The Xbox One is a home video game console developed by Microsoft. Announced on May 21, 2013, it is the successor to the Xbox 360 and the third console in the Xbox family, and was released on November 22, 2013 in North America, Europe (in some countries), Australia and Brazil, September 2, 2014 for other Europe countries, September 4, 2014 in Japan, and September 29, 2014 for Canada. It competes with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Nintendo’s Wii U as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles. It is the first Xbox game console to be released in China, specifically in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Microsoft marketed the device as an “all-in-one entertainment system”, which competed against other digital media players, such as the Apple TV and Google TV platforms.
Moving away from its predecessor’s PowerPC-based architecture, the Xbox One marks a shift back to the x86 architecture used in the original Xbox; it features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built around the x86-64 instruction set. The console places an increased emphasis on cloud computing and the integration of entertainment applications and services, offering the ability to overlay live television programming from an existing set-top box or a digital tuner for digital terrestrial television with an enhanced program guide, split-screen multitasking of applications, and improved second-screen support. The console optionally includes a redesigned Kinect sensor, marketed as the “Kinect 2.0”, providing improved motion tracking and voice recognition for use in its graphical user interface (GUI) and games. The Xbox One offers the ability for users to record and share “clips” from gameplay or live-stream directly to Twitch, Ustream, and other streaming platforms. The console’s controller was redesigned over the Xbox 360’s, with a redesigned body, D-pad and triggers capable of delivering directional haptic feedback, as well as the customization of the controller’s button input.
Prior to its official release, the Xbox One received mixed reviews; the entertainment-oriented features were praised, but controversy surrounded several policy changes since the Xbox 360’s release, including a proposed always-on digital rights management (DRM) system, and concerns over a mandate that the Kinect be used at all times. Microsoft retracted these changes prior to the launch, and it received mostly positive reception for its refined controller design, multimedia features, user interface, and voice navigation.