Destructoid: Xbox One can run four apps at the same time in the background

Killthee

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New preview for the Xbox One UI over at Destructoid. Here's the stuff that I hadn't heard about before:

Sign in by waving:
Dale North said:
Xbox One interface is clean, uncluttered, and powerful

Microsoft's Albert Penella gave us a demonstration of what they've been working on at Tokyo Game Show this week. He is with the product planning team now, and has been with the company for 13 years, starting even before the first Xbox was released. If there's someone that has seen it all, it's Penella.

Working with full production Xbox One hardware, we saw the UI running on what was essentially a final hardware unit. Content was being populated in real time from Microsoft HQ. They ran full test code in front of us, so no canned demos here.

Penella signed into the dash by just waving his hand. Actually, work went on to do so in the background before he even did that, as the Kinect was already seeing and trying to recognize everyone in the room. Waving was more of a confirmation that he was the one that wanted to sign in. From that confirmation, Xbox One pulls down all of Penella's settings, just as he had set up in Redmond, including all of his saved games, apps, and settings.
6 users can sign in at the same time:
Speaking of signing in, Xbox One is friendly to multiple users. The previous systems were not. Now, six users can sign in at one time. Kinect is always watching to know who is in the lead in this case. It sees who is holding the controller and recognizes your voice among others. You could be in a room with five other people logged in and call out to launch a game, and it would do so with your settings and saves intact.
4 apps running at the same time; 1 game can run at one time:
The Xbox One can run four apps at the same time in the background. Switching between them is not unlike how it would work on your mobile phone. It's instant. Hitting the X button on the controller takes you back to your home screen, where you'll see four boxes that represent the apps or games running. Pick from any of them to jump right in.

While you can run multiple apps, only one game can be run at one time. Switching games is really easy, though. A voice command will have your current game shut down in 10 seconds, ready to load another.
We add in a 3-4 second buffer to allow the user to cancel in case (s)he changes his/her mind. Otherwise, the time to load the next game would be whatever it takes to load the next game (when using voice). It's not 10 seconds.



Game DVR sharing will only be via XBL at launch, YouTube and Facebook will be added by next year:
Game capture is pretty slick. We saw a marble maze game get instant capture of the last 30 seconds of buffered frames from a simple voice command. Xbox One's Upload Studio had a 720p 30fps clip waiting immediately after. Users can quickly edit, save, or share this clip with further commands. Another voice command can have you back in the game just as quickly.

Penella says that these clips will only be able to be shared on Xbox Live at launch. They'll have social sites like YouTube and Facebook set up for sharing by next year.
Kinect IR blaster:
The Kinect does neat things for living room connectivity. It acts as a IR blaster on steroids, sending out so many IR beams that it completely fills a room. These beams bounce off walls and other surfaces, reflecting back at any exposed device in the room. This means that your electronics on shelves, even behind glass, will be able to be controlled by the Xbox One.

Microsoft has set up control schemes that work like Logitech's Harmony system. Your television, receiver, set top box, and other devices will work from your voice commands. We saw a television's volume change from voice commands in a demonstration.
 

satam55

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Okay, no shit! I can run 4 apps in the background on my smartphone (1 GB of RAM) & my PC (6 GB of RAM). So I expect to be able to do it on the next-gen consoles that have 8GB of RAM.
 

Bsigg12

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Video demo coming this week? I hope so now that they are starting to show off near final builds of the UI

Could be a huge news week for the Microsoft. With them announcing the new Surface models tomorrow and hopefully a full breakdown of the UI and its features for the Xbox One, it could be a fun one.
 

StoopKid

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Okay, no shit! I can run 4 apps in the background on my smartphone (1 GB of RAM) & my PC (6 GB of RAM). So I expect to be able to do it on the next-gen consoles that have 8GB of RAM.
Yea I really don't think it's that big of a deal.

Been doing it on smartphones for years.
 

onQ123

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This is the stuff they should be showing off more instead of trying to prove that they can match the PS4 graphics.
 

grumble

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I'm not really impressed by the headliner. Multitasking programs is par for the course for all modern electronics, and that seems like it's just designed to drum up enthusiasm.

The wave sign in thing is kind of neat though!
 

Yoday

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Game DVR not having YouTube or Facebook support until next year is kind of surprising. Sony had Facebook support running at their unveiling in February. Why would they not have this support up and running for launch? Seems really odd to me. For a feature like this you would think that getting in social network support would be the top priority for. It must be something they scrambled to add at the last minute when they saw Sony doing it, and haven't had time to integrate any support outside of XBL.
 

Mikey Jr.

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So wait, how does the game dvr thing work.

For PS4- Captures your last 15 minutes of gameplay.

For Xbox- Captures 5 minutes? I genuinely don't know. I keep hearing 30 seconds thrown around.
 

Khalifa Jayy

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Only one game? Whatever happened to "you can wait for it to find you a match on CoD by playing some Killer Instinct" or whatever. Are we gonna pretend that wasn't said, now?
 

Exokell

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you guys shouldnt be impressed, these machines are fucking powerful... ofcourse xbox one is gonna be able to run 4 apps.
 

flkraven

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In all honesty, I think this is what Microsoft means when they say their system is 'balanced'. I have no doubt that the PS4 will have superior graphics and that 'balanced' is a PR-speak creation, but I believe this is where Microsoft has an edge. I expect their OS to run smoother and more intuitively than Sony's. Time will tell!
 

zebwinz

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Multiple apps running in the background just raised a potentially interesting question for me. Is there going to be a Smartglass app that runs on the Xbox One (ie. not on a smartphone or tablet)?

Take Dead Rising 3 for example. You use Smartglass to call in airstrikes from a character in the game. When they've shown this off, the main character Nick is usually on top of something or away from danger, that way you can put down the controller and focus on your device. Why couldn't that work as an app that snaps to the side so that people without smartphones or tablets could use Smartglass features too?

Snapping Smartglass to the side would also work great for Xbox Videos or HBO Go shows like Game of Thrones, for viewing that extra content while the video continues to play.
 

malfcn

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Agreed. Quit showing all the goodies off to the press. Show some of those goodies to your supporters (and detractors) please.

This is the stuff they should be showing off more instead of trying to prove that they can match the PS4 graphics.
 

zebwinz

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Only one game? Whatever happened to "you can wait for it to find you a match on CoD by playing some Killer Instinct" or whatever. Are we gonna pretend that wasn't said, now?
CoD won't be running while you wait for a match and play Killer Instinct. It will launch when you accept the notification that a match is ready.
 

IAmRandom31

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I don't see how this could be found as impressive. I have 15 apps on my IPhone 4s running concurrently and now with iOS 7.0 if say it is a movie I can even see those running in separate boxes. Just flick my finger up to get rid of em. The Vita can jump back and forth between apps instantaneous as well ...

Cool feature of course, but kind of expected at this point in tech.
 

Bsigg12

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So wait, how does the game dvr thing work.

For PS4- Captures your last 15 minutes of gameplay.

For Xbox- Captures 5 minutes? I genuinely don't know. I keep hearing 30 seconds thrown around.
There's two different things. You can tell the Xbox to capture what just happened and it will save the last 30 seconds of gameplay. Along with that, it's always recording the last 5 minutes of gameplay that you can go in and edit and make a video out of.

The 30 second clips are also done instantly by achievements to capture how you got the achievement. It's a neat little feature that popped up on the Crimson Dragon stream the other day.

you guys shouldnt be impressed, these machines are fucking powerful... ofcourse xbox one is gonna be able to run 4 apps.
It's not a matter of how powerful the system is to do it, it's how well is it done. iOS finally took the multitasking card method from webOS which is a very elegant way of multitasking without having to completely hibernate apps. Being able to move through apps instantly and easily is what the key is.
 

flkraven

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Only one game? Whatever happened to "you can wait for it to find you a match on CoD by playing some Killer Instinct" or whatever. Are we gonna pretend that wasn't said, now?
I am fairly certain that 'waiting to find a match' is considered to be Xbox's 'Smart Match' matchmaking app. The whole point is that you don't have to open up CoD and sit there and wait. Instead, you schedule a match and choose to play a different game while you wait.
 

kuYuri

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Only one game? Whatever happened to "you can wait for it to find you a match on CoD by playing some Killer Instinct" or whatever. Are we gonna pretend that wasn't said, now?
I think what they mean is that, like on phones now, you can only be playing one game at a time in a session. For example, you can't have a game of Angry Birds and a game of Fruit Ninja going at the same time, you're either playing one or the other.

At least, I think that's what they meant.
 

flkraven

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I don't see how this could be found as impressive. I have 15 apps on my IPhone 4s running concurrently and now with iOS 7.0 if say it is a movie I can even see those running in separate boxes. Just flick my finger up to get rid of em. The Vita can jump back and forth between apps instantaneous as well ...

Cool feature of course, but kind of expected at this point in tech.
Is one of the apps Forza 5 running at 1080P?
 

srd4484

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This is all very neat. Can't wait to try it. Also, I'm assuming XB1 wont allow my brother to sign in on my account on his xb1 to play my games? We do look and sound alike though.
 

Mikey Jr.

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There's two different things. You can tell the Xbox to capture what just happened and it will save the last 30 seconds of gameplay. Along with that, it's always recording the last 5 minutes of gameplay that you can go in and edit and make a video out of.

The 30 second clips are also done instantly by achievements to capture how you got the achievement. It's a neat little feature that popped up on the Crimson Dragon stream the other day.
Thats cool. Why only 5 min though? Honest question. 15 min as well would be great. Perfect youtube lengths.

I am fairly certain that 'waiting to find a match' is considered to be Xbox's 'Smart Match' matchmaking app. The whole point is that you don't have to open up CoD and sit there and wait. Instead, you schedule a match and choose to play a different game while you wait.
Does matchmaking take that long that you have to switch to another game while its looking?