NEWS - Sunday, July 21, 2013

Xbox One base features, controller impress at San Diego Comic Con

Major Nelson took the stage today at San Diego Comic Con to moderate a panel of developers as they talked about the new features of Microsoft’s upcoming console, the Xbox One.

Ken Lobb, Creative Director at Microsoft, has been trying to revive Killer Instinct for years. Rather than go into tons of detail about the game itself, Ken showed highlights from EVO, the recent fighting name tournament in Las Vegas. At EVO, Ken used Project Upload to record a match where a dev broke a fan’s 100+ win streak through some of the games new combo breakers. The match highlights were used as a sort of demo of the Xbox One’s new video recording feature, which automatically records and stores locally the last five minutes of every game you play. Whenever something cool happens, you simply say "Xbox record" and it saves out the last 30 seconds of gameplay for upload and sharing.

More impressively, the controllers automatically recognize who is holding the controller through the camera. When the controller is passed from player to player, the games automatically load individual controller profiles for that player. Now passing controllers around during a game won’t require you to back out to the options menu and change look inversion.

Dan Greenawalt, Creative Director of Turn10, creators of Forza, talked about more of the haptic a and rumble motors in the controller. The individual rumble in the triggers are being used to provide feedback on the tire performance, so players will have even more awareness of grip and braking. While that’s impressive, the video showing a Prague course in 1080p and 60fps was even more amazing.

Keeping on the theme of graphics, Josh Bridge showed off a highlight reel from the insanity that is Dead Rising 3. The sequel will offer more zombies than ever before, a larger world, and no loading times. That’s the big news, but Josh also took time to highlight, via a slideshow, some of the added details, from physics driven glass shards to biologically appropriate innards when you dismember zombies with your lightsaber.

We’ve already covered some of the Smartglass integration in Microsoft’s Ryse, but producer Justin Robey was on hand to discuss how Smartglass can display where your friends are in each of their games and can help you prep multiplayer sessions without having to load the game first. So if you’re playing Ryse, you can invite a bunch of your friends to a Dead Rising match, and will be notified in Ryse when all players are ready.

Nick Burton, lead of new technology at Rare, introduced the topic of Kinect, and how the fidelity had not been "quite there" in the previous generation. It could track about 20 points on the body. The Xbox One is about 10x the resolution of the current version and can read the folds in your face and discriminate among your fingers even at 3 meters. Hand positions can now be read for better fidelity in bowling and rock climbing games. The team have even created a target shooting game that uses your hand and eye positions in place of an actual light gun.

As amazing as that is, Nick had even more surprises. He showed a Kinectic produced mask of his own face that can the be mapped to in-game models. Rather than the gamer pic versions of yourself in games like Rainbow Six, you can now import your own face geometry and even your BMI onto character models in the games. The whole game also tracks your face during gameplay and will reproduce your real life facial expressions on the in game models.

All these features are so-called system level features and will be available to any game that chooses to use them.

The first question from the crowd was, not surprisingly, about the release date. The team promised more details on that this summer.



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