Xbox One for all
Microsoft launches the Xbox One on 22 November, combining games, TV, movies and music into a futuristic home entertainment system
If you think that the Xbox One from Microsoft is just a games machine, think again. Yes, it can play the latest, greatest exclusive games like Forza Motorsport 5 and Titanfall.
But it’s also an amazing, home entertainment system for your telly, with a built-in Blu-ray drive for watching your favourite HD movies and Xbox Live, which gives you easy, online access to new games, music, films and TV shows, plus apps including Skype and Internet Explorer.
Xbox one – Hardware
This smart, jet-black super-console is crammed so full of technology and promise, it will entertain you for the next 10 years. There are three things that you need to know:
- First, the Xbox One is powerful – it features a zippy 8-core processor, a roomy 500GB hard disk and a Blu-ray drive.
- Second, it comes with Kinect 2.0, an improved, high-def version of the Xbox 360’s incredible motion-sensing/voice recognition technology.
- Third, it features a unique ‘HDMI Pass-Thru’ connection, enabling you to watch live TV on your Xbox – no source/input-switching required!
Xbox One – Software
If you already use Windows 8 on a PC or own a Windows Phone, the colourful, tile-based software inside the Xbox One will look instantly familiar. The Home screen gives you access to games, Xbox Live, music, movies plus apps like Skype and Internet Explorer.
The menus are clear and easy to navigate using either the Xbox controller, hand gestures or even key voice commands. Thanks to the Kinect 2.0 hardware that comes with every Xbox One, you can even switch the console on simply by saying ‘Xbox on’.
Xbox One Wireless Controller
The new Xbox One controller features over 40 improvements over the old Xbox 360 game pad. Sculpted in black plastic, the controller has been significantly re-engineered to be more comfortable to hold, with new thumbsticks, a new D-pad and a new design.
It also features clever ‘Impulse Triggers’ that vibrate when they’re pressed to add greater realism for gamers. A controller is included with every Xbox One as standard. Extra controllers sold separately.
The new Kinect 2.0 hardware features a high-definition, 1080p camera and a microphone, which enable the Xbox One to track and respond to whoever is in front of it.
For example, Kinect can sign you in just by looking at you, keep track of who is holding controllers and lets you control the Xbox One with gestures and voice commands. Plus you can make Skype calls on it, play controller-less games and even stay healthy with titles like Xbox Fitness.
A Kinect 2.0 is included with every Xbox One as standard.
The Xbox One isn’t the only next-generation console launching this November. Sony’s follow-up to the PlayStation 3 (PS3) is the wedge-shaped PlayStation 4 (PS4), which is more than a match for Microsoft’s new Xbox in terms of technology and performance.
The difference? The PS4 is considerably cheaper, but it doesn’t include the PlayStation Eye – Sony’s take on the motion-tracking Kinect sensor.
Many Xbox One games are also available on the PS4, but Sony has secured some exclusive titles, such as Killzone: Shadowfall and Drive Club. Preorders are currently full but PS4 launches on 29 November.
*Advanced TV hardware required. Games and media content sold separately. Initial set-up and some games and features require broadband internet; ISP fees apply. Online multiplayer and Skype also require Xbox Live Gold membership (sold separately). See xbox.com/xboxone