Microsoft has announced Xbox One pricing, launch games and changes to Xbox LIVE. After discontinuing the Xbox LIVE Gold Family Pack earlier this year, Microsoft will expand its existing Xbox LIVE Gold subscription so it can be used by “anyone in your home” at no additional cost.
Starting this fall, it will be possible to purchase games, movies, apps and entertainment in the user’s local currency instead of using Microsoft Points. All this content will be stored on the 300,000 servers backing up Xbox LIVE and can be accessed anytime from any Xbox One console.
A user’s Gamerscore from the Xbox 360 will carry over to the Xbox One, since it is tied to the user’s Xbox account, not the console. There is also a new reputation system that rewards healthy participation while reducing troublemakers and cheaters.
Xbox One has a new Smart Match feature that matches players based on skill, language and reputation. Asynchronous matching makes it possible for the user to play a game, watch TV or listen to music while Smart Match finds a perfect match.
There are also new social features including a Game DVR feature and Upload Studio for adding voiceovers, skins, slow motion and other features to the recorded clips, and a feature called Twitch that allows users to broadcast their games in real time and chat with others as they view content.
Xbox Smartglass has improved so that a tablet can be used to turn the console on and off, adjust volume, manage a set-top box, Blu-ray and more. There is also an Xbox OneGuide for navigating and watching live TV without switching inputs and a more conversational interface for Kinect voice control.
Trailers for a number of launch games were shown off for a new Halo game, Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Titanfall and more. See the trailers on YouTube here. Microsoft also announced Project Spark, which allows users to build their own game world and share it with other users.
Xbox One will be available on 21 November 2013 for US$499.99. There is an Xbox One Day One limited-edition bundle available for preorder on Amazon here that comes in premium black packaging with a limited edition wireless controller, a unique Day One Achievement and special bonus content for the launch games.
Microsoft has also announced a redesigned Xbox 360 is now available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Ireland for the same price as the current one and a special deal where Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers will receive two free Xbox 360 games per month until the release of Xbox One. It will become available in more countries over the coming weeks.