Gaming enthusiasts have flocked to central London for the launch of the hotly-anticipated Xbox One.
With the launch of Sony's PS4 next week, Microsoft has a head start on its rival in the run-up to Christmas for its all-in-one entertainment device.
The Xbox One - which goes on sale at midnight - costs £429.99
London's Leicester Square was transformed into a fantasy world overrun by zombies from and a Roman legion from Xbox games.
The Xbox One games console will launch on November 22, Microsoft has announced
Microsoft's first new gaming console in eight years will initially go on sale 13 countries, Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of marketing, strategy and business for the Xbox, said.
One week after the launch of rival Sony's Playstation 4 US launch, Xbox One will be on the shelves in the UK, US, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain and New Zealand.
The PS4 launches on November 29 in Europe.
Engadget's Darren Murph praised the Xbox One's "retro" aesthetics and Blu-ray capability but criticised the console's inability to play games from earlier models.
I love the almost-retro boxy look of the #Xbox One. Not sure I love its inability to play 360 games, though. Inclusion of Blu-ray rules.
"Microsoft's next-generation console is quite an ambitious product, promising to unifying absolutely everything you do in the living room," wrote Hunter Skipworth for pocket-lint.com.
Gizmodo's Kyle Wagner was impressed by the voice-activated channel and input switching.
"This will work via a HDMI pass-through, so this won’t replace your set-top box — rather, it reduces the number of controllers you have to use, and the input switching you have to do on your TV," he wrote.
The Xbox One console will be on sale by the end of 2013, Microsoft announced.
Microsoft hopes its powerful new Xbox One console will become a hub for living room entertainment.Read the full story ›
Microsoft announced key specifications for the new Xbox One:
- 8-Core CPU
- 8GB memory
- 500GB hard disk drive
- Blu-ray drive
- Wi-Fi direct
- USB 3.0
- 1080p wide camera
Microsoft demonstrated utilising a partnership with US sports broadcaster ESPN to display sports statistics and background using voice commands through the Xbox One.
Britain's ESPN channel has recently been acquired by BT Sport.
A Microsoft representative demonstrated switching between Internet Explorer, films, live TV, Skype and games using voice commands.
Microsoft has unveiled its latest Xbox games console in a live video on its website.
The new system is called the Xbox One and is designed for use as a social hub and television unit as well as a games console.
It replaces the Xbox 360, which shipped about 76 million consoles by the end of March.