Microsoft is gradually revealing a lot more about its Xbox One console today. While video calling is free on Skype, Microsoft typically charges $4.99 per month for group video calling with multiple people. If you’re an Xbox Live Gold subscriber then the company is supplying six months of free Skype group video calling with an Xbox One console. Microsoft is also providing 100 worldwide minutes free each month for six months, allowing Xbox One users to call mobiles and landlines in over 50 countries. Microsoft offers a similar deal for Surface 2 owners, and both are a clear effort to harmonize its products with the services it operates.
Skype for Xbox One is built into the console and makes use of the bundled Kinect sensor with support for 1080p video calling. Like Windows 8.1, Microsoft has built in a variety of notifications for Skype calls into the Xbox One, including pop-up windows for messages. Perhaps the most impressive feature is Skype’s ability to use the Kinect camera to automatically track calls by zooming and panning around a room if the caller moves. The software maker demonstrated that functionality and a live Skype call during a 12-minute tour of Xbox One earlier today. Skype is a bigger part of Microsoft’s ambitious plan to take over and own the living room.