Microsoft Xbox One review Much improved the Xbox One has hit its stridexbox 360

The BadThe Xbox Ones new intece is still more convoluted than the PSs. In general, the PS delivers slightly better installation times, graphics and performance on crossplatform games. The Xbox One also lags behind the PS in its selection of indie games. The Kinects legacy is still a blemish.

PlayStation added the majority of the functionality described here with a firmware update.

It took a while, but an Xbox Live Gold membership is no longer needed to access apps like Netflix and Skype. You still need it to play multiplayer games online, but the massive restrictions on other functionality have mostly been lifted.

Discuss Microsoft Xbox One review Much improved, the Xbox One has hit its stride

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While its not necessarily what Id call a vast improvement over the Xbox 360s stellar input device, the Xbox Ones controller is a solid and mostly comforle handheld.

Microsofts Xbox One offers impressive graphics and a solid list of exclusive 0 titles. The Microsoft console currently edges ahead of the PS with a better selection of media apps. The consoles ll0 dashboard update is a noticeable improvement. The console has backward compatibility with around 00 Xbox 360 titles, and that list is poised to grow.

Of course, the Kinect is available only in the more expensive 00andup Xbox One bundle. However, if you buy the entrylevel noKinect bundle and decide you want to upgrade, you can buy a standalone Kinect later for , 30 or AU0 usually bundled with a game.

While the Xbox Ones alwayson feature has been a point of some contention, jumping right into a game from live TV is nothing short of brilliant. Xbox One will suspend your most recently played game while you watch TV or do other things and when you rejoin your game session its resurrected with absolutely no loading time. Of course, if you dont use your Xbox One with live TV theres really no reason to keep the console on , save for receiving updates when youre not using the console.

But, if youre still intrigued by its potential, when it works, Kinect technology brings with it an aha moment straight out of a scifi movie. Kinect lets you change the channel, volume and other items using only your voice. Its problems, however, are documented later in this review.

Meanwhile, a lot has been finetuned under the Xbox Ones hood particularly the firmwares functionality not actual hardware tweaks, which, from a performance and easeofuse standpoint, is still playing second to Sonys impressively smooth intece. A massive intece update dubbed the New Xbox One Experience was released in November 0 that has improved some of the dashboards logistics and aesthetics, but its still hanging on to some lingering frustrations. But more on that later.

Signing into any other Xbox One will give you access to all of your digital games and their respective gamesaves. PS owners need to have PlayStation Plus to upload cloud saves, while Xbox One owners can do it without Xbox Live Gold.

While it debuted with an underwhelming selection of free titles, Xboxs Games with Gold monthly giveaway lets Xbox Live Gold members download two Xbox One games for free. The caliber of these titles has started to improve, but still isnt as impressive as the entire PlayStation Plus package.

WithE3 0safely in the rearview mirror and the Xbox Ones second anniversary st approaching, were ing back in the home console pond to take the temperature of the current landscape of videogame consoles.

Overall, Xbox One has had a great 0 and is home to the best exclusives of the 0 holiday season. In the short term, Xbox One makes a solid argument for ownership, but do 06 and beyond look to be just as promising?

To be clear, the two consoles are very closely matched. They offer a growing library of thirdparty games mainstays like the Call of Duty, Assassins Creed and Madden series, as well as newer titles like Fallout and Rainbow Six Siege are all available for both platforms. And both systems double as fullservice entertainment systems, with builtin Bluray players and streaming services like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu.

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For the most part, the Kinect cameramicrophone array has been eliminated from bundles, but you can still purchase the original tandem for around 00 or more. Alternately, you can buy the Kinect module separately usually with a game included for 0. That said, we really cant recommend Kinect for much of anything.

Microsoft debuted two new controllers around the time of E3 0 a revamped controller with a 3.mmheadphoneport and theXbox One Elite Wireless Controller0/AU which allows players to customize their pad with interchangeable Dpad pieces, analog sticks and triggers. That controller is also available in a bundle with a TB solidstate hybrid drive for 00.

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Without a doubt, the Xbox One has gone through the more significant metamorphosis of the two big consoles since their release in November 03 the other being the PlayStation . Even before its launch, Microsoft had begun changing the messaging philosophy of the platform, going from a console that heavily relied on DRM to an unshackled experience where owners can trade in and play used games. That was followed up by the Kinect motion sensor no longer a required part of the system the noKinect bundle is now the deult entrylevel model.

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Microsoft has secured a number of highprofile exclusive deals for content with thirdparty games like Evolve and early beta access to a number of games including Tom Clancys The Division.

Microsoft has totally revamped the problematic Dpad present on the Xbox 360 controller and opted instead for a clicky, tactile pad. Battery life is impressive on the controller, though it takes two AAs as opposed to the DualShock s internal rechargeable battery. You can use your own rechargeables, or invest an extra , or AU30 per controller in Microsofts Play and Charge Kit.

For what its worth, the cloud gamesaving feature is definitely better on Xbox One. Going from console to console is a much smoother experience.

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Both controllers can also be connected to a Windows PC with a MicroUSB cable or wirelessly to aWindows 0PC with a dongle.

In our opinion, the PS still maintains an edge, with slightly smoother gameplay and a much more straightforward intece. But Xbox harbors a more mature media app ecosystem in the US and a decent list of exclusive titles. Xbox One will continue to have a solid 0 in terms of exclusive software, but 06 and beyond arent as well defined.

The Bottom LineWhile the PS remains our overall preferred choice in the game console race, the Xbox Ones significant course corrections and solid exclusives make it a compelling alternative.

Xbox One also has a solid roster of exclusive franchises including the Forza, Halo, Fable, and now the Sunset Overdrive and Titanll series. A more detailed list of exclusives can be found at the top of this review.

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Xbox One is sold in what feels like a constantly expanding bundle market. In ct, dont buy the console if it doesnt come with at least one game. At any given time the odds are theres a bundle that includes a game thats right for you.

Xbox One now has a media player app that will playnearly any file format you throw at it off a drive or anything discoverable on your home network, like another PC or NAS network attached storage. The Xbox One media app also lets you customize the dashboard with a custom photo wall. As of June 0, the PS has a media player app too.

The PS has an easily accessible and replaceable hard drive, but the Xbox Ones drive is not to be messed with. Instead, you can bring your own storage via an external hard drive over a USB 3.0 connection. And because USB 3.0 is ster than the Xbox Ones internal stock drive, odds are you may see a slight bump in performance, too. Just make sure your external drive is 0GB or bigger.

Other features of the Xbox One experience can be accessed or activated with hand gestures and voice commands. You can say, Xbox, record that, and the console will save the last chunk of gameplay to the hard drive. The list of voicecontrol triggers islengthy.

Editors note, November 6, 0This review has been updated to reflect the changes to the Xbox One platform including the November , 0, New Xbox One Experience dashboard update. The consoles overall score has improved from a . to an and weve added one point to the design and value subcategories.

The Xbox One has a slightly better lineup of streaming apps than any other currentgeneration console. It has roughly twice as many offerings as the PS. Some nole wins here include Comedy Central, Fox and FX Now, MTV, Bravo Now, NBC, Starz, TED, USA Now, Verizon FiOS TV and Skype Microsoftowned none of which are available on PlayStation at the current time. Xbox One is also home to EA Access, a subscription earlyaccess program that gives members a chance to play games a few days before theyre released and provides access to a growing list of EA legacy games.

No matter when you decide to buy an Xbox One, odds are youll find a compelling bundle or discounted special pricing.

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Kinect is an ambitious attempt to integrate voice control and motion gesturing with live TV, intece navigation and some gaming elements. That said, its definitely taken a backseat in terms of priority. In ct, we dont think Microsoft even said the word Kinect at the companys E3 0 press conference. Its also no longer bundled with a new retail Xbox One.

Here are the areas where the Xbox One excels and where it occasionally has an edge over the PS