Microsoft unveils Xbox One console
Redmond, Washington, May 22, 2013
Microsoft Corp unveiled the "Xbox One" yesterday, its first new gaming console in eight years, and its strongest push so far to dominate consumers' living rooms with an array of exclusive media content.
The Xbox One took four years to develop and will be the launchpad for a "Halo" live-action video series produced by Steven Spielberg.
It will be sold worldwide "later this year," games unit chief Don Mattrick told reporters at an event at the software company's campus near Seattle, without providing details on timing or pricing.
The device will also be the first platform to release the next installment in Activision Blizzard Inc's blockbuster shooter franchise, "Call of Duty".
Microsoft hopes its third-generation Xbox console will attract video game fans who are increasingly sampling games on mobile devices, while also becoming a hub for living room entertainment.
The new device interacts with a television, responds to voice and gesture commands, includes group video calling on Skype, 15 exclusive game titles and original programming content.
The Xbox One will chiefly compete with Nintendo Co's new Wii U and Sony Corp's forthcoming PlayStation 4 for a bigger slice of the $65 billion-a-year computer game market.
Microsoft did not refer to the new gadget as a "console" but rather an entertainment system, signaling its renewed focus on making the Xbox a sort of window for media and entertainment content, said Forrester Research's James McQuivey.
The software giant is "trying to break out of the category" and risks having to battle not just Sony and Nintendo but Apple Inc, Google Inc and others to control consumer entertainment in the age of smart TVs, tablets and smartphones, he said.
Acclaimed movie maker Steven Spielberg will be executive-producing a television series based on Microsoft's blockbuster sci-fi game "Halo" - one of the game industry's largest franchises by revenue - for the Xbox One.
The new console will also offer exclusive National Football League content and eight new game franchises, executives said.
Yusuf Mehdi, SVP of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business declined to put a figure on the company's investment in exclusive game and video content, but called it a "very serious commitment," in an interview with Reuters.
The device will have 8 gigabytes of memory and comes with a new-generation Kinect sensor that communicates a user's voice and gesture commands to the console.
The original Kinect was launched in 2010 and sold separately. Bundling the Kinect - which costs $100 in the current version - may inflate the Xbox One's overall price tag.
Mehdi said Microsoft is still "evaluating" sale price. - Reuters
More Retail & Wholesale Stories
- India's Bharti group mulls Carrefour tieup
- Etisalat opens retail shop in Dubai Mall
- Ultra wealthy to spend more on luxury goods
- Kuwait group inks JV deal with China jeweller
- MAF in deal to set up retail academy
- Samsung, UPB sign deal to supply AC systems
- Samsung showcases latest UHD monitors
- Unilever named 'employer of choice' in Saudi
- New Nokia Asha range arrives in Bahrain
- Canon launches 2 compact B&W MFPs
- MAF to build new mall in Dubai IMPZ
- Big growth seen for Mideast retail sector
- Rosette, GoExport enter partnership deal
- Samsung opens new outlet in Abu Dhabi
- Epson launches new thermal receipt printer
- Utoor Perfumes signs deal with Mezaj Arabia
- UAE group opens supermarket in Bahrain
- Marks & Spencer opens big store in Kuwait
- UAE clothing imports soar to $960m
- Samsung launches 2 wearable tech devices
- BlackBerry goes back to basics with new phones
- Philips rolls out new all-in-one displays
- Nokia unveils affordable smartphone range
- MAF launches new community retail concept
- Huawei unveils five new smart devices
- Sharp previews latest Intelligent Touch Board
- Fujifilm camera offers world’s fastest viewfinder
- Ex-Waitrose outlets set to reopen in Bahrain
- Swiss jam maker expands GCC footprint
- Toshiba Gulf launches Windows 8.1 tablet