Updated: Microsoft did announce the new Xbox, titled Xbox One, as expected today.
“We’re about to change entertainment forever, again,” Microsoft execs said. The highly anticipated follow-up to the Xbox 360 is currently being announced from a newscast in Washington. The futuristic all-encompassing Xbox One entertainment system operates on a voice activated system that allows you to seamlessly switch from gaming to television to music all without lifting a finger. The system will integrate live television, the Kinect camera, Skype and more with 8 GB of RAM, 500 GB of hardrive space, a Blu-ray player and a player recognition system.
Microsoft has massively expanded its multimedia coverage by announcing a live-action Halo series to be directed by Steven Spielberg. Microsoft also announced a partnership with NFL to provide a personalized and engaging viewing experience, and Xbox exclusive DLC for the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts (which is written by Traffic/Syriana writer, Stephen Gaghan).
Xbox One’s new Kinect boasts a 1080p sensor capable of picking up the most minute of details from gamers, even something as subtle as your heartbeat is detectable by the Kinect—which is as equally awesome as it is terrifying.
The system is set to debut by the end of the year, and while there’s no mention of a price yet, Microsoft will be presenting more information at the annual E3 gaming convention in June.
You can watch a live stream of the announcement via The Guardian.
Original Text: We’ve heard about the PlayStation 4 and we’ve played the Wii U, but when are we finally going to learn something real about the next Xbox? Uh, today, probably. This afternoon Microsoft is holding a press conference where they will most likely announce the first details about its upcoming successor to the Xbox 360. The Internet’s awash in rumors about names and prices and release dates, and we’ll probably learn at least the first of those during today’s event. We’ll probably hear a lot about how the new system can serve as a one-stop entertainment box, streaming videos and playing Blu-Rays and maybe even turning much of your living room into a videogame level through something called IllumiRoom. Perhaps they’ll run down the technical specs of the guts inside the machine, much like how CBS bragged about its awesome cameras at last week’s upfronts (wait—that didn’t happen. No medium brags about its tools as proudly and boringly as the videogame industry.)
Here’s really all you need to know about whatever Microsoft announces tomorrow: It will play videogames. Probably. We assume. It wouldn’t really make sense if it didn’t. Maybe it’ll have to maintain a constant Internet connection to play those games, a long-rumored “feature” that still might be in play even after the SimCity debacle of last March. It’ll almost definitely pioneer new and enhanced ways to separate game fans from their money, much like the Xbox 360 helped usher in the era of downloadable content and season passes. Remember that patent Microsoft filed for content distribution regulation by viewing user”>“, where Microsoft could use the Kinect to track the “number of users at a display device” watching a movie or TV show and then charge extra depending on the total number of viewers? You might wake up and find that Orwellian nightmare under your tree this Christmas.
In other words, right now we know almost nothing. That will change today, as impossibly upbeat and excited speakers pitch this new thing as the last and only thing you’ll ever need in your entertainment center. And then maybe they’ll show trailers for the new Call of Duty and FIFA games. Microsoft has advised us to expect the bulk of game announcements to come at E3 in June, but they’re not going to unveil a new system without teasing a few games.
Anyway, stay tuned to Paste for a recap of today’s press conference. And then check back in June for our E3 coverage, as I once again confusingly wander the Los Angeles Convention Center with the worst headache of my life.