Microsoft takes on living room with new Xbox

Microsoft has launched its next generation of Xbox games console, which will allow users to navigate and watch live TV from their cable, telco or satellite provider direct from the device.

The Xbox One, unveiled at a press event yesterday at Microsoft’s Redmond Washington headquarters, was billed as “the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system,” acting as a hub for games, TV, movies, music, sports and Skype.

The new linear TV feature, which builds on the multimedia apps available on the current generation of Xbox 360, will enable live TV delivery on the console – either over the air, over the internet, or by connecting the device to another set-top box via HDMI.

Though Microsoft did not break down the specifics, it said: “The delivery of TV is complex and we are working through the many technologies and policies around the world to make live TV available where Xbox One is available,”

The Xbox One will also feature a home screen with tailored dashboard, designed to offer games, TV and entertainment. Skype for Xbox One will let users chat via their TV in HD, while the OneGuide will let users search for entertainment, with trending tools to also show what is popular with a users’ friends.

“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device. Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment,” said Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.”

At the same time, Microsoft announced it was working with Steven Spielberg on a live-action television series spin-off of the video game Halo. This will feature exclusive interactive Xbox One content, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios.