Category Archives: Xbox One

Microsoft’s Albert Penello on Xbox One’s “post-X” future

(video link)

The existence of the $250 Xbox One S was key to letting Microsoft reach for "full 4K" power with the Xbox One X. At least that's what Microsoft Marketing Manager Albert Penello said in an E3 interview with Ars Technica.

"It was that nice, liberating point that we had by having Xbox One S," Penello said. "We have a console at $250, it has a 4K Blu-ray player, and no one should be embarrassed or think they made the wrong choice by choosing the Xbox One S... People are turning 13 or 14 years old every day, and they need their first game console, and Xbox One S is a great option.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Microsoft’s Spencer: Xbox One X is not the console “most people will buy”

Xbox head Phil Spencer talks to Ars about the Xbox One X. Video shot/edited by Andrew Falleroni. (video link)

Usually, when a gaming company releases a new console, it expects customers to quickly start clamoring for the latest and greatest and start ignoring its aging predecessor. With the November 7 launch of the $499 Xbox One X, though, Microsoft's Head of Xbox Phil Spencer says he doesn't expect the old, $249 Xbox One S to decline in popularity any time soon.

"[Xbox One] S will be the console that most people will buy," Spencer told Ars at an interview before the E3 trade show. "Obviously we don't know [the ratio]. When we designed [the One X], it's not that we expected it to become the number one console from us... Xbox One S is a great console for the everyday gamer, someone who's just looking to play games."

Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Gallery: Our first up-close look at one Xbox One X… box

LOS ANGELES—Everyone knows the best way to prove that a newly announced console is real is to see the plastic casing that will hold that system. To that end, Microsoft revealed this prototype casing for the Xbox One X at a "showcase" event ahead of E3's official start Tuesday.

Up close and personal, the Xbox One X looks quite similar to last year's Xbox One S, only a little smaller and a lot blacker. Inside, most of the physical space is taken up by a disc drive and a centrifugal fan, which integrates liquid cooling in a console for the first time.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The Xbox One X is Microsoft’s powerful new 4K console

 A full year after first teasing Project Scorpio at its last E3 event, Microsoft finally took the wraps of its new console, now called the (less catchy) Xbox One X.  The tongue-twister of a console is set to arrive November 7. The company has already alluded to a number of features, including, most notably, a holiday season release date and high-end processing that will make it “the… Read More

Xbox Scorpio is now Xbox One X—launches November 7

Xbox One Project Scorpio is no more. Introducing Xbox One X, Microsoft's stab at bringing 4K HDR visuals to console gamers with six teraflops of graphical grunt and a sleek design. It's due for worldwide release on November 7, 2017.

As revealed earlier this year, the Xbox One X features six teraflops of processing power—more than the four teraflops of Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro, which also plays 4K games. Unlike the PS4 Pro, however, the Xbox One X's extra processing power allows for a wider range of games to played in native 4K resolution, instead of via a variety of clever upscaling methods.

Powering the Xbox One X is an all-new AMD GPU, which features 40 "customised" Radeon compute units (compared to just 12 on the Xbox One and Xbox One S) clocked at an impressive 1172MHz. By contrast, the original Xbox One GPU is clocked at 853MHz, and the PS4 Pro's is clocked at 911MHz.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Has Microsoft just secretly announced the Xbox One Scorpio release date?

The Xbox One E3 Teaser Trailers

Using the slogan "Feel The Power," Microsoft is teasing its E3 reveal of the next generation "Project Scorpio" Xbox in a set of videos. A Twitter user has gone through the videos frame by frame—because truly, there's no way you'll ever notice these things at full speed—and discovered that the videos do a bit more than merely whet our appetites for the hugely powerful new Xbox that will be out later this year.

Six is greater than four.

Six is greater than four. (credit: Microsoft)

First, a little Sony-trolling seems to be going on. A funfair scene shows the text "6 > 4" on a tent. This is presumably a reference to the compute power of Scorpio: its 6 teraflops of claimed GPU-based number crunching power is indeed greater than the 4 teraflops found in Sony hardware. Fifty percent greater, in fact.

This broken S is a console-related trademark. "S" is also the first letter of "Scorpio." These facts may be related.

This broken S is a console-related trademark. "S" is also the first letter of "Scorpio." These facts may be related. (credit: EUIPO)

Second, and even more obscure, is a string of text in an enormous crowd scene, reading "X10S101-317." "X10S" might be a reference to the Scorpio itself; earlier this week, a NeoGAF user found a European trademark application for a stylized S registered in the field of video game consoles and computer game software. Don't be shocked if "S" is very likely to be part of the Scorpio branding in some way.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

When it comes to Xbox, the X could probably stand for NetfliX

Back when Microsoft first unveiled the Xbox One in May of 2013, the company took a lot of flak for focusing on TV and other media streaming uses for the box instead of talking primarily about games. An in-depth Ars Technica analysis of Xbox Live users, though, shows just how much time Xbox owners are spending watching video on their consoles, potentially explaining why Microsoft thought video was so important out of the gate.

Netflix is by far the most-used individual app in the Xbox ecosystem, according to our data, making up about 19 percent of all usage time we could measure across both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 during our September 2016 through February 2017 sampling period (read the introductory piece for details and caveats about our data collection methods). YouTube is also a favorite for Xbox owners, representing a further 7.6 percent of all usage. All told, these two apps account for more than a quarter of all the Xbox time we could measure.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Xbox Unleashed: Our deep-dive study of how millions use Xbox Live

Enlarge (credit: Aurich)

For three years now, Ars’ Steam Gauge project and the public sampling projects it has inspired (such as Steam Spy) have provided an important behind-the-scenes look at what kinds of games are popular on PC gaming’s most popular marketplace. Today, after years of work, we’re ready to unveil a new effort that similarly uncovers what’s popular among Xbox Live users on the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

As we introduce you to our data and our methodology, you probably won’t be surprised to see the enduring popularity of franchises like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Halo on Microsoft’s platforms. You might be more surprised by just how often the average Xbox console is used as nothing more than a streaming video box, or by how a relative handful of games dominate the total play time spent on both consoles, or by the specific, branded Xbox 360 adver-game that still sees relatively significant play years after its release.

We’re just beginning to play with all the data about Xbox Live users we now have at our disposal. But first, a little about where that data comes from.

Read 67 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Xbox One, Windows 10 become more Steam-like with “self-service refunds”

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Xbox One is officially the first video game console to support digital purchase refunds by default. The new "self-service refund" system was announced on Wednesday on the console's "Alpha" preview ring, which is normally used to test and tease other upcoming features to the system's interface, and it confirmed that the refund process will soon land both on Xbox One consoles and the Windows Store marketplace on Windows 10 PCs.

The announcement later appeared on support forums for Xbox's Alpha group, but its effects have already begun propagating to normal users, who now can follow the below steps to request online-purchase refunds for qualifying software.

Microsoft's self-service refunds work much like returns do on PC game-download service Steam. Shoppers have up to 14 days after purchasing a game or app to request a refund, and that will only work if the software in question has not been used for more than two hours while owned.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

How Microsoft is future-proofing for Xbox’s “multi-generational” future

(credit: Aurich Lawson)

The more we hear about the Xbox One's upcoming Scorpio update, the more it sounds like Microsoft's effort to upend the idea of distinct console generations completely. The Xbox One ecosystem seems to be morphing into a PC-like space where one piece of software can run at different levels of detail depending on the power (and price) of the hardware it's running on.

In an in-depth interview with Gamasutra published today, Microsoft's Phil Spencer gave some strong indications that Microsoft is headed in this direction with the Xbox platform. Spencer cited games like Destiny, Call of Duty, Minecraft, and GTA V to highlight how the biggest titles are starting to maintain their popularity across hardware updates and how Xbox needs to accommodate that.

"So from a development platform, we needed to think about our hardware as multi-generational," he said. "Because we said, 'OK, there's gonna be games that are going to live multiple generations. And our software platform really has to service a developer's need to service an ongoing set of users.' As much as it has to serve, you know, how do I get a disc done?"

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments