Microsoft's Xbox One launch next week will roll out in more than 10,000 retail locations in 12 countries with a campaign reminiscent of a New Year's Eve countdown. The celebrations will run live on Spike TV, Xbox.com and Xbox Live, touting a variety of systems around Kinect, Bing and Rovi supported by data.
Voice commands, facial recognition and technology from Bing are some of the biggest changes in Xbox One, but the console sports a variety of new features including the ability for Kinect to recognize a player, turn on while in a standby mode and welcome them into the room.
Xbox One also has a new TV program guide, OneGuide, supported by data from Rovi Video, a database for global TV, movie and celebrity metadata. It gives Xbox users the ability to browse, search and watch live content available from a range of sources like cable, Internet, and traditional telecommunications TV service providers, and is part of a larger initiative to include the technology in multiple countries, aside from the U.S.
Microsoft will hold launch events worldwide, but the major U.S. events take place in New York and Los Angeles. In Times Square at midnight, zombies, Roman soldiers and supercars converge on the Best Buy Theater. In Los Angeles, Milk Studios will transform into a gamer's haven, with game-play stations for "Forza Motorsport 5," "Ryse: Son of Rome," "Dead Rising 3," "Killer Instinct," and other Xbox One game titles. The first 500 people to purchase an Xbox One or Xbox One game will have an option to attend an exclusive concert with deadmau5.
Midnight Madness events will take place at Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart and the Microsoft retail store in the U.S., but fans will also have an option to welcome the Xbox One to London, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Sao Paulo, Toronto and Sydney. In Europe, gamers and YouTube fans will gather in Paris and Berlin. Skin and Emis Killa in Italy will help usher in the entertainment system in partnership with MTV, and fans in Spain can play Xbox One games in Madrid's Colon Square. The U.K. will celebrate the launch of Xbox One in Central London.