Microsoft Announces the Xbox One Console

Microsoft has announced the Xbox One gaming console at a May 21st event in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft is pushing the new console as an “all in one experience” for all kinds of entertainment — music, television, movies, and video games.

The Xbox One will allow users to instantly switch between video games, television shows, movies, music, and even an internet browser using voice commands, and also features new Kinect gestures for switching between running apps. Users can also have multiple apps running simultaneously with the newly announced Snapmode. Microsoft’s new console also features a live television guide that allows users to navigate using conversational voice commands like “Show CBS” and “What’s on HBO?” The Xbox One Guide also has a Favorites section so users can keep track of their favorite shows, as well as a Trending section that surfaces the most popular content on Xbox Live. Like Sony’s PlayStation 4, the Xbox One will feature “game DVR” to allow games to capture and share gaming moments online. In an interview with The Verge, Microsoft Xbox Live VP Marc Whitten said that the Xbox One will not be backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games. However, Microsoft did not specify if or how the console would be constantly connected to the internet (possibly to combat piracy).

As for hardware, the Xbox One includes an 8 Core CPU, 8GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Blu-ray, USB 3.0, Wi-fi direct 802.11n. At the event, Microsoft also unveiled a new Kinect motion sensor, a redesigned controller, and revamped Smart Glass and Xbox Live.

In a surprising announcement, Microsoft revealed that 343 Industries and Steven Spielberg will be collaborating on a live-action Halo television series for the Xbox One. NFL also announced a partnership with Microsoft in which Xbox, Kinect, and Smart Glass will support fantasy football content. EA Sports announced new FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Live 14, and UFC games for the console which are expected to launch in the next 12 months. Other games unveiled at the event include Forza Motorsport 5 — which will be available at launch — Quantum Break, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. The console will launch “around the world later this year,” and Microsoft will have more information and additional game announcements at this year’s E3 conference. For more information, see Polygon‘s coverage of the Xbox One announcement.

Xbox One

Xbox One

images via Xbox