Microsoft announces Xbox One

Microsoft announced Tuesday its next-generation video game console, the Xbox One.

"Today, we look forward," said Don Mattrick, Microsoft president of interactive business. "It's time for technology to step behind the curtain and for you and entertainment to take center stage."

The console's new features will include: voice command, cloud integration, universal gestures and the familiar Xbox Live home screen.

Voice command immediately recognizes the user and will instantly turn the console on by saying "Xbox on." It also has a feature called instant switching that lets users switch from gaming, TV and Web browsing seamlessly. A new feature called "Snap mode" lets users run multiple programs at the same time, including making group Skype calls in high-definition.

A feature called Xbox One Guide lets users scroll through a show guide, call for specific TV shows or change channels with voice command.

"No more memorizing channels or hunting for the remote control," said senior vice president Yusuf Mehdisaid.

The Xbox One comes with an upgraded controller. Microsoft says the new device has 40 new design innovations, including impulse triggers, Wi-Fi direct radio stack, integrated battery compartment and a precision directional pad.

The console will come with 8 gigabyes of RAM, a Blu-ray drive, USB 3.0 connector and HDMI in and out. The system runs on three systems in one: Xbox operating system, Windows Kernel and a combination of the two that enables multitasking.

Xbox Live is getting an upgrade, as well. To support the new cloud-based features, Xbox Live will run on 300,000 servers for the Xbox One -- up from 3,000 servers for Xbox 360.

Four blockbuster sports games from Electronic Arts will come to the Xbox One: "FIFA 14," "Madden 25," "UFC," and "NBA Live 14." "Forza Motorsports 5" is also coming exclusively to the new console and will be available at launch.

Microsoft also announced a partnership with film director Steven Spielberg and 343 industries to create an exclusive TV show of the blockbuster title "Halo."

The NFL is also partnering with Xbox to create a fully immersive experience that lets fans switch between watching a game to checking fantasy football statistics in the Xbox ecosystem, using SmartGlass and Kinect.

Xbox One will be available worldwide "later this year." Microsoft will reveal more details and games at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). There are no current details on pricing. It's also unknown if the Xbox One is backwards compatible with the Xbox 360.

Microsoft's competitor Sony is also launching its next-generation game console, the PlayStation 4, later this year. Nintendo released the Wii U in 2012.

The original Xbox 360 debuted in 2001 and its successor the Xbox 360 was unveiled in 2005.

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