5 things to need to know about the Xbox One
So, the PS4 is out and about - now it is time for the Xbox One. It'll be a mad scramble to try and win over gamers at Christmas, so what do you need to know about the next-gen Microsoft console?
Well, here's the five things you should know before buying.
Not Just A Console
Of course, the new Xbox is a gaming machine, however, like most consoles, it has to be more than that. The Xbox One has a HDMI-in jack and has been designed with playing music, watching TV (both live and with TV channel menus are in the box) and there'll be access to new channels through your console (ESPN, Hulu, Amazon or Netflix are available through it). It seems that Microsoft are really gunning for users to make this as integral to your time as phones and tablets have become. Games, TV, music... everything that you look away from your handheld devices for, the Xbox One is trying to cover all these bases.
The Xbox One's user interface has been impressing everyone who has got their hands on the console because it is very different from anything else. Although, this being Microsoft, it can be clunky in places. The UI will feel familiar to 360 users, but you'll notice that it is sleeker, leaner and very easy to navigate. With tiles akin to Windows 8, you'll be able to get to what you want. The much chattered about voice command element is what really grabs attention. You talk to the Xbox One and it does what you tell it. You can turn your console off with voice command, as well as launch your cable or satellite TV from set-top box, and a whole myriad of other things. You'll probably feel a bit weird talking to your console though, unless you've been chatting Siri up already.
Differences With The PS4
Both consoles have eight-core processors, eight gigabytes of RAM and 500GB of storage, however, the RAM on the PS4 is better and the GPU performance trounces the Xbox One. However, most gamers won't be able to tell the difference between, say, 720 and 1080 resolutions, so casual gamers need not worry about that. The Xbox One is bigger and heavier than the PS4, but again, there's little chance you'll be moving it once it finds a place in your house.
The Xbox One is getting you in the Microsoft Cloud and you can download games and TV shows. It certainly looks like Microsoft are trying to move consumers away from physical purchases and toward a downloadable media. However, this might be problematic as games developers may well sulk if they don't get pride of place in the interface. And of course, there's problems with buying things cheap, second-hand too. It'll launch with other 20 games, however, if your internet connection isn't lightning fast, you may get frustrated waiting for games to download. However, you can start playing before the download is complete, which is pretty nifty.
Before, Kinect was a near novelty for the Xbox, but now, it is integral to the system. It is included with the console and is better than the old one. As mentioned before, the UI is voice activated but also works with hand gestures too. The console will now 'recognise' you too, which is vaguely creepy, but will make for easier sign-ins and such. It can recognise up to six players. The controllers have been tinkered with too and have rumble in the triggers. Like the PS4, you can plug a headset into the bottom of your joypad. Everything comes with the console, so it is rather pricey. Might be worth waiting if you're not ready to make the next-gen leap just yet.