Ladies! Gentlemen! Literate household pets! Visiting extra-terrestrials! We have ignition. The Xbox One goes on sale at midnight tonight in 13 countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK and the USA, with other territories to follow in 2014.
Quite naturally, we're going to be writing about little else for the near future - we've got a truckload of games to review, and some inside-out coverage of the hardware itself to pass on. Worried that you'll lose track of some key insight amid the hysteria? Consider this page your XCOM-style base of operations. You'll find a link to each piece we publish below as and when it goes to press. Enjoy the week.
The Xbox One hardware - specs, price and features
- Eight-core X86 processor (1.75Ghz), AMD Radeon GPU (853 MHz)
- Eight GB DD3 RAM and 32MB ESRAM
- Blu-ray drive, 500GB hard drive
- Multiple operating systems for fast switching between games, apps and dashboard
- Kinect sensor with 1080p camera and multiple-array mic: motion, voice and face recognition
- HDMI output and input for TV pass-through and 1080p gaming
- Redesigned controller with motorised triggers (requires AA batteries)
- Xbox Live headset
- RRP: £429 UK, $499 US, €499 EU
If you've made the decision to buy, you might be interested in our Xbox One launch setup guide, comprising tips for Kinect, game installations and more. We've also written a guide to more advanced features, such as privacy and power settings. And don't forget our continually updated list of Xbox One Kinect voice commands.
For a more in-depth appraisal of the Xbox One's design philosophy, read our Xbox One reveal guide. Here are 33 things you need to know about the console's features and capabilities, and here's a round-up of the best value Xbox One bundles we've been able to find online.
Xbox One's launch games - all the reviews
We'll update this section with all the scores as they go live. For our thoughts on post-launch software, read our complete list of Xbox One games.
Call of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox One verdict) - 8
"Ghosts maintains that heady, intoxicating momentum of shoot, kill, win, reward - but pales at the thought of taking the franchise in any interesting new directions."
Battlefield 4 (Xbox One verdict) - 9
"Battlefield 4 combines a middling campaign with some of the finest larger-scale online warmongering ever conceived. As a package it constitutes extraordinary value."
Assassin's Creed 4 (Xbox One verdict) - 9
"A vast world, dozens of diversions, and characters that you can genuinely warm to."
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (delayed outside the US, Xbox One impressions to follow) - 7
"The most eclectic and nuanced character roster yet is let down by some very linear puzzling, unremarkable vehicles, and totally ruinous flight controls."
FIFA 14 (Xbox One impressions to follow) - 9
"FIFA 14 represents a difficult step forward for a very popular franchise, but a successful one nonetheless."
Dead Rising 3 - 8
"Dead Rising 3's technical shortcomings mean that it isn't a game that easily justifies the purchase of an Xbox One, but it absolutely won't cause you to regret it."
LocoCycle - 7
"One of the oddest and funniest downloadable games we've played in ages. Some will love it, many will hate it, but everybody will remember it."
Crimson Dragon - 6
"With heavy controls and a tainted economy, Crimson Dragon is rewarding when you're returning to a level you've mastered."
Powerstar Golf - 7
"With a little bit more attention paid to the power gauge, this could have been an instant family classic."
Zoo Tycoon - 7
"If we could walk with the animals, talk with the animals - we'd be charmed, but soon get tired of going through the same motions time and time again."
Forza Motorsport 5 - 8
"A very welcome introduction to Xbox One that sometimes feels like an upgrade to Forza 4, rather than the breakaway hit it could be."
Ryse: Son of Rome - 7
"Ryse looks fantastic - a genuinely promising example of what the Xbox One can do. But if you're not interested in co-op arenas, Ryse's five-or-six hour campaign might not offer you great value for money."
Skylanders: Swap Force - 7
"Increasingly familiar, but perfectly paced, and broken up with sub-games and puzzles. With dozens of characters and low difficulty, it's wider than it is deep - but could get expensive."
Killer Instinct - 7
"With a little more content, it could seriously have been a killer app for the system. It might be only half a game so far, but what an excellent half that is."
Need for Speed: Rivals - 8
"Few will be utterly blown away by it, given the abiding similarities to Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted, but anybody who can't get through the day without buckling a few fenders should consider this an essential purchase."
Fighter Within - 2
"Kinect has hit the bottom of the barrel with Fighter Within. Let's hope the rebound carries us up into the clouds."
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