’s realistic racing simulator series; and Ryse, an action-adventure set in the days of the Roman Legion. The main Christmas releases such as the new Battlefield, Call of Duty and FIFA games are also available on the new system.
The console costs £429, and comes with one controller. A second controller will cost around £45, as will most of the console’s launch games.
To use any of the console’s online services such as Netflix or Skype, or to play games online against other players, users must buy an Xbox Live subscription for £40 a year.
A bundle with the console and a copy of FIFA 14 is available for around £450, and other packages of the console with several games and accessories cost around £550.
Where can you get one?
John Lewis’ Edinburgh branch will reportedly have limited stock for sale from tomorrow morning, and the largest branches of Tesco will be selling the console from midnight, both on a first-come-first-serve basis. Some branches of high street chain Game also have stock, albeit sold as part of bundles only.