Microsoft has launched its latest games console at event in Redmond, USA tonight – check out the Xbox One launch story here.

For a more detailed look at the specs check out this breakdown.

T3’s Deputy Editor got up close and personal with the Xbox One – check out his thoughts here.

Meanwhile, we’ve also got all you need to know on upcoming Xbox One title’s FIFA 14 and COD: Ghosts.

Original story

The Xbox 360 may dominate console sales in the West, but it looks like its days may have become numbered.

Microsoft has announced that the next Xbox console will be revealed to the world at an event at its Redmond, Washington headquarters on May 21st. It's also announced that further details will be announced at E3 alongside a full list of launch titles for the new console.

Hopefully the event will answer some of the questions and put paid to some of the rumours about Microsoft's next-generation gaming console. Here's what we've heard so far:

Xbox 720 Cloud Entertainment

The latest reports from CVG have suggested that the Xbox 720 will feature a game streaming service from the cloud, what this would enable is the ability to play older titles that aren't compatible with the 720, straight from the internet.

This would be mirroring the service offered by OnLive but with one difference which would be to limit the games selection to arcade titles and older Xbox 360 games.

One of the newest reports has suggested that Xbox 720 prototypes have featured the ability to plug in satellite or cable TV connections effectively turning your Xbox into your set top box as well as your gaming console.

Streaming media became a major component of the Xbox 360 and the console became a media hub as well as a games machine. But would Microsoft follow Sony's lead and also offer their users cloud gaming on the next generation platform?

This month, Microsoft announced it had sold off its IPTV platform Mediaroom to Ericsson as part of a plan to focus its efforts on a new entertainment platform for the Xbox. The move continued Microsoft's ongoing app-based strategy for the Xbox dashboard over the last 18 months, according to the Verge, with the publisher looking to develop a cloud-based entertainment platform for its console.

Xbox 720 3D and Augmented Reality

This last minute entry comes from the Wall Street Journal who have reportedly been given information on prototypes of the Xbox 720. These prototypes have been outfitted with special 3D glasses which would not only act as 3D glasses for games and films but would also be able to project augmented reality images over the top of what you're already seeing.

Considering Microsoft has already shown its commitment to the IllumiRoom concept it would be highly unlikely for Microsoft to then branch out into another type of technology which takes gaming to beyond the HDTV.

Xbox 720 Release Date

It's not yet clear what the Xbox 720 release date will be however sources have placed it as either being at the same time as Sony’s PS4 or after Christmas, instead opting to take on the market post-Christmas.

Industry analysts won’t make any solid predictions but the received wisdom is that Microsoft isn’t about to sit on its hands and let Sony steal the march on the next-gen.

One of the reasons the Xbox 360 outsold the PS3 in the West is because it was out almost a full year before the PS3 hit the market. Microsoft understands that getting to market first can be the silver bullet in establishing dominance.

Now that the Sony PS4 is off the blocks – with a scheduled release date of Holiday 2013 (that’s December in the UK) – the pressure is on Microsoft to step up.

Still, the only information that’s emerged thus far comes in the form a countdown clock that was posted on the blog of the director of programming for Xbox Live, Larry Hryb AKA Major Nelson.

The clock is counting down to E3 2013, where, if past history is anything to go by, Microsoft will likely unveil its next-gen machine.

Xbox 720 Games

Call of Duty: Ghosts will be given a full reveal at Microsoft's E3 Xbox 720 presentation suggesting that it could be the first Call of Duty game to be available exclusively on one console.

Elsewhere Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Black Flag has been confirmed as launching on the Xbox 720 whilst Watchdogs which will be arriving on the PS4 first before then arriving on Microsoft's next-generation console.

 

Xbox 720 Price

If the PS4 comes to market in the UK this year, Microsoft are likely to make every effort to get their next-gen console onto retailers’ shelves at around the same time.

With the Xbox 360, Microsoft released several variants with differing onboard storage options, which in turn, dictated the retail price point.

At the cheapest end, the entry price in the UK was £209.99. Taking this as a ballpark figure makes sense in light of a 2010-dated document that surface last year, stating the planned RRP of the new Xbox console would be around £200.

If that ends up being the case, this would make the Xbox 720 the cheapest next-gen console on the market.

title: Xbox 720 specs, Kinect and IllumiRoom / url: Xbox-720-specs-Kinect-and-IllumiRoom

Xbox 720 Specs

In January of this year, VGLeaks, published what it claims were technical specifications of the next-gen Xbox console, originally leaked under the codename Project Durango.

According to the information published on the site - and this is by no means official - the next Xbox will be powered by an 8-core CPU running at 1.6GHz, alongside 8GB of DDR RAM.

The machine also boasts a custom 800-MHz graphics processor, which "can effectively issue 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second".

The console also contains 8GB of RAM and a Blu-ray disc drive, which can read 50GB discs, 32 MB of fast embedded SRAM, as far as its connectivity goes, it has Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct networking.

The full 'leaked' specs are as follows:

CPU:
- x64 Architecture

- 8 CPU cores running at 1.6 gigahertz (GHz)

- each CPU thread has its own 32 KB L1 instruction cache and 32 KB L1 data cache

- each module of four CPU cores has a 2 MB L2 cache resulting in a total of 4 MB of L2 cache

- each core has one fully independent hardware thread with no shared execution resources

- each hardware thread can issue two instructions per clock

GPU:
- custom D3D11.1 class 800-MHz graphics processor

- 12 shader cores providing a total of 768 threads

- each thread can perform one scalar multiplication and addition operation (MADD) per clock cycle

- at peak performance, the GPU can effectively issue 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second

High-fidelity Natural User Interface (NUI) sensor is always present

Storage and Memory:

- 8 gigabyte (GB) of RAM DDR3 (68 GB/s)

- 32 MB of fast embedded SRAM (ESRAM) (102 GB/s)

- from the GPU’s perspective the bandwidths of system memory and ESRAM are parallel providing combined peak bandwidth of 170 GB/sec.

- Hard drive is always present

- 50 GB 6x Blu-ray Disc drive

Networking:
- Gigabit Ethernet

- Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct

Hardware Accelerators:
- Move engines

- Image, video, and audio codecs

- Kinect multichannel echo cancellation (MEC) hardware

- Cryptography engines for encryption and decryption, and hashing

Microsoft has yet to confirm any of these specifications at the time of this writing.
 

Xbox 720 Kinect

Reports that have been released so far indicate that Microsoft intends to be as bullish about its Kinect interface on the 720 as it was on the 360.

However, from the sounds of things, its focus here is to clear up issues that kept core players away and expand on the potential for its hands-free interface.

The new version of Kinect looks set to come bundled with Microsoft’s next-gen console and will be able to track up to six players at the same time.

The leaked spec also indicate that Kinect’s latency will improve by about a third and it will boast improved skeletal recognition and be capable of tracking smaller movements and appendages – such as fingers and toes.

According to leaked documents on VGLeaks, the specs for Kinect are as follows:

Improved field of view results in much larger play space.

RGB stream is higher quality and higher resolution.

Depth stream is much higher resolution and able to resolve much smaller objects.

Higher depth stream accuracy enables separating objects in close depth proximity.

Higher depth stream accuracy captures depth curvature around edges better.

Active infrared (IR) stream permits lighting independent processing and feature recognition.

End to end pipeline latency is improved by 33 ms.

The improved Kinect tech specs for the Xbox 720 are:

Field of View (FOV) - 57.5˚ horizontal by 43.5˚ vertical / 70˚ horizontal by 60˚ vertical

Resolvable Depth - 0.8 m -> 4.0 m / 0.8 m -> 4.0 m

Color Stream - 640 x 480 x 24 bpp 4:3 RGB @ 30fps640 x 480 x 16 bpp 4:3 YUV @ 15fps / 1920 x 1080 x 16 bpp 16:9 YUY2 @ 30 fps

Depth Stream - 320 x 240 16 bpp, 13-bit depth / 512 x 424 x 16 bpp, 13-bit depth

Infrared (IR) Stream - No IR stream / 512 x 424, 11-bit dynamic range

Registration - Color <-> depth / Color <-> depth and active IR

Audio Capture - 4-mic array returning 48 Hz audio / 4-mic array returning 48K Hz audio

Data Path - USB 2.0 / USB 3.0

Latency - 90 ms with processing / 60 ms with processing

Tilt Motor - Vertical only / No tilt motor
 

Xbox 720 IlumiRoom

More impressively groundbreaking than an improved Kinect module is the promise of the console’s IllumiRoom feature, which apparently allows the Xbox 720 to augment the user’s immediate surrounding with in-game environments.

First shown off at CES 2013, the IllumiRoom shows how the new Xbox can make the area around the user’s TV set part of the in-game experience, adding effects such as falling snow and screen projections on surrounding walls.


According to Microsoft the IllumRoom tech can “change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences”.

Xbox 720 Backwards compatibility

The Xbox 720 will probably not be backwards compatible. After all, the original Xbox and the Xbox 360 weren’t.

However, it’s a possibility that many of the previous gen’s most beloved and best selling games will be available for digital download. Since Sony has vowed to make all of the PS3, PS2 and PS1 games playable on the PS4 via emulation, Microsoft may offer something similar.

After all, they’ve even come round to the idea of including a Blu Ray player in their box.