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Xbox One – 10 things we learned at E3 2013

The Xbox One was unveiled on 21 May 2013, at a special event in Seattle. However, we didn’t get to see much of what it’ll be like as a gaming console until the E3 gaming expo.

Care more about the gaming skills of the Xbox One than its ability to record Eastenders? Read on.

10. Game DVR lets you record your gameplay
As part of the social aspect of the Xbox One, you’ll be able to record videos of your gaming exploits, using a feature called Game DVR.

Video is saved to the 500GB hard drive, which features in all Xbox Ones. There’s no storage-light budget option – yet. You’ll also be able to live stream your games over the web, opening-up the possibility for streamed tournaments over Xbox Live.

9. Halo is coming to the Xbox One, in 2014
We knew it was being made before E3 2013, but we now know that 343 Industries’ Halo for Xbox One will arrive in 2014. It therefore isn’t a launch game as such, because the Xbox One is heading for a November 2013 release.

In typical teaser fashion, we don’t know much else about the game – including its name. The game trailer shown at E3 doesn’t show gameplay, or even all that much about the world in which the game will be set. It’s Master Chief walking in a desert, clutching a necklace. Then a huge spaceship appearing from the sand behind him. Baffling.

8. Microsoft Points are dead

Microsoft is to ditch the points system currently used to buy games and download content through Xbox Live. Instead, the Xbox One will let you buy goods with cold, hard, virtual cash.

Microsoft Points were originally introduced alongside the Xbox 360 back in 2005. They have been frequently criticised as a system that doesn’t let you pay exact amounts, cause a sense of dissociation from actual money (well that is the idea) and their cost varies too much across countries.

7. The Xbox One design is coming to 360
Although the Xbox One design has sparked ridicule from some corners, the look will soon be handed-down to the Xbox 360. The new version is slimmer than the current Xbox 360, and borrows the dual glossy-matt finish of the Xbox One.

There will be two different versions of the 2013 Xbox 360, a £149.99 budget model with 4GB of internal memory and a 250GB edition at £199.99. Plenty of games are still to be released on the Xbox 360, for years to come most likely, so it’s not a bad Christmas 2013 gift if you can’t stomach the £429.99 an Xbox One will cost.

6. Ryse: Son of Rome is exclusive to Xbox One

Crytek has announced that Ryse: Son of Rome will come exclusively to the Xbox One. Why is this interesting? Because Crytek is the company behind the Crysis and Far Cry games – the former being some of the best-looking games ever made.

As the title suggests, Ryse is set is ancient Rome. It’s a gory first-person action game that doesn’t have the easy get-out option of guns. You play a Roman general and have to hack and smash people to death, up close and personal. It’s not one for the kids.

5. Game rentals are a no-go
Xbox One games can be traded in to ‘select retail partners’, but you will not be able to rent games – not from the start at least. Obviously, this is terrible news for game rental places like Blockbuster, which is already clinging onto its livelihood by its fingernails.

However, Blockbuster has already confirmed it’ll be supporting the console launch – Blockbuster sells new games as well as renting them.

4. Killer Instinct is coming back for revenge
If you’re under 20, you may not remember this gaming series, but Killer Instinct is coming to Xbox One. This fighting game was released in the arcade and for the SNES back in the mid-90s, but never quite made the same impact as Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat.

It’s a one-on-one fighter in the same vein as those games, though. It won’t be a boxed game, but a download. And it’ll be free to play. However, you’ll only have access to one character without paying. Whether this is a ‘demo’ or if Killer Instinct will use a micro-transaction model is unclear at present.

3. The Xbox One will arrive in November
There’s no pin-point date for the Xbox One’s release yet – but Microsoft has said the console will arrive in November. That’s precisely when we thought it would, pre-E3.

This timing gives the console enough time to capture a chunk of the Christmas present-buying market.

2. It’s official, The Witcher 3 is coming to Xbox One

The Witcher started off as one of the last truly successful PC-only franchises, but now it’s coming to consoles too. CD Projekt made the announcement during the Microsoft press conference.

Witcher 3 is the first in the series to have a truly open world – the other two games had ‘modular’ worlds where each area or town was a separate entity. A gameplay video was shown-off at the conference, and suggests it could make a pretty good stop-gap for Elder Scroll fans who don’t like the sound of Elder Scrolls Online.

1. The Xbox One is more expensive than a PS4
The UK prices for both the PS4 and Xbox One have been revealed, and the Sony console is the cheaper of the two. Microsoft’s gaming rig will cost £429, a solid £80 more than the £349 PS4. This is not good news for the Xbox One.

Would an £80 premium put you off, or are the additional TV-related bits and bobs – plus Kinect – worth it?

Next, read our comparison of the Xbox One and PS4

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