Xbox One UK release date confirmed, with cloud gaming adoption set to soar

Xbox One logo

Xbox One, Microsoft's next generation cloud-friendly gaming console, will be released on 22 November.

Larry Hyrb, director of programming for Xbox Live, has also posted photos on his blog of what he claims are the first pallet of Xbox One console's that are set to be distributed.

Hyrb's pictures were posted at the same time as Microsoft confirmed a 22 November release date for the next generation console across 13 territories, including the UK. Other markets will follow in 2014, the company has said.

Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing, strategy and business for Xbox said in a post on Xbox Wire: "We are humbled and gratified by the tremendous interest in Xbox One from game fans everywhere. We have sold out of our pre-order supply in the US faster than at any other time in our history and we are on path to have the biggest launch of an Xbox ever."

Mehdi also noted that 22 November was the launch date of Xbox One's predecessor, the Xbox 365, some eight years ago.

Xbox One is one of a new generation of cloud-connected entering the market this Autumn, along with the PS4, which has led the Redmond giant to overhaul its gaming network.

Tipped as the ‘next generation of Xbox Live’, Microsoft’s existing network for gamers, the service will now save not only profiles and achievements to the cloud, but also game saves. This, the company claims, means “every Xbox One console behaves like your very own”.

Hosted on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform, Xbox Live will continue to offer a cloud-based music service, launched originally in October 2012, as well as access to live TV and streamed movies like rival service Netflix.

However, the company claims that as the cloud “is a scalable source of power [it] will grow stronger over time”. This, Microsoft has indicated, will eventually lead to a proportion of the back-end computation being carried out in the cloud, improving the console's performance. Users have also been promised unlimited cloud storage through the console.

Furthermore, the inclusion of Windows Azure technology will benefit game developers who will be able to use the service as a platform on which they can wholly or partly build Xbox games.

Additionally, Xbox One will also run a Hyper-V-based virtualisation technology, which will take up the bulk of system resources and allow each virtual machine to draw its own screen constantly.

This, Microsoft claims, will enable users to flick instantly between games and applications such as its Voice over IP (VoIP) offering Skype (which users recently found out they will have to pay for), browse the internet with Internet Explorer or live TV, although it is not clear how this final feature will work outside the US.

While it is unclear how much of Microsoft’s existing Windows 8 or RT operating systems will be carried over to Xbox OS, the demonstration of the platform at its unveiling event did feature the now familiar ‘live tiles’ interface, first featured on its Windows Phone OS.

Microsoft is not the only technology company to be working on bringing cloud into people’s living rooms. It is widely anticipated that Sony’s next generation console, the PS4, will include cloud gaming features following the Japanese giant’s purchase of Gaikai in 2012 for £240 million.

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.