Xbox One makes its big debut

Microsoft has shown off its new Xbox gaming console. What does it do, how much will it cost, and why are some gamers unimpressed?

At an event in Richmond, US, last night, Microsoft unveiled its long-awaited follow up to the Xbox 360 games console - and it's called the Xbox One.

Naming the third iteration of something 'One' may seem odd - although it worked recently for the HTC One - but it was chosen by Microsoft because it sees the new machine as an "all-in-one" entertainment device, offering music, movies, games and TV.

Microsoft was keen to focus on the speed and ease of switching between the different services. In the show, for example, the company demonstrated how users can search the web while watching a film and chatting to friends over the internet via Skype.

There's also tight TV integration, in the US at least. Microsoft showed how users can look at their fantasy NFL team while watching live games through the Xbox. It also plans to make TV content of its own, including a Steven Spielberg-produced series based on the Halo games.

Also included with the Xbox One is a new version of Kinect - the motion control peripheral. Unlike with the Xbox 360, Kinect is now compulsory - the One won't work without it attached - and will let users navigate different apps with gestures and voice.

Despite its impressive multimedia capabilities, Microsoft's new machine is already courting controversy.

For example, games, once purchased, will be locked to that person's account, so if you buy a pre-owned game, or borrow a friend's, you'll have to pay an as yet unspecified charge to play it. Naturally, the reaction from gamers to that news has not been positive.

The Xbox One will also require a broadband connection to work. It won't have to be always on - as some had speculated - but if reports are to be believed, it will be necessary to launch games and other services.

Finally, many of the more exciting features Microsoft showed off - such as live TV through the Xbox - have been confirmed to be unavailable in the UK at launch.

E3, the world's biggest gaming show, is just around the corner, so Microsoft's still got time to address concerns, particularly the negative response from the hardcore gaming community, the people most likely to early adopt.

The Xbox One will launch this year and is expected to cost around £400.

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