Xbox ONE Launch: Live. Simultaneously in Seattle and London

Here’s a ‘Blow by Blow’ Account fo Microsoft’s Xbox ONE Launch.


Check it our here in reverse chronology…


Xbox One launch: as it happened.

Xbox One Launch
The latest updates as Microsoft launches its new Xbox console, the Xbox One, simultaneously in Seattle and London.

The new Xbox will be seen for the first time on May 21 at Microsoft’s headquarters in Washington state, US
Xbox One hardware is seen during a press event unveiling Microsoft’s new Xbox in Redmond, Washington.

• ‘Snap mode’ allows users to run two programmes at once
• Xbox One can read your heartbeat
• New games FIFA 14, NBA Live, UFC, Madden
• Voice and facial recognition control the Xbox One
• Interactive music series launches ahead of Xbox
• Tweet us with your thoughts @telegraphtech
• ‘Reveal’ begins at 6pm BST and 10am PST
• Watch live

19.40 Thanks for joining us as we wrap up the blog.

19.32 So, to summarise:

We have a new Xbox console, the Xbox One, which is controlled by motion, face recognition and voice activation.

It allows you to simultaneously Skype a friend and browse for music, or play a game and watch television (if you have eyes that move quick enough).

Game players on Xbox Live are matched together not only through their choice of game but also their consumption of films, music and television.

You can switch the console on, off and command it to start a game or show live television with your voice.

It can read your heart beat.

A partnership with EA Games will yield four new titles exclusive to Xbox: FIFA 14, NBA Live, UFC and Madden.

Much loved video game franchise Halo is now a television series in its own right, streamed to premium subscribers on Xbox One.

An exclusive partnership with the NFl will bring football fans an exlcusive game that makes use of the console’s new engine later in the year.

19.25 We asked readers whether they agreed with Microsoft’s relentless focus on the television as the centre of entertainment in a world of tablets and phones. Here are some of the responses, via Twitter.

19.03 Some grabs from Call of Duty: Ghosts, including a silhouette of a dog character, apparently based on a real-life US Navy SEAL dog.

18.56 Call of Duty adds to the “most obvious games” but also “bestselling games” lineup. Call of Duty: Ghosts will launch first on Xbox One, and apparently focuses on “emotional fidelity”. Really?

18.54 Xbox One will launch “later this year”, but this is just the beginning. E3 conference will reveal exclusive blockbuster Xbox One games.

18.51 American football section. rest of the world: take a breath.

18.49 HALO will be relaunched as a premium TV series, and Steven Spielberg has some involvement in it, judging by his appearance in a promotional video.

18.45 Microsoft believes the television is still “the most important screen” in the house. Is this now a minority view?

18.41 “We have more titles in development now than at any other time in Xbox history. 15 exclusive games in the first year of Xbox One, eight of which are new franchises”.

18.34 I have a selection of grabs here from EA Games’ new titles for Xbox One:




NBA Live

18.29 Andrew Wilson of EA Games is talking us through a “new partnership” in sports games with the maker of FIFA.

Four new titles: FIFA 14, NBA Live, UFC, Madden

18.26 New Xbox Live details: “More powerful, more personal”. Matchmaking will pair you up with people as you watch TV and as you play games.

Plus: 500GB HD out of the box and Blu-ray

18.23 We are now hearing about the three operating systems in one that make up the Xbox One: Xbox OS, Kernal of Windows and a layering system that allows instant switching between the two.

18.19 Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, leaves the stage after describing the interactive TV features.

18.18 Matt Warman offers his snap analysis: “Voice and gesture recognition is impressive and so is Skype but so far this is iterative improvement rather than revolutionary”.

18.16 Xbox One’s ‘Snap mode’ allows users to watch a film and doing something else (in this case, Skype a friend) simultaneously.

18.15 You can Skype (also owned by Microsoft) through Xbox, and hold group video calls.

18.13 The voice activated software also allows a user to scroll across applications, including games, television and music.

Switching from TV to gaming to music is just like changing a channel on your television.

18.11 The Kinect camera, once it recognises you, logs you in. Live TV can be called up by saying “XBox, Live TV”. Voice-activated software.

18.09 First look:


18.06 Name confirmed: Xbox ONE

18.03 Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, has appeared. “We’ve spent the last four years working on the next generation Xbox,” he tells the audience.

He asks: “Can we take what you love and make it better?” after running through the achievements of Xbox so far.

18.01 We start with a video presentation of how exciting the Xbox is, with the emphasis on “you” – “We’re about to change entertainment forever, again,” Microsoft tells us.

“You and your TV are going to have a relationship.”

17.58 OK here we go.

17.55 A nice detail from Matt Hickey of Forbes: Google in the House of Microsoft. He says: “Number of Google Glass spotted so far: 2”

17.48 The Xbox live stream doesn’t appear to be enabled for tablets. This says rather a lot more than it ought to…

17.45 15 minutes to go…

17.26 TechCrunch are still blogging about the line they are standing in. Our other main rival today, The Independent, is giving us info on The Music Room, the interactive Xbox Gold show that we at Telegraph Tech wrote about at around 11am. On that note, Telegraph Tech is getting a bar of generic non-branded confectionery, unnamed as part of our fearless commitment to impartiality.

17.13 And commenter Aidan, Nevins makes the point that many are asking as we glimpse into the video game future: what about tablets and mobile?

“I want to see the XBLA [Xbox Live Arcade] turned into the [Apple] AppStore,” he says below the line.

“Get millions of small individual apps created by developers who dont need to pay huge licensing fees. Use the rock band method.

“Have a store with EA, activision,Etc then another for small independent companies and occasionally bump up a small company and give them the spotlight, hell you might get the next minecraft to be xbox exclusive.”

It’s a view backed up by industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls of IHS Electronics and Media, who says Microsoft’s lack of movement on mobile risks choking the company.

Quote Microsoft must aggressively support competing smartphone platforms with its new Xbox strategy because of the weakness of its own mobile efforts,” he says. “In 2013, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android will together represent 91 per cent of the installed base of smartphones worldwide.

By contrast, Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will decline to just three per cent of the smartphone base from its 20 per cent share in 2005, the year the Xbox 360 launched.”

17.07 Matt Warman, the human face of Telegraph Tech, is with us from the London event as soon as his legs can get him there. If you happen to be there yourself he looks something like this, but without the disfiguring glasses.

17.04 The Playstation Europe Twitter account has been on mischievous form, tweeting its blurry trailer of a faraway box that may or may not be a PS4 with the line “As it’s a slow news day…”

16.56 Our first commenter offers this thoughtful gobbet: “Don’t you mean the new Spybox 720. Always on internet required, motion (spy) camera always on. Anyone with an IQ>50 knows MS is in bed with the FEDS”. Thanks for your time, Timmy225.

16.46 Chaotic scenes in Redmond, Washington as the frenzied press pack jostle for space in a line that is sneaking all the way around the… door.

Courtesy of TechCrunch

According to TechCrunch, the mournful image here, just over an hour ahead of launch, is due to cold temperatures. “Usually there’d be a line around the tent at this point, but it seems the cold has scared people away from getting here too early.” OK then.

16.32 A bit of expert commentary here from James McQuivey at Forrester Research, who studies this sort of thing for a living and is therefore much better qualified than myself to comment. Here’s what he has to say:

Quote Gaming is on the rise: More people will play more games for more minutes on more devices than ever before. But ironically even as gaming rises, the Xbox will only continue its growth by moving beyond gaming.

Xbox Live Gold members already spend a majority of console time not with gaming but with video. The opportunity for Microsoft to deepen its customer relationship with this next Xbox is there, as long as it confidently reaches beyond the hardcore gamers Sony is so focused on, making its console more important for everything from gaming to video to shopping to home management.”

16.25 At least one person is very excited: the humanoid behind the Microsoft Surface Twitter account. I think that’s what’s called brand cross-pollination, kids. Let’s just hope the new Xbox sells better than its laptop-tablet cousin, eh?

16.15 Gaming fans may find it hard to believe it’s been eight years since the launch of the Xbox 360. That’s just shy of the length of the average marriage, at nine years.

The original Xbox debuted 12 years ago.


The Xbox 360 and Kinect controller

For the past two years, Microsoft has led the gaming industry in console sales with the Xbox 360. In April alone, consumers spent £137 million on Xbox hardware, software and accessories, more than rival consoles from Nintendo and Sony, according to market research firm NPD Group.

Big shoes to fill for the tech giant tonight, especially with the hotly-anticipated PS4 lurking in the wings.

16.09 The ‘reveal’, as tonight’s event is described, kicks off in earnest at 6pm UK time, and we will be streaming footage of it from Seattle.

16.07 What we know and suspect so far, from our own Tom Hoggins:

Quote Name The smart money for a name is on simply ‘Xbox’, an Apple-esque statement of intent. Microsoft has spent the last few years tirelessly positioning the ‘Xbox’ moniker at the forefront of gamer’s minds and it would make sense for them to put all their faith in the simple branding for their new machine.

Specs The leaked tech specs for the Next Xbox, codenamed Durango, suggest a blu-ray drive, an eight-core AMD CPU running at 1.6Ghz, 8GB of DDR3 Ram and an in-built hard drive.

Kinect The new version of Microsoft’s motion sensor technology Kinect is highly likely to be unveiled. There are even reports that the console will only operate when the camera is attached.

Console One thing we can be pretty confident of is that Microsoft will show off the console’s physical form. Sony came under a surprising amount of flak for not displaying the PS4’s casing at their reveal event.

Always connected Rumours have been circulating for months that the Next Xbox will be ‘always online’.

Plus… This reveal will not feature a litany of new games, as they prefer to save such fireworks for their E3 conference, and the business model for the Next Xbox will likely have to wait until at least E3, if not beyond.”

By Jennifer O’Mahony, and Matt Warman, The Telegraph