Xbox One – Taking a Look at Microsoft’s New Console

With a loud knock on my front door, a packaged arrived containing the one console to rule them all – the Xbox One. In little to no time, as I am filled with great excitement, I set-up the Xbox One and began my journey into the next generation of console gaming.

I have many great memories of the Xbox and Xbox 360 as I’ve owned both consoles near their launch dates. It’s only fitting that I now own the Xbox One within a few months of its release, and I’m hopeful to have many great new memories with this console as well.

Using voice command for the first time is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Sure, when it was first demoed my reaction was thinking that it seems pretty cool. However, I was also thinking that it was pointless and I could care less. Well, as it turns out, that’s not the case at all as I’ve used voice command often to start up the system and begin playing movies on Amazon Instant Video or TV shows on Netflix. It took a few minutes to get familiar with the command functions, but once I had it down I had zero problems with it. I’m actually having a lot of fun with it! It’s still not perfect though, but it does a nice job for quick commands like “Xbox Pause,” “Xbox Go Home,” “Xbox On,” and more of those similar quick commands for running video.

A feature that I had absolutely no interest in is Xbox Fitness which comes free for all Xbox Live Gold members. I still made sure to give it a go and it completely hooked the competitive side of me. It makes workout routine videos more interesting with a rating and score. Yes, I am that much of a leaderboard and highscore addict that I couldn’t help myself. I began doing a number of different workouts, making sure to get five star ratings on each segment. It actually makes working out a lot more exciting and interesting. Xbox One users should certainly take a look at Xbox Fitness just to give it a try and see how they stack up against their friends.

One feature that I absolutely dislike is the hand gestures for controlling the on screen menus. I’ve tried playing around with it, but find it incredibly hard to use and rather annoying when it comes on by itself during a movie or TV show, usually interrupting the scene. I don’t like a hand randomly showing up when things are just getting intense during a favorite TV show of mine!

Having used the console now for close to a month, it still provides Xbox gamers with the same joy that has been found in the Xbox and Xbox 360. I still don’t know if I’m completely sold on its menus, but the navigation hasn’t been too bothersome – I just don’t care for the style that much. The console itself looks sleek and powerful sitting on my shelf and it runs fairly quietly. It’s been just as great for gaming as it has been as a media device for things like DVD and Blu-ray movies and Apps for Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

Gaming on Xbox One is a beautiful thing!

The new controller feels great when racing through Forza 5 or doing battle in Ryse, and gaming is made even more fun as the console records video clips and allow users to edit and save their favorite moments. I like looking at my friends feed to see a list full of shared videos. It makes sharing those special gameplay moments a lot of fun! The achievements are still around too, though I’m not as excited as I used to be when earning them. I did find it fun earning achievements for Xbox Fitness and Netflix. Who knew I could unlock an achievement for watching three episodes in a row and another achievement for a forth. I’m on a bit of a Burn Notice kick at the moment.

The Xbox One is a lovely machine that all Xbox fans can greatly appreciate no matter what games they are playing. For me, at the moment, Forza is really stealing the show and taking over all of my time. But I certainly can’t wait to get my hands on some of the upcoming titles that will release this year to continue experiencing next-gen gaming on the Xbox One.

Using Upload Studio to upload a “headbanging action” clip. It’s always fun to share moments like that!


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