Microsoft reveals Xbox One home entertainment console

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      Microsoft wants to take over your living room, and in so doing is taking on not only Sony’s PlayStation 4, but also any plans Apple has for its Apple TV product. 

      The Xbox One was unveiled Tuesday (May 21) in an exclusive presentation at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington, just east of Seattle.

      Vancouver’s Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s interactive-entertainment business, made the announcement, calling the new hardware, “the all-in-one system for every living room”.

      The price of the Xbox One, which according to Mattrick will be available worldwide “later this year”, was not revealed.

      While games are certainly an anchor experience for the Xbox One—Activision used the event to present the world premiere of Call of Duty: Ghosts—it is the way the console integrates other home entertainment experiences that makes it unlike anything we’ve seen before.

      The Xbox One has the potential to replace cable boxes so users can watch television live using the console. In an on-stage demonstration, corporate vice-president Yusuf Mehdi instantly switched from live television to a number of other entertainment experiences without even using a controller.

      Kinect, the interface that detects movement and voice commands, is an integral part of Xbox One, and enables personalized homescreens. The redesigned Kinect reportedly supports multiple users better than before and can more accurately read and interpret the movements of users.

      The camera and microphone that make Kinect work also allow users to use Skype, a Microsoft company, from the comfort of their couch, and group video calls are also possible.

      Microsoft would never launch a new console without having Halo a part of it; this time, the franchise appeared not in the form of a game, but as a new live-action television series that will be executive produced by Steven Spielberg.

      In a prerecorded address, the director said that Halo is “where technology and mythmaking meet”.