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Xbox One Launches: Fans Line up for Microsoft's Gaming System

By Michael Mullins   |   Friday, 22 Nov 2013 09:36 AM

Xbox One hit stores on Friday for $499 each and the launch was met with fanfare and long lines in cities around the world as eager gamers had counted down the minutes before they could get their hands on Microsoft's latest video console.

The Xbox One release comes one week after Sony released its PlayStation4, which costs $399 each. PlayStation4 sold more than one million game consoles in the first 24 hours last Friday.

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"The strategy is really to do two things: to build a best-in-class device for gaming (and) the first really all-in-one entertainment system," Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft senior vice president of interactive entertainment, told USA Today.

The Xbox One replaces the Xbox 360, which over the past eight years has sold more than 76 million systems worldwide.

The "all-in-one entertainment system" allows users to seamlessly switch between games, movies and TV shows with voice commands, in contrast to Nintendo's Wii U and other systems that require the users to press buttons. Marc Whitten, Microsoft's chief production officer of interactive entertainment business, described the system's voice command feature a "lag-free instant experience."

Another modification to Xbox One is its improved camera-based Kinect system that has better motion and voice detection. The sensor will allow the system to effectively recognize the user's involvement, even measuring their heart rate through apps when using Xbox Fitness, a suite of fitness videos that incorporates Kinect, USA Today noted.

Another new feature of the gaming console is its redesigned controller that is said to have 40 innovations. According to its lead designer Quintin Morris, the controller was "designed for gamers, by gamers."

The new wireless controller includes a new impulse trigger that "delivers fingertip vibration feedback, so you can feel every jolt and crash in high definition," redesigned thumbsticks, and a revamped D-pad (the cross section) to "provide greater precision," according to Xbox.com.

The Xbox One controller features redesigned contours, a grip surface that wraps around much of its base to provide a more comfortable fit in the user's hands, and a new expansion port that allows for a "high speed data transfer [and] clearer chat audio when using a compatible headset."

Additionally, the new Xbox One controller has new technology that allows for friends to exchange controllers and the system will recognize the player has changed so long as they are in view of the Xbox console.

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Though the new game console was released Friday, gamers in Times Square began lining up on Thursday to secure an Xbox One.

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