By Ryan Smith
6:27 PM CDT, May 21, 2013
It's called Xbox One? Really? Microsoft’s math is slightly off in naming its third console, but the use of the loneliest number highlights the computing giant’s clear intention to market the new Xbox as an all-in-one entertainment device.
“Where all of your entertainment comes alive in one place,” is how Microsoft’s Don Mattrick described it on stage during Tuesday’s unveiling of the new Xbox at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
Beyond a brief look at the next gen “Call of Duty” and a few sports Titles, few video games were shown during the hour-long presentation. Instead, viewers were told how cable television, Skype, sports programming and web browsing could all be enhanced with Xbox One.
It might sound strange for The System That Master Chief Built to make video games ride in the backseat, but it’s likely a sound strategy for 2013 and beyond. When Microsoft first started selling the Xbox 360 in 2005, smartphones and tablets didn’t exist and Facebook was just an obscure website used mostly by college kids.
These days, the console game market is eroding thanks to "Angry Birds," "League of Legends" and countless other gaming choices offered by other emerging platforms. Game sales fell from almost $11 billion in 2011 to below $9 billion in 2012, according to NPD Group, and Nintendo’s Wii U sales have been near disastrous lately. Microsoft’s Xbox One feels like a concerted effort to broaden the company’s base with an all-purpose device.
But then what the heck does it do, exactly? Here are a few highlights:
Hardcore gamers may be disappointed with what they've seen so far, but Xbox One holds a lot of promise as a device capable of consolidating all of your consumption of movies, TV, music and games into one big, black rectangle.
Ryan Smith is a RedEye special contributor.
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