The wait is finally over and hopefully, so is all the speculation. Microsoft has finally unveiled its next generation console, the Xbox One. And the new device is a lot more than just a gaming platform, it is designed to be an all-in-one entertainment system.

Xbox One was presented along with a new Kinect sensor and a completely redesigned gamepad. The console is rectangular and looks more like a cable TV set-box, rather than building on the previous Xbox model.  Its one-piece controller looks elegant and easy to handle.

Xbox One, an All-in-One Entertainment System

At the Tuesday reveal event, Microsoft presented the console as the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system and that is because beyond its gaming capabilities, the device will offer movies, music and live TV. This pits the new product not only against its traditional rival, Sony’s PlayStation, but also against providers of similar movie and music streaming services such as Virgin Media or Sky.

The Xbox One can bridge the gap between gamers and TV watchers, which still make up the largest market portion. It can be perfectly integrated with your living room and is able to play and record TV shows, it can rent movies, surf the Internet, review upcoming TV shows. The console can do all of these things at the same time and requires little effort from the users: it can answer to voice commands and simple gesture controls. The console can switch between these different functions instantaneously and even run several of them simultaneously in what was described as the snap mode.

Xbox snap mode

Technical specs

The Xbox One matches nicely with PlayStation hardware, being equipped with an eight-core processor and 8 GB of memory. It also has a Blu-Ray drive and the updated 1080p high definition Kinect 2.0 motion control sensor. The console was also provided with Skype functionality. And in spite of earlier speculation, the Xbox One will NOT require an always-on connection to work. More details will be made available in the next few weeks.

What games to expect

In what regards the gaming content users should expect to run on the new console, Microsoft announced that it has several games in development. A total of 15 exclusive titles will be released in the first 12 months after the console is officially released for sale. Eight of these games will be new franchises. Among the most anticipated titles already announced are Forza Motorsport 5, Call of Duty: Ghosts from Activision, Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and others.

Pricing details about the new Xbox console have not yet been revealed, but we expect more details to emerge at the E3 event in Los Angeles on June 10. What do you think of Xbox One? Do you think its enhanced entertainment capabilities appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike?

[Images via digitaltrends & WPCentral]