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Microsoft unveils Xbox One

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In a press conference today, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One, the successor to its Xbox 360 home video game system.

The Xbox One system works in conjunction with a newly designed controller, a new Kinect sensor, and Smart Glass technology. Using the new Kinect sensor, players will be able to turn on the system using voice control, and the machine recognizes the player and takes them to a personalized home screen, where the system tracks what you were last doing with the console. A new trending area shows what is trending with friends and across Xbox Live.

Xbox One also allows users to watch live TV through the system, and switch instantly between playing games, watching TV, surfing the net, and listening to music, all with voice controls. A live-action "Halo" TV series was also announced, with Steven Spielberg being involved. Exclusive NFL televised content was also promised.

New system features include Snap Mode, which allows you to run multiple programs alongside one another on your TV, similarly to the feature in Windows 7. Cell phones can also be used in conjunction with the device. Skype will be available, allowing group video calls on your television. The Xbox One TV guide will allow players to use voice-controlled search to go through TV listings and also manage a personal favorite list of programming.

The system itself includes 8 gigabytes of ram, a Blu-ray drive, 500 GB hard drive, and a promised "practically silent" operation. It will be running on three operating systems; the Xbox One OS, a Windows-based kernel, and a third OS that allows multitasking between the previous two.

300,000 servers will be powering the new Xbox Live experience for Xbox One. Since everything will be Cloud accessible, players' music, game saves, and media will be available anywhere (on any Xbox One console, presumably). The system also allows players to record game videos and edit and share them with other players.

On the games side, new titles in the FIFA, Madden, NBA Live, and UFC series were announced by EA, all promised to ship within the next year. Other titles announced included "Fortza Motor Sports 5" and "Quantum Break," and Microsoft is promising 15 exclusive titles (eight of which are new franchises) in the first year of Xbox One.

Price and launch details (aside from a "later this year" time frame) for the console weren't disclosed, nor was the system's always-online rumor addressed, but further information is expected to be revealed at E3 in Los Angeles in June.

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