Xbox One: 11 more things you need to know

Who's for hot, tasty facts? It's the console that carries on giving

A few months ago we girded our journo-loins, strapped on our news-goggles and courageously listed 33 things you need to know about Xbox One, hoping to lay the definitive verbal smackdown on Microsoft's new console. But alas, there's been plenty more to chew over since then, hence the below, belated list of follow-up thoughts.

We'll probably have to do another one in a week or two - curse these manufacturers and their on-going marketing initiatives. You can read more about the philosophy that underpins the design of the new Xbox in our reveal-day Xbox One guide. Brace for subheadings!


1. It'll tell you to "calm down"
There's no need to shout, even if you've got a few friends round. The new Kinect is able to "zoom" on speakers in noisy environments - it'll watch out for open mouths, and the fancy array mic can filter out surrounding chatter. Bellow at the sensor and it may politely instruct you to "calm down", as though addressing an excitable grandparent. It's vaguely humiliating.

2. You can change the colour of your achievement notifications
Not so keen on that greeny-blue default? Don't worry, it's not permanent. What's more, you'll see achievements in different colours on the same screen when you and a friend are logged in.

3. Kinect can put your facial expressions into a game
Games can now use Kinect to capture your face and body dimensions and map them onto an in-game character. In Kinect Sports Rivals, that means you get a scrubbed-up version of yourself to throw at sports challenges. In a squad shooter, it could allow you to beam your mug onto the body of the soldier in play, where it'll mimic your expression in real time.

4. It's got a Windows 8-based OS, but you can't just transfer apps from your PC
The Xbox One runs three partitions side by side - a gaming OS, a hypervisor to keep the other partitions in line, and a Windows-derived OS. This has led some (including PC manufacturer Dell) to assume that you can simply transfer over existing Windows 8 apps to the console. In practice it's not quite that simple, as the version of Windows the console runs has been re-tailored for Xbox One. Still, it should be easier to port an app over than to create one from scratch.

5. It doesn't like being stood up
The Xbox One's slot-loading disc drive isn't designed to sit vertically, so up-end the console at your own risk. Apparently, Microsoft's worked out that around 80% of Xbox 360 players use their consoles horizontally. Odds are you won't be bothered, then..


6. All Xbox One games get free access to dedicated servers
Microsoft's Xbox One cloud support now has a proper name, Xbox Live Compute, and the offerings include free dedicated multiplayer servers for all developers who wish to partake. That's in addition to remote processing power to splurge on things like background updates and latency-friendly tasks such as AI and physics routines. Microsoft doesn't expect every third party to take advantage of this, because there's no such thing as a universally appropriate server infrastructure, but we'd be surprised if smaller independents like Respawn don't cash in.

  1 2