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Microsoft's Xbox One is here - the game console wars begins

The PlayStation 4 may have made a big splash last week, but Microsoft strikes back with Microsoft’s new console -- the Xbox One -- releases Friday, between the Sony PlayStation 4's US debut on 15 November and its UK release on 29 November.

What both Microsoft and Sony have to do is convince the player to stump for not only new hardware, but also also begin an entirely new software library.

Xbox One games look and feel incredibly real, with cinematic gameplay that rivals Hollywood. Watch TV or chat with friends on Skype while you play, and keep on playing while smarter matchmaking happens behind the scenes. With Xbox One, you can snap two things side-by-side on your TV, and switch from one to another instantly. Cloud-powered and built for the digital age, Xbox One is designed to keep getting better over time.

Xbox One delivers an all-new gaming and entertainment experience that will transform how you play.
The Xbox One has more powerful graphics than the 360 model and now sports a Blu-ray drive rather than DVD drive on the 360 model. It has a 500GB hard disk drive for storage and ships with a sophisticated Kinect sensor system that tracks players' movement and speech and also serves as a high definition video camera for the included Skype videoconferencing app.

The Sony PlayStation 4 also has more powerful graphics than its predecessor and sports a Blu-ray player, 500GB disk drive.

Both systems can connect to tablets and smartphones and use them as a second screen for games and other content. Both have online music, video and app stores.

The Xbox One has an improved Kinect motion sensor but slightly less raw processing power than Sony's rival console. Sony PS4 has an optional camera that provides many of the body motion tracking and speech recognition features in Microsoft's Kinect sensor.

With Xbox One and an Xbox Live Gold membership, you can use Skype to voice chat with any platform that supports it. If Skype isn't supported (like on the Xbox 360), you'll still be able to see which of your friends is online and message them.

Depending on the game or app, you can control Xbox One using voice commands and gestures, a controller, a remote control or your Xbox One SmartGlass device. It is designed to interact with you in multiple ways. 

To turn off your Xbox One, just say "Xbox Off." This puts Xbox One into standby mode where it's only listening for the voice command, "Xbox On." You can also turn off your Kinect through the system settings, or you can simply unplug it. Xbox One does not require a Kinect to be plugged in for the system to function.