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Xbox One vs Xbox 360

Sam Loveridge by

Xbox One vs Xbox 360

Xbox One vs Xbox 360: Is it worth upgrading to the new generation?

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s definitely a prime time to consider the Xbox One vs Xbox 360 debate.

The Xbox One has been around a year now and in the last 12 months Microsoft has been steadily adding new features to its latest console. That means your looking at the two consoles more on a more even keel now, especially when it comes to media services.

We’ll guide you through some of the key things to consider, before you decide to splash out on a shiny new next gen Xbox..

SEE ALSO: Best Xbox One Deals

Xbox One vs Xbox 360 – DesignColours 5

There’s no getting away from the fact the Xbox One is a considerably bigger beast than the Xbox 360. The Xbox One is a huge monolith, measuring up at 33.3cm wide, 27.4cm deep and 7.9cm tall.

The most recent Xbox 360 is 27cm wide, 26cm deep and 7.5cm tall, which is quite a lot smaller than the Xbox One. Even the original iteration of the Xbox 360 was smaller (if a touch fatter) 30.9cm wide, 25.8cm deep and 8.3cm tall.

Microsoft has made the Xbox One so chunky to give the console enough room to breathe. The smaller Xbox 360 suffered from some major overheating issues, which were partly to blame for the Red Ring of Death problems that cost Microsoft over a billion dollars. There’s no wonder why Microsoft is playing it a bit safe with the Xbox One.

But its size is also to ensure its reliability over a number of years. The Xbox One has been designed to be switched on for its whole anticipated 10-year life cycle.

Xbox One vs Xbox 360

If you’re into voice command or motion gaming features, you’ll also want to consider the Xbox One Kinect. Originally, it came pre-packaged with the Xbox One console itself, but now you can buy the console cheaper without it.

The Xbox One Kinect is smaller than the original Kinect, measuring up at 6.68cm tall 6.6cm deep 24.9cm wide compared to the original’s 7.62cm tall, 7.62cm deep, 27.9cm wide dimensions.

Of course, the Xbox One Kinect is far more advanced than the original, with better body recognition, wider field of vision for play in smaller spaces and enhanced voice commands. We would say that the Xbox One UI is far easier to navigate with Kinect, as often it can be tricky to find certain options or settings with the Wireless Controller alone.

Xbox One vs Xbox 360

Xbox One vs Xbox 360 – NoiseColours 1

Although you might not think noise is an issue when choosing between the Xbox One and Xbox 360, it could be a consideration for those with older generation Xbox 360 consoles.

The Xbox One is nearly silent when it’s running, partly down to its size of course, because the more space the fans have, the less hard they need to work.

You might not notice a huge difference between the latest couple of Xbox 360 models though.

Xbox One vs Xbox 360 – CPU and RAMColours

The Xbox 360 has a PowerPC-based CPU - it's a triple-core 3.2GHz processor. The Xbox One has an eight-core processor based on the AMD Jaguar chip series.

Does that mean the Xbox One is two and a half times as powerful as the Xbox 360? No, it's more powerful than that as the efficiency of the CPU is much better, not just the clock speed and number of cores.

The increase in RAM is much more marked. The Xbox 360 has 512MB of RAM, the Xbox One has 8GB of RAM.

See also: Best Xbox One Games 2014

Xbox One vs Xbox 360

Xbox One vs Xbox 360 – ControllersColours 2

There isn’t a revolutionary change between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers, but Microsoft made some iterative changes that makes the Xbox One Wireless Controller have the edge.

The biggest change is what Microsoft is calling the Impulse Triggers. The Xbox One Controller triggers now pack rumble motors. That makes the Xbox One the ultimate console for racing games, as you’ll feel anything from the subtle gear changes to the hard brakes with the left trigger right in your fingertips. It’s a great addition for shooters too, but when you’ve experienced racing games like Forza Horizon 2 with the Xbox One controller, it will feel fantastic.

The shoulder buttons have also been enlarged slightly, so there’s not that bizarre gap between R1/R2 and L1/L2 as there was on the Xbox 360 controller.

Microsoft has also revamped the D-Pad, making it more clicky, more responsive and altogether better for your old school arcade games.

Sadly, the Xbox One Wireless Controller still runs on AA batteries as standard, with the rechargeable pack available as an optional extra.

See also: Best Games 2014

Xbox One

Xbox One vs Xbox 360 – Games LibraryColours 3

Because the Xbox 360 has been around for nearly a decade, it has a stellar array of games to it’s name. Plus, Microsoft believes its ageing console will be supported by developers for at least another two years yet, so it’s still worth investing in on a games front.

However, as the months roll on you can see the Xbox One’s game resolution and game library getting to be far stronger than its predecessors. You can’t deny that cross-platform games look far better in the 900p/1080p resolution of the Xbox One.

It’s getting to the point that developers like Ubisoft are creating two different games to take advantage of the power of the Xbox One and PS4. Just look at Assassin’s Creed Rogue and Assassin’s Creed Unity.

At launch, the Xbox One didn’t have the strongest of exclusive game line-ups. It had the likes of: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Crimson Dragon, Call of Duty: Ghosts, , Capcom's Dead Rising 3, Microsoft Studios' Forza Motorsport 5, Killer instinct and Ryse: Son of Rome. The majority of those were also available on Xbox 360.

But in the year since release, we’ve had some strong Xbox One titles such as Forza Horizon 2, the colourful Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Plus, you’ve got titles like the aforementioned Assassin’s Creed Unity that is only available on new-gen consoles.

Xbox One vs Xbox 360 – Media SkillsColours 4

From launch and even before that, the Xbox One has been touted as the all-in-one entertainment console, and over the past twelve months or so, Microsoft has been working hard to fulfil that promise.

Originally, the Xbox 360 was miles ahead in terms of media skills, but the Xbox One has now caught up on all fronts.

The Xbox One app line-up currently looks like this: Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, BlinkBox Movies, Wuaki.tv, 4oD, Crackle, Demand 5, Eurosport, Machinima, Muzu TV, Now TV, TED, Twitch and YouTube.

Plus, the Xbox One has some other great features including the Xbox Media Player app (currently in preview) for watching content from a USB or external hard drive and Plex.

That means it’s definitely on par with the Xbox One in terms of media services, especially as you can now plug in a USB 3.0 external hard drive of 250GB or above for additional storage on your Xbox One.

However, the Xbox One has a few additional strings to its bow that the Xbox 360 can’t even dream of competing with and that’s the TV services.

Natively, the Xbox One can draw in cable TV feeds from services like Virgin Media or Sky and integrate your TV content within the Xbox One UI. There’s even a rather special EPG called the OneGuide that will let you pause/rewind live TV up to 30 minutes, collate your favourite programmes and even see what shows are trending on Twitter.

Even if you don’t have a cable TV subscription, you can fork out an additional £24.99 for the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner to achieve the same results with Freeview and Freeview HD feeds.

See also: Plex on Xbox One - How to stream media from your PC to your console

Xbox 360

Xbox One vs Xbox 360 – PriceColours

Despite several waves of Xbox One price cuts, the Xbox 360 is still considerably cheaper than it’s successor. You can pick up the low-end 4GB Xbox 360 for around £130, but we’d recommend opting for the more expensive 250GB option for around £170 brand new.

At launch the Xbox One retailed for £429 with a game and the Kinect. Now, you can pick up the Xbox One, Kinect-free with a game for £329 on special occasions, or for a PS4 matching £349.99.

Next, read our Xbox One vs PS4 comparison

Verdict – Which console should you buy?Colours 5

If you’re on a budget and haven’t already invested the PS3/Xbox 360 generation, the Xbox 360 is still well worth considering.

But, a year into its lifecycle, the Xbox One is proving to be the far better option and now is a great time to upgrade from Xbox 360. It’s the ultimate entertainment console, the controller is vastly superior and the games look better on the Xbox One than its predecessor.

Plus, you're not going to a get a better all-round console at this stage for gaming and for entertainment services.

Go to comments

Aaron Scott

May 21, 2013, 7:17 pm

"Microsoft has switched from ATI to AMD for the Xbox One's graphics"

Seriously...AMD is ATI, they purchased ATI graphics back in 2007, they haven't switched at all, they stuck with the same graphics company.

Matt Prime

May 22, 2013, 10:59 am

Great comparison. Nice article


June 11, 2013, 11:33 pm

Seriously, where's the fact that this monstrousity will be a brick in 10 years (or less) when they turn the servers off? Hey, if it is so much more powerful, then where's my backwards compatability or a virtual console or 360 emulation?


June 12, 2013, 1:52 am

Xbox one = worthless piece of high tech junk


August 28, 2013, 10:00 pm

The Xbox One makes me want to buy another 360.

Dan Cooke

November 7, 2013, 9:03 pm

You forgot to mention that the Xbox-zero now won't play CD's either. I doubt this was an oversight, it's just another way for them to try and get you to purchase music on their marketplace. I'm waiting for the Steam Machine to come out this summer instead of wasting more money on Sony or Microsoft. Sometimes being too greedy ends up costing you what you already have and don't appreciate, like customers. For the record, I own both ps3 and 360 at the moment. Valve is going to blow both Sony and Microsoft out of the water.

Matthew Bunton

November 21, 2013, 1:38 pm

Oh look another bias article. How about some parity TR.

Matthew Bunton

November 21, 2013, 1:46 pm

Do people still even use CD's. Steam box really? no need to wait just build a mini itx system and use the Steam big picture option.

I don't understand why anyone is actually waiting on the Steam box.

Matthew Bunton

November 21, 2013, 1:49 pm

Yeah because we all play so many original Xbox games on our 360's still don't we.

Seriously this backwards comparability issue with all new consoles needs to be a thing of the past.

Dan Cooke

November 21, 2013, 3:03 pm

Yeah I use CDs and DVDs still. I prefer them over having to buy each individual song on my xbox that I already own. It seems silly I know, but if I already own something and it's been working for me all this time, why would I want to run out and re-buy it? For example, COD Ghosts... If you buy it via the xbox360 webstore you can "upgrade" to the xbox1 version for only $9.99... Wow what a deal. If I already own it, why would I want to buy it again? It's on a "new" system sure... But what's different about it? Nothing at all. I still can't justify going and spending 600 dollars on a "new" system that does everything my current one already does. It's "more powerful" ok cool... but what are they doing with this new "more powerful" machine? The same thing they are already doing on current gen consoles. Video games have turned into everything but. They can't get games to run properly until 3 months after launch at best. What makes you think they can change that on the new systems? Steam machine at least is focusing on games... for gamers. Not about trying to sell you the next best thing and trying to sell the exact same crap they've had out now for 7 years already. Check out some PS4 reviews and then tell me how xbox1 is going to be any better. It's a race to the bottom, and they're neck and neck. Even the devs are holding games back at release because they know that the new systems aren't ready yet and don't want to give themselves a bad name on the shoulders of these two clowns. They still can't get games running at 1080 resolution either... something that's been out for nearly 10 years.

Matthew Bunton

November 21, 2013, 3:25 pm

I didn't make my self clear.

I meant don't most of us use MP3's etc more nowadays than actual discs. I'm sure that support for USB sticks with MP3's on will eventually be added.

I haven't used DVD's in years I switched to Blue Ray's upon launch but again haven't even bought any of them in years due to Netflix and other streaming services.

I just don't see the big issue in CD/DVD support on either console.

The Steam box offers nothing new which you can't already build yourself now and use Steam and it's big picture feature on. So again what is the point.

It is far too early to criticize these new consoles there features and games will improve over time of that i'm sure.

Yes the hardware is a little disappointing on both systems but they have to remain affordable and profitable. Besides eventually we will see very good graphics on them both considering their price and specs. Pc gaming will always offer better overall resolutions and specs but at what price?

I recently purchased a GTX Titan and whilst it is impressive technically the Xbox One's Ryse graphically looks better than anything currently on PC.

So the consoles offer very good bang for buck.

Dan Cooke

November 21, 2013, 4:57 pm

I think what is funny is they are calling these "complete entertainment systems" .... To me part of entertainment is listening to music and watching movies.

For them to force you into their media centers and pay for yet even more services is just silly.

I'm not a PC gamer, but that's only because I've always been in to consoles and controller based platforms, which obviously you can use controllers with PC's.. I just don't like having to update graphics and sound cards all the time and spending more time screwing around with system settings etc than actually playing the game. This is something the steam machine will get rid of... messing about with settings and upgrades constantly.

I don't own an mp3 player, ipod or any of those gadgets... I own a car, listen to CD's in my car and at home on surround system. Even cars haven't done away with CD's yet which makes you wonder why Sony and Microsoft would?

I guess my question is do I really want to spend 600+ dollars on a new system, then get games for it when I already have a perfectly good system already with 30-40 games that I would now have to throw in the garbage because they didn't make it backwards compatible? I mean, GTA5 just came out.... why would I want to throw it out already? Is it shit now just because it's available on a new platform? No, it's the EXACT SAME GAME. The graphics may be slightly better, but then that is to be expected. Is it 600 dollars better graphics? Not a chance. I own both PS3 and Xbox 360. I'm not a fan boy at all, I just don't see what they hype is and why people think they need to "upgrade"

If anything I'll wait until the slim versions come out with more capacity and less bugs, and probably a game or two thrown in for less money. I've heard cases of people bringing home PS4 and they don't work right out of the box... so they take it back, exchange it, bring it home and guess what... same crap. What a waste of time and I think I'd rather stay at home and bang my head against the wall the spend hundreds of dollars and hours of my time messing around with a "new system" that does nothing over and above the current platforms are doing already.


November 22, 2013, 8:14 pm

Please put your CDs in your computer, and convert them to MP3's using Windows Media Player for FREE. This way you have a digital copy you can store in the plethora of cloud storage options, for FREE and you can play them on your Xbox (or Xbox One) for FREE.

Depending on your CD reader speed and CPU, you should be able to convert an entire CD in 5 - 10 minutes.


November 22, 2013, 8:18 pm

An original Xbox game I played all the time on the Original Xbox (or the Original Xbox 1...hehe) was Mechassault. I loved that game. I loved it more than Halo, and I... love ...Halo, those were the only two games I played. When I got the 360, I was floored to find out Mechassault would not be ported over to the 360. They couldn't even emulate it for the 360.
Backwards compatibility is an issue only if the developer refuses to port it to the new platform. Some games we love and want to play them on the newer systems, enjoying the increased graphics performance, and abilities.


November 22, 2013, 8:46 pm

Totally true. If you want to play previous gen games, then play it on the previous gen console. There are hundreds of NES Emulators out there for various systems, but why would I emulate when I could just play on the actual NES console?


December 20, 2013, 12:09 pm

Next Gen or Next lots of rubbish. I for one now Cannot afford the X1 console. I've been spending & buying Microsoft's console since 2001 ish, And now there latest baby is so dam expensive many people I know can't. It sucks. It cannot Play CDs out the box, Needs an update before its even playable, kinect with every console whether you want it, or Not. Even if I had the cash, to buy Kinect would right in the bin. The console is to big for my unit to go on, or go inside of. The HDMI in, is a worst. My Freeview HD recorder go's directly into my TV, why would I waste electricity running my Console just to watch TV, Its over priced so nobody can afford it, unless your well off. The line up of games, There no Motorbike, rally or plane games mentioned, The current games are war, and strategy based. Wheres the two wheelers, And wings. So big loud, unplayable at first from update, and kinect setup its to expensive, butt ugly and windows 8 based. It will be over 5 year before we see 4k, gaming and 4k TVs are stupidly expensive. XBOX360 250GB is cheap Quite, 900+ Games, cheap cheap cheap everything. Perfect console. To buy now is just to invest, there's not enough games, and no fun. Ill miss Forza 5 but hay it saves me, £500


December 23, 2013, 4:58 pm

I'm not an Xbox One fan, but damn are you misinformed.

For example, the Kinect stopped being mandatory in July.


Sam Swick

February 15, 2014, 7:44 pm

I just bought the one I like it, but wish it would play my 3D movies.

Rakeem Jones

April 6, 2014, 12:34 am

its not like the bigger system is going to help the red ring problem because my xbox one had the ring of death and when i looked on line it was a whole lot of other people that had the same problem.

Jerry Teach

May 13, 2014, 12:09 am

I still own and play all my original xbox games... I'm not into throwing money away but the last several generations of Americans have been trained to believe everything is disposable, including your income.

Matthew Bunton

May 13, 2014, 4:07 pm

Well good for you but I still think that you'd be better of playing them on the original Xbox. An original Xbox can be picked up so cheaply now.

Besides the 360's emulation is poor and suffers from a lot of issues. Furthermore the amount of supported xbox games on the 360 is very limited.


May 20, 2014, 12:44 am

That's would be cool but it's basically impossible to do that because the system cannot change you TV to make it 3d if you just looking to play the movies than that should be a feature.

Mike W

September 9, 2014, 5:11 am

Yah... Xbox one can barely even do true 1080p. There's no reason to be complaining about the cost of 4k tv's and gaming. That's not happening any time soon unless you go with a pc down the road.

Eric Freiberg

September 9, 2014, 8:22 pm

The Xbox360 is noisier? Ah, ok.... Even my refridgerator is much louder... I can't rly hear my X360 slim :P -- while the PS3 of a friend is kind of REALLY noisy. :P --- will buy the Xbox One later - maybe next year or even 2016 :P

Eric Freiberg

September 9, 2014, 8:23 pm

My Xbox360 Slim has no similar problems. It's not that any Xbox has that problem... And look: PS3 also had it's problems - not a RED ring, but a blue flashing light when it died... (most times, some PS3's die without it's lights changing - like the one of my friend)

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