Xbox, Can You Hear Me Now?

Some 300,000 servers that hold gosh-knows-how-much data power the back-end of Xbox One, along with the technology supporting the entertainment console: Deep Natural Networks (DNN), inspired by human brain neuron functions, can detect patterns akin to the way biological systems recognize patterns that allow us to better understand natural language, Stefan Weitz, senior director of Bing, explains.

The Xbox One relies on Bing voice search and natural language. Weitz doesn't explain how the system will turn verbal commands into digits and data that sync with programming, ad targeting, and recommendations. 

Xbox One lets users control the entire system with their voice. In the sleep mode users can power on the console by saying "Xbox On." Navigate through the system by starting with "Xbox, Bing," followed by requests like "I feel like watching comedy movies from the 1980s," "Show me popular dubstep music," or  "I want to play Forza Motorsport."

Microsoft might be a little disappointed this holiday season. Parks Associates research shows many U.S. shoppers have already picked the game-console brand they plan to buy, with 36% of console shoppers planning to purchase a Sony gaming console and only 27% planning to buy a Microsoft product.



Sony and Microsoft are releasing next-generation consoles this month. Sony reports sales of PlayStation 4 exceeded 1 million consoles in the first 24 hours after release. Nintendo is third on the list among console shoppers; and the Android-powered Ouya, which retails for about $99, is the fourth most-desired brand.

Parks Associates estimates 15% of U.S. households running broadband plan to purchase a tablet and a game console. Those who plan to buy a game console, but not a tablet, plan to spend $989.

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