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The Xbox Platform Team has fabricated a "highly customized" version of Windows 10 to bring some dramatic changes to the Xbox One's architecture, allowing for a 50% speed boost, backward compatibility and DirectX 12 integration.
The New Xbox One Experience "NXOE" isn't just a simple UI overhaul. It's a complete evolution of the console's speed and responsiveness, and it's made possible with a new customized Windows 10 kernel called OneCore. "This isn't a small change in the front-end of the console or the UI, this is a massive change to the architecture, to the under-pinnings of the system," Xbox spokesman Larry Hryb said in the latest Major Nelson Radio podcast.
"NXOE brings massive change to the Xbox One," Xbox Director of Program Management Mike Ybarra said in the podcast. "We're bringing in Windows 10 and the whole Xbox One architecture will change Windows 10 is allowing us to bring a new level of speed and responsiveness to the Xbox One. Windows 10 on Xbox One is a highly customized version of the OS. It's called OneCore, and you can think of it as a kernel. It's a higly customized build of Windows 10 specifically built to optimize the things players do on the console, including playing games and other features."
"The Xbox One is literally a Windows device," says Microsoft's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela, illustrating how Microsoft doesn't see a distinction between the Xbox One and other platforms like Windows-powered phones and PCs.
"A core power metric for us is Windows 10 devices. That's not PC statement.That will be phones, that will be tablets, that will be laptops, that will be desktops, that will be big surface hubs that will be Xboxes," Capossela said at this year's Citi Global Technology Conference. "Xboxes today run Windows and so every time we sell an Xbox we're actually creating a Windows active device that hopefully people love it; it's a gaming device in their living room. It is not a separate animal. It is literally a Windows device."
While the Redmond-based tech giant has a role for every Windows 10 device, the OS acts as a glue to connect and cement each platform to a unified scope. The seeds of Windows 10 kernal will be planted into the Xbox One in November as part of the console's major new update, opening up new functionality like extensive backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games, Cortana support, and up to "thousands" of Windows 10 apps in the future.
The Xbox One's new November update is pretty significant and isn't just about a faster UI. A huge library of backward compatible Xbox 360 games will be supported, and every single one of them will have the full range of functions afforded to Xbox One games.
Backward compatibility is one of the most-requested features in the current generation of consoles, and Microsoft has one-upped Sony by adding the feature to Xbox One consoles. Come November, all Xbox One owners will be able to play 100 different Xbox 360 games on their consoles, with "hundreds more" coming in the months ahead.
Rather than just adding the feature and calling it quits, Microsoft has gone lengths to make the transition from curent-gen to last-gen as smooth as possible. Users will be able to upload their saved Xbox 360 game data to the cloud and download it to the Xbox One to pick up where they left off. But the most impressive feature is that all 100 backward-compatible games will be treated just like Xbox One games with integrated DVR recording and customization via Upload Studio, screenshot snapping and sharing, and cross-platform streaming to Windows 10 PCs.
Microsoft has released new details on the major changes that are coming to the Xbox One, starting with backward compatibility and planting the seeds for Windows 10 integration.
When the update launches in November it will unlock backward compatibility for approximately 100 Xbox 360 games, and Xbox exec Mike Ybarra affirms that support will expand with "hundreds more in the months to come". The Xbox One's awkward Kinect-centric tile UI will be overhauled as well, bringing a new dashboard and quick-launch scheme that's entirely focused on speed. The framework for full Windows 10 support will likely be laid out, leading to Windows 10 apps and Cortana support, but so far Microsoft has been vague on the details, saying that the UI is "powered by Windows 10" and that it "integrating the speed of Windows 10" to make loading times up to 50% faster.
There's speculation that Windows 10 could give the console access to "thousands of apps" that will bridge PC and Xbox One. But Xbox division head Phil Spencer has said in the past that gamers "won't see Excel on the Xbox One", and that Microsoft will implement Windows 10 apps "where they make the most sense".
Google introduced YouTube Gaming last week, a new Twitch-like streaming service that Sony is putting into the new firmware update for the PlayStation 4.
The v3.0 firmware for the PS4 will not only include YouTube Gaming support but it will increase the cloud storage that PS4 owners have from the crappy 1GB they have now, to a more decent 10GB. The v3.0 PS4 firmware will also include the ability to livestream your PS4 gaming to YouTube Gaming, much like the built-in Twitch streaming that the PS4 is already capable of.
The new firmware will allow the usual screenshot sharing, but you can now blast video clips to Twitter too - albeit, they're limited to 10-second videos. Boo. There's also a new feature arriving, where you can ask your friends if you can watch them play with a new "Request to Watch" feature that is coming soon.
Official Xbox boss Phil Spencer has shut down the rumors that the Xbox One console will be getting a slimmer SKU this October.
Rumor has it that Microsoft is set to announce the Xbox One's new hardware refresh, the Xbox One Mini, alongside the Surface Pro 4 and Lumia 940/940 XL in October. But according to Xbox's own Phil Spencer the speculation is all for naught; in a recent Twitter exchange, Spencer confirmed the news is "not real".
The reports claim that the Xbox One Mini will be 1/3 the size of the current VCR-sized behemoth, with the extra space allocated thanks to the carved out Blu-ray disc drive. This would effectively make the slim console a digital-only system, and the SKU would be marketed at a lower price point.
If you're a Microsoft Xbox One gamer looking for a possible Star Wars Battlefront bundle, you're out of luck. It looks like the custom bundle is only available for the Sony PlayStation 4, which will launch on November 19.
In a Q&A on the EA website, news regarding a possible Star Wars Xbox One bundle was shot down: "The exclusive console for Star Wars Battlefront is limited to PlayStation 4." Pre-orders for the bundles will be announced soon. Pricing information also hasn't been released just yet.
Star Wars Battlefront is scheduled for release on November 17, and will be available for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
It looks like Microsoft is having a huge amount of interest in the Xbox One Preview Program, with the Program being so popular that it has reportedly reached a "near-capacity level".
This has forced Microsoft to limit the number of invites that it hands out, and while Microsoft is thankful to everyone involved in the Xbox One Preview Program, it unfortunately, has to be careful of how many invites it sends out. If you do want to get into the Xbox One Preview Program, you might want to try to hunt down an invite from a friend or someone in the industry, as it looks like the Program might be next to impossible to get into in the near future.
A new patent reveals that Nintendo's upcoming NX system has a unique and rather dynamic sharing functionality that will let users compare and share high scores, achievements and video replays.
The Nintendo NX patent, originally spotted by Nintendo Enthusiast, is pretty beefy, but the general jist of it centers around users comparing their in-game feats. Essentially players will be able to compare each other's scores on a wide network of users, send and receive replay video clips, and check their standings on live leaderboards.
All shared data will consist of a "sheet" of content including high scores (which can be cross-checked with live leaderboards), a grading system (stars, etc), customized user-created messages and drawings (think Miiverse sketches) and the ability to view replay video. All users will be able to share and publish these "sheets" of content. The above picture is a mock-up scheme that servers as an example of a shared post.
The Nintendo 2DS has received a price cut from $129.99 down to $99.99, and now serves as a great way to enter the video gaming market.
Unlike the 3DS, the 2DS doesn't open or close, but is promoted as a sturdier and more rugged device better suited for children.
"At a suggested retail price of $99.99, Nintendo 2DS is an even more attractive introductory option for first-time gamers," said Scott Moffitt, EVP of sales & marketing at Nintendo North America. "The new lower-priced hardware combined with the strong lineup of new games launching this year and arguably the best library of games in this generation makes it a great time be a Nintendo fan."