Nov. 22 (UPI) — Microsoft’s highly-anticipated Xbox One turned the world green with its midnight launch, and while Sony’s new PlayStation 4 drew avid gamers to its release last week, the Xbox One competes with a strong appeal to non-gamers with home entertainment features.
This is the largest Xbox launch, and the first time two competitors released at the same time. Microsoft’s last launch was in 2005 with the Xbox 360. Yet the Xbox One release was somewhat smaller than expected, as the company hoped to hit 21 countries Friday but cut eight of them to focus on bigger markets like the U.S., U.K., Brazil and Germany.
It was launched in Times Square Friday but also across a number of major cities in 13 countries. When it comes to games, both consoles aim to deliver original games and original content.
But the Xbox One, priced at $499, or $100 more than its Sony competitor, is looking to hit a wider audience. It’s indicative of the struggling video game industry, showing that gaming systems need to do more than run games.
The Xbox One aims to be “the best gaming console” and “best all-in-one entertainment device,” Yusuf Mehdi, Xbox chief marketing officer, told Bloomberg. “The living room becomes personalized,” changing the way TV is used. The system allows users to perform multiple functions at the same time, like watch TV and play video games simultaneously.
The PS4 streams original content and also aims to be more than a gaming console, but does not integrate with TVs in the same way.
Microsoft’s prime feature, the Kinect, is a motion sensor introduced with the Xbox 360. It’s now updated with voice recognition that also integrates with your television, letting you change the channel or volume through voice. It also carries an operating system outside of gaming, a version of Windows 8, to use Skype and Hulu and function more like a computer.
Sony says it sold 1 million devices in 24 hours. Microsoft is expected to sell as vigorously.