PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launch guide
posted on 11.14.13 at 11:40 AM EDT by (@salromano)
All the specs, features, launch titles, and upcoming games.

The next-generation is almost here.

PlayStation 4, specifically, arrives tomorrow, and Xbox One is due out next Friday.

You’re probably wondering which to get, how the systems compare, and all that fun stuff. That’s where this neat-o launch guide comes into play.

Get it all below. If we missed or made a mistake about anything, feel free to kindly alert us in the comments. Please don’t yell at me.

PlayStation 4

Release Date

  • November 15 – North America
  • November 29 – Europe: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom; Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Peru
  • December 2013 – Asia
  • February 22 – Japan

Price

$399 / €399 / £349

In The Box

  • PlayStation 4 system
  • DualShock 4 wireless controller
  • Micro-USB cable for charging the controller
  • Mono headset
  • AC power cord
  • HDMI cable

Specifications

Main processor Single-chip custom processor
CPU : x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores
GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon-based graphics engine
Memory 8GB GDDR5
Storage size 500GB Hard disk drive
External dimensions Approx. 275×53×305 mm (width × height × length)
(tentative, excludes largest projection)
Mass Approx. 2.8 kg
BD/ DVD drive
(read only)
BD × 6 CAV
DVD × 8 CAV
Input / Output Super-Speed USBx (USB 3.0) port × 2
AUX port × 1
Networking Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) ×1
IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)
AV output HDMI out port
Digital out (optical) port

Launch Titles (Exclusives + Console Exclusives in Bold)

  • Angry Birds: Star Wars (Rovio, Activision)
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft)
  • Battlefield 4 (DICE, Electronic Arts)
  • Blacklight: Retribution (Zombie Studios)
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward, Activision)
  • Contrast (Compulsion Games, Focus Home Interactive)
  • DC Universe Online (Sony Online Entertainment)
  • FIFA 14 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
  • Flower (Thatgamecompany, Sony Computer Entertaiment)
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition (NetherRealm Studios, Warner Bros. Games)
  • Just Dance 2014 (Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft)
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall (Guerrilla Games, Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Knack (SCE Japan Studio, Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • LEGO Marvel Superheroes (TT Games, Warner Bros. Interactive)
  • Madden NFL 25 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
  • NBA 2K14 (Visual Concepts, 2K Sports)
  • Need for Speed Rivals (Ghost Games, Electronic Arts)
  • The Playroom (SCE Japan Studio, Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Resogun (Housemarque, Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Sound Shapes (Queasy Games, Sony Computer Entertaiment)
  • Skylanders Swap Force (Vicarious Visions, Activision)
  • Super Motherload (XGen Studios)
  • Trine 2: Complete Story (Frozenbyte)
  • Warframe (Digital Extremes)

Launch Window (between November and February)

  • Awesomenauts: Assemble (Ronimo Games) – Early 2014
  • Backgammon Blitz (The Fyzz Facility) – December 18 (Europe)
  • Basement Crawl (Bloober Team) – January 21, 2014
  • The Binding of Issac: Rebirth (Nicalis) – Early 2014
  • Daylight (Zombie Studios, Atlus) – Early 2014
  • Doki-Doki Universe (HumaNature Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment) – December 10, 2013
  • Driveclub (Evolution Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment) – Early 2014
  • Escape Plan (Fun Bits Interactive, Sony Computer Entertainment) – December 3, 2013
  • flOw (Thatgamecompany, Sony Computer Entertainment) – December 17, 2013
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Beta (Square Enix) – February 22, 2014
  • N++ (Metanet) – Early 2014
  • NBA Live 2014 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts) – November 19, 2013
  • The Pinball Arcade (System 3, FarSight Studios) – December 17, 2013
  • PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment) – Early 2014
  • Pool Nation FX (Cherry Pop Games) – Was supposed to be launch
  • Putty Squad (System 3) – November 29, 2013 (Europe)
  • Rayman Legends (Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft) – February 18, 2014
  • Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments (Frogwares Studio, Focus Home Interactive) – Early 2014
  • Thief (Eidos Montreal, Square Enix) – February 25, 2014
  • Tiny Brains (Spearhead Games) – December 3, 2013
  • Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix) – January 28, 2014
  • TowerFall: Ascension (Matt Thorson) – Early 2014
  • War Thunder (Gaijin Entertainment) – November 29, 2013 (Europe)
  • Zen Pinball 2 (Zen Studios) – December 24, 2013

Launch Apps

  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Crackle
  • Crunchyroll
  • EPIX
  • Hulu Plus
  • Music Unlimited
  • NBA Game Time
  • Netflix
  • NHL GameCenter LIVE
  • Redbox Instant by Verizon
  • Video Unlimited
  • VUDU
  • YuppTV

DualShock 4

DualShock 4 is equipped with a highly sensitive six-axis sensor, front touchpad, top light bar that flashes various colors (this can be used to identify players, signifify when a character’s health is low in-game, etc.), built-in speaker, headphone jack, options button, share button, and improved L2 and R2 triggers.

PlayStation Camera

The PlayStation Camera features two 1280×800 cameras and will be sold separately from PlayStation 4 for $59.99 / £54.99. When combined with DualShock 4′s light bar, the camera can accurately track depth and a player’s position in the room. It will also recognize navigational voice commands and user faces.

Hard Drive

The PlayStation 4 comes with a 500 gigabyte built-in 5400 RPM SATA II hard drive. Users can replace the hard drive with their own, as long as it is no thicker than 9.5mm and larger than 160 gigabytes. External hard drives are not supported.

DRM

Disc-based games on PlayStation 4 operate as they have on previous game systems. You can play a game on multiple systems, sell it, or lend it to a friend without restriction.

Downloadable games be played by every user on your home system, but only by the user who purchased it when downloaded on non-home systems.

Region Lock

Like PlayStation 3, PS Vita, and PSP, PlayStation 4 is region-free. Also like said consoles, publishers can choose to region-lock titles on a game-by-game basis. The Japanese version of Persona 4 Arena on PlayStation 3, for example, was region-locked because Atlus didn’t want to jeopardize sales of the North American and European versions.

Backwards Compatibility

PlayStation 4 is not backwards compatible with PlayStation 3, PS2, or PSone games.

DualShock 3 controllers cannot be used with PlayStation 4.

PlayStation Move controllers can be used with PlayStation 4.

Sharing

DualShock 4 is equipped with a new “Share” button that allows users to easily upload video and screenshots, or live stream their gameplay to PlayStation Network.

—Live Streaming

Gameplay can be live streamed via Twitch and Ustream. The PlayStation Camera can be used to integrate a picture-in-picture video of the user. Users can chat while viewing your live stream. In some cases (e.g. a Killzone: Shadow Fall multiplayer match), other users can join your game, and in other cases (e.g. you can’t get past a tough boss), users can take over your controller. The latter will not be available at launch. At launch, users will not be able to archive live streams on Ustream or Twitch, however this feature will be supported in the future.

—Live from PlayStation

Within Live from PlayStation, you can view all PlayStation 4 gameplay being broadcast over Twitch and Ustream.

—Video and Screenshot Uploads

PlayStation 4 always records the last 15 minutes of gameplay. At any time during a gameplay session, users can pause, edit, and upload their video or screenshot in the background to PlayStation Network, Facebook, and Twitter.

Downloading and Installing

PlayStation 4 games can be played while they’re downloading, and while they’re installing. Certain games can be downloaded in single and multiplayer portions. If you buy Killzone: Shadow Fall, for example, and want to immediately jump into multiplayer, you can download the multiplayer portion of the game first.

All disc-based PlayStation 4 titles must be installed to the hard-drive.

PlayStation 4 system software updates can be downloaded in the background.

Trophies

Trophies will return with PlayStation 4, retaining their bronze, silver, gold, and platinum types. Player levels, which are dependent on the number and types of trophies you collect, will also remain. New to PlayStation 4 are trophy rarity levels. The “Golden Child” trophy from Catherine, for example, is “Ultra Rare” because 0.9% of players have earned it.

Multitasking

PlayStation 4 will allow users to multitask, such as opening the web browser to look up game tips while playing a game.

Multiple Log-Ins

A maximum of four users can log-in to a single PlayStation 4 system at once. Players can use their own save data to play games, and earn trophies on their own PlayStation Network accounts while playing a multiplayer game together on a single PlayStation 4.

Remote Play

PlayStation 4 will support Remote Play correspondence with PS Vita and PS Vita TV. By accessing your PlayStation 4 over a Wi-Fi network, users will be able to play any PlayStation 4 game (excluding those that require the PlayStation Camera) on PS Vita or PS Vita TV. Some games support additional PS Vita or tablet functionality. The Playroom, for example, will allow you to draw objects on your PS Vita (or smartphone, see below) that you can send into the game.

PlayStation App

A PlayStation App for smartphones and tablets allows users to see their PlayStation Network notifications, game invitations, game alerts, and messages, as well as what their friends are doing, view their profiles, check and compare trophies, watch PlayStation Network live streams, and purchase games from the PlayStation Store, which will immediately begin downloading to your PlayStation 4 while you’re away.

The app will also offer second screen gameplay features for titles that support it. The Playroom, for example, as with PS Vita, interacts with the app in that you can draw pictures on your smartphone and then ‘push’ them to the TV. Every PlayStation 4 developer can make use of the app’s functionality.

Download PlayStation App here: iTunes | Google Play.

PlayStation Network

—Friends

The friend cap on PlayStation 4 has increased to 2,000.

Your friends’ recent activity—like live streams, game ratings, avatar changes, shared videos, liked games, and trophy earnings—can be seen on the system’s home screen.

—Gaikai

Gaikai is a cloud-based gaming company owned by Sony that will allow users to stream PSone, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 titles via a new cloud gaming service. It will launch in North America in 2014, starting with a library of PlayStation 3 titles.

—Join Session

You can see what games your friends are playing from within the user interface. If you see a friend is playing Deep Down on the home screen, for example, you can click it, see his current play time, what other users are in his game, and join his game (if it’s an open session) straight from the user interface.

—Party Chat

Players can party chat with up to eight friends across different games and applications. Party chat between PlayStation 4 and PS Vita users is also possible.

—Real Names

Players can now assign their real names to their PlayStation Network IDs. Real names can only be seen by approved friends (you send each other Name Requests), and won’t be visible during multiplayer matches. Setting a real name is optional, not mandatory.

Restricted to PlayStation Plus

The following online features will be restricted to PlayStation Plus accounts, which costs $49.99 for a 12-month subscription:

  • Multiplayer gaming (excluding free-to-play online games)
  • Exclusive deals and offers

PlayStation Plus benefits can be shared with everyone on your home PlayStation 4 console, even if you’re not logged in.

Music and Media

—Audio CDs

PlayStation 4 cannot play audio CDs.

—MP3s

PlayStation 4 cannot play MP3s. Though Sony has acknowledged desire for this and are considering options.

—Media Server

PlayStation 4 cannot be used as a media server. Though Sony has acknowledged desire for this and are considering options.

—In-Game Background Music

Users can play background music while playing games using the Music Unlimited streaming service.

User Interface

—Custom Themes

PlayStation 4 does not support custom themes or wallpapers.

—GameSpot Walkthrough

Day One Update

—Version 1.50

A day one update (version 1.50, 300mb) will enable the following features:

Remote Play

Users will be able to access PS4 titles displayed on their living room TVs and play them on a PS Vita system over Wi-Fi network sby using PS4 Link. SCE anticipates that most PS4 titles will be playable on the PS Vita system through Remote Play.

Second Screen

Users can use the PS4 Link application for the PS Vita system, and PlayStation App for iPhone, iPad, and Android based smartphones and tablets*5,to use these devices as second screens in supported titles. PlayStation App has the ability to enable users to interact with games with their mobiles devices. For example on The Playroom, a title pre-installed in all PS4 systems that requires PlayStation Camera, users can draw pictures on their mobile device screens and flick them towards the TV. The images then appear as a 3D object within the game.

Record, take screen shots, and upload gameplay effortlessly

The PS4 system provides dedicated, “always on” video encoding systems that enables seamless uploading of gameplay. Users can share their epic triumphs by simply hitting the “Share button” on PS4 Wireless Controller (DualShock 4), take screenshots or scan through the last 15 minutes of gameplay, tag it and return to the game—the video uploads as the user plays. At the PS4 system’s launch in North America, users will be able to share their images and videos with friends on Facebook and screenshots with followers on Twitter.

Broadcast and spectate gameplay

The PS4 system also enhances social spectating by enabling users to broadcast their gameplay in real-time to game fans around the globe, using Ustream and Twitch live internet streaming services. SCE provides two ways for users to view live broadcasts. First, the Live from PlayStation application on PS4 aggregates streams from all PlayStation users. Second, users can spectate friends’ PS4 gameplay from PCs, and applications such as Ustream, Twitch, and browsers, which are installed on their mobile devices. These applications can be easily started up via PlayStation App, and users can also use these applications to post comments to gameplay broadcasts. Furthermore, users with PlayStation Camera can stream camera images and microphone sounds along with their live gameplay broadcast.

Play as you download

This feature enables users to play supported digital titles as they are being downloaded. When a game is purchased, users can start playing after PS4 downloads a portion of the data, while the rest of the game is downloaded in the background during actual gameplay. Games may be downloaded in stand-by mode.

Multi log-in

A maximum of 4 users can log-in to a single PS4 system simultaneously. These players can use their own save data to play games, and also earn trophies on their own Sony Entertainment Network accounts even when playing a multi-player game together on a single PS4 system.

Party (Voice chat)

By using the Mono Headset bundled with the PS4 system, users will be able to chat with up to eight friends enjoying different applications or games. Furthermore, users can use Party to chat between PS4 and PS Vita systems.

Face recognition and voice commands

Users with PlayStation Camera will be able to register their facial image onto their PS4 system, and login to their system using facial recognition instead of DualShock 4. Furthermore, users can use either the microphone of the Mono Head set connected to DualShock 4, or PlayStation Camera to navigate through the PS4 home screen (PlayStation Dynamic Menu) with voice commands to start up games and shutdown the system, among other features.

Background music player

Users can enjoy gameplay while listening to music in the background with Music Unlimited, a cloud-based digital music service. Users can also voice chat with friends while listening to music.

Online Multiplayer

PlayStation Plus (PS Plus) members will be able to play PS4 titles online with other players via the network. PS Plus makes it easy for members to join available online multiplayer matches in a variety of ways, including the ability to easily join a game from a live stream broadcast or Party voice chats.

Blu-ray Disc and DVD player

Users can enjoy not only gaming on their PS4 system, but also Blu-ray and DVD video contents.

Some features will not be available at launch, such as “suspend/resume mode” which is a feature that keeps the PS4 system in a low power state and promptly takes users back to their game. We will provide additional information about system software update version 1.50 and features available at the PS4 system’s North America launch, and features that will be available after launch, in the near future.

—Confirmed Features Arriving Post-Launch

The following features are confirmed for PlayStation 4, but are not available at launch:

  • Share controller via the internet to assist a friend
  • Suspend/Resume mode allowing user to suspend and resume their progress across different games?
  • Wireless Stereo Headsets support
    • Wireless Stereo Headset
    • Pulse Wired Stereo Headset
    • Pulse Wireless Stereo Headset Elite Edition

Xbox One

Release Date

  • November 22 – Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States

Price

$499 / €499 / £429

In The Box

  • Xbox One system
  • Xbox One wireless controller
  • Xbox One wired headset
  • Kinect
  • 14-day trial of Xbox LIVE Gold
  • FIFA 14 (Day One European pre-orders)

Specifications

Main processor Single-chip custom processor
CPU : 8 Core Microsoft custom CPU
GPU : 1.31 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon-based graphics engine
Memory 8GB DDR3 + 32MB eSRAM
Storage size 500GB Hard disk drive
External dimensions Approx. 343×80×263 mm (width × height × length)
Mass Approx. 3.18 kg
BD/ DVD drive
(read only)
BD × 6 CAV
DVD × 8 CAV
Input / Output USB 3.0 port × 3
Networking Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) ×1
IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (Wi-Fi Direct)
AV output HDMI out port
HDMI in port

Launch Titles (Exclusives + Console Exclusives in Bold)

  • Angry Birds: Star Wars (Rovio, Activision)
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft)
  • Battlefield 4 (DICE, Electronic Arts)
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward, Activision)
  • Crimson Dragon (Grounding/Land Ho!, Microsoft Studios)
  • Dead Rising 3 (Capcom Vancouver, Microsoft)
  • FIFA 14 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
  • Fighter Within (AMA Ltd., Ubisoft)
  • Forza Motorsport 5 (Turn 10 Studios, Microsoft Studios)
  • Just Dance 2014 (Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft)
  • Killer Instinct (Double Helix, Microsoft Studios)
  • Kinect Sports Rivals Preseason (Rare, Microsoft Studios)
  • LEGO Marvel Superheroes (TT Games, Warner Bros. Interactive)
  • LocoCycle (Twisted Pixel, Microsoft Studios)
  • Madden NFL 25 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
  • NBA 2K14 (Visual Concepts, 2K Sports)
  • NBA LIVE 14 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
  • Need for Speed: Rivals (Ghost Games, Electronic Arts)
  • Powerstar Golf (Zoe Mode, Microsoft Studios)
  • Ryse: Son of Rome (Crytek, Microsoft Studios)
  • Skylanders: Swap Force (Vicarious Visions, Activision)
  • Zoo Tycoon (Frontier Developments Ltd., Microsoft Studios)
  • Zumba Fitness: World Party (Zoë Mode, Majesco)
  • Xbox Fitness (Microsoft Studios)

Launch Window (between November and February)

  • Peggle 2 (Popcap, Electronic Arts) – December 9, 2013
  • Project Spark Beta (Dakota Team, Microsoft Studios) – February 2014
  • Halo: Spartan Assault (Vanguard Entertainment, Microsoft Studios) – December 24, 2013
  • Rayman Legends (Ubisoft Montpellier, Ubisoft) – February 18, 2014
  • Thief (Eidos Montreal, Square Enix) – February 25, 2014
  • Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix) – January 28, 2014

Launch Apps (between November 22 and spring 2014)

Australia

  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Network Ten’s tenplay
  • Quickflix
  • SBS On Demand
  • TED
  • Twitch

Austria

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Brazil

  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • Muu
  • Netflix
  • Saraiva Player
  • Sky Online
  • SporTV
  • TED
  • Telecine
  • Twitch
  • Vivo Play

Canada

  • CinemaNow
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Rogers Anyplace TV
  • Sportsnet
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch

France

  • 6Play
  • Canal+/CanalSat
  • France 2,3,4,5
  • La TV d’Orange
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • MyTF1
  • MYTF1VOD
  • SFR TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Germany

  • Amazon\LOVEFiLM
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Watchever
  • Zattoo

Ireland

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Italy

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Premium Play
  • TED
  • Twitch

Mexico

  • Clarovideo
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Televisa
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • TV Azteca
  • Twitch
  • Veo

New Zealand

  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Quickflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Spain

  • Eurosport
  • Gol Televisión
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • RTVE
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv
  • Zattoo

United Kingdom

  • 4oD
  • Amazon\LOVEFiLM
  • blinkbox
  • Crackle
  • Demand 5
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • NOW TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv

United States

  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Crackle
  • CWTV
  • ESPN
  • FOX NOW
  • FXNOW
  • HBO GO (coming soon)
  • Hulu Plus
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Redbox Instant by Verizon
  • Target Ticket
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch
  • Univision Deportes
  • Verizon FiOS TV
  • VUDU

Controller

The Xbox One controller offers an updated d-pad, thumb stick, and ergonomic fit. It is designed to work in harmony with the new Kinect, which it pairs with automatically for seamless player syncing. Other features include an integrated battery compartment, impulse triggers, Wi-Fi Direct radio stack, and a precision directional panel.

Kinect

Every Xbox One will come bundled with the updated Kinect sensor, which uses a new 1080p wide-angle time-of-flight camera. The sensor offers greater accuracy over the original Kinect, can track up to six players at once, perform heart rate tracking, track gestures performed with the controller, and can scan QR codes. It will also recognize navigational voice commands and user faces.

Hard Drive

Xbox One comes with a 500 gigabyte built-in hard drive. Users cannot replace it with their own hard drive, though external hard drives are supported.

DRM

Disc-based games on Xbox One operate as they have on previous game systems. You can play a game on multiple systems, sell it, or lend it to a friend without restriction.

Downloadable games be played by every user on your home system, but only by the user who purchased it when downloaded on non-home systems.

Region Lock

Unlike Xbox 360, Xbox One is region-free. However, publishers can choose to region-lock titles on a game-by-game basis. The Japanese version of Persona 4 Arena on PlayStation 3, for example, was region-locked because Atlus didn’t want to jeopardize sales of the North American and European versions.

Backwards Compatibility

Xbox One is not backwards compatible with Xbox 360 or Xbox games.

Xbox 360 controllers cannot be used with Xbox One.

Sharing

—Game DVR

Xbox One will always record the last five minutes of gameplay. At launch, Xbox One’s “Game DVR” can be used to edit and upload video to Xbox LIVE.

—Live Streaming

Xbox One will allow users to live stream gameplay over Twitch. Users can chat while viewing your live stream. Kinect can be used to integrate a picture-in-picture video of yourself.

Downloading and Installing

Xbox One games can be played while they’re downloading, and while they’re installing.

All disc-based Xbox One titles must be installed to the hard-drive.

Achievements

Xbox One achievements are different from Xbox 360 achievements. There are two types: “Achievements” and “Challenges.” Achievements set a goal to accomplish, and reward you with gamerscore upon completion. Challenges are only available for a certain period of time, give out a reward but not gamerscore, may cross titles, and can be unlocked by the community. A challenge, for example, might task the Call of Duty: Ghosts community to head-shot one million enemies in a three-day period.

Snap

Snap allows Xbox One users to multitask. While playing a game or watching a TV show, for example, you can ‘snap’ a Skype window to the right side of the screen and video chat with a friend. Xbox Music can be ‘snapped’ to the screen to listen to your own music while playing a game. Or a Machinima app available on launch day can be ‘snapped’ to provide gameplay hints in tricky situations.

Multiple Log-Ins

A maximum of six users can log-in to a single Xbox One system at once. Players can use their own save data to play games, and earn achievements on their own Xbox LIVE accounts while playing a multiplayer game together on a single Xbox One.

TV Functionality

Xbox One is equipped with an HDMI in port, which you can connect your cable or satellite box to. You can watch TV through Xbox One and use the integrated OneGuide channel guide to browse TV shows with your controller or voice. You can create your own personal channel by pinning the shows and apps you watch most.

SmartGlass

SmartGlass is a free downloadable companion app coming this holiday to Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android devices. You can use it stay connected to Xbox LIVE friends, send and receive messages, check and compare Achievements, see what they’re playing, and search the Xbox Games Store.

With Xbox One’s TV features, SmartGlass can be used to change channels, adjust the volume, or to navigate the OneGuide channel guide.

SmartGlass can also be used during games. Dead Rising 3 turns your phone into the character’s phone in-game. Whenever he gets a call, your phone will ring. SmartGlass can also be used to star a new mission or find hidden in-game items in Dead Rising 3.

Xbox LIVE

—Currency

Xbox LIVE on Xbox One no longer uses Microsoft Points to purchase games and add-ons. The platform will instead use actual money.

—Dedicated Servers

Microsoft will offer free dedicated servers for every multiplayer game on Xbox One. Dedicated servers mean that, rather than a player host a multiplayer match on their connection, the match is instead hosted on a neutral server at Microsoft.

—Friends

Xbox LIVE friends on Xbox One are different from Xbox 360 friends. For starters, the maximum amount of friends you can have is now 1,000.

The friends app offers a real-time feed of what your friends are doing, friends you’ve tagged as favorites, and your party, if you have one active.

Profiles include your player image, gamerscore, reputation score, number of friends, and number of followers. You can also check your recent activity, achievements, and uploaded videos.

Followers are similar to Twitter. You can follow people without being on their friends list. They’ll receive a notification when you do so. If they follow you back, you’ll both appear on each others’ friends list. Users who do not wish to be followed can adjust their privacy settings accordingly.

—Real Names

Like PlayStation 4, Xbox One users can show their real names on profiles, though this feature will not be available at launch.

—Reputation

There are three levels of reputation on Xbox One’s Xbox LIVE. Green means “good player;” people will want to play with you because you’re respectful in multiplayer matches. Yellow means “needs improvement;” maybe others will work with you to be a less annoying person. Red means “avoid me;” you’ve been too annoying, and no one wants to play with you anymore.

—Skype

Skype is fully integrated into Xbox One, allowing users to voice or video chat within or outside of gameplay sessions. Group calls with up to three other people are possible.

—SmartMatch

SmartMatch is a new match-making system that uses advanced algorithms to pair players based on skill, language, age, gameplay style, and reputation. It’s designed to help users easily discover and play with the type of people they want to play with.

Restricted to Xbox LIVE Gold

The following online features will be restricted to Xbox LIVE Gold accounts, which costs $59.99 for a 12-month subscription:

  • Multiplayer gaming
  • Premium entertainment apps
  • Internet Explorer
  • Exclusive deals and offers
  • NFL on Xbox
  • OneGuide
  • Game DVR
  • Skype
  • SmartMatch

Xbox LIVE Gold benefits can be shared with family members on your home Xbox One console, even if you’re not logged in. If you’re at a friend’s house, everyone can enjoy your Xbox LIVE Gold benefits so long as you’re signed in.

Music and Media

—Audio CDs

Xbox One can play audio CDs.

—MP3s

Xbox One cannot play MP3s.

—Media Server

Xbox One can be used as a media server. Users can stream media content using any Play To supported device, like Window 7, 8, or 8.1 PCs and Windows Phones.

—In-Game Background Music

Users can play background music while playing games using the Xbox Music streaming service.

User Interface

—Official Walkthrough

Day One Update

Details about Xbox One’s day one update have not been fully announced, but Microsoft said it “is required for the system to function both online and offline.” Furthermore, when asked what Xbox One can do without the update, Microsoft’s Albert Penello said “nothing.”

Upcoming Games

Games labeled as “PS4-only” or “Xbox One-only” mean said title is not coming out on the opposing platform. Some games are also coming out on previous generation platforms. Other games are also coming out on PC.

Action

  • Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends (PS4-only) – TBA (Feb. 22 in Japan)
  • Lily Bergamo (PS4-only) – TBA
  • Mobile Suit Gundam (PS4-only) – TBA
  • Quantum Break (Xbox One-only) – TBA
  • Shadow of the Beast (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Uncharted (PS4-only) – TBA
  • Yakuza: Ishin (PS4-only) – TBA (Feb. 22 in Japan)

Adventure

  • D4 (Xbox One-only) – 2014
  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (PS4-only) – 2014
  • The LEGO Movie Videogame – 2014
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch (PS4-only) – March 2014

Board

  • Tottemo E Mahjong Plus (PS4-only) – TBA (Feb. 22 in Japan)

Creation

  • Minecraft – TBA
  • Project Spark (Xbox One-only) – 2014

Fighting Games

  • Divekick – TBA
  • Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Legend of Raven – 2014
  • Samurai Gunn (PS4-only) – 2014

Horror

  • Draugen – TBA
  • The Evil Within – 2014
  • Forgotten Memories (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Kodoku (PS4-only) – Early 2015
  • Outlast (PS4-only) 2014
  • SOMA (PS4-only) – 2015

MMO

  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4-only) – April 2014
  • The Elder Scrolls Online – June 2014
  • The Division – 2014
  • Guns of Icarus Online (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Onigiri (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade – 2015

Open-World

  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – 2014
  • Don’t Starve (PS4-only) – TBA
  • inFAMOUS: Second Son (Sucker Punch, Sony Computer Entertainment) – March 21, 2014
  • Mad Max – 2014
  • Mirror’s Edge – TBA
  • The Order: 1886 (PS4-only) – TBA
  • Rime (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One-only) – 2014
  • Tomb Raider Sequel – TBA
  • Triad Wars – TBA
  • Watch Dogs – Spring 2014

Platformer / Side-Scroller

  • Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes (PS4-only) – TBA
  • Cobalt (Xbox One-only) – TBA
  • Fez (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (Xbox One-only) – 2014
  • Mercenary Kings (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Mighty No. 9 – April 2015
  • Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty! (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Rocketbirds 2: Evolution (PS4-only) – TBA
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – August 2014
  • Starbound (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Strider – 2014
  • Velocity 2X (PS4-only) – 2014

Puzzle

  • Nikoli no Puzzle 4: Sudoku (PS4-only) – TBA (Feb. 22 in Japan)
  • Pavilion (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Ray’s The Dead (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Road Not Taken (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Super Exploding Zoo (PS4-only) – 2014
  • The Witness (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – 2014
  • Volume (PS4-only) – 2014

Racing

  • The Crew – 2014
  • Project Cars – 2014
  • Switch Galaxy Ultra (PS4-only) – 2014

Rhythm

  • Fantasia: Music Evolved (Xbox One-only) – 2014

RPG

  • Bound by Flame (PS4-only) – Spring 2014
  • Below (Xbox One-only) – 2014
  • Child of Light – 2014
  • Cosmic Star Heroine (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Cyberpunk – TBA
  • Deep Down (PS4-only)
  • Diablo III (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Q4 2014
  • Fable Legends (Xbox One-only) – 2014
  • Final Fantasy XV – TBA
  • Hyper Light Drifter (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Kingdom Hearts III – TBA
  • Kingdom Under Fire II (PS4-only) – TBA
  • Liege (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Lords of the Fallen – 2014
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – TBA
  • Natural Doctrine (PS4-only) – TBA (Feb. 22 in Japan)
  • Project Phoenix (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Soul Saga (PS4-only) – 2014
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – 2014
  • Wonder Flick – 2014

Roguelike

  • Nuclear Throne – 2014
  • Rogue Legacy (PS4-only) – 2014

Shooter

  • Destiny – September 9, 2014 (beta summer 2014)
  • Dying Light – 2014
  • Earth Defense Force (PS4-only) – TBA
  • Halo (Xbox One-only) – 2014
  • H-Hour: World’s Elite (PS4-only) – January 2015
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (Xbox One-only) – 2014
  • Primal Carnage: Genesis (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Rainbow Six Patriots – TBA
  • Sniper Elite 3 – 2014
  • Star Wars: Battlefront – TBA
  • Titanfall (Xbox One-only) – March 11, 2014
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order – 2014

Simulation

  • Dream Club: Host Girls on Stage (PS4-only) – TBA (Feb. 22 in Japan)
  • The Idolmaster (PS4-only) – TBA

Sports

  • EA Sports UFC – 2014
  • Kinect Sports Rivals (Xbox One-only) – Spring 2014
  • MLB 14: The Show (PS4-only) – March 2014
  • Sportsfriends (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Trials Fusion – 2014

Stealth

  • Deus Ex Sequel – TBA
  • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes – Spring 2014
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – TBA

Strategy

  • Final Horizon (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Transistor (PS4-only) – 2014

Top-Down Action / Shooter

  • Assault Android Cactus (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Galak-Z: The Dimensional (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Helldivers (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4-only) – 2014
  • Secret Ponchos (PS4-only) – 2014