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Microsoft’s New 'Xbox One' Includes Blu-ray Drive

21 May, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

Microsoft unveiled its next-generation gaming console May 21, the Xbox One, an “all-in-one home entertainment system” that includes a Blu-ray Disc drive, live TV capability, built-in motion and voice controls, and HDMI input and output.

The inclusion of a Blu-ray drive marks a major change for Xbox. The current iteration — the Xbox 360 — offered an external HD DVD drive, discontinued shortly after that high-def format threw in the towel versus Blu-ray in early 2008.

The system will be available later in 2013, with Microsoft expected to announce more details at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in June.

“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 of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business. “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.”

The new console features an interactive voice interface, one that learns from its owner the more the user interacts with the system. The Xbox One will also serve as a TV set-top box, allowing owners to access their pay-TV service through the system.

Along with the Xbox One comes a new Xbox Live experience, Microsoft announced, with owners able to install downloaded games in segments and access profile, games and entertainment in the cloud more easily.

The Xbox One’s “Snap” feature allows users to play games, watch movies, use a built-in Skype application and access Internet features, all at the same time. A “OneGuide” feature lets users search for content using voice recognition.

Microsoft unveiled a live-action “Halo” TV series that will be available through Xbox One. Steven Spielberg is the executive producer of the series. Microsoft also announced a multiyear partnership with the NFL that will bring exclusive football content to the Xbox One, including broadcast and fantasy entertainment.

“When we started working with [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell and the team at the NFL we knew that we could create great new experiences that fans would love,” Mattrick said. “This partnership will redefine NFL experiences through exclusive and interactive content that you will find only on Xbox. For fans, the NFL on Xbox will provide the most complete way to enjoy live football by bringing the first fully-integrated fantasy football experience to the TV, exclusively through Xbox.”

Microsoft announced that Forza Motorsport 5, Call of Duty: Ghosts, FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, NBA Live 14, EA Sports UFC and Quantum Break would be among the first games available for the Xbox One.

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