Microsoft has unveiled its next generation video game console, dubbed the Xbox one, with the company hoping the new “liquid black”-coloured device will be used as much for general entertainment as games.
During its unveiling presentation the company was just as keen to announce that it had signed up director Stephen Spielberg to produce a live action TV series for the device, based on its Halo series of games, as it was to announce the latest instalment of Call of Duty as a launch title.
“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device,” says Microsoft Interactive Entertainment president Don Mattrick.
“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.”
The company is emphasising a number of key non-gaming features of the device, including voice commands, the ability to view TV and navigate channels through the device, a version of Skype supporting multi-user video chat, an integrated Blu-Ray player and a new 1080p version of its Kinect accessory.
The voice commands feature means the device never completely powers off, and as a result can be reactivated by a user giving the voice command, “Xbox on”.
According to Ars Technica, in terms of hardware specs, the device includes 8GB of RAM, a 64-bit architecture, USB 3.0, “5 billion transistors”, and “variable power states”.
Launch titles announced for the device include Forza Motorsport 5, FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, NBA LIVE 14, EA SPORTS UFC and Quantum Break.
The company also announced an update to its Xbox Live online service, with a greater degree of integration with Microsoft’s Azure cloud for developers.
The new device is expected to be released later this year, while Microsoft hasn’t released any information about its price.