Xbox One: Microsoft's Next Console Looks Way Beyond Gaming


But beyond all that, the Xbox is very much trying to be the new TV platform.

"Until now, the TV viewing experience has been a one-way viewing experience for the viewer," Nancy Tellem, Microsoft's president of Entertainment & Digital Media, said on stage. "Now that is about to change."

The One will connect to your cable box, bring in your TV listings, and provide personalized suggestions. Microsoft says it will also overlay a social experience with that TV content as well, allowing the Xbox to become the "next watercooler."

In addition to that network or cable TV content, Microsoft is also making a big play into its own content. The company announced that it is working with the NFL on video content and a live-action Halo TV series created directed by Steven Spielberg, which will be available only through the Xbox platform.

"I've been playing games for decades," Spielberg said via a video broadcast at the event. "I'm incredibly excited about the journey we are all on and the wonderful adventures Halo will take us on."

Games and the Coming Competition
And yes, there are games too. Andrew Wilson of EA Sports took the stage to announce that the Xbox One will be ushered in with new titles from FIFA, Madden, MMA and NBA franchises under a new game engine: EA Sports Ignite. EA boasted an "animation fidelity" 10 times greater than its previous engines allowed.

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Phil Spencer of Microsoft Game studios showcased sharp footage from "Forza Motorsport 5," to be available at launch, and introduced "Quantum Break," an original IP that featured a mix of live-action and in-game footage. "Quantum Break" was just the tip of the Microsoft studio's original-IP-iceberg, as Spencer revealed that Xbox Studios is investing in original franchises to the tune of delivering 15 new games and eight new properties via the Xbox One.

So what will be ready later this year for the true start of the next great console war? Gadget website T3 reports that there will be "10 to 15 gaming titles at launch." Nintendo's Wii U launched with 23 games last year, but has hit a dry spell since while Sony claims that its PlayStation 4 line-up later this year will be "stronger than any prior PlayStation hardware."

But that competition might not matter, some analysts say.

"This might be the first game console consumers buy not for games, but as a way to control many forms of entertainment," Avi Greengart, Research Director of Consumer Devices, told ABC News. "It looks like Microsoft is aiming for a converged and integrated usable television experience. That said, we don't know how much this costs and there are also big questions about how it will integrate with cable and TVs."

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