Microsoft has launched Xbox One, its first new video game console in eight years.
In London, gaming fans waited for hours to get their hands on a product which the software giant hopes will revolutionise home entertainment.
Charlie Pulbrook was the first in line.
“I am absolutely shattered but it has been worth every minute,” he said. “I got up at four o’clock this morning to go down and make sure I was there so I have not stopped ever since and it is approaching 24 hours pretty soon that I have been up.”
Alison Brazendale was also one of the first ten in the queue but said she had little choice about making the effort.
“I have four children and I have a husband that is obsessed with gadgets so if I wasn’t here, then my life wouldn’t be worth living,” she said.
Amid the glitz of the Leicester Square launch, the Xbox One’s arrival in 13 countries comes just a week after Sony unveiled its new PlayStation 4 in the US. So is the lucrative Christmas market going to see a fight to the death? Apparently not.
“We wish Sony well for their launch,” said Chris Lewis, Regional Vice-President of Xbox Europe. “ I think the industry is all the better for strong competition. I think the consumers ultimately benefit as we continue to vie for those hard-earned dollars and euros and sterling. I think the quality bar goes up and up.”
More expensive than its big rival, the Xbox One has features Microsoft hopes will set it apart, like voice activation, home entertainment applications and a feature allowing players to control games by physical movement without using a controller.