Microsoft today finally revealed the name and specs of the next Xbox. The Xbox One is Microsoft’s attempt to position the Xbox as an all in one gaming and entertainment system bringing together games, TV, movies, music and Skype.
During the presentation Microsoft demonstrated voice control, live TV, multitasking and impressive gaming and you can read the details in the press release below. As a gaming machine I am sure it is going to be fantastic but what is interesting are the entertainment features. TV on Xbox One enables live TV on the Xbox via cable or set top box complete with voice control. The feature called Live TV with OneGuide will be US only at launch but will be rolling out globally over time. There are not many technical details on how it will work at the moment but the Live TV feature requires a receiver with HDMI. Clearly Microsoft are positioning it as the centre of the home entertainment system, the inclusion of the Blueray drive and the TV options do seem to make it a compelling proposition. It was also interesting to note that Microsoft demotrated the entertainment features first before the gaming showing how much attention they are focusing on the TV, movie and music features.
No Media Center Extender in the Xbox One?
What wasn’t shown and I wasn’t expecting it to be was Windows Media Center Extender. I am not expecting Extender features to be built in to the new Xbox, Microsoft have made it clear that Windows Media Center is a legacy technology and therefor I expect the Xbox 360 as being the only real option for Extender users. What I do expect to be supported is media playback via DLNA/Play To so sending media to the Xbox One will be possible using DLNA and SmartGlass apps.
I am sure we will find out more details and technical specs over time but the first impression is this will be an impressive device for home entertainment. My 11 years are sold on it, what about you?
REDMOND, Wash. — May 21, 2013 — A new vision for the future comes to life today as Microsoft Corp. unveils Xbox One , the all-in-one gaming and entertainment system created for today and the next generation. At Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash., the company showcased how Xbox One puts you at the center of all your games, TV, movies, music, sports and Skype.
“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, 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.”
Introducing Xbox One
With Xbox One, games push the boundaries of realism, and TV obeys your commands. Say “Xbox On” to launch your personalized Xbox One Home screen, discover what is popular on TV or see friends’ latest gaming achievements all using the most natural interface — your voice. The more you interact with Xbox One, the more it gets to know you and learns what you like. Some of the breakthrough Xbox One features that put you at the center of your living room entertainment include the following:
• TV on Xbox One. Navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One. Microsoft is committed to bringing live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available.
• Home. Turn on your entertainment system with two powerful words, “Xbox On,” and a custom-tailored Home dashboard welcomes you with your favorite games, TV and entertainment.
• Snap. Do two things at once on the biggest screen in your home. Use Snap to jump into a multiplayer battle while watching your favorite movie, talk with friends on Skype while watching live TV, or track your fantasy team on TV as you watch the big game and more.
• Skype for Xbox One. Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in stunning HD, or for the first time ever, hold group Skype calls on your TV.
• Trending. Stay on top of what is hot on TV by discovering the entertainment that is popular among your friends, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.
• OneGuide.,  Find your favorite entertainment easily, searching by network, name or time, all with the sound of your voice and presented in a tailored program guide.
Read the rest of the press release at Microsoft.com