Microsoft Shows Off Xbox One "Snap" Feature

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Microsoft Shows Off Xbox One "Snap" Feature

A new video from Microsoft demonstrates how the Xbox One will let you do two things at once.

In a new promo video on YouTube, Xbox Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Yusuf Mehdi shows off the "Snap" feature in action. In a nutshell, it lets you easily switch from a game to another feature, like live television or the "activity feed," with a simple voice command. Once the second task is fired up, switching back to the game and keeping both running simultaneously is a matter of simply double-tapping the controller.

"I can literally do two things at once," Medhi says in the trailer. "Examples of things that might be helpful for you when you're playing a game, you might want to go out to a site like Machinima and get access to some of the videos they've got for game-level walkthroughs. Or maybe you want to go to ESPN and get access to your sports scores."

"Two things at once!" he added. "Pretty fantastic."

I have a hard time getting too terribly wound up about multitasking - I spent most of my day in front of a machine that's typically doing about nine things at once, albeit not from the comfort of a couch - but even I have to admit that it is pretty cool, especially if it's that accurately responsive to voice commands. Cool enough to help move units? We'll start finding out on November 22.


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Ralphfromdk

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Mar 26, 2009
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Who in their right mind would want to use this. You can't look, let alone interact, with two things at the same time. The human body does not work that way.

Want to use the internet while playing? It pauses the game. Hmm... I wonder if I could do that with my laptop on the coffeetable, without having the game in a smaller window.
Huh. Would you look at that, it worked. It even has a full keyboard and a trackpad for better use.

I just made a better Xbone out of a 360 and a laptop. I'm a freaking genius.



*Camera pans over to a desktop PC with 3 monitors running each their own thing. Xbone explodes out of sheer terror of this newfangled tech*
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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Aug 30, 2011
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To be fair, it really does look quite seamless and fluid, which is to be admired. But I already multitask as much as I care to, with no help from my console.
 

Bob_F_It

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May 7, 2008
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And what results is that his lap of the Top Gear test track goes horrible because playing a game and watching TV at the same means that one of them is not going to get his attention.
 

Alpha Maeko

Uh oh, better get Maeko!
Apr 14, 2010
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You mean you can just.. have one thing going, then start doing another thing too? And still do both things at once?

o_o...

*inception brawwwwwwwwm*
 

loa

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Jan 28, 2012
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I like how he said you can play a game while browsing, talks about internet sites you could go to and then doesn't show how to actually do that without the controller or anything.
How do you "go to a site like machinima" and "browse the net while racing" via voice commands only? Do tell.

I also hope the voice recognition works really, really well so shit doesn't start popping up when you say something, bonus points if the shit that pops up can only be closed via voice command.
 

Frostbyte666

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Nov 27, 2010
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Ninja'd by 1st post but I believe most people do this with alt-tabbing. At work when drawing up a building with CAD it's good to have a photo up next to it to compare. While at home I could be doing many things at once like say writing an essay with word while browsing the net for sources and references next to it, or even games and quickly bringing up an faq if required. Ok it may be a more seamless transition between full-screen apps but really what's the point for live-tv and gaming unless it's a mindless repetitive task in the game to get an achievement, something along the lines of dig up 10,000 potatoes.
 

josemlopes

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Jun 9, 2008
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Ralphfromdk said:
Who in their right mind would want to use this. You can't look, let alone interact, with two things at the same time. The human body does not work that way.
Because the current way of doing is so much better, right? (have to leave game entirely to do anything like checking the marketplace or looking for a walkthrough).

Sure you can do it with a laptop or even a phone but thats not really the point is it? From your quote alone then not even that you should be able to do because your brain cant compute an Xbox and a PC at the same time (ammusingly you say that you have 3 desktops doing their own thing at the same time, "Who in their right mind would want to use this. You can't look, let alone interact, with two things at the same time. The human body does not work that way.")

This is an actually cool thing to have and its basicly the only cool thing the Xbox One has and yet somehow it sucks because reasons that arent aplied with everything else.

The only downside of it is how it has to have the multiple OSs running at the same time taking a hit in performance (if this was your reasoning I would understand but yours is just fishing for hate).

(and it paused the game since it was single player, it makes sense, when you alt-tab in a game do you just leave it running even in a racing game? Some PC games even do it automatic when the cursor leaves the window)
 

Zakarath

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Mar 23, 2009
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Microsoft's PR continues to be: "Look at all these non-gaming things you can do with your Xbone!"

I just want my F@#$ing game console to F@#$ing play games.
Guess I'll just get a PS4. Or just keep using my computer, which also has a mystical feature known to some as alt-tabbing.
 

Kinitawowi

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Nov 21, 2012
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And so the hunch that all of Windows 8's features were intended for machines other than desktops and laptops comes to fruit.

This isn't new, this feature was in Windows 8 from day one, and it's pretty obvious that it was just a test run for when it really gets rolled out on XBones and mobiles.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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The only way I could see this being useful is if you're playing a videogame, and you're with another person who wants to do something else at the same time, and you have absolutely no other devices in the house other than the XBox One to do it on.

Of course the downside to this is you have to share a screen between 2 activities.

Point: Wii U
 

octafish

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Apr 23, 2010
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Kinitawowi said:
And so the hunch that all of Windows 8's features were intended for machines other than desktops and laptops comes to fruit.

This isn't new, this feature was in Windows 8 from day one, and it's pretty obvious that it was just a test run for when it really gets rolled out on XBones and mobiles.
And yet you still can't use a controller to navigate Metro. Sigh. Steam can do it but MS cannot. That's Okay, I have W8Start so Windows 8 is now just a superior version of Windows 7. Shame it takes someone other than MS to fix it.
 

synobal

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Jun 8, 2011
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loa said:
I like how he said you can play a game while browsing, talks about internet sites you could go to and then doesn't show how to actually do that without the controller or anything.
How do you "go to a site like machinima" and "browse the net while racing" via voice commands only? Do tell.

I also hope the voice recognition works really, really well so shit doesn't start popping up when you say something, bonus points if the shit that pops up can only be closed via voice command.
Indeed there was no indication of how he got to Machinma it was just "there" so I have to wonder voice command or pause the camera, type in machinama.com and then hit enter and then turn the camera back on, or maybe they use some sort of favorites menu.
 

Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
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Or I can just use my computer to bring up a walkthrough, or steam chat, or twitter, etc. Xbone should be able to multi task, my phone can!
 

Seracen

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Sep 20, 2009
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Oh lord why...why does this company think that ANY of this crap even matters? Granted, it's useful for PC. Guess what, I have a freaking PC!

You know what, I'll just leave this here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2iku7pkbf0
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Mar 21, 2010
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Between There and There.
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The Wide, Brown One.
synobal said:
loa said:
I like how he said you can play a game while browsing, talks about internet sites you could go to and then doesn't show how to actually do that without the controller or anything.
How do you "go to a site like machinima" and "browse the net while racing" via voice commands only? Do tell.

I also hope the voice recognition works really, really well so shit doesn't start popping up when you say something, bonus points if the shit that pops up can only be closed via voice command.
Indeed there was no indication of how he got to Machinma it was just "there" so I have to wonder voice command or pause the camera, type in machinama.com and then hit enter and then turn the camera back on, or maybe they use some sort of favorites menu.
I believe they used the voice command "scripted sequence".


Hey wait, if it comes with a "80s training montage" command I might think about getting one.
 

synobal

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Jun 8, 2011
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RhombusHatesYou said:
synobal said:
loa said:
I like how he said you can play a game while browsing, talks about internet sites you could go to and then doesn't show how to actually do that without the controller or anything.
How do you "go to a site like machinima" and "browse the net while racing" via voice commands only? Do tell.

I also hope the voice recognition works really, really well so shit doesn't start popping up when you say something, bonus points if the shit that pops up can only be closed via voice command.
Indeed there was no indication of how he got to Machinma it was just "there" so I have to wonder voice command or pause the camera, type in machinama.com and then hit enter and then turn the camera back on, or maybe they use some sort of favorites menu.
I believe they used the voice command "scripted sequence".


Hey wait, if it comes with a "80s training montage" command I might think about getting one.
ha, that is funny. I hope the scripted sequence is easy to use otherwise I don't see many average console users utilizing it.
 

Arnoxthe1

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Dec 25, 2010
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ITT: More Microsoft bashing and complaints about improvements to the UI of all things. Tell me this, boys. If this is such a simple feature, how come PS4 doesn't freaking have it?

If the PS4 does this, people will nod in agreement and say that at least they might use it once in a while, but if Microsoft does it,