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Friday, May 24, 2013

XBox Finally Gets Blu-ray Drive with Microsoft's XBox One

It's been eight long years since Microsoft first introduced the Xbox 360. Actually, you've probably been too busy playing video games to notice. However, the company is about to unleash the Xbox One on the world -- and it looks like it's definitely going to be worth the upgrade.

First and foremost, the new console is designed to cater to all of your gaming needs. Microsoft has announced the initial titles for the Xbox One, which includes Forza Motorsport 5, Call of Duty: Ghosts, FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, NBA Live 14, EA Sports UFC, and Quantum Break.

For those times when you want to give your thumbs a rest, the device packs in live TV, audio and video streaming, Skype, and more.

The company also completely redesigned the hardware. The console itself is shaped in the 16:9 aspect ratio, but packs in an eight-core, x86 processor and more than 5 billion transistors, as well as a long-awaited Blu-ray player. There's also a completely redesigned 1080p Kinect accessory. Designed to work under any lighting conditions, this allows for vision, motion and voice interaction.


The new Xbox One can also hook to your cable, telco or satellite set-top box to deliver live TV and add in some of the box's new features into your everyday TV watching.

For instance, there are a variety of ways to control this console. Say the words "Xbox On," and the system will launch your personalized Xbox One Home screen. From there, you can find your favorite games, TV and entertainment, as well as check up on your friends' latest gaming achievements. You can also check out what's trending or search for entertainment via the OneGuide feature.

In addition to that, the Xbox One will have exclusive video content. Steven Spielberg will executive-produce an original "Halo" live-action television series and the NFL will provide a unique interactive experience for Xbox One users.

There are several other tweaks as well. Besides an updated directional pad, thumb stick, and overall ergonomic fit, there's also a new Xbox One Wireless Controller. This is designed to work with the new Kinect and the console.

Other features include Snap for on-screen multitasking, Smart Match to pair you up with the perfect gamer, a Game DVR, and the Xbox SmartGlass for connecting different devices to the console for sharing entertainment.

"Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device," said Don Mattrick, president of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment."

Microsoft is planning to launch the Xbox One sometime later this year. Of course, this is not the last you will hear about the device before it hits retailers. Expect additional details about the device and games to be revealed at next month's Electronic Entertainment Expo.


 A shot of the sensor, the console and the new wireless controller.

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