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article imageNew Xbox One adds voice commands, gesture controls, Skype

By David Silverberg     May 21, 2013 in Entertainment
Microsoft revealed the new gaming console Xbox One, featuring voice commands and gesture controls so you can access video games, TV, music and movies without a remote or controller. Also, you can make Skype calls while gaming, the company announced.
Today, the much-anticipated event divulged details of the upcoming XBox One entertainment console. Complete with a Blu-ray drive, 8GB of RAM, 500GB of hard drive storage and a refurbished controller, Xbox One aims to make the console more intelligent than any competitor on the market.
Microsoft said the console will be available later this year.
Particularly thrilling is the addition of voice commands. Saying "Xbox Home" will show the home screen. When you say "Watch TV" you'll be taken to live TV instantly. Same with "Watch movie" or "Play music", which will take you to the last media you were listening to or watching.
Switching between TV and gaming, say, is as quick as pressing buttons on a remote.
Multitasking is built into Xbox One so seamlessly, you can access Internet Explorer while watching a film, where the Explorer screen comes up as a sidebar.
Gesture controls take advantage of the Kinect motion-sensor. Under the hood is a 1080p camera, a major upgrade from the VGA sensor on the original Kinect. The new motion controller processes 2GB of data per-second to accurately read your environment.
If you want to move from a film to your home screen, making a squeezing gesture shuttles you to the right screen. You can swipe to move from one screen to the next. Yes, it's like Minority Report has come to life.
The new Kinect is so accurate it has the ability to read your heartbeat.
Skype is also coming to the new console. Gamers can get calls even while watching movies, and they can open them up side-by-side other apps in the new Snap Mode. Skype can be controlled via voice commands, and users can shut off the mic or camera, end the call and go full screen.
Other featuers on Xbox One include: A dedicated game DVR so you can save replays and highlights "in the cloud"; HDMI in and out for passthrough with your cable or satellite box.; an improvement of the SmartGlass integration to access Xbox One content via mobile devices; and an improved controller with more intuitive controls.
One of the bigger surprises from the announcement had celebrity appeal: Steven Spielberg was announced as the chief behind a Halo live-action series to debut on Xbox One. It's not clear when the series will debut.
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