The lights are on
You read the headline correctly. Microsoft has changed its mind about including a headset with the Xbox One. We also now have a bit more information about the tech powering the Xbox One.
Microsoft has posted an unboxing video of one of the first 20 Xbox One consoles to come off the production line.
Let's start with that headset, though. The Xbox One supports a sampling rate that is three times that of the Xbox 360. The controls (as shown in this product video that was posted yesterday) are right near the controller for easy access. Also in the box, you'll find the Kinect 2.0, a 4K HDMI cable, and the power supply.
The console itself sports a 500 GB hard drive, loads via slot (rather than tray), and has the following ports:
The controller that comes with the launch model of the Xbox One is branded with "Day One 2013" and has a chrome D-pad. We've talked about some of the features of the Xbox One controller before (rumble triggers, improved D-pad, improved thumb sticks). Today, we got some new information about how the Play and Charge kit works.
You'll still need to buy a battery pack if you want to charge the controller off the console, but the bulky, proprietary cable is gone. The Xbox One controller sports a micro-USB port, and should be able to use any micro-USB cable. Disposable and rechargeable AA batteries can be used, but cannot be replenished using the controller as a power supply.
When connected to the Xbox One via cable, the controller's internal radio is shut off, sending data exclusively over the cable. You can use the controller without batteries in wired mode, just like with the Xbox 360 controller.
The one thing we didn't get in this video is the release date. Here's hoping that we'll know more about that from Gamescom in Germany.
[Source: Xbox Wire]
Our TakeThe big news here is that Microsoft is including a headset in the box, addressing another major criticism. I pointed out why I thought this was important in an opinion piece a while back, and it's great to see this change.
It's also smart of Microsoft to include an HDMI cable in the box. The manufacturing cost on them has dropped significantly, and this way, people are ready regardless of what kind of HDTV they own. As a reminder, the Xbox One will not support anything else. If you have a standard definition set, you'll need to upgrade.
It's a shame that the batteries for the Xbox One controller aren't internal. There's always a risk that a faulty battery could render the controller inoperable, but for some that's a risk worth taking. I've purchased four or five Xbox 360 battery packs and nearly all of them failed. I've spent at least one new controller's worth on the poorly made accessories.
I'm looking forward to Gamescom, especially since I'll finally lay hands on both an Xbox One and a PlayStation 4. I'm hesitant about the next generation, but I haven't canceled my console pre-orders… yet.