Xbox One Review: A Gaming Multimedia Beast
The Xbox One is finally here, Microsoft promised us the world and a bag of chips with the latest version of their home gaming console. So it is time to see how well it stacks up to its promises. he Xbox One retails for $499, making it the most expensive Microsoft Console to date, but it does come packed with a lot of horse power & features. Starting with a heavily customized AMD chip that combines an eight-core CPU, a GPU tailored for DirectX 11.1 graphics and 32MB of high bandwidth embedded ESRAM memory. The 28nm chip will consume around 100 watts, which is slightly higher than current Xbox Slim and PS3, but Microsoft promises noise from the cooling fans will be “four times quieter.” System memory: 8GB of DDR3 RAM Audio and video: 1080p and 4K both supported; 7.1 surround sound. Kinect: This will be bundled with the console and contain 250,000-pixel infrared depth sensor as well as a regular 720p web cam. Storage and media: a 500GB hard drive of unknown speed plus a Blu-ray / DVD combo drive that will be used as little as possible. We’re told disc-based games will be ripped to the HDD automatically.Connectivity: HDMI 1.4 output and passthrough; a “few” USB 3.0 ports; gigabit Ethernet; plus, three separate 802.11n radios to allow the console to communicate with its controller (over a form of WiFi Direct) as well as other devices without losing its connection to the internet. At other times, two radios could be used to maintain a stronger WiFi signal. Now the Xbox One includes Kinect 2.o, which is optional for you to setup, but I suggest you do. As it gives your full command of the console with voice commands. there is also the singular controller, headset & power brick. In terms of pure specs, the Xbox One comes with a 8 core processor, 500 GB of storage, Blu- Ray player, 2 HDMI ports that lets you plug your cable box into, optical audio, gigabit Ethernet and dedicated Kinect port.
Microsoft created the Xbox One solely for that purpose of having a one stop box that games and controls all your entertainment; with Kinect 2.0 and your voice doing all the heavy lifting. So how well does it work? Quite well I would say, but I must preface by saying that it works best if you don’t rush you speech. But seriously its as simple as talking to your Xbox and telling it what you want to do. Using commands like”Xbox Watch HBO”, “Xbox go to Hulu” or Xbox go to Killer Instinct”; you can direct the Xbox One from the TV to the Setting application and even turn of your console. Which is great for the average consumer, there are a few hiccups, which is to be expected from TV integration– lack of DVR controls and such. Plus you have the snap functionality that allow you to multitask side by side, like in Windows 8. Giving you the ability to say play Forza 5 and Watch TV, Hulu or Netflix at the same time. Or Play a game of Madden and skype with the friend you are trashing 49-0 with. But overall the experiences are smooth in every aspect
At its core the Xbox One is still a gaming console and it doesn’t fail to represent there either. Games like Forza 5 and Ryse give the Next Gen look and feel you have been waiting for. Plus the Xbox one has enough exclusives in the pipe line that will make any gaming dream of the console. I was impressed with everything I saw gaming-wise off the Xbox One despite all the cries of not been able to push 1080p and such. The gaming experience it delivers is truly outstanding.
Yes not everything is rosy but the hiccups I got from the console are things that can easily be fleshed out as it goes. One thing of note, that few have mentioned and I would like to state is the way MS has crafted the Xbox One OS. Microsoft has adapted a unique approach to handle its OS software and future updates. Matching what it does in the Mobile space, most features daily user feature son the console are installed as apps. So the Blu-ray play software is an app, CD player is an pp and so on. What this means is that if the is a glitch or issue with the Blu-ray player software. You don’t have to wait on a massive update, but rather just an update for the app and it should affect the overall system; which is great.
There is more to see from the Xbox One as the console grows into what Microsoft hope it will be; I hope to see the evolution of smart Glass with the ability to play my console games remotely only smartphone ( watch out Sony). Plus better TV intergration, so that I truly don’t have to use my remote ever again. That been said right out the gate I can safely call the Xbox One a Gaming Multimedia beast and my favorite Console of Choice.