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Billed as the “all-in-one entertainment system,” the Xbox One with Xbox Live will allow users to instantly switch between games, live TV, movies, music, on-demand programming, and Skype with just a voice command or hand gesture. Imagine Tony Stark in his basement lab and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what this looks like—minus the hologram. Scientists, get on that.
To bolster excitement about their latest console, Microsoft invited executives from EA, Activision, and 343 Industries to make a few big announcements of their own. Most notably, it was revealed that Steve Spielberg will serve as executive producer of a new Halo television series exclusively for Xbox One. Infinity Ward debuted a trailer for Call of Duty: Ghosts, which will feature new characters and a new story written by the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Traffic and Syriana, Stephen Gaghan.
Here are a few of the tech highlights confirmed at the presentation:
- 500GB hard drive and 8GB of RAM
- An 8-core x86 processor that allows for instantly switching between a game and entertainment apps
- HDMI pass-thru that lets cable and satellite TV play through the console
- Blu-ray drive
- New Kinect has an improved motion sensor that can recognize wrist movement and heartbeat.
- The Xbox one will host three operating systems, including the Xbox dashboard and a version of Windows.
What was not addressed during the Microsoft presentation were the rumors of a required always-on Internet connection and installed games. However, a peek over at the official Xbox website revealed more, including cloud-based gaming and an artificial intelligence that will learn your gameplay style. The AI can continue to play your game while you’re away, and even challenge your friends. You can watch the recap of the Xbox One presentation here.
The Visual Effects Society (VES) has announced the nominees for the 11th Annual VES Awards, which will be presented on February 5th. Nominees in 24 categories include The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Prometheus, and The Avengers in film. Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II among game nods. See the full list here.