Microsoft has released a few more tantalising details of what its new Xbox One console will offer when it launches at the end of this year, including instant user recognition (via the Kinect camera) that will enable personalised home screens filled with favourite games, apps and video content, all refreshed regularly via cloud updates.
While specifics are scanty at present, the US tech giant has also revealed in a marketing email to existing Xbox Live customers that the new console will wake up instantly when summoned by voice (“Xbox On”), and provide game downloads and updates in the background, without interrupting play.
In terms of TV, the new console will allow users to create their own personal channels by “pinning” their favourite shows and apps, and also see what TV shows their friends are watching most – a nod to the growing popularity of social TV services.
The Xbox One will support three-way Skype calls via the Kinect peripheral that will be included with every console sold, which will also enable users to browse the Web on a customised version of Internet Explorer using voice commands or the SmartGlass app for phones and tablets.
After Microsoft’s big unveiling of the new Xbox last week, Informa’s Paul Jackson, principal analyst for media platforms and ecosystems, commented that the launch “signalled the culmination of its ambitions to be at the centre of the future living tom entertainment landscape” – more details here.