Xbox One is making TV watching awesome. It's an incredible multitasker that can do the things your regular old remote does better, along with voice and gesture controls. But that's just the beginning.
To turn the console on, all you have to say is "Xbox, on." It never gets harder than that. Want to watch TV? Say "Xbox, watch TV," and it drops you right into a live TV feed. Want to listen to music or even watch movies? Say "play music" or "Xbox, go to movies."
However, you can't cancel cable just yet. Watching live TV works through an HDMI pas-through, wherein the cable box or satellite box connects directly to the Xbox One, and then passes the signal to the console through an HDMI-out port. And because of the cable box pairing, you can get TV with as much or as little Xbox as you'd like. Want to use your normal remote? Fine. Want to swap over to Microsoft's entertainment guide and use voice and gesture controls? You can do that, too.
Do two things at once, thanks to Xbox One's Snap Mode, which, a la Windows 8, lets you run two apps at the same time. One app can be snapped to the side of the screen to run while you're watching a show or playing a game. So you could be looking at a movie, and head over to IMBD while it's playing for more details. Watching something while you browse for something else? No problem. And then there are video calls. Snap Mode will also take you to Skype chat say, while you're perusing Netflix. Pretty awesome stuff.
Microsoft created a completely new, interactive guide for Xbox One that has full Kinect voice controls. To see it just say say "Xbox, show the guide." From here, again, you can speak the name of the show or network you want to see, or you can search by actor name, time slot, or genre. If you want to go home, say "go home," or go to a Trending page to see what's most popular on TV. It's like the ultimate remote that isn't even a remote—insanely simple to use and to do things you actually want to do.
What else? A live-action, premium Halo TV series created in partnership with Steven Speilberg, 343 Industries, and Xbox Studios. Holy crap! We don't know a lot of details here, but we are certainly familiar with Speilberg.
Microsoft has also teamed up with the NFL to let you play fantasy football right while you're watching the game live on television. Want to taunt an opponent? You can use Snap Mode to make a braggadocios Skype call during the game as you're getting updates on your fantasy team.
Xbox One is launching around the world "later this year." We don't know exactly what that means (we've heard in time for the holidays), but we'll most likely get more information in a few weeks at E3.