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Live Blog: Live From The Reveal Of Microsoft’s Next-Generation Xbox

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Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 7.00.07 AM

It’s Xbox day! Almost exactly 8 years after the announcement of the Xbox 360, Microsoft is back with another one.

We’re live on the ground at Microsoft’s Xbox campus in Redmond, where the company is about to show its next-generation console for the very first time. We’ll be bringing you the news as it breaks with our up-to-the-second liveblog. Join us, won’t you?

The event is scheduled to start at 10 am Pacific (1 pm Eastern), but be sure to tune in a bit early — lets say… 9:30 am? Connectivity allowing, we’ll be bringing you photos and commentary fresh from the scene..

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201311:04 am

And, that’s a wrap! Following the CoD video, the lights came up and we got the boot. Thanks for tuning in. If you enjoyed the show, be sure to say hey on Twitter!

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201311:03 am

Here’s the trailer:

Matt Burns May 21, 201311:03 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201311:03 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201311:03 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201311:02 am

We’re watching a video of Ghosts, said rendered with the in-game engine. It looks pretty dang amazing, again.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201311:01 am

The video compares the dogs of MW3 to the dogs of Ghosts; the arms of the player; the environments. The gist: things look better.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201311:00 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201311:00 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:59 am

They’re rolling into a video comparing Modern Warfare 3 to Ghosts

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:59 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:58 am

“Even with all of this stuff we’re bringing to the new COD, we’re still running at 60FPS, with low latency controls. It’s a great feeling”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:57 am

“Another new feature: character customization. You can choose the head, choose the body, choose the helmet and the armor”

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:57 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:57 am

“With the new ‘mantle’ system, when you run up to a low wall — boom! You just jump over. You can lean out from walls. Everything has AI now; when you’re underwater, the fish will swim around you and avoid you.”

Guys! Fish!

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:56 am

“With this new call of duty, we’ve introduced a new character to your squad: a dog. We’ve had dogs in CoD before, but not like this. This dog is a member of your team — he sniffs out bombs, and helps your squad survive”

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:55 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:55 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:55 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:55 am

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:54 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:54 am

We’re rolling into a video about the development of Call Of Duty Ghosts

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:53 am

“I think the whole world expected me to come out here and just show Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 4. We didn’t want to do the safe thing, we wanted to do the right thing. So i’m here to show you Call Of Duty Ghosts. It’s a whole new world, a whole new plot, a whole new cast of characters”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:53 am

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision has taken the stage to show “the next generation of Call Of Duty”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:52 am

One more lil’ exclusive for MSFT: all Call Of Duty downloadable content will launch first exclusively on Xbox One.

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:52 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:52 am

Microsoft will be sharing more details, focusing primarily on the games, at E3 in just a few weeks.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:51 am

Yep, no launch date set in stone

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:51 am

“I’m pleased to announce we’ll be launching the Xbox One around the world ‘later this year’

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:51 am

“I want to thank you for joining us today. We want to be the all-in-one system for the living room. The place where your games and entertainment come alive. We’ve shared the magic and science behind our system, and a small taste of the games on the way”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:49 am

Xbox One’s NFL partnership will bring exclusive NFL content to Smart Glass, along with integrated fantasy football. As shown before, it’ll automatically track your fantasy metrics and update you on screen as your league players score.

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:48 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:47 am

“For years now, the leading edge of Xbox’s tv experience has been live sports. We’re determined to make even more innovation there. It’s my pleasure to introduce a game changing partnership with the NFL”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:46 am

“For me, the Halo universe is the perfect place to be at the intersection of where technology and myth making meet”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:46 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:45 am

Whoa, Steven Spielberg is involved

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:45 am

“It’s been inspiring to see television become a medium to tell deep, evolving stories. Today, along with Nancy, I’m thrilled to announce a live action Halo televsion series”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:45 am

“Halo has always been more than a game. It’s an amazing experience that takes place in a rich, deeply connected universe.”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:44 am

Bonnie Ross, head of 343 — the folks who make Halo now — has taken the stage.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:43 am

“Until now, the TV experience has been a one-way experience. That’s about to change. For the first time ever, TV will be truly personalized to your tastes and needs. Only on Xbox will TV become social, driven by the community of 10s of millions on Xbox Live. Xbox is about to become the next water cooler.”

It’s a blu-ray player AND a water cooler? Gasp!

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:43 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:42 am

Nancy Tellem, MSFT’s entertainment and digital media pres, has taken the stage to talk about the Xbox One’s TV functionality.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:41 am

“We have more titles in development now than any other time in xbox history. We’ll have 15 exclusives on Xbox One in the first year, 8 of those being completely new franchises”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:41 am

They’re showing a real-world video of a lady and a young girl talking.

“What is it that makes you so different?”

“Are you sure you want to know?”, says the little girl, as she touches the older lady behind the ear.

Explosions! Things flying around! Glass everywhere! Cut to the Quantum Break logo.

Oh. That explains things.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:39 am

“This.. is Quantum Break.”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:39 am

“I’ve seen how developers are using the magic of this console to provide completely new experiences. Let me share a glimpse of the future of gaming, from the studio that invented bullet-time with Max Payne.”

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:38 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:38 am

Forza Motorsports 5 will be available at launch

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:38 am

Again: if this is realtime gameplay footage, it’s pretty great. Insane reflection mapping on the car, intense particle effects of confetti falling everywhere, and lens flare. LENS FLARE EVERYWHERE!

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:37 am

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:36 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:36 am

The first franchise he’s talking about: Forza Motorsports 5

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:36 am

“As the head of MSFT studios, I oversee the work of talented teams around the globe. These teams are hard at work right now, using all of the power brought by Xbox One, to amaze you and your friends and your family. All of you Xbox fans will get new, innovative games than ever before, along with all of your favorite franchises reimagined”

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:35 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:35 am

Microsoft Studios’ Phil Spencer has taken the stage to talk about the content coming to the Xbox One

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:34 am

On to gameplay footage of the four aforementioned games. If this is actual game play footage, it looks pretty fantastic.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:33 am

“We’ve built this new engine to allow players to make decisions with 4x as many computations per second.”

Not much in terms of solid details on the new engine yet. It’ll have “dynamic crowds”, and Xbox Live will stream in daily content “that affects the game play”

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:32 am

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:32 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:30 am

Now we’re watching a video of athletes talking about being athletes, interspersed with clips of EA games.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:30 am

They’ve built a new engine for their next generation of games: EA Sports Ignite.

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:29 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:29 am

All four will launch in the next 12 months

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:28 am

“We’re developing four games for Xbox One: Fifa 14, Maddren 25, NBA Live 14, and UFC”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:28 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:28 am

Electronic Art’s Andrew Wilson, head of EA Sports, is taking the stage

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:27 am

An “asynchronous” matchmaking mode lets you play one game, and search for multiplayer games in another

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:27 am

A new DVR function will allow you to record and share your game saves

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:27 am

On to the cloud functionality: Your media, your game saves, etc, will all be backed up to the cloud.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:26 am

“The new Xbox Live is built for Xbox One. It’s the same membership you have today, but more powerful and more intelligent. Today, we have 15,000 servers powering the Xbox Live experience.”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:25 am

I’m wondering what “Integrated Battery Compartment” means. Is that a fancy way of saying non-swappable batteries? (Update: Nope, battery is definitely swappable.)

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:24 am

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:24 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:24 am

On the new controller: they’ve overhauled the D-pad, and made the triggers markedly more sensitive

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:24 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:23 am

“The new kinect understands when you rotate your wrist. It knows when you’ve shifted weight to a different foot. When you’re exercising, it can read your heartbeat.”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:22 am

The new Kinect captures the world at 1080p.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:22 am

“It’s processing over 2 gigabits of data per second to understand your world. This is rocket science level stuff.”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:22 am

“You can switch to your game like it’s a TV channel flip. You can snap Internet Explorer right alongside your video. But how did it recognize Yusuf’s voice? We’re bring a whole new Kinect, overhauled to recognize your voice, and your gestures.”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:21 am

The first: the xbox architecture itself. Second: Windows. The third connects the two, enabling quick multi-tasking and instant switching.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:21 am

“The soul of the new Xbox is the Xbox One architecture — it’s like 3 operating systems in one”

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:20 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:20 am

The new Xbox One has 8GB of ram, a blu ray drive, 500 gb hdd, HDMI in/out, 802.11n wifi, an 8 core CPU, and USB 3.0

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:19 am

Microsoft’s Marc Whitten has taken the stage to talk about the “magic and science” of the Xbox One

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:18 am

“Xbox,Watch Sci-Fi”

it automatically switches to Sci-Fi

“Xbox, Watch CBS”

Again, it switches to CBS.

“Xbox, Trending”

It switches to a “Trending” screen, again showing the things that your friends are watching. This concept seems to be pretty ubiquitous on the new Xbox

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:18 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:17 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:17 am

“Xbox, Show Guide”

A live listing of all your cable provider’s TV shows fades in

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:16 am

Next up: ESPN and Fantasy.

“Xbox, sports”

A basketball game starts. As Lebron scores, he’s automatically updated of the change to his fantasy league.

“Xbox, Fantasy”

A slide-out drawer with his real-time fantasy sports metrics slides in.

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:16 am

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:15 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:15 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:14 am

Yusuf goes back to his playing video. A skype call comes in. “Xbox, answer call”

The skype call slides in from the right, the video still playing, albeit quieter.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:14 am

Next up: Skype.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:14 am

On Left, a playing video. On right, the “snap” mode Internet Explorer window.

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:13 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:13 am

Next up: “Snap” mode.

“Xbox, Snap mode, Internet explorer”

An IE window appears next to the video he’s playing.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:13 am

“Here’s an example of how i can get back to the homescreen from any media”

He spreads his hands, “grabs” the air, and pinches it. The video shrinks down, and he’s back at the home screen.

Damn, this is smooth.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:12 am

“Xbox, internet explorer”

Boop, it’s switched to IE.

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:12 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:11 am

He says, “Xbox, watch TV”

It switches to live TV.

“Xbox, Game.”

It switches to a game.

“Xbox, Watch TV”

back to the TV.

It’s all voice controlled, and absolutely instant.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:11 am

A trending screen shows content thats popular amongst your friends and the xbox community at large.

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:11 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:11 am

The new interface looks quite similar to the interface you’ve growned accustomed to on the 360. At launch, you’re on the “My Pins” section — a screen dedicated to your favorite apps.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:10 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:09 am

He says “Xbox On” — it turns on, recognizes his voice, and automatically logs him into his profile

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:09 am

“What if this one device could talk to all of the devices in your living room?”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:09 am

Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi has taken the stage

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:08 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:08 am

“We’ve obsessed over every detail here.In every step of the way, we focused on simplicity and perfection.”

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:08 am

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:08 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:07 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:07 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:06 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:06 am

“XBOX ONE”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:06 am

“Today, we’re thrilled to unveil the ultimate, all-in-one entertainment system. The one that makes your tv more intelligent. The one for the new generation. Ladies and gentleman..”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:05 am

“Can we take what you love, and make it better? Can we take a living that has become too slow and fragmented, to harmonize your experiences? Team xbox is on a new mission: to design and build an all-in-one system for games, movies, and entertainment.”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:05 am

“Today, we look forward. Incredible shifts are happening across games and entertainment. Audiences are spending their time enjoying different content, from games to movies. The living room has changed radically in the last 8 years, with the addition of the cloud, voice and gesture, and more devices.”

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:05 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:03 am

Matt Burns May 21, 201310:03 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:03 am

“More than a decade ago, Xbox put the most advanced hardware into the hands of developers. We made an early bet on hardware, and it gets better every day”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:03 am

Microsoft’s Don Mattrick, head of the interactive entertainment group, is on stage.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:02 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:02 am

“It’s going to remember my name, my face. It’s going to set my dreams free. We’ll laugh more, scream more, cheer more. Start feeling.. alive!”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:01 am

Techno, be-gone! We’ve cut to a video of the Xbox team explaining why they built the Xbox. “The more of you we put it games, the better it became. We’re about to change entertainment forever, again!”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 201310:00 am

“As a courtesy to your fellow attendees, please silence your cellular devices”

Aaaand, back to the boomin’ techno!

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:59 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:59 am

There we go, the video has started. So far, it’s just a synthesizer boomin’ to the beat of the aforementioned techno.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:58 am

Now they’re just playing some groovy techno. It looked like they were about to roll into a video, but nothing started playing. Hrm.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:58 am

We’re just discussing the plans for today’s announcement so far.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:57 am

“We’ve been working for the last 4 years on the next Xbox, and I’m so glad you can join us here today”

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:56 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:56 am

Here we go!

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:55 am

Five more minutes!

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:51 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:48 am

According to comments from Microsoft earlier this week, today’s announcement will be focused mainly on the hardware side of things. They’ve got a separate event at E3 in a few weeks where they’re focusing on games.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:47 am

If you’re just tuning in, we’re live at Microsoft’s Redmond campus for the announcement of their next Xbox. The show is scheduled to start in just 10 min.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:44 am

The room is pretty.. intimate, for a big hardware reveal. It’s standing room only, but it’s a pretty small room. Looks like they invited maybe 150 people, tops.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:44 am

I’m in, I’m seated, and we’re just waiting for the show to start. Your live bloggin’ host for today is Greg Kumparak, who has a most excellent Twitter that you can find here.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:42 am

Uh oh, WiFi is already tanking. Go Go Gadget Backups!

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:40 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:39 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:37 am

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:37 am

You can’t tell, but people are totally running for seats in this picture. Except for the dude staring at the camera. He thinks we’re crazy.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:35 am

Doors open! Run! Everyone panic!

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:23 am

Ah-hah! We’ve started a revolution! Our line clump evolved into an actual, real line! We should be entering the building soon. The show starts at 10 am.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20139:04 am

We’re still outside, albeit now in a sort of line-clump. They kept telling everyone to line up somewhere different, so we all collectively decided to just stand at the front door. Fight the power! (With passive aggression)

We should be let in within about 30 min, with the event scheduled to start at 10 am.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:49 am

Looks like folks are at least trying to get a line started out there. I guess I’ll go line up. In the cold. IN THE RAIN. The things I do for you, Internet friends.

(Just kidding, I love the rain. My laptop probably doesn’t, though.)

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:45 am

Reminder: The event begins at roughly 10 a.m. pacific. We’re live on the ground now, though, and will be bringing you photos of what’s going on around these parts.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:43 am

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. Most of the press is huddled in a lil’ on-campus cafe about 100 yards away

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:41 am

The press folk are startin’ to roll up.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:38 am

Reminder: The event begins at roughly 10 a.m. pacific. We’re live on the ground now, though, and will be bringing you photos of what’s going on around these parts.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:36 am

Greg: I poked around that big tent a whole bunch in search of some forgotten promotional signage or an unguarded back door. No such luck. I did, however, get glared at by a bunch of mean looking security guards. So there’s that.

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:33 am

All badged up!

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:32 am

The big ol’ tent on the MSFT campus where today’s event is going down:

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:27 am

Hey, we’re live!

This is normally where I’d say “Aaaand we’re live in the beautiful [city name here]…”, but.. well, it’s not very beautiful today. It’s actually pretty friggin’ cold and rainy. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE EVER TELL ME ITS RAINY IN SEATTLE?!

Greg Kumparak May 21, 20138:27 am

Testing, testing. We live?