The man who leads planning for the Xbox One offers his take.
We’re less than two months away from the launch of the next generation of gaming consoles with the PlayStation 4 releasing on November 15th in North America and November 29th in Europe, while the Xbox One launches on November 22nd across 13 territories. Regardless, there is still a ton of stuff to learn about both consoles. Albert Penello, who leads planning for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Kinect at Microsoft, recently took to NeoGAF to clarify and talk about several details surrounding the Xbox One.
First, Penello offered some further clarification on the console being able to run four apps at once. When asked if they are all running at the same time or just suspended a la the iPhone or PS Vita, Penello stated that, “Functionally it’s the same thing. But what I meant in the demo, is that the last 4 apps you run are stored resident in the flash. This means there is 0 load time once it’s been started. If you had Netflix, IE, Xbox Music and the TV app already opened once, you could basically switch instantly between them.
“The fifth app you opened would boot out the last one. However, the reason I say ‘functionally’ the same is that you could have the music app running in the background, for instance. In the case of something like Netflix, we’re not going to keep the video running for no reason.”
Also, apparently Microsoft isn’t storing your facial recognition data, captured by the Kinect, online. “We DO NOT store your physical profile information online. Save games, app history, settings, etc. If you want to log-in with Kinect you need to do that on every new console.”
Penello also revealed that Kinect can function without the video feed. “If you were so inclined, you can turn off the video feed. However, Kinect works in much smaller spaces, and identity will still work great in a smaller room.” So if you’re worried of facing the same problem with the Xbox 360’s Kinect not being able to detect you within a limited space – a problem which has been said to be alleviated thanks to a wider field of view and 1080p sensor – then you can rest easy. Otherwise, the voice recognition can still be utilized.
Some users have also pointed out that when shutting games off via voice command, it takes 10 seconds for the console to comply. Considering that current-gen consoles are almost instantaneous, is 10 seconds really too long? Of course, some have suggested that this was done to keep a proper buffer in case the user changed his/her mind.
Penello clarified the same, stating that there was indeed a buffer but it wasn’t 10 seconds. “We add in a 3-4 second buffer to allow the user to cancel in case (s)he changes his/her mind. Otherwise, the time to load the next game would be whatever it takes to load the next game (when using voice). It’s not 10 seconds.”
Finally, Penello has offered his take on why we haven’t seen any third party titles being run on the Xbox One aside from FIFA (though considering the existence of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain footage for the Xbox One from TGS 2013, that’s somewhat of a fallacy).
“You know, I’m not sure. You’d have to ask the 3rd Parties. I was hoping to see more myself.
“If I had to make a GUESS (please note the highlighted ‘guess’ as the following statement is made by me personally and not as a representative of the Microsoft (R) corporation), and it’s probably because everyone is busy trying to ship in two months. Taking time off to make playable demos may be too time consuming. You’ve got two new console launches on top of likely 4+ existing platforms.”
And whether it’s an official statement or not, the man’s got a point.
Does this clear things up a bit more regarding the Xbox One or are you rushing to cancel your pre-order? Let us know in the comments below.