Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Gamers eager for Xbox One launch

The Xbox One is the successor to 2005's long-lasting Xbox 360

Gaming enthusiasts have flocked to central London for the launch of the hotly-anticipated Xbox One.

Leicester Square was transformed into a fantasy world overrun by zombies from Dead Rising 3 and a Roman legion from Ryse: Son Of Rome and gamers had a chance to try out Microsoft's new console.

With the launch of Sony's PS4 next week, Microsoft has a headstart 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 and is being launched alongside brand new games Forza Motorsport 5, the latest Dead Rising game and and Ryse: Son of Rome.

The newest games, including Fifa 14, Call Of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4 and Assassin's Creed: Black Flag are also available on the device.

Two gamers from London were among the first to play Fifa 14 on the console on a vast screen in Leicester Square.

Ahmed Sheik, 19, from Hackney, east London, said: "It was too realistic - but in a good way.

"It was sharp and the controller felt better."

His friend, Mohammed Hassan, 20, from Plaistow, east London, said: "The graphics were immense and the gameplay was brilliant. The perfect game."

Xbox One allows users to play games, watch TV shows, films and music, surf the web, and talk with family and friends via Skype, while recognising the sound of the user's voice to instantly switch between all entertainments.

A giant three-dimensional Xbox took centre-stage in Leicester Square in which British game developers showcased their new releases.

Christened "Xbone" by some gamers, the Xbox One is the successor to 2005's long-lasting Xbox 360 and the third device in the Xbox family after Microsoft entered the console market in 2001.

Similar events are taking place in New York and Los Angeles featuring music from Deadmau5 and rapper Macklemore, while actors in zombie costumes are invading Times Square.

The Xbox One has a 500GB hard drive, an eight-core processor and a beefed-up version of Microsoft's Kinect system, which allows a camera to track and interpret human body movements.

The website for the new Xbox Fitness game says Kinect "detects micro-fluctuations in your skin optically to read your heart rate, absolutely touch free, from up to 10 feet away".

Later, the crowds heard live performances from stars Sway, Katy B and Plan B, and watched Tottenham and England football star Andros Townsend take on a competition winner at Fifa 14.

Chat show host and gaming enthusiast Jonathan Ross also attended the launch.

He said: "I'm here because I love gaming.

"It's an exciting time. I'm more excited about the Xbox One than I am about the PS4.

"I think they're trying to move the whole technology side of it forward."

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