This past Friday saw the launch of the Xbox One video game console in the US. However, it doesn’t feel quite fair to simply refer to the Xbox One as a “video game console”; the Xbox One is much more than that, or at least for the time being, aims to be much more than that. The console aims to be the main hub in your home through which you consume all of your media.
The Xbox One is an extremely powerful machine that has a built-in Kinect. If you’re not familiar with the Kinect technology, it’s essentially a camera+microphone combo built into the system that is able to track motion with a pretty good degree of accuracy, and also respond to voice commands from the user. Microsoft’s goal when creating the XB1 was to make it something that would be essential for any good home media set-up. If you so choose, you’ll be able to control all of your media (be it DVD or blu-ray player, cable/satellite box, etc) through the system, and Microsoft is especially hoping you’ll do that with the voice recognition technology of the Kinect. With just the sound of your voice, you can have the XB1 change the channel, bring up picture-in-a-picture, Skype a friend, etc. The possibilities are truly endless, and the technology is certainly exciting as it adds just another hands-on layer to our already rapidly expanding technological world. As expected, at launch the console has a few issues that need to be ironed out before it’s a viable option to completely take over one’s home media set-up, but once the issues are completely fixed and the Xbox One is running at its full potential, the living rooms of many will be completely wowed by just how much the machine can do.