Microsoft yesterday unveiled the successor to their Xbox 360 console, the Xbox One, during a live stream reveal.In short, the new Xbox One is a fully-fledged media hub, practically replacing anything else you'd need for entertainment via your TV and augmenting the experience with various integrated features, such as:

  • TV on Xbox One: Navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One. Microsoft is committed to bringing live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available.
  • Home: Turn on your entertainment system with two powerful words, “Xbox On,” and a custom-tailored Home dashboard welcomes you with your favourite games, TV and entertainment.
  • Snap: Do two things at once on the biggest screen in your home. Use Snap to jump into a multiplayer battle while watching your favourite movie, talk with friends on Skype while watching live TV, or track your fantasy team on TV as you watch the big game and more.
  • Skype for Xbox One: Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in stunning HD, or for the first time ever, hold group Skype calls on your TV.
  • Trending: Stay on top of what is hot on TV by discovering the entertainment that is popular among your friends, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.
  • OneGuide: Find your favourite entertainment easily, searching by network, name or time, all with the sound of your voice and presented in a tailored program guide.

I know what you're all thinking; it still does games, right? Well, Microsoft was a bit sparse on this one, as they announced a plethora of sport titles such as Forza Motorsport 5, Fifa 14, Madden NFL 25, NBA Live 14 and EA Sports UFC.

Microsoft however did announce some REAL games such as Call of Duty: Ghosts that showed off some freaky hands, a dog, and some cutting edge dirt under fingernails technology.

 photo COD--Ghosts_zps1da8c3c3.jpgThere will also be a new game called Quantum Break that's being made by the creators of Max Payne and Alan Wake, as well as a Halo TV series that will feature Steven Spielberg as its executive producer (So expect plenty of “Failed father to his children, but finds redemption through heroic intervention during a disaster” subplots). The TV series is said to utilize unique interactive features on the Xbox One.

XBLA will still continue, however with the difference it will be powered via a more powerful cloud service. There will be some new features to aid the live experience (or perpetuate the community of woman-hating 14 year olds):

    Smart Match: A new Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you are enjoying other activities — reputation fundamentally matters and helps find best matches.
  • Game DVR: A dedicated Game DVR captures and accesses your magic moments, all saved to the cloud. Along with sharing tools, you will have the most amazing bragging rights with Xbox Live.
  • Living Games: Dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.
  • Expanded achievements: A new and expanded achievements system captures video of your epic moments, continues to grow a game’s achievements over time and rewards you in new ways, and your Gamerscore carries over from Xbox 360.
  • Xbox SmartGlass: Xbox SmartGlass is natively part of the Xbox One platform, built in from the beginning with the ability to quickly render content directly onto your device, and now more devices can connect at one time for multiplayer and shared entertainment.

With the console sometime out later this year, I had to check what some gamers were saying about it, and obviously the most predominant criticism apparent on the official Xbox One facebook page is "what about gaming?", with some fans slightly miffed that Microsoft has concentrated on the media aspect of the console, leaving gaming as a secondary function.

Obviously, it's still early days and more details will be revealed about the console and a full list of titles will probably be made available at E3 on June 10th.