Microsoft has revealed the next generation of its Xbox gaming console: Xbox One, a cloud-powered, all-in-one home entertainment system.
At a press event on Microsoft’s Redmond campus Tuesday, Xbox chief Don Mattrick said Xbox One is an attempt to answer the question, “Can we improve a living room that’s become too complex, too fragmented, and too slow by harmonizing your experiences?”
Xbox One hinges on powerful voice control features that allow you to easily move between the console’s TV-watching, gaming, and Internet-surfing features, starting from the moment you turn it on. Saying “Xbox on” will automatically turn on the console and take you to a customized dashboard screen associated with your Xbox account. Simple commands such as “Watch TV,” “Go to Internet Explorer,” and “Watch Movie” allow you to seamlessly and quickly rotate between activities, similar to how you would use a TV remote to flip through channels.
The updated version of Kinect will support higher-resolution 1080p video and more subtle gesture reading and body reading functionality–for example, the ability to read your heartbeat while you’re using Xbox to exercise.
Xbox One: “The Next Watercooler”
Microsoft executives emphasized the Xbox One’s potential to create immersive television experiences that Xbox Entertainment Studios’ Nancy Tellem calls “truly personalized.”
Though Microsoft mostly shared surface-level details regarding the immersive TV experience, it did share one of its first projects, an update to the popular game Halo, which will become a live-action television series created in partnership with Steven Spielberg and 343 Industries.