Microsoft has been pitching a lot of ideas in its day-long media outing for the Xbox One this week. It seems like the company has staged this as the first part of a two-stage unveiling process for the new console, with announcements not just revolving around games.
Microsoft, while talking about the features that can be expected in the console, spoke about a possible remote playing feature, which will allow you to have your friend play the game for you from another location. This will really help gamers get through tricky parts, which they otherwise might spend hours struggling over. Another feature that the company spoke about was the possibility for Kinect to talk back to gamers.
According to sources who are testing out the still-in-development feature, the Xbox One’s heavy reliance on the Kinect for voice command may eventually result in two-way communication between users and the console.
The Xbox One may feature remote play and have Kinect talk back to you
In a report by Polygon, some possible scenarios were given. One of them shows Kinect using its face recognition feature to check a room full of people and notice if there is someone in the room that it doesn’t recognise. Kinect can then tell the console owner that there is someone new in the room and asks the new entrant to identify themselves. Once the new identity is established, Kinect welcomes them and saves their information to the console for future reference.
According to Microsoft officials who were presenting the feature, Xbox One’s ability to speak may possibly make it act more like the iPhone’s Siri. Microsoft has not yet offically announced when this feature will be available, but sources close to the situation have said that users may expect the voice feature to be added in a post launch patch within a few months of the launch.
The remote play feature that Microsoft spoke about in the media outing is said to allow gamers to connect via Skype on the Xbox One. Gamers may now be able to Skype a friend and ask them to help on a game, and even allow them to take over the gameplay. This is definitely a big help for players to get through sections that they are stuck in and don’t know how to get out of, if the company follows through.
While demonstrating the feature, a source told Polygon that a message popped up on their screen asking if it was okay if the player they were Skyping with take over the game. Once the friend takes over, the first gamer is able to watch them play the game. If it feels like your game is being taken away from you, Xbox One allows either player to end the remote play with the push of a button.
The details of this feature have still not been made clear though. Questions like how long it will be possible for a person to remotely play still need to be answered. Another question that the company needs to address is if the friend who is helping will need to own the game as well.The technology that will be used to power the remote play is another question that needs clarity.
Rival Sony will also see remote play on its upcoming PlayStation 4. Powered by Gaikai, the service will be similar, allowing players to ask a friend to take over their game, if they find themselves in a tough part of the game. Sony may go one step further by offering live gameplay video streaming to friends as well as allowing a “director” mode for the games by letting other players directly interact with your game by dropping you health, maps and other items over the Internet.
How much you can control that interaction may be a question that the company will answer soon. Microsoft responded to questions about remote playing by saying: “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.”