Jaded by juggling multiple remotes? Confounded by the connections linking your TV to your cable box to your DVD and other devices in your television room? Ignorant of how to switch inputs - or even which control to use? You know who you are, and some of you have spent time at my house.

Microsoft, the long-dominant software-maker lately eclipsed by Apple's smartphones and tablets, says it has an answer: a central command station for your television, gaming, music, Internet video, even Skype video calls - all controlled by your voice and gestures.

Microsoft presented the new device - the Xbox One - with fanfare Tuesday at its Redmond, Wash., campus. The company that Bill Gates built has been struggling lately, with the jury still out on its Windows 8 operating system, which tries to drag desktops and laptops into the touchscreen-and-apps era. Only time will tell whether that was premature or presumptuous.

But with the Xbox One, Microsoft is making a serious play to win "the war for the living room" - going after turf that many, including Apple's late founder, Steve Jobs, have coveted but that no one has successfully claimed.

"Can we improve a living room that has become too complex, too fragmented and too slow by harmonizing your experiences?" Don Mattrick, Microsoft president of interactive entertainment, asked the preview audience.

Microsoft is betting the answer is yes, with a system that Mattrick called "the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system" and that Microsoft heralded with a commercial-ready video extolling the Xbox One's various virtues.

"For the first time, you and your TV are going to have a relationship," a cast of characters say, building on one another's statements. "It's going to recognize my name, my voice, my friends, my family, my movies, me."

It's a heady mix, but Microsoft brings some obvious talents to the table. While Apple wowed consumers with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad in the 2000s, Microsoft had some embarrassing misses - remember the Zune? - and some genuine hits.

Two of those hits, the Xbox gaming console and the Kinect input, an innovative motion, gesture, and voice sensor, form the nucleus of the Xbox One, along with a more traditional game controller.

The result at least looks impressive.

"Xbox on" was all Microsoft vice president Yusuf Mehdi had to say to turn on the system and go to his personal home page, a Windows 8-like "live tiles" screen modified to function as the heart of an entertainment center.

Mehdi showed how a mix of spoken commands and arm and hand gestures could control every aspect of the system, including launching an Internet Explorer browser window, switching among entertainment modes, and finding out what's playing on HBO. He also showed how a smartphone could double as a remote control.

How well will it work? Until consumers get their hands on the Xbox One later this year, it's too soon to tell. Journalists and academics have been writing about "convergence" - the integration of television with computers and other digital devices - at least since America Online and Time Warner merged 13 years ago, during the heady days of the first Internet boom.

One of those is Kevin Werbach, a telecommunications expert and associate professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Werbach calls Kinect "a hugely impressive technological feat" for a consumer device, but says Microsoft faces a daunting task.

"The challenge in the living room is that there are so many devices and companies involved," Werbach says.

Microsoft is betting that advances in voice and gesture recognition will make a central command center workable and attractive without the usual remote-control interface. In the end, though, it may come down to the question of interoperability - whether Microsoft can ensure that myriad devices will actually work with one another without delays or computer-style crashes.

Contact Jeff Gelles at 215-854-2776, jgelles@phillynews.com, or follow @jeffgelles on Twitter. Read his blog at www.inquirer.com/inquiringconsumer.