In 2010 I began work on the initial incubation phase of the Xbox One project. This work focused on defining the aggressive set of experience pillars and technical features (e.g. cloud support, hardware improvements, updates to the dashboard experience, kinect 2.0, etc.) for the system, and pitching the concepts to executives.
Shortly thereafter I began work on the new dashboard experience, and assisted with prototyping the new media and app subsystems.
As a result, this work spanned a number of areas including the high level business proposal, hardware design, software prototyping, web services development, and a number of forward-looking research projects for the system.
Although this is lesser known, Microsoft actually began looking into the next generation as early as 2008. During this time I was a member of a virtual team that was organized to explore (and re-explore) the prospects of building a next generation system. We explored everything from new techniques for anti-aliasing to novel new approaches to multi-threading paradigms.
A significant amount of hardware research was also performed around display, screen, stereo, ray tracing, security, and just about anything else we could think of that could advance with the next generation.
This work ultimately fed into the Xbox One project with a wealth of prototypes and knowledge that we had built over the previous two years.