Giant Xbox One Console Erected In Leicester Square, London

xbox one

Last week Sony transformed  London’s OXO Tower to look like a PlayStation controller and not to be outdone,  today Microsoft has gone one better.

The Washington-based firm has  taken over the whole of London’s Leicester Square and renamed the landmark Xbox  One Square.

A giant Xbox stage has been built for the  first ever live concert in the square tonight, signs have been replaced and  people have dressed up as game characters to celebrate the midnight launch of  Microsoft’s new Xbox One console. 

Thousands of gamers are expected to queue in  tonight’s rain to buy the follow-up to 2005’s Microsoft Xbox 360.

The console costs £429.99 and comes with a  redesigned, advanced Kinect motion sensor. 

A number of fans, VIPs and journalists were  given tickets to the launch event in Leicester Square and a number surprise  celebrity guests are expected. 

There will be similar events taking place in  New York and Los Angeles featuring music from Deadmau5 and rapper Macklemore. 

The console goes on sale at  500 shops across the country, including 300 Game stores which will open at  midnight especially for the launch.

Queues began forming at  7.30am outside Game’s Xbox store in Shoreditch and other similar queues were  spotted at the Westfield Stratford store.

Tesco is also planning to start  selling the  consoles on a first-come first-served basis at more than 100 of its Extra stores  from midnight.

However, not everyone will be able to get  their hands on the must-have gadget.

Flashy: Part of the set up features a sports car on a round stage. Around 500 retailers will start selling the new console at midnight

Flashy: Part of the set up features a sports car on a  round stage. Around 500 retailers will start selling the new console at  midnight

Amazon announced earlier this  month that pre-orders up to 13 November would not arrive before Christmas and  retailers are warning there will be a shortage.

The Xbox One is going head-to-head with  Sony’s new PlayStation 4, which goes on sale in the UK next week at £349.99 –  £80 cheaper than its rival.

The Xbox One plays games, videos and is  called an ‘entertainment device’ rather than a gaming console.

While the new Kinect has had  a number of upgrades. Its new cameras and sensors are so sensitive that they can  pick up a user’s heart rate from minute changes in the colour of their  skin.

Users can also build up a 3D  scan of their face, which is then used to create a personal avatar or games  warrior.

The console is the first new Xbox to launch  in eight years, while Sony has not updated its PlayStation since  2007.

Phil Harrison, a corporate vice president at  Microsoft, said: ‘We’re proud and excited that Xbox One is going to be the  biggest launch in Xbox history.

Trying it out: A gamer plays the console on a giant screen in the Square earlier today

Trying it out: A gamer plays the console on a giant  screen in the Square earlier today

‘Xbox One is a complete, all-in-one  system  which has the best games, the best online service in Xbox Live,  the best  entertainment experiences and is built for the future.  Pre-orders from fans  across the UK are at unprecedented levels.’

Tesco’s Home Entertainment  Manager, Stephen Owusu, said: ‘The launch of the  Xbox One is a massive event  for millions of gamers around the world and  the console is sure to top many  Christmas present lists this year.

‘The last Xbox console – the  Xbox 360 – was launched eight years ago so  there has been a lot of expectation  and talk from gamers about this  latest version. If the U.S. launch is anything  to go by these will fly  off the shelves.’

 
Microsoft unveiled its Kinect sensor, pictured top, as part of its Xbox One event in June. The sensor will be sold with the new console, pictured centre, and both are available from 22 November

Microsoft unveiled its Kinect sensor,  pictured top, as part of its Xbox One event in June. The sensor will be sold  with the new console, pictured centre, and both were available from midnight at  stores across the UK

 
Microsoft's next-generation Kinect sensor is able to detect and monitor a person's heart rate from around four feet away - without touching them.

Microsoft’s next-generation Kinect sensor is able to  detect and monitor a person’s heart rate from around four feet away – without  touching them. As blood passes through a person’s body, the skin changes colour  ever so slightly. The camera can recognise these changes to establish how fast  the blood is pumping.

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