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Hundreds at Florida Mall's Microsoft Store take home new game system

Xbox One is here. 

Just after midnight Friday, the latest video gaming console from Microsoft became available to gamers across the country, including the hundreds waiting in line at the Microsoft Store at the Florida Mall.  

After waiting in line since 5:30 a.m. Thursday, Anthony Tyson let out a triumphant howl after he walked away Friday morning with his new XBox One. 

"I finally got it, said Tyson of St. Cloud. " It's awesome. I can't wait to get home and play it. It's been a long day, but it's been absolutely worth it."

Tyson, along with his friend Ben Pennell and his wife Leah Pennell, were first in line for the gamine console's release, arriving 18 hours before the launch. The group spent most of Thursday hanging out with others who pre-ordered the console.

"It's like Woodstock for nerds," Ben Pennell said.

Friday's launch of XBox One ($499) came one week after the release of Sony's newest gaming console PlayStation 4 ($399), which sold more than one million units in its first 24 hours. Both systems released 22 games at launch with more available soon.

Besides improved hardware, voice recognition software and a new controller, one of the most-anticipated features on the new XBox is its ability to communicate with your TV. Within seconds, gamers can go from shooting enemies to watching television by voicing a command - no switching inputs on your television.      

It can also act as a DVR, though a remote control is needed.

In the hours leading up to the Xbox One's release, more than 200 gamers competed in a Killer Instinct Ultra Fighter tournament at the Florida Mall. The Microsoft Store in Orlando was one of six stores across the U.S. holding tournaments Thursday night.

Winners from each location will compete this weekend during the opening of a Microsoft Store in Jacksonville. 

Thursday night's party-like atmosphere - complete with a DJ, pizza and dancing - continued until the moment of the release Friday morning. Cheers rang out after midnight when those who pre-ordered their XBox One consoles were let into the Microsoft Store.

Mark Angelo waited more than 10 hours to get his XBox One, arriving at 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon. A fan of games such as "Battlefield", the 18-year-old Orlando resident wore combat fatigues, including a helmet and boots, to the launch. 

"It's having fun...a little spirit" said Angelo. 

Angelo headed home after getting his Xbox One, though he wasn't planning on any serious gaming until the weekend. 

"I can wait," said Angelo. "I just wanted to get it first." 

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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