Xbox One – that’s the name of Microsoft’s next generation console. Well, technically it’s not just a gaming console, but “the ultimate, all in one home entertainment system”. The new console was finally revealed during a live event held by the company earlier today in Redmond, Washington.

If you want to watch it for yourself (no way I’m going to recap the whole thing) – go right ahead:

So why a “home entertainment system” and not just a next-gen console? Because the Xbox One does a few more things than just play games. You can use it to watch TV and movies, listen to music and even chat with your friend using Sykpe (up colse and in HD!).

“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 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.”

Here are some of the features that promise to make the Xbox One “the center of your living room”:

  • 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.

I know you’re all dying to see the actual console (it’s coming, don’t worry), but first – lets talk specs.

The Xbox One sports 8Gb of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, HDMI 1.4 output, USB 3.0 ports and a Blu-ray drive. Of course, the next-gen Xbox comes with a new Kinect device and a new controller.

The next-gen version of the Kinect runs in full 1080p and can process 2GB of data per second, for more accurate responses to the user’s voice and gestures. The controller looks pretty similar to it’s predecessor, but we were promised it has “more than 40 technical and design innovations” including an updated d-pad, thumb sticks and ergonomic fit.

You’re almost ready to see how the Xbox One looks, so just a few quick notes you might find interesting. First – the good news: the Xbox One does not require an “always-on” internet connection to play games (what a relief). the bad news – no Xbox 360 backwards compatibility.

Microsoft has also confirmed that every Xbox One game will require a mandatory installation on the system’s HDD (so you can play without the actual disc), but installing the same disc on a different hard drive (presumably on  another system) will cost the user some sort of fee (thanks CVG).

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for – this is when I shut up and let you see Microsoft’s new console with your own two eyes (you do know you could have skipped the whole thing and go straight for the good stuff, right?).

Personally I think the Xbox One looks a little too big and bulky, almost like a VCR. I really like the way the new controller looks though (let’s hope it handles at least as good as the current one).

I was hoping to see more games, just so I can judge the console’s performance, but apart from the new Call of Duty (more on that later) Microsoft has hardly shown anything. The company did promised more games at E3, so I guess that’s something to look forward to.

Watch the videos and pictures and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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