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Questions linger for new Xbox

Can latest console attract gamers?

  • A group of visiting journalists try out the improved motion-detecting capabilities of the new Kinect controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. The new Kinect, which will come standard with the Xbox One can also see users in total darkness and has a wider field of view than the previous Kinect device in use with the Xbox 360. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    A group of visiting journalists try out the improved motion-detecting capabilities of the new Kinect controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. The new Kinect, which will come standard with the Xbox One can also see users in total darkness and has a wider field of view than the previous Kinect device in use with the Xbox 360. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A group of visiting journalists try out the improved motion-detecting capabilities of the new Kinect controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. The new Kinect, which will come standard with the Xbox One can also see users in total darkness and has a wider field of view than the previous Kinect device in use with the Xbox 360. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    A group of visiting journalists try out the improved motion-detecting capabilities of the new Kinect controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. The new Kinect, which will come standard with the Xbox One can also see users in total darkness and has a wider field of view than the previous Kinect device in use with the Xbox 360. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • The new controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown front and center with older-generation controllers behind it, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    The new controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown front and center with older-generation controllers behind it, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • The new controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown front and center with older-generation controllers behind it, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    The new controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown front and center with older-generation controllers behind it, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A controller for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display after its unveiling Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    A controller for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display after its unveiling Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A controller for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display after its unveiling Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    A controller for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display after its unveiling Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 photo shows a rear view of Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console, on display at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 photo shows a rear view of Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console, on display at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 photo shows a rear view of Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console, on display at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 photo shows a rear view of Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console, on display at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Marc Whitten, Microsoft Corp.'s chief production officer of interactive entertainment, talks about the controller of the next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    Marc Whitten, Microsoft Corp.'s chief production officer of interactive entertainment, talks about the controller of the next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Marc Whitten, Microsoft Corp.'s chief production officer of interactive entertainment, talks about the controller of the next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    Marc Whitten, Microsoft Corp.'s chief production officer of interactive entertainment, talks about the controller of the next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A group of visiting journalists try out the improved motion-detecting capabilities of the new Kinect controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. The new Kinect, which will come standard with the Xbox One can also see users in total darkness and has a wider field of view than the previous Kinect device in use with the Xbox 360. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
  • A group of visiting journalists try out the improved motion-detecting capabilities of the new Kinect controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. The new Kinect, which will come standard with the Xbox One can also see users in total darkness and has a wider field of view than the previous Kinect device in use with the Xbox 360. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
  • The new controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown front and center with older-generation controllers behind it, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
  • The new controller for Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is shown front and center with older-generation controllers behind it, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
  • A controller for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display after its unveiling Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
  • A controller for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system is on display after its unveiling Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
  • This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 photo shows a rear view of Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console, on display at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
  • This Tuesday, May 21, 2013 photo shows a rear view of Microsoft Corp.'s next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console, on display at an event in Redmond, Wash. The Xbox One, a next-generation entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment, will go on sale later this year. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
  • Marc Whitten, Microsoft Corp.'s chief production officer of interactive entertainment, talks about the controller of the next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
  • Marc Whitten, Microsoft Corp.'s chief production officer of interactive entertainment, talks about the controller of the next-generation Xbox One entertainment and gaming console system, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at an event in Redmond, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Will gamers want One?

After four years of development, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One entertainment console and touted it as an all-in-one solution for playing games, watching TV and doing everything in between. Microsoft wants the Xbox One to be central to your living room and packed the new Xbox with such features as the ability to change TV channels through voice commands.

Although the device won’t go on sale until later this year, at a price that hasn’t been disclosed, Microsoft invited attendees of Tuesday’s announcement event to take a closer look.

Many particulars about the Xbox One could change between now and when it’s released. The specific date hasn’t been revealed. More details are expected at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles next month.

For now, the system looks to be a thoughtful piece of technology, but there’s still a lot that isn’t known.

DESIGN: With contrasting matte and gloss finishes, the Xbox One is the slickest video game console so far, although we don’t yet know what Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 will look like. The Xbox’s outer shell, which Microsoft calls “liquid black,” features vented flourishes and multiple USB ports and HDMI pass-throughs.

KINECT: The new version of the Xbox’s camera-based Kinect system comes with better motion and voice detection, including the ability to recognize faces, tell if you’re smiling or talking and gauge your heart rate. It appears as sexy as the Xbox console, but has been overhauled under the hood. It’s three times more sensitive and has a larger, 60-degree field of view. The basic motion detection appears vastly improved, but the voice detection feature wasn’t made available to try out.

PERFORMANCE: The system seems to work harmoniously together. For example, by combining the Kinect’s face detection ability with the machine’s wireless controllers, it recognized – almost magically – when users swapped controllers.

REQUIREMENTS: There’s a possibility that key Xbox One features won’t work as well or at all without an internet connection. The Kinect system is required and will come with the machine, rather than sold separately as has been the case with the Xbox 360.

LIMITATIONS: Xbox 360 games won’t work on the Xbox One because the underlying technology is different, according to Microsoft. Microsoft was vague about how the Xbox One will handle previously played games bought from other gamers, though it confirmed used games will work somehow.

GAMES: What games? Despite the fact that such titles as Call of Duty: Ghosts, FIFA 14 and Forza Motorsport 5 were teased during Tuesday’s presentation, actual games weren’t available to try out afterward. Microsoft said it plans to focus on Xbox One titles in three weeks at E3, the gaming industry’s annual convention in Los Angeles.

The Xbox One shows promise with a sleek shell and a new Kinect. But with a lack of games and lingering questions about what it can do without an internet connection, there are many unknowns about the console.

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