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Xbox One Review: Unifying Your Living Room Experience

Is The Xbox One Convergence Done Right?

It's not uncommon to have a specialized device for everything you want to do with your entertainment system. Microsoft's Xbox One tries to take all of them, crammed into...one...box, and unify the experience. Whoa.

Consequently, this is a difficult piece of technology to review. It does so many things. It's not until you use it, or at least see it in action, that you can decide if the platform is transformative to the way you spent time relaxing on the couch, dancing, singing, or talking to friends overseas. I'm including Microsoft's own video as the best representation of the Xbox's many applications.

In a way, the Xbox One introduces multitasking to your living room. Where before you switched between inputs on the TV to flip between games, live programming, your Blu-ray player, or even an HTPC, this device puts all of that under one input that responds to your voice, your face, and the now-old-fashioned controller.

It's a convergence of living room entertainment with an interface that's much like Microsoft's Windows 8 UI. Unlike the controversial operating system, however, the Xbox's tile-based interface feels as natural on your TV as it does on Windows Phone. There's also Bing and Internet Explorer, which don't play a major role, but do what we expect of them. SkyDrive might enjoy its highest utilization as it becomes the default repository for recorded media on the console. I still don't use SkyDrive on the desktop, nor do I want my personal documents and pictures living in Microsoft's cloud. But for 30 second of game footage at a time? Sure.

Taking all of the above into consideration, it's actually harder to compare the Xbox One to Sony's PlayStation 4 than most gamers would have you believe. Neither console can be distilled down into its shader cores or memory bandwidth. If you're looking for a dedicated gaming machine, the PlayStation does have a big advantage in its specifications and $400 price tag. But the extra $100 for Microsoft's Xbox One buys you more than just the Kinect camera. It also comes with Microsoft's promise to reinvent the way you enjoy content on your TV, and that's a very compelling pitch.

  • lostgamer_03
    Great review, really made reflect over what a gaming machine should be able to do nowadays. A gaming machine isn't just a gaming machine anymore and the Xbox One, even though it might not be as powerful as PS4, is a really attractive product in my perspective.
    Reply
  • Ceee9
    any Am%$^$N want to trash this?
    Reply
  • Nahkman
    Reinventing the TV experience only applies to the Americas as the rest of the world does not really care much about ESPN, and also a lot of the functionality is NA only, there was also a rumor that kinect voice commands do not work in a lot of european countries.
    Reply
  • Maziar
    Great review
    At the time being,IMO PS4 is a better gaming machine;whereas,X1 is a better entertainment system.
    PS4 has a more powerful GPU so it should perform better in games and is $100 cheaper too;whereas,X1 tries to do more than just gaming and costs more.
    For me,PS4 is a better machine because I only tend to play games on a console but X1 is also a great machine
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    10 pages and.. nothing about xbone(R)'s gaming capability or gaming experience. the review was done well, but seems restricted to media capabilities. the device seems versatile.
    some of the ps4 reviews i read had info on gaming as well as media/entertainment. i mean info like how the games look and feel to a player, resolution and user perception, joystick (and other input devices) performance in gaming etc.
    Reply
  • daglesj
    As a 42 year old that back in 2006 played a lot of games on my console but now mainly uses it for media and streaming with a bit of gaming on the side (I'm sure I'm not the only one) the Xbox One is a more compelling unit than the PS4.

    I'm pretty sure MS went over the usage stats of the 360 and found that more and more people were using the media/TV/movie aspects. After all thats where the money is.

    MS could sell half as many Xbox Ones as Sony but it will still be making far more per console in subscriptions and services. The money going forward isn't in games.

    However, I don't think this generation will be as long lived as the 360/PS4. I see One.5 or PS4.5 models or total replacement within 5 years.
    Reply
  • zzzaac
    Unfortunately all these nifty things are half working or not working at all for countries other than US of A

    I might be getting both, but to be honest I might not get any, as I've become more of a PC gamer
    Reply
  • daglesj
    delete
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  • daglesj
    delete
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  • cats_Paw
    I think im getting old, becouse when i read this i think that the Xbox one is basicly a low end PC with limited usability...
    Reply