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No console for you

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Microsoft moves the old Lumia UK site to its own portal

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D4 and Flockers, now available to download on Xbox One

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Upcoming Xbox horror games Evil Within and Alien: Isolation

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Microsoft lays off 2,100 workers

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Destiny's first five days generate $325 million

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Xbox One’s CPU has the power to dominate – shows off at chip design conference

Yesterday, Microsoft chip designers spoke about the creation process of the Xbox One’s powerful central processing unit (CPU). The company not only wishes to kick up the power for their latest gaming console, but also wants to ensure failures, like those seen when the Xbox 360 was launched, never happen.

When the Xbox 360 was released in 2005 the machine was subject to failure from overheating; the issue was so bad that 50% of early adopters had their consoles replaced. The catastrophically poor chip design and cooling system led to $1.1 billion dollars in replacement machines. In a time where Microsoft is seeing poor operating system sales and poor hardware (Surface) sales, failure like the 2005 breakdown is not an option.

The new chip for the Xbox One is 363 square millimeters and built in a 28 nanometer process.  In comparison, if you pick up one of the latest Intel Haswell powered Ultrabooks, they sport a much smaller processor designed in the 22 nanometer process.

The Xbox One CPU is one big chip and contains five billion transistors along with a microprocessor, graphics processor, and 47 MB of memory.

A senior analyst from Linley Group, Kevin Krewell, stated that the company manufacturing the chip, TSMC, “routinely makes chips of this size for companies such as NVidia, so the size shouldn’t be a barrier to manufacturing”.

The 64-bit eight core central processing unit is powered by AMD’s latest Jaguar technology. The unit itself can shut down certain areas of the chip itself to use less power and help prevent overheating.

The graphics processing part of the chip contains fifteen special processors that can transfer data at a rate of 200GBs per second. The audio section of the chip has two of its own dedicated cores for processing.

The chip within Microsoft’s Xbox One isn’t the only one to grab an upgrade. The new second generation Kinect sensor has a dedicated onboard processor and a completely new way of measuring movement. Based on Canadian technology, the new Kinect sensor uses a process known as “time of flight” to measure the shape of an object (such as a human being).

The new onboard processing for Kinect also makes the unit faster and much more precise. Kinect version two can sense objects as small as 2.5cm and according to Patrick O’Connor, a Microsoft engineer, “can thus discern which way a child’s wrist might be facing”. All this information can be relayed back to the new Xbox One with as little as 20 milliseconds of latency.

Microsoft isn’t going to tell us all the exact details of its new chip, but it does want to ensure the community that the chip will be able to handle intense graphics and not overheat during use. When the Xbox One is released this November, we will finally be able to put it through the rigors of torture and determine just how well Microsoft its internal processing chip.

Source: VentureBeat

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Reader comments

Xbox One’s CPU has the power to dominate – shows off at chip design conference

128 Comments

xbox one all day. compare the ps3 software from when it was released to the software now.. not much has changed.
compare the software of the 360 when it was released until now.. huge improvements and currently the best option to cut the cord with.
i have a feeling it will be the same with xbox 1.  microsoft will make more/better updates.
additionally both are going to get their fair share of good games, so why not get the console with more features and more potential (potential based on 360 vs ps3 software update).  the whole entertainment system aspect of the xbox 1 really intrigues me.

 

> compare the ps3 software from when it was released to the software now.. not much has changed.

You're delusional. 

it looks identical to the way it was when it started.. how boring.  xbox live has had 2 major changes, each better than the previous and has much better app support, hence, more features.
i can even watch live espn, and no - i do not mean espn3, i mean full on espn

With that ridiculously oversized fan and external power supply I don't see XBone overheating anytime soon.

This fan is oversized.... Everyone listen to Rubios because he is WAYYYYY more qualified than the engineers that built the console.....

I'm getting one right away, failures be damned. I had a 360 that RRODd on me after 18 months. Sent it in and boom, new 360 at no cost. I still have that same system, and the 360 is the only game system I have had thislong without having to put more money in for a new game system. Yes it failed, but MS backed it up fully.
I'm sold.
 

I'm makin that big jump to PS4. I love my Xbox 360 never had problems with it but for me I think its time for a change. Also for me a big thing is Microsoft's pay wall. Yes I know I have to pay to play on ps4. But I dont have to have a gold membership to use Netflix or internet explorer or twitch. But ill probably buy a x1 a year or two from now but I like what PS4 is going

Owning both systems, the experience & fluidity of the Xbox, along with its non gold abilities make it a no brainer. I was the biggest Sony fanboy before the current Gen. I'm not saying that I'm an Xbox fanboy, but the One offers so many non gaming addons, that the PS4 would need to tuck me in and sing me to sleep for me to consider buying one before I get the One

I for one don't care for all the add ons. I'd want a gaming system for just gaming. Having said that im in the process of just building a new PC an will wait a bit an see which console I may choose come probably next fall. Unless I just go all out with the games on my new PC.

But you aren't gaming all the time. I bet you watch TV a lot more than play games. The enhancement to TV watching that they showed were pretty impressive. If it works the way they showed, I think it adds more value than the PS4.

Do I need cable/satellite TV to enjoy those features, or can I still utilize them if I simply watch free digital TV via a digital antenna and receiver?

Please shut up. Voice control, gesture control, self-published apps which hold unlimited possibilities. Your TV is garbage comapred to this.

Voice control - Check.
Gesture control - Check.
Self-published apps - Dunno, it has Youtube, Skype and a bunch more.
 
I don't see why would I want that stuff though, people use tablets and smartphones these days.

Robert Carpenter, stop trolling. This (like others) was a decent discussion about the two systems before you showed up. If people currently prefer the PS4, so what? The systems aren't out yet, and (Ballmer leaving aside) we haven't seen much to show that MS aren't terrible about making decisions without significant consumer pressure.
(I own 360, PS3 and Wii).

I watch stuff from Netflix. I don't have cable or satellite. I won't have them either until I can ah la cart the channels I want. So yea I don't watch tv.

PS4 has tv too plus streaming gaming. I'm not saying I hate the Xbox one im saying I like the ps4 and the Xbox one. But I like what ps4 is doing. I've read every article every blog and watched every video. I've done my research and frankly Xbox has direct x11 and 300K servers that everyone not just Xbox one can use. But the thing is PS4 has party chat cross game chat cloud gaming now and uses the same ones that NASA uses. And im sorry but I just got sick and tired of all the lying and 180 msft has done. Still coming with AA battery controller and forcing the Kinect on everyone. Yeah I know the Kinect is new and advance and I love the Kinect but makin me buy when im not gonna use it that much is kinda messed up.. Like I said I love both systems but right now im gonna go with ps4 for at least a year or two. They haven't showed me anything not to like the PS4

it's just that they made Kinect look like an accessory. If it was only the console with built in Kinect, like cameras on the console and did the same thing, you'd be like "awesome, this one has this FEATURE too, so it is totally worth the $100 more!"
Now you look at Kinect and say "yeah, they could take this away and give me the console". It's a mind thing.

Kinect is sexy tech and I'm sure it has tons of applications.
 
But gaming is not one of them, period.

Doesn't seem like you've really thought this through. All the reasons to get PS4 were catch-up things that Xbox 360 had last generation. Now you're going to find that PS4 doesn't have a lot of the brand new features that are new to Xbox One. You'll find out the hard way.

Party chat cross games?  is that supposed to be new?   Xbox live party chat dude.   The AA batteries are a plus for me,  the PS3 controller was the worst,  couldnt play games while it charged,  you know,  because it has a 4 foot cable.   And it died very quickly,  at least with AA batteries i can swap them out.  Also there is a cable to plug in if you want wired gameplay.  Sounds like you have fallen for Sonys mud tossing.  Ive been thru every console war since nintendo sega battled it out.  To me,  i want a next gen box,  something that will give me opportunity for different types of gameplay.  Kinect is an amazing piece of hardware,  just look at the hacking it recieved for kinect 1.0.  It must have been the most hacked device in history.   I will not be missing out on X1,  ill get the PS4 down the road when the games get better,  because launch titles wise,  X1 wins hand over fist.

Non-gaming extras is what makes the Xbox a better system than PS4. I won't pay 400 for a gaming console but I would pay 500 for an entertainment system.

Those addons r just gimmicks, I'm going with ps4 this time, cause I want gaming for all other stuff I have smartphone and PC. PCs are still kings, you can do anything on it that your console and smartphone can do.

If your going to get PS+ to play online anyways on the PS4. Then why is getting gold a problem on X1?
 
I don't get the paywall argument. Nobody is going to buy an X1 to watch netflix. 99% of the people who are actually connected to the internet with their consoles are going to have gold to play online anyway. and now that counts for PS4 also.

Why gold is a problem? Maybe because it's pretty useless outside US? Most of PS4 features work in Poland. Most of X1 don't. Besides, PS+ free games look much better.

How do you know without even have played Xbox One or PS4?
And no, I'm outside the US and it's nowhere useless. Seems like looking for excuses.

Maybe you don't get the Paywall argument, but i am sure there are millions like us... I do enjoy gaming a lot... but because of my Job & Family (small kids), i don't get to play often... But i still do few hours of gaming per month... mostly offline... Does that mean that since i don't play online... i should not get an xbox.. that will make MS loose millions of xboxes in sale..
MS is adding everything behind Paywall for 2 reason... extracting as much money as possible & secondly to make Gold attractive..

If you are going to end up paying to play anyways why does the pay wall for apps even matter? I don't understand this anytime anyone says it. You can find Xbox live deals regularly which usually breaks it down to $3 a month. I don't see how this is a barrier to anyone that can afford $400+ for a console and ~$60 per game. I also don't see where the PS4 is going that is so intruiging. It's going down the exact same road as the PS3 but with more power and a multiplayer gaming pay wall.

The gaming prowess is a given. I'm more interested in the add ons as this will be the center of my home multimedia.

If the console is going to be the center of your home multimedia then the Xbox one is the clear choice. It will always offer far more streaming media apps (part of what the box live fees goes to pay for) and may literally become your cable box for several carriers over the next couple years. It will integrate with your homegroup and shared media far easier and seemelssly than the PS4 (of course assuming you are running PC's). It will control your whole entertainment system from your receiver, TV and cable box whatever brand it may be. The way MS is posturing the Xbox One it will be the much more flexible and powerful multimedia machine hands down. And it will only evolve over the coming years.

Lots of people still have cable boxes.  That said, IPTV is going to be the next thing, and Xbox One has that covered.  Microsoft just released the Time Warner Cable app for 360 that provides live television via IPTV to the 360.  They also had talks to do something similar with Comcast using their X1 platform back at the cable companies' convention, around the same time as E3.  You should expect to see the Xbox One used in place of a cable box eventually, but in the meantime, the HDMI passthrough provides legacy support for those using external decoders/boxes.

People hates Xbox One because of Microsoft. People loves PS4 because of PlayStation. Paying for multiplayer on X1 is greedy, but paying for PS+ is way more benefit, even though the features are the same. In the end, the conclusion is... don't argue with fanboys.
 
The real gamer cares about game, not console. If you like gaming, just buy both consoles and you won't miss any great game.

I'm not so sure, until 2009 Xbox 360 was literally the console, Sony lost a lot of love with that terrible PS3 launch.

As of current information the free games for gold is only for 360, ends in December, and thus far has only been old games.

That's wrong though. It doesn't end in dec, its "old" games though, but so far all good ones. Fable 3, halo 3, assassins creed 2, Gears 2. Pretty neat games.

Halo 3 and Gears 2 are Old games and have not even been available yet. Why not give us Halo 4 or gears 3?
 
Having said that, I downloaded all the free games that were available in germany and I liked none of them:
 
Fable 3 - 3 years old, might be fun for people that like RPGs, simply not my gameplay
Defense Grid - Nice game, but I do prefer my tower defense games on a smaller screen on the go
Assasins Creed 2 - a game from 2009, almost 4 years old! Not a bad game but I neither liked the setting or the controls. Why not give us. Probably better than giving us AssCreed III, though
Shadowrun - a horrible game that was no fun and released in 2007 (!)
Lost Planet 2 - again, another game sporting low reviews and even worse gameplay.
 
Where are the titles that are fun to play?

But how do we know Sony wont' just be giving glorified demo's next gen like they are at launch with Driveclub? Now that everyone has to have PS+, I have a bad feeling that they just won't be as good as they have been with PS3.

So you're not getting an xbox one because of xbl subscription costs, but you are going to get a ps4 and buy a psn subscription?
Moron.

With each piece of information the Sony fans have less to be excited about. I don't see a big difference between the 2 now. Dx11.2 handles textures different to opengl by chunking them, meaning the ram bandwidth is less of a concern as the onboard gpu memory can handle the swap work.
Also we have always known that ms make some mean dev kits and documentation where its always been harder to get the most from playstation. According to one dev (name escapes me) nothing has changed this gen for Sony dev.

As an AMD fanboy and a MS fanboy I have to say that yes the XB1 handles dx11.2 data in way that improves its performance but the PS4s' GDDR5 RAM runs with hUMA and AMD has some of the best OpenGL support in the processors. It'll be a tough one to see who has better performance. Personally I think it'll come down to a persons content consumption type and if they play a game that can utilize the cloud servers or not. BTW AMD has lots of server products that I wonder if they got MS to buy some as part of their deal.

Hmmmm... Your not still believing that misinformation about XB1 not having hUMA are you? They both have their own implementation of it.

Ms uses something like hUMA but it's not the same. Since Microsoft is actually designing the chip themselves they probably have their memory architecture design as good as hUMA but I'm saying AMD is designing all there chips and IP with HSA and hUMA in mind from the get-go. I just want to know the story on why they are using their own version for a UMA.

It is the same, hUMA is a standard and not even a fully clear one at the moment. It's as compliant as PS4 from everything we know so far. AMD doesn't even have compliant SOC's at the moment, hence why both Sony and MS rolled own solution with AMD, both use modified onion garlic set up. If it fails full compliance its because of things like page faults which isn't required.

Huh that actually makes sense. I was under the impression though that AMD is just taking there time and slowly releasing products that include more and more of HSA compliant stuff because of the whole "module" thing. Basically when AMD released the "Bulldozer" architecture it used some thing called "modules" which were 2 CPU cores that shared L2 cache and had a combinable FPU amongst other things. Alot of people treated a module as a dual threaded CPU core but wasn't a single core so many people didn't know how or didn't care to code for it since it was such a radical change from conventional silicon. AMD actually changed things in there next revision to be more familiar citing the unfamiliarity people had when coding for it. Just my impression though.

They will have identical performance, maybe not to the exact scientific amounts, but for real world use. No difference.

Just look at the kind of exclusive games the last consoles have gotten, and pick your next console based on those. Or wait it out and see which system gets more interesting exclusives.

P.S. Just the move away from Cell means a ton has changed (cross-platform games can now actually utilize the full power of PS).

Power consumption and poor heat dissipation would turn that Surface 2 into a frying pan with short battery life if it used that chip.

It's not an appropriate CPU for a mobile device.  A gaming console is fairly large compared to a tablet so cooling a large CPU is much easier.  Also, a gaming console is plugged into the wall so power consumption is less important compared to a mobile device.  If you put that CPU in a tablet it would probably overheat quickly and burn through the battery in an hour.

How does this compare with the PS4? Sadly, I really feel the PS4 is better. The Xbox one is just an improved 360. Let's see the 2nd generation at E3 2015.

They increased the GPU clock speed by 50% at the 11th hour, so they're essentially equal again. Plus the XB1 has the dedicated servers and cloud computing to go with them.

Since they have nearly the same cpu, that would make the PS4 just an improved PS3. The PS4 does have a more powerful gpu and faster system memory. However, that won't really translate into considerably better graphics. You might get some extra eye candy, but nothing that will be to noticeable in game play. I'm personally impressed with the new Kinect and the entertainment center abilities of the xbox. The games will look good on either console. For $400-$500, I want to be able to use the consoles for more than playing games.

um no ps3 was cell (powerPC like old macs), ps4 is jaguar (x86 made by AMD). Believe it or not PS4 and XBone are nearly identical on the hardware side.

50% less ROPs on a similar design which in real world performance translates to around 30% less power compared to a chip that is not that powerful either.

I wish they went for the 499€ price tag and more powerful chips, I understand that they can just put a GTX780 in closed box and sell it under 600€ but equipping the flagships of core gaming with low-mid end hardware is just sad.

Remember that the PS3 is significantly more powerful than the 360 as well, and look what that brought Sony. Compare an HD7770 and a HD7850, that's about the difference between the XBOne and the PS4. Yeah, you can up the settings a little with the HD7850, but it's not a make or break difference, and you don't reall need the HD7850 at modest (e.g., 1080P) resolutions.
On the other hand, the XBox has Kinect (and vastly improved over the 360 variant,) instant switching from game to desktop, a much more fluidly integrated living room experience, etc. Improved 360? Hardly.
The PS4 is fine for gamers who live by themselves or with other gamers. If you have other people to worry about, that's where the XBone really shines. Game consoles stopped just being game consoles the day you could use your 360 to watch Netflix.

the cell might have been more powerful, but the GPU is more important and the GPU on both were from the same generation just AMD vs NVidia. That's why you didn't see a difference most of the time is because there really wasn't much of one. This time since both systems are 100% AMD, there is even less of a difference.

WPC article says that the new Kinect was designed using technology from Canada. The source article it links to says it uses technology from Canesta (which Wikipedia inidicates is a California tech firm).

Ah, give us poor Canucks' a break. We haven't invented much since the space arm. We don't mind taking credit for the chip. Just thing of the maple, bacon scented and plaid colored special editions it will mean for the future.... Mmmm... Bacon....

Hey, I'm Canadian myself. Though I'm vegetarian, so no bacon for me. BTW, Canada has invented tonnes of things since the Canadarm. :-)

Unless next gen engines go really wide i7s are a waste of money for gaming, quadcore i5s perform virtually the same and have lots of room for overclocking.

If they do go wide that could be really interesting, AMD could be able to compete again.

And yet my dual core Phenom can keep up with an i7 in real world use, anything over 3GHZ is not much of a gain, its all GPU at that point, im still on a GTX 260 core 216 and still play all todays games at highest settings, cant wait for the new games to come to pc instead of the X1, im cool with that.

No, it doesn't.

Please don't make me post game benchmarks between AMD FX and Sandy Bridge Intel CPUs (from two generations ago), single thread performance on Phenoms/FX is a joke at best.

Signed: A Phenom II x4 user.

Seeing as how both consoles are using 8 Jaguar cores, I see this happening in the long term. It could be that AMD having more cores with less performance ends up beating Intel in the long run. In the meantime for games its all about having 2 cores(OS vs game) as fast as possible.

...that's a pain to use from the couch and costs more than my entertainment system. Including the cabinet.
PC gaming has its place, but people that just compare visuals of the games are missing why consoles exist in the first place.

Use a  windows 8 gaming pc on your tv and its the same as the xbox, just cant play exlusives.  My 360 has its place and it has been on a lower tier.

the original 360s just lacked properly applied CPU THERMAL PASTE (manufacturing defect) thus the overheating.
 
the size wasn't the reason.
 
it's hard to take this article seriously with such flawed info present.

The slim has a chip manufactured on a smaller lithography (90nm vs 45nm) so the slim ran cooler naturally that's on top of the defects they fixed.

The thing about this X1 vs PS4 argument that is so intriguiing to me is that you hardly ever hear any one mention the 'significant' changes that Sony made to its plans right before and actually during the conference.  If you read the reports, Sony was going to have a motion sensor as part of the package.  They were going to have premium services that you would pay for.  As well as other things.  Bun in a case of marketing one upmanship they dropped these feature to lower price and cater to the masses that actually don't reasonably consider everything.  MS caved under the weight of its own frackingly abysmal marketing failure to get it's own message and vision out there in a digestable form.  When the PS3 vs. 360 argument was that the PS3 was going to crush.  Price war, game war and feature battle.  Ironically enough is was the online features and ecosystem that  was the biggest psuh. 360 now outsells PS3 2-1.  I truly belive that having 2 platforms out there to be a great thing.  I own both.  The PS3 simply for platform only titles.  I will also probably own both eventually.
The following is simply my attempt at a fair hearing.  I honestly cannot find more than a handful of PS4 critical reviews, but the web is rife with MS bashing.  I think that is function of ingrained MS hate and how easy it is to jump on that tired bandwagon.

  • the original digital eco system that MS was trying to introduce was awesome.  No discs to store, lose, or get up off the couch to insert / change.  Lend them to your kids and friends knowing you would always get them back.  Best thing is that they were going to follow you wherever you went, to any machine.  I suspect that the screaming about not being able to sell/trade in used games was exponetially louder than the actual market economic effect on people tradning in games.
  • Pay Wall
    • play to watch Netflix is the big BS issue let's inflame the masses issue.  How the fracking often do you actually watch the lousy library anyway?  Yes I pay for Netflix, mainly for my kids.
    • Gold Memberships are easily had for as little as $50 bucks for the year - ~$4 mo..  I would bet a years salary that you spend a ton more than that on coffee/beer/soda/etc. a year.  So quit the riduculus lemming spouting of hair on fire cost bs.
    • At some point Sony has to pay for all that server hardware, space and bandwidth.  And it just goes up exponentially as more people 'flock to the platform'.  They certainly are not going to recoup all platform costs in the price of consoles and licensing revenue.  Every wonder how they will eventually find that revenue?
  • Kinect
    • Granted Kinect 1.0 was marginally cool, and like all new products had to get some seasoning in the market to sort out design 'this worked and that didn't'
    • First generation paradign shifting products are always ridculed by the market.  Any of you old enogh to remember the introduction of the mouse and graphical UIs?  Ink back then was pretty negative.
    • Adoption was by developers was spotty at best.  And those that did try were working with a 1.0 platform.
    • I for one have seen some really jaw dropping demos of the new iteration and games that were designed at the start to use the thing, not just add a feature to get it on the title.  It is so spot on that you can actually sit on your couch and use it.
  • Multimedia integration.
    • Yes there is an audience that could care less about media integration, but the larger audience out there really likes the idea of a single cohesive platform the run everyting.  It is really a stretch to admit that if you could get the same or better experience on your console instead of using your cable box that you would not readily embrace it?  One less device, no input switching.
  • Look neither company is perfect.  But people need to remember that BOTH are in the business to make money, and answer to shareholders.  So it is NOT a bad thing that they actually do things to make money.  Consoles do not pay for themselves.  That $400/$300 that you are going to pay will not even come close to cover the real cost of the unit for years to come.
    • Sony is hemmoraging money and it's TV business it getting totaly spanked by competition.  PS3 lives as a marketing bright spot and a total money sink.
    • MSFT has a massive identity crisis internally and externally.  The ONLY thing that has saved Xbox is that it IS NOT is windows platform or in that org and subject to the politics.

Just think don't parrott.
 

WAIT wait wait....NASA servers?? You're trying to say the PS4 taps into NASA? Because that's some crazy talk.

I saw this posted before somewhere else but ill try and do it justice here. The Xbox One is more appealing to me and many like me because it is innovative. Its actually trying to push boundaries. Some might be gimmicky ways, some are actually awesome. The PS4 is a fabulous machine that's for sure, but all I see when I look at it is a souped up PS3. Outside of the new graphical fidelity, what explicitly NEW ideas are there?

Again don't get me wrong. PS4 will be great. But honestly, I think the X1 and Kinect will eventually give us a taste of the future. Of virtual reality. Lightroom? How cool was that? Anywho I've said enough, enjoy whatever system you get. I'll get a 360, way too many old games left to play :P

I wish Windows Phone would separate itself completely frm the tacky image associated with the Xbox brand. The only thing that made me reluctant to pick up a Windows phone was that everytime I saw images of the OS I could always see the shoddy Xbox logo.

Am I the only one who wishes/wished that the XB1 chip was on a removable socket like many computer chips are. That way in 4-5 years they could offer a processor upgrade for an improved experience and since the console uses Blu-ray it could have 2 optimized graphic settings on the disk to be backwards compatible with older hardware.

Ps4 blows kisses at little ten year old boys. I have a ps3 and Xbox and liked both but definitely going with Xbox one. Way better sounding setup and nice flow, plus way sexier. The ps4 looks like my LG bluray player that's 3 years old not very appealing. Plus the ugly controller . Xbox is on top of the game and I don't see how people dont realize that.

You're right, that's about all Xbox has these days in terms of console exclusives. It's too bad Bungie have gone multplat.

I have a PS3 and 360 and if it were just the games driving my decision I wouldn't upgrade either until they had been out a few years and the prices dropped. They only seem to be graphics upgrades, and I have no need for a PS3.5 or XBOX 360 1/2.
But the XBox One is next generation - Integrated motion and voice control, intergrated control and access to your other entertainment  and media systems. It's like a big multimedia toy and the games are just a bonus.
If they are available on launch day I am grabbing one immediately.