Microsoft Corp unveiled the “Xbox One” on Tuesday, its first new gaming console in eight years, and its strongest push so far to dominate consumers’ living rooms with an array of exclusive media content.
The Xbox One took four years to develop and will be the launchpad for a “Halo” live-action video series produced by acclaimed movie maker, Steven Spielberg. The device will also be the first platform to release the next instalment in Activision Blizzard Inc’s blockbuster shooter franchise, “Call of Duty”.
Microsoft hopes its third-generation Xbox console will attract video game fans who are increasingly sampling games on mobile devices, while also becoming a hub for living room entertainment. The new device interacts with a television, responds to voice and gesture commands, includes group video calling on Skype, 15 exclusive game titles, and original programming content.
The Xbox One will chiefly compete with Nintendo Co’s new Wii U and Sony Corp’s forthcoming PlayStation 4 for a bigger slice of the US$65 billion-a-year computer game market. Microsoft did not refer to the new gadget as a “console” but rather an entertainment system, signaling its renewed focus on making the Xbox a sort of window for media and entertainment content, said Forrester Research’s James McQuivey.
It will be sold worldwide “later this year”, games unit chief Don Mattrick told reporters at an event at the software company’s campus near Seattle, without providing details on timing or pricing.