Microsoft Xbox One revealed with online entertainment focus

22/05/2013

Microsoft has unveiled its next generation console Xbox One, designed to become “the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system” that competes with only with its traditional rival, Sony’s PlayStation, but with the likes of Sky and Virgin Media, in the TV arena.

Watch this video from the Daily Telegraph showing highlights from the launch event:

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Much of the presentation was dedicated to the console's non-gaming features including its ability to make video calls; trigger live TV and online movies by voice command; and run several progams simultaneously without any apparent drop-off in performance.

The system can switch instantaneously between games, films, television and the web, and can run multiple features alongside one another in its “snap mode”, potentially removing the need for a second screen such as a tablet or smartphone.

Microsoft has also struck a five-year deal with the US's National Football League - which will allow sports fans to call up statistics, video replays and information about what live events mean for their fantasy teams.

Technical specifications

Despite earlier speculation, Microsoft's machine does not require an always-on internet connection and will run second-hand games.

Controlled by a series of voice commands and hand gestures, the new Xbox contains an eight-core processor, 8GB of memory, a Blu-Ray drive and the updated Kinect 2.0 motion-control peripheral.

Games line-up

In terms of games, Microsoft claims it has more titles in development now than at any moment in Xbox’s 12-year history. As many as 15 exclusive games will be released in its first year, eight of them new franchises. At the climax of the event, games publisher Activision revealed footage from Call of Duty: Ghosts, the latest title in its wildly successful military series. Users will be able to record, edit and keep treasured moments from their games on the ONE.

Meanwhile, the celebrated Xbox game Halo is to be turned into a live-action television series, with the collaboration of director Steven Spielberg. Appearing in a promotional video, Spielberg said, “I’ve been playing games for decades… For me the Halo universe is an amazing opportunity to be at that intersection where technology and mythmaking meet to produce something really ground-breaking.”

Competiton from Sony

The ONE’s main competition will come from the PlayStation 4, which was announced in February and will likely go on sale around the same time as its rival. Sony and Microsoft have dominated the games console market for almost a decade, with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 both selling around 77 million units in their respective lifetimes.

Microsoft's decision to show off its new hardware in the opening minutes of its presentation sharply contrasted with Sony's PlayStation 4 press conference in February when the Japanese company decided not to reveal the look of its machine - a move that was mocked by some commentators.

Both Microsoft and Sony plan follow-up "keynote" announcements at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles on 10 June.

Nintendo launched its next-generation console, the Wii U, last year and has said it will not host a major press conference at the event.

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