Xbox One price, release date revealed: Gold membership good for Xbox One, 360

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    So finally after very long wait Microsoft’s Xbox One price and release date have been revealed. Gold membership will work for both Xbox One and 360

    Leaping several levels upwards, Microsoft finally launched its much awaited voice activated and fully integrated Xbox One that would be a launch pad for a “Halo” live-action video series produced by Steven Spielberg.

    The Xbox One, that took four years to develop, is an all-in-one entertainment console that puts an end to all needs pertaining to games, television, movies and other entertainment. Though the company refrained from announcing the price of the gadget, it is expected to go on sale later this year.

    It is pertinent to mention here that Xbox One is the third entity that has entered the vicious world of the “console wars.” It follows Nintendo Co.’s launch of the Wii U in November and Sony Corp.’s tease in February for the upcoming PlayStation 4. Each of the next-generation consoles have shifted away from simply serving as gaming machines, as they incorporate streaming media apps and social networking features.

    Xbox One enables the users to connect their cable or satellite set-top box and watch TV through the game machine. The Xbox One has its own guide and let’s people change channels by following voice command. In fact this feature is a step ahead that the Wii U, which requires the users to press buttons to change the input source on the TV.

    Further, getting a step ahead of the Xbox that thrived on of its Xbox Live service, which lets users play games online with other players for as much as $60 a year, the Xbox One would not be requiring a constant internet connection. The latest offering from Microsoft would be incorporated  with a new version of its 1080p camera-based Kinect system, unveiled simultaneously,  with better motion and voice detection, including the ability to read faces and tell whether you’re smiling or not. The company also introduced a more ergonomic Xbox controller, with new buttons and a slightly different layout from the Xbox 360 controller. The new console will also add the ability to play Blu-ray discs along with video-calling service Skype.

    The black console is the successor to the hugely successful Xbox 360 which sold a reported 77m consoles around the world. It was eight years ago that Microsoft ventured into the world of gaming after it launched Xbox 360, that has been a leader in sales compared to other gaming consoles.

    Speaking about their latest offering, Microsoft’s president of interactive entertainment business, Don Mattrick,  said: “The company has spent the past four years working on the all-in-one home entertainment system. Today we put you at the centre of a new generation in the living room – where your games look and feel like nothing else, where your TV becomes more intelligent, where all of your entertainment comes alive in one place. 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. With Xbox One, games push the boundaries of realism, and TV obeys your commands. Say ‘Xbox On’ to launch your personalized Xbox One Home screen, discover what is popular on TV or see friends’ latest gaming achievements, all using the most natural interface — your voice. The more you interact with Xbox One, the more it gets to know you and learns what you like,“

    The Xbox that is the exclusive home to popular gaming franchises as “Halo,” ”Forza” and alien shoot-’em-up “Gears of War, would be having a more than 15 games available exclusively on the Xbox One in the first year following it launch out of which eight would be new franchises. Among the games previewed for Xbox One were the military shooter “Call of Duty: Ghosts” from Activision Blizzard Inc., the soccer extravaganza “FIFA 14″ from Electronic Arts Inc. and the racing simulator “Forza Motorsport 5″ and time bender “Quantum Break,” both from Microsoft Game Studios.  However, the games for the Xbox 360 won’t be functional on Xbox One, though the company would be bringing out new games both the gaming machines.

    Meanwhile, Microsoft is also branching into creating original content beyond games, following the trend of other technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. Director Steven Spielberg will produce a TV series involving Microsoft’s popular “Halo” franchise.

    The conference didn’t really mention the release date of the Xbox One clearly, nonetheless a pre-order page from retailer Zavvi has given a £399 price tag and a ship date of the 30 November. So we can safely assume it to be the right release date.