Games, cinema hits and video-conferences are only some of the attractions promised by the new XBox One, which Microsoft hopes to put in every living room.
Facts are only beginning to trickle out about how it will work, especially in non-US markets, but some details are available. Here are some key questions and answers:
What can the XBox One do?
According to Microsoft, the new XBox has an eight-core processor with 8 gigabytes of working memory, a Blu-ray drive and a 500-gigabyte hard drive. That’s about the same as Sony has promised for its new Playstation 4 console.
However, Microsoft has promised that the new XBox won’t use more electricity than its predecessor, the XBox 360, despite all the new features.
What comes in the box?
The motion-sensor controller Kinect used to only come as a separate accessory, but is now integrated into the system. Microsoft has completely reworked the camera, allowing it to not only better watch the movements of the user, but also to react faster to gestures and voice commands. However, the classic controller has only seen some basic changes.
Can I play my old games on it?
No. The XBox One is not compatible with games from the XBox and XBox 360. However, accounts and stored games can be uploaded onto the new console. Fee-based memberships to XBox Gold will also be honoured by the new console.
Which games are planned?
Electronic Arts plans a new series of sports games, including Fifa and NBA Live. Also expected is Ghosts, the newest part of the shooter game Call of Duty from Activision, as well as a new instalment of Forza Motorsport from Microsoft. Ubisoft is planning Watchdogs and Assassin’s Creed 4.
However, most of the new planned games are going to the Playstation 4. Both companies expect to announce new games at the E3 computer gaming convention in Los Angeles, which is set to start June 11.
Do I have to be online to play?
Microsoft says the XBox One requires an internet connection. However, it is not necessarily to be online to play every game and definitely not to watch Blu-ray movies. The connection can be used to automatically update games and store them in the cloud.
How much does it cost?
Microsoft has not yet released information about the price and the sales start. However, it has been reported that the console is supposed to go on sale worldwide during the course of the year.