Microsoft unveils Xbox One

Xbox One is shown during a press event unveiling by Microsoft in Redmond, Washington May 21, 2013....

Xbox One is shown during a press event unveiling by Microsoft in Redmond, Washington May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Nick Adams

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:40 PM ET

REDMOND, Wash. – Move over, Neo. Step aside, Highlander. Because it turns out there is another One.

Microsoft has taken the wraps off Xbox One, the company’s upcoming next-generation video game and entertainment console. Due in stores later this year at a yet-to-be-revealed price, Xbox One will be a successor to the eight-year-old Xbox 360 and aims to fuse video games, TV, movies and music into a unified experience that a user can control with simply the power of his or her voice.

“All your entertainment, all in One,” said Don Mattrick, Microsoft’s president of interactive entertainment business, during a glitzy unveiling Tuesday on the technology giant’s sprawling campus in Redmond, Wash.

Ending months of speculation, the Xbox One’s physical form was revealed to be a sleek, understated black box, with a new and equally unadorned version of the Kinect motion and voice sensor, and an upgraded version of the Xbox game controller.

In addition to video games – snippets from upcoming games including Forza Motorsport 5, Madden 25, Call of Duty: Ghosts and a new game called Quantum Break were demonstrated to show off the new system’s powerful graphics capabilities – Xbox One will integrate with current TV providers, allowing users to flip between a video game, TV show, movies and even Skype calls with the touch of a button or a spoken voice command. It will be possible to do two things at once, such as watch a downloaded movie while carrying on a Skype call on an inset screen.

As part of Microsoft’s push into creating new, original content through its recently created Los Angeles-based studio, Steven Spielberg will be producing Halo: The Television Series, an interactive TV show that will be available only on Xbox One.

“For me, the Halo universe is an amazing opportunity to be at that intersection where technology and myth-making meet to produce something really groundbreaking,” said Spielberg via a pre-recorded message.

The Xbox One will feature a new version of the Kinect sensor, which will be able to track motion more accurately and quickly. During an on-stage demo, a Microsoft executive was able to switch TV channels or zoom and shrink screens with simple, subtle commands and gestures with very little delay.

On the heels of the Xbox One announcement, many prominent game studios revealed Xbox One versions of their upcoming titles, including Ubisoft Montreal’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Watch Dogs, and Eidos Montreal’s next-gen Thief game. Microsoft itself will publish 15 exclusive games in the first year of the Xbox One’s availability, including titles from eight new franchises.

Mattrick said today’s event was primarily to introduce the hardware to the world, and that much more will be revealed about the Xbox One gaming library at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles in three weeks.

Microsoft’s unveiling of the Xbox One comes three months after Sony took the wraps off its own upcoming next-generation game console, the PlayStation 4. Although neither company has announced a firm launch date or price for their new gaming hardware, the Xbox One and PS4 are widely expected to be duking it out on store shelves during the all-important holiday shopping season in November.


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