Microsoft’s Xbox One is now two years old, and it’s been doing some growing up. It launched as a powerful game console with an included camera and a plethora of media features. The Kinect camera has fallen to the wayside, and the emphasis is now on a recent interface overhaul, a bigger hard drive, and limited backward compatibility.
The Microsoft Xbox One doesn’t just want to beat the PS4, it wants to be your ‘input one’ entertainment device. Check out our Xbox One review
Out of all of the participants in the forthcoming next-generation console war, the Xbox One has had the most to prove. Unlike the Sony PS4, which has been championed by gaming industry pundits and media alike, Microsoft’s console met with outright hostility when it was first announced and in the months that followed it was one PR disaster after another.
Yet, over the past two and a half years, Microsoft has been performed a huge PR overhaul in a hope to build fan trust and entice new adopters heading for Sony’s machine by default. The New Xbox Experience has excised the stain of Windows 8 and created a UI that’s intuitive and rewarding to use, while the addition of cloud processing has helped Microsoft really close the gap that seemed so cavernous back in late 2013/early 2014.
The decision to no longer include Kinect as standard – a move that’s effectively killed the peripheral dead – has helped Xbox One immeasurably. Considering it’s also brought the base price of the console down (a figure that’s fallen all the more thanks to a slew of price cuts since 2014), investing in Xbox One has never been more enticing.
Xbox One: Size & Build
The Xbox One certainly doesn’t look as sleek as Sony’s PS4. In fact, it’s a big, hulking brute of a machine that bears more than a passing resemblance to a Betamax video recorder circa 1984. It’s a 263 x 80 x 305 mm slab weighing about 3.2kg. Cast in ‘Liquid Black’, its top is split in half with a reflective surface on one side and a massive vent on the other.
Incidentally, this is a console designed to sit flat underneath your television set, with its Kinect sensor staring grimly out at the contents of your living room. Plonk it on its side and Microsoft won’t be held responsible for your discs getting scratched.
New interface is intuitive and accessible. Powerful hardware. Incorporates live television with OneGuide, HDMI passthrough, and USB tuner supports. Limited Xbox 360 backward compatibility.
Kinect integration and voice commands have been de-emphasized to the point of almost being completely dropped. Current backward compatibility list is very small
The Xbox One, Microsoft’s current-generation console, has seen a user interface upgrade and the addition of limited backward compatibility, and it’s still at the top of its game.
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