Xbox One review: design and construction
The Xbox One certainly doesn’t look as sleek as Sony’s PS4. Actually, it’s a big, hulking brute of a machine that bears greater 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 two with a reflective surface using one side and an enormous vent on the other.
Incidentally, that is a console made to sit flat underneath your television set set, using its Kinect sensor staring grimly out at the contents of your living room. Plonk it on its side and Microsoft will not be held in charge of your discs getting scratched.
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Kinect slots in to the back of the Xbox One, next to some ports including HDMI-in, HDMI-out, three super-speed USB ports, an Ethernet connector, S/PDIF for optical audio tracks out and an extra IR port.
The front-facing side includes a disc slot – which will play Blu-ray discs, after the iphone app is downloaded – a power stud, eject tab and a sync-tab for starting up the main one wireless controller the Xbox One comes packaged with.
Beneath the hood, the Xbox One is packing an eight-core x86 processor with an amped up 853 MHz GPU, 500GB of local storage, 8GB RAM with 32MB of eS RAM embedded memory. In addition, it has wireless networking capability through its 802.11 wireless radio with built-in Wi-Fi support. In addition, it makes barely a sound when you power it up.
Xbox One review: setup and features
The Xbox You have been updated and adjusted often so that you can reaffirm its new give attention to pure gaming.
(Image credit: Microsoft)
If all this sounds intimidating, don’t worry, setting this beast up is a doddle. Kinect, the energy cable and – if you fancy watching live television set through the Xbox One – most set-top boxes all slot neatly in to the back. Once you boot it up, the console will ask you if you curently have a profile. If you do, you will have to go surfing to load it up. If not – or if online can be an anathema for you – you can create a fresh one from scratch.
Online is simpler, though. Assuming you have a profile, you just login together with your password and instantly, your Achievements, save games, friend-lists and avatars are ported across. It generally does not wipe your Xbox 360 gamertag – rather you will have gamertags on two platforms.
In addition, it activates your Xbox Live Gold Status, should you have it. You makes it possible for the Kinect module to link your appearance (if you are still using one) together with your profile and that way, once you sit down before the console, it’ll say ‘hi’ and log you in. If someone had been logged in, it offers you the choice of switching profiles. It even notices if another player is handed the controller.
You may also ‘hold’ the medial side of the screen to reduce the screen streaming entertainment, surf channels using voice commands and even program Kinect to get started on up when you say ‘Xbox on’.
Xbox One review: interface
You can pin your favourite games and programs to the house screen for quick access and launch.
(Image credit: T3)
THE BRAND NEW Xbox Experience, introduced at the tail end of 2015, may be the new method of using Xbox One and it’s really light years prior to the Windows 8-based abomination early adopters had to endure for just two years straight. The NXE is centered on dividing your content into four key sections – Home, Community, OneGuide and Store – with each one flowing much such as a social media feed. Think about it such as a rolling homepage with all the current important functions on each tab accessible quickly with the the least fuss.
Games will have their own homepages referred to as Game Hubs – from here you flit between captures screenshots or video, see your Achievements and more. Therefore the more you as well as your friend’s play, the more populated these Hubs become. Players will have an elevated friends cap aswell – 1,000 friends – and will also follow other players, in quite similar way that they might on Twitter.
The Store expands into four individual sub menus when selected – Games, Apps, Movies & TV and Music – as soon as again, everything is represented by large thumbnails with the important functions (Use a Code, etc) are front and centre. For all those that love browsing digital titles, this clean and fresh UI is a godsend.
The Xbox One UI has already established a whole lot of changes through the years, however the current version is a lot more user-friendly than PS4’s.
(Image credit: T3)
Community is Xbox One’s exact carbon copy of content feeds you find below each game on your own PS4’s UI, but instead gathered into one place. It’s here you will discover all of the user-generated content you could want – there’s a solid balance between your progress of friends and family (screenshots, recently unlocked Achievements and content curated from around YouTube and the wider community. If you want your Let’s Plays, that is a great destination to dive into.
OneGuide is, in the kindest conditions possible, the ghost of Microsoft’s integrated TV dreams focused right into a new streaming-based hub. Unless you fancy browsing the Store, you can access Xbox One’s library of rental films and TV, aswell the most used content from around the very best streaming programs out there (Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc). There’s a genuine Amazon/Netflix vibe here with this content layout – hey, if it ain’t broke!
Finally, there’s among the – if not the – best addition to the Xbox One UI – the Panel. Accessible by flicking the left analog stick on the house tab or by pressing the Xbox button while in-game, the Panel may be the one-stop access indicate your console’s main features. From here you can view which of friends and family are online, access messages, view Party Chat and change settings. Such an attribute was sorely missed in the launch version of Xbox One and its own inclusion makes all of the difference today.
Xbox One review: Kinect
There’s an excellent chance if you’re scanning this review anytime following the initial first couple of months of launch you do not get access to a Kinect sensor, but we’ll gather its functions and usability because we’re thorough like this. The Kinect sensor has been re-vamped since its first introduction on Xbox 360. It could now monitor heart-rate and muscle density meaning the virtual drill-instructors on the Fitness App will be doing players more good than ever before.
Kinect also makes its on the video calling in Skype. Not merely does the sensor create a streaming video of the player at a fairly reasonable quality, but if indeed they get right up and wander about the area, the camera will track them.
The sensor’s fidelity and spatial requirements have already been vastly improved – players no more need to stand up to now back from their Television set – although players could find themselves needing to repeat the odd voice command.
Kinect may also track more players; up to four players can jump right into a Kinect game now, and the sensor’s facial recognition technology can differentiate between them.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that Kinect is way better able to filter intruding lights and sounds.
Unlike the prior iteration, the brand new Kinect module could work in almost pitch dark and isn’t interrupted by lights angled towards it. It is also able to differentiate between your players voice and sounds appearing out of the TV’s speakers.
Xbox One review: controller
As the Elite controller is a good version of the Xbox One pad, this standard edition continues to be an excellent little controller.
(Image credit: Microsoft)
Initially, the Xbox One’s controller appears like a dead-ringer because of its predecessor. Dual thumbsticks, face buttons, shoulder bumpers, D-pad and twin triggers are where you’d be prepared to see them. But pick it up and play with it and the improvements become apparent.
The triggers feel smooter, the D-pad and shoulder buttons feel more responsive and the twin-sticks meld snugly to the player’s thumbs. The pad overall feels more molded to the player’s hands and the smooth surface is svelte to touch. Rather than a Start and choose button, you have an Apps and Menu button, nevertheless they serve the same purposes in-game.
The most known improvement will be the rumble-filters under the controller’s casing that provide players a feeling of immersion the Xbox 360 didn’t have physically.
Much has been manufactured from the control pad’s re-design, but believe the hype; this controller is a marked improvement on its predecessor. It’s construction still feels just a little plasticky, but it’s analog sticks are of a superior quality in comparison with easily frayed sticks on the PS4’s DualShock 4.
The Xbox One Elite Wireless controller, suitable for pro gamers and the most hardcore of hardcore users, rounds off the Xbox One peripheral roster. It’s reassuringly heavier compared to the standard version and has a stack of extra analog sticks and D-pad faces to customise your pad. There are even a set of steel paddles that fit onto the trunk to give you a lot more controls. It’s expensive – retailing in the £129.99 range – but it’s essential for pros who would like to create a pad scaled around their competitive play style.