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Tuesday , 12 December 2017
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Xbox One launch: Microsoft offers more details on its next-gen console

With the launch date for the Xbox One coming up fast, Microsoft is showing off more of the features that next-generation console will offer users on launch day.

In a lengthy company blog post, Microsoft listed 10 non-gaming features on the new console, expanding on its existing strategy to market the Xbox One as an all-in-one entertainment device rather than simply a gadget for gamers.

Many of the features are focused on how the Xbox interacts with users’ televisions, such as voice controls that allow users to tell the console to “go to ESPN” or to change the volume. Users can also watch Live TV on the Xbox through a connection to the cable or satellite box, which Microsoft notes could eliminate that annoying need to switch TV inputs.

Microsoft also highlighted the computing power of the Xbox One, such as its ability to run multiple apps side-by-side, ala Windows 8, and to use Skype. All of those features, Xbox staff wrote on the blog, are meant to make the console switch quickly from gaming to non-gaming uses.

And it announced a handful of TV apps that will work with the Xbox One, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Twitch, HBO Go, FiOS and the NFL. The console will have a personalized entertainment guide that shows users what programs are available on live TV, and over apps, to cut down on search time.

Finally, the company unveiled a bit more about how its SmartGlass app, which works on tablets and smartphones, will let the console integrate with mobile devices. Users can check in on the achievements and game progress they’ve made on their Xbox Live accounts through the app, but they’ll also be able to navigate the console’s menus and search for content and pin it to their Xbox One home screen while they’re out of the house. The app will work on Windows 8, Window Phone 8, iOS and Android devices and will launch on the same day as the Xbox One.

The console will be in stores on Nov. 22, a week after its rival for the holiday season, the PlayStation 4, hits shelves Nov. 15.

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