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The Xbox One: 33 things you need to know

A round-up of everything we've learned between reveal and Gamescom

Amid the E3 crush and Microsoft's policy changes, there's some confusion about what its next generation Xbox actually does. For those still catching up, here's an itemised rundown of the Xbox One's key features and capabilities.

For a more intensive, thorough look at the new machine, Microsoft's overhauled Xbox Live and key exclusive games, read our Xbox One guide and Xbox One games list.

1. It works offline
This is the big one; although initially planned to be always-online, Microsoft has now changed it so that you only need a single patch to set up the console. After that, you can stay offline forever. You will, however, miss out on some of the more interesting features of the console and many of its games - although many online-focused titles, like Watch Dogs, will also work offline.

2. It can read your heart rate and your expression
The new version of Kinect that comes with every Xbox One is a vast improvement on the old one. It can track six people at once, with sufficient detail that it can identify facial expressions (including who's paying attention and who's not) and heart rate.

3. You can find the perfect opponent while playing something else
Now, finding players involves getting in a lobby and waiting. On Xbox One, the new Party Scout means you can specify what you want: hunt for people with specific DLC, age, skill level or language. You can then leave it hunting and switch to something else, like TV or the web, while it finds someone.


4. You will be able to use the same Gamertag
Your Gamertag, Friends List and Achievements will all roll over to Xbox One. If you're keeping both consoles, you will be able to use the same sign-in details on both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and the price of Xbox Live isn't going to be changing either.

5. You can access your digital games from any console
While it's not quite as comprehensive as first planned, you can still sign in to any console and access all your digital games, as you can on Xbox 360. The difference is you can now buy retail games digitally on the day of release, so you can access, say, Skyrim from any console you like. Streaming tech means you can start playing instantly without waiting for a download, too.


6. It captures video of your greatest gaming moments
The new Game DVR feature keeps a rolling video of the last five minutes of gameplay, so you can share it online or with your friends. Some games - probably the Microsoft-published ones - come complete with an Upload Studio feature that lets you edit clips and add effects or voiceover before uploading.

7. Trolls are filtered out
An update to Xbox 360's rather tired five-star reputation system means that persistently unpleasant people are filtered out so that they can only play with each other. A fitting punishment, we're sure you'll agree.

8. It's dead silent
Honestly. We've sat with it in a faintly terrifying super-max soundproof room in Microsoft's hardware development lab, and even then we could barely hear it running.

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