Microsoft's day-long media outing for the Xbox One this week was only the first of a two-stage unveiling for the new console, and the E3 event won't be just about games.
Among the features not yet shown off for the console is the ability for gamers to have a friend take over gameplay remotely to help them through a difficult spot in a game and Kinect's ability to talk back to gamers.
The Xbox One's heavy reliance on the Kinect for voice commands will eventually include two-way conversations, according to two sources who tested out the still-in-development feature.
In one possible scenario, Kinect used its facial recognition to scan a room full of people and note if there was someone in the room it didn't recognize. It then told the console owner that there is someone in the room it didn't recognize and asked the new person to identify themselves. Once the person said their name, Kinect welcomed them and saved their information to the console.
Xbox One's ability to speak will allow it to function more like the iPhone's Siri, according to Microsoft officials who presented the feature. The voice may not be available at the console's launch, but if it isn't it will be added in a post launch patch within the first few months.
The Xbox One will also feature the ability to Skype a friend to ask them for help on a game and then allow them to take over gameplay. The feature is designed to allow players to help one another get through sections of a game when they're stuck.
In a demonstration of the feature, a source told us that a message popped up on their screen asking if it was OK if the player they were Skyping with could take over the game. Once the friend took over, the first player was able to watch them play the game. Either player could end the remote play with a button push.
While the feature is already fully functional, the details of its use aren't completely locked in yet. It's not clear, for instance, how long a person can remotely play or if they need to also own the game they are helping their friend play through.
While the demonstration our source saw used a local hardwired connection between consoles, Microsoft officials say they aren't worried about latency issues. It is also unclear what technology will be used to power the remote play.
Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 will also feature remote play. The service, powered by Gaikai, will allow players will to ask a friend over the internet to take over their game, should they find themselves in a rough spot in a game. Sony's service will also support streaming live gameplay video to friends and even a "director" mode for games, letting other players interact with your game by dropping you health, maps and other items over the internet.
Update: Microsoft responded to Polygon with the following response: "In the days since we announced Xbox One there has been a lot of random speculation about various features and potential future scenarios for Xbox One. We look forward to sharing more details at a later date, but aren't discussing anything further at this time."
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