Microsoft unveiled its first new Xbox in almost eight years on Tuesday, seeking to position the console at the center of games and home entertainment against a growing list of competitors that includes Apple and Facebook.
The device is called Xbox One, said Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment division.
The company held a product introduction event at its headquarters in Redmond, Wash. The player, set to go on sale later this year, will use voice commands and motion sensing to recognize users and let them switch seamlessly between games, live TV and Skype video calling.
Microsoft, the top seller in U.S. consoles for more than two years, faces fresh competition from Sony’s PlayStation 4, set for release near year-end, and Nintendo’s Wii-U, introduced last November.
It also must fend off Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon.com, which all offer an array of entertainment services, software and products.
“Team Xbox is on a new mission: design and build an all-in-one system to light up a new generation of games, TV and entertainment,” Mattrick said. “It’s the one system you’re going to use and love everyday, the place where your games and entertainment come alive.”
The company calls the new features “intelligent TV.” Prices won’t be revealed yet. Games from the current model, which sells for $180 at Amazon.com, won’t work on the new Xbox.
The Kinect controller will be included with each Xbox, allowing Microsoft and developers to create products around motion, voice and visual capabilities.