The good: Microsoft’s Xbox One integrates live TV in an innovative fashion and can control your cable or satellite cable box, TV, and receiver. Most games present noticeably improved graphics over those on the Xbox 360. The One has a slightly better roster of exclusive launch games compared with the PS4’s.
The bad: The live TV integration is fraught with frustrations: Kinect voice commands don’t always work, the new dashboard is more confusing than it needs to be, and the system lacks full DVR integration. It costs $100 more than the PS4, and the additional Xbox Live Gold membership fee is required to use nearly every cool feature. The lineup of launch games lacks a Halo-caliber must-have title.
The bottom line: The Xbox One goes beyond gaming with its ambitious live TV integration, but at launch it can’t deliver a knockout blow to the PS4 due to a higher price and uneven voice control. We suggest you wait for improvements, but for now, the Xbox One is better suited to forgiving early adopters.
Just a week after the encouraging debut of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One claims the spotlight.
Arriving a full eight years to the day after the Xbox 360, the Xbox One stakes a bold claim as the command center of your living room. Its name says it all: the One Box that would have you view all your living room entertainment — from gaming, live TV, online video streaming, or Skyping with friends and family — through its hardware.
A big part of that do-it-all promise is the inclusion of the second-generation Kinect — no longer an option, the motion sensor/remote extender/voice control microphone is included with every Xbox One — and a big reason Microsoft’s console clocks in at $499, a full $100 more than Sony’s offering. (Gone, meanwhile, are the onerous DRM and “no used games” restrictions that dogged the Xbox One’s announcement phase.)