This week marked the end of a difficult period for gaming enthusiasts as Microsoft finally decided it was time to officially announce the next-generation Xbox console. Although all rumours led to Xbox 720 name, they were all wrong. Microsoft next gaming console is called Xbox One.
Like everybody since PS3 and Xbox 360 release I was really curious to see how the next generation gaming consoles will be like. I kinda feel strange now, knowing that both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were made official. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like those mind-blowing gaming innovations that we all expected are not here.
Just like it’s opponent Xbox One will feature an eight-core AMD Jaguar processor, clocked at 1.6 Ghz. The interesting part is the graphic side of the console: Microsoft opted for the same AMD GCN based GPU as Sony did with PlayStation 4, but they choose to use 12 Compute Unit GCN configuration instead of 18. As AnandTech points out, is means that PlayStation 4 will have more resources available to use (1.84 TFLOPs PS4 vs. 1.23 TFLOPs Xbox One).
Going further with system memory it appears Microsoft also chose a different approach. Instead of going for power and add 8GB of 5.5GHz GDDR5 like Sony, they will put inside each Xbox One console an 8GB DDR3-2133 module. This way Xbox One system memory bandwidth has 68.3 GB/s, while PlayStation 4 has 176.0 GB/s. But Microsoft hopes to compensate this handicap with 32MB eSRAM embedded memory which is capable of delivering 102GB/s memory bandwidth.
Inside Xbox One console Microsoft a user interface which looks like a mixture between the old one used on Xbox 360 and Windows 8. It features multitasking and is populated with apps like Skype, Internet Explorer which can be controlled by voice or gestures using the Kinect sensor.
The real thing comes when we mention the new Kinect sensor. As rumours indicated this new Kinect uses a 1920 x 1080 wide-angle sensor and it’s capable of detecting gestures and voices even in loud environments. The field of view was also increased and now the new Kinect sensor can recognise up to 6 persons.
As for the controller, Microsoft says it comes with more than 40 “technical and design innovations”. It’s more ergonomic and the triggers will now provide vibration feedback. The buttons and thumbsticks have been improved as well as the battery compartment.
Even if now it appears that Sony has a little advantage over Microsoft in terms of speed and bandwidth we know that it doesn’t mean PlayStation 4 will be better than Xbox One. Personally, I’ll wait to see the graphics of both consoles in action, before choosing one, although I know I have a favourite.