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Sales of video game consoles have been falling for the past few years, as more consumers download games on their smartphones and tablets. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is the best-selling console in the country, but sales last month fell 45 percent from a year ago. In hopes of turning that around, the company is unveiling a new Xbox today.
It’s been eight years since the 360 came out, and back then the big news was how great the games looked. This time around, look for Microsoft to play up pretty much everything else.
“This next Xbox will work very closely with your smartphone to expand your gaming experiences in ways you haven’t seen before,” says Dan Hsu, editor-in-chief of GamesBeat.com.
Hsu is expecting the new Xbox to have a better 3-D motion-detecting camera built in so people can use the system hands free, and he says it will have some exclusive games, to get an edge over rivals Sony and Nintendo.
But to compete with smartphones and tablets, Microsoft will also have to keep you at your console.
“The more of your friends that are online, connected and playing with you, the less likely you are to switch systems, or head off in search of other forms of entertainment,” says Scott Steinberg, head of the consulting firm TechSavvy.
There’s no word yet on how much the new Xbox will cost. You can still get the 360 for about $300.