Although Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 video game system was launched with fanfares a year ahead of its arch-rival PlayStation 3 and ended up being more capable in terms of graphics performance, it suffered badly from quality issues as they hardware simply failed. The software giant is confident that nothing similar will happen to the forthcoming Xbox One game system due later this year.
Microsoft Xbox 360 relied on central processing unit designed by IBM as well as graphics processing unit developed by ATI Technologies. The GPU was extremely advanced for 2005 and was made using immature 90nm process technology. As a result of insufficient cooling and some other issues, in many cases the Xenos GPU failed, which was signaled by the so-called red ring of death (RROD). Eventually, Microsoft and ATI/AMD figured out how to cure the issue, but it had taken years after the launch. Thanks to experience the two companies got from creating various system-on-chips for Xbox 360, Microsoft is confident it will not let its customers down with the Xbox One.
“The last Xbox was Trinity [Xbox 360 Slim] and our success rate on Trinity was very high. We learned a ton from the 360 launch and we took care of our customers with the extended warranty, but I think Trinity is telling. Xbox One is built by the same Trinity team with the same learning that went from Xbox 360 into Trinity, and I’m confident in the quality of the new box,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios at Microsoft, in an interview with Edge Online web-site.
Microsoft Xbox One is based on AMD Fusion custom-designed system-on-chip with eight x86 low-power/low-cost Jaguar cores, AMD Radeon HD graphics with GCN architecture (with 32MB ESRAM/EDRAM buffer) as well as 8GB of DDR3 system memory. The console features 500GB hard disk drive, Blu-ray disc drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity, output of video with up to 4K resolution (3840*2160) using HDMI 1.4 as well as 7.1-channel audio. The new Xbox One comes with completely redesigned Kinect sensor that will feature 1920*1080 RGB camera, improved infrared sensor and enhanced voice controls. The console sports a number of functions, e.g. TV-cable pass-through that will seamlessly integrate it into the living room
Microsoft Xbox One is expected to hit the market in October, 2013. Pricing is not known, but it is not expected to be affordable.