Microsoft Unveils Xbox One: An All-in-One Entertainment System
The new Xbox seeks to unify gaming, TV viewing and digital media consumption with instant responsiveness and Kinect-powered voice and video control.Microsoft's follow-up to its successful Xbox 360 console is officially called Xbox One. Xbox head Don Mattrick took to the stage on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., May 21 "to unveil the ultimate, all-in-one home entertainment system." On display was a black, sharp-edged console, revamped controller and an upgraded Kinect sensor that constitute the new Xbox One. Anchoring the Xbox experience is a new, personalized home screen that unifies gaming, TV, music and movies for users. As expected, the included Kinect motion sensor will play an integral role in operating the Xbox One., Xbox Senior Vice President Yusuf Mehdi demonstrated how the new Xbox detects a user and delivers a personalized home screen based on the person's identity, games and favorites. He showed how voice commands and new hand gestures, all of which were detected by the Kinect, made switching between modes "as fast as switching channels on your TV remote." By uttering "Xbox, watch TV," the system switched instantly to the TV viewing mode. The instant switching capability extends to practically every activity, including switching between games, movies and music. A new Windows-like snap mode allows users to multitask. Mehdi showed off the new functionality by "snapping" Internet Explorer alongside movie playback of the Star Trek (2009) film.
Xbox One will also offer deep Skype integration. Not only will the feature enable widescreen HD video calls, the Xbox One will have the distinction of enabling group video calls from the living room, Mehdi said.