Xbox One

Microsoft unveiled its next-generation games console last night, the Xbox One, but games are just a part of its appeal. In fact, the emphasis at the launch was as much on other forms of entertainment: TV in particular. Voice control will be to the fore, there’s a new version of the Kinect motion-control accessory, and a new FIFA game. But also live TV; a live-action series based on Halo with involvement from Steven Spielberg; and a deal with the NFL to bring sports content to the device. And music? Well, music didn’t get much of a mention at last night’s launch event, but the Xbox Music service is likely to benefit from some of this technology – the voice controls for example – as well as Microsoft’s interest in interactive TV (its Music Room show was announced earlier this week on that score). But the bigger picture is Microsoft’s determination to make Xbox One the set-top box of choice for tens of people’s living rooms, capitalising on the 77m-sales popularity of its last Xbox 360 model. The battle for the living room between Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Google and Samsung has been rumbling for a while, but Xbox One’s announcement fires the starting gun for its next stage.

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