Xbox One Hands-On: The Only Review You Need to Read

The Games

Xbox One

Gamers are more concerned with games than all the entertainment hoopla surrounding the Xbox One. After spending some time with the exlcusive games launch library on the Xbox One, its safe to say that gamers will be more than pleased with what’s available.

Fighting game fans will get just what they’re looking for in the chaotic/combo-heavy action of Killer Instinct. For those of you who have grown enamored with the God of War series and big action games overall, Ryse: Son of Rome should fill your appetite. Automobile heads will no doubt become addicted to the excellence that is Forza Motorsport 5. Dead Rising 3 pushes the console to its limits and gives fans a true next-gen, open world experience.

A few of the exclsuive downloadable games are letdowns (Crimson Dragon and LocoCycle, for instance), but your usual array of gaming genres will be covered by the launch games for the Xbox One. There’s shooters, sports games, fighting games, action/adventure titles and so much more to play.

One new way that the Xbox One operates the usage of game discs is through the mandatory installation. This action doesn’t deter from the game playing experience, since you can play them while the installing of the game goes down. As for downloadable games, you can play them once they reach a certain percentage in its installment process. Hopping into a downloadable game even when its not fully installed onto your console is a godsend.

The Friends List/Achievements/Challenges

Xbox One

I’m sure you’ve heard about the increased limit in friends you can have through Xbox Live – 1,000! Keeping track of your online buddies is much easier now since there’s a specific app for it on the Home screen. Now you can check up on everything that your friends are up to, such as the games they’re playing at different time intervals. The newly added option of pinning your friends activities to a Favorites list means you’ll have a much easier time tracking their constant progress. And everyone’s favorite online gaming companion, Party Chat, still works like a charm.

Xbox One

Achievements make a return to the games you’ll be playing. Once you unlock one, a notification message still pops up on the lower portion of your screen. Holding down the Xbox One Home button takes you out of the game and into the Achievements list for the game you’re playing. The Achievements list not only looks better, but its way more informational than before. All of the info you want to soak up about a game before you hop into it is available through the Achievements page. And of course, you can hop back into the game without a hitch.

Achievements for watching movies or using apps should coerce folks into doing everything possible through their Xbox One. Thankfully, your Gamerscore and your Xbox One Media Achievements are separate from one another. There’s some extra incentive for doing anything on your Xbox One now. For those addicted to streaming movies on Netflix, there’s something new for you to do and nab some points for.

Xbox One

The introduction of Challenges ups the ante for gamers now, too. Daily and weekly challenges for certain games adds an extra incentive to play games that you may have completed. Completing them is beneficial for those gamers who want some extra in-game loot/rewards for their completion of challenging tasks. These challenges do a great job of involving the Xbox One gamer community at large, since gamers can finish them on a solo run or with friends. The potential for how challenges will be incorporated into future game releases is intriguing.

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The Apps

Xbox One

The Xbox One is meant to be your one-stop home for all things entertainment. After checking out some of the apps and media options that are available on the console, its safe to say that the Xbox One just might be your go-to living room device. Browsing the Internet works well with the latest version of Internet Explorer. Streaming movies through Xbox Video is a breeze. Downloading music and creating playlists with the Xbox Music Pass app is a pleasure to use as well.

Xbox One

Skype chat happens to the the showpiece app that you’ll use on the regular. The Kinect 2.0 plays a big part in this apps usage, since it creates a video feed for you and your callers through your TV. Setting up group chats while another app is open doesn’t deter the performance of Skype whatsoever. Video calls run smoothly, look clean and feel much better to interact with than Skype’s home PC counterpart.

The TV Features

Xbox One

Your cable box may become obsolete due to the Xbox One’s all-in-one-media-center mantra. Make sure you purchase a separate HDMI cable if you’re looking to take advantage of your console’s TV/set-top cable capabilities. Navigating channels with your controller/voice commands becomes a much simpler affair on the Xbox One. The OneGuide feature allows you to set your favorite channels and apps, which is an incredible options for people who only watch a small selection of their favorite cable channels. Apps can also be located through this super helpful app, which makes finding your favorite shows needs a less frustrating endeavor.

The Other Features

Xbox One

For those of you who multitask, then you’ll certainly become enamored with the Snap feature. Jumping from one activity (playing a game, for example) to another one (turning on some music through the Xbox Music app) feels seamless and responsive. Recording gameplay and making your footage look more amazing becomes a game unto itself through the Upload Studio app.

The Xbox Fitness and SmartGlass features are more geared towards a casual audience, so serious gamers won’t make too much use of them. SmartGlass’ Dead Rising 3 compatibility is cool though, so gamers may need to accept this Xbox One app just once. SmartGlass is only mildly interesting at the moment though, due to it only being usable for one movie and one game.

One of the cooler options for the Xbox One is its usage of the cloud storage application. Now that your in-game saves and activity are saved on the Xbox One’s memory cloud, you’ll have a much easier time getting access to your save data on someone else’s Xbox One. Simply speaking to the Kinect 2.0 signs you in and brings along all your personalized content/save data.

The Smart Match multiplayer system does a great job of weeding out who you want to play with and who you want to avoid at all costs. This feature performs a myriad of tasks – setting up games with comparable players of every skill level, getting rid of horrible online gamers with horrible etiquette, making ones online reputation easier for other gamers to see etc. Waiting for online multiplayer games to begin are less annoying now that you can snap to something else while you wait for them to start.

These additional features present the full experience that’s perfectly tailored for hardcore gamers and casual fans who just want to experience their media in an entirely new way.

Head to the next page to get my final verdict on the Xbox One!

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