Xbox One: Verdict
Should I buy the Xbox One?Here’s the odd thing. We have two new consoles using broadly similar hardware and offering a similar mix of games, community features and entertainment services, yet each is taking a radically different path. If the PS4 is the thoroughbred games machine, then the Xbox One is the more visionary console, giving you a different way to enjoy your home entertainment, and some features – Kinect, the new controller, the cloud – that have the potential to change gaming for the better, though whether that potential is ever realised is something else.
Right now, this is a well-designed chunk of gaming hardware with a fantastic controller and a clutch of decent, but not spectacular launch games. It has a great interface, a good and growing selection of entertainment apps, and voice controls that will a) impress friends and family and b) work 85% of the time. The best thing about the Xbox One at the moment is that, when you’re using it you genuinely feel like you’re using the content of the future, even if some of the apps and TV functions haven’t made it to the present quite yet. Flicking between games, apps and entertainment or using voice to find and watch a movie might sound like a gimmick, but it’s a gimmick you won’t tire of for a good few months.
The Xbox One is a well designed but chunky piece of kit
It is expensive, and if you just want to play games then that expense isn’t justified right now. Stick with your Xbox 360 or PS3, sit around, and wait to see what games emerge in the spring. UK TV services may come through, and then the Xbox One becomes an even more compelling proposition. Or buy a PS4 and spend the cash you’ve saved on games.
But if you feel like buying an Xbox One now, then you won’t go away disappointed. It’s a deeply impressive mix of innovative hardware, software and services, and the games are good enough to keep you enthralled until Titanfall and the other big spring hits roll around.
If PS4 is the thoroughbred games machine, then this is the great, visionary all-rounder. Sony’s console has it outmatched when it comes to raw graphics grunt, and that’s reflected in lower resolutions right now and potentially weaker visuals in the future.
Yet Xbox One brings so much more to the part, whether the enhanced Kinect voice and motion controls, the superb integration of entertainment services, or the potential for cloud-based processing in years to come. Buying Xbox One is a gamble – and an expensive one at that – but it feels like the console of the future, and if Microsoft can deliver on its promises that gamble will pay off.
Next, read our in-depth PS4 review
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