The only reason we had an Xbox 360 was because my husband wanted to play Halo. The only reason we had a Playstation 3 was for the Blu-Ray playback.
Microsoft invented the Xbox One and naturally we realized it was the perfect combination of both of our wants. (Our Playstation 3 stopped turning on months ago!) In addition, this newest Xbox does so much more than other systems before it that we made it our mission to buy it one day.
That one day finally came during Easter time this year. We were thrilled!
But we didn’t purchase the Kinect with the system. It was sold separately. I figured we’d make do for the time being and we’d purchase that later.
I purchased our Kinect in the beginning of August. Let’s just say having that has dramatically changed how much we love our new Xbox One.
And we’ve hardly use the console for gaming! Wait until Christmas! I can’t wait to shop for family games that we can play together using Kinect’s motion sensors.
For now, let me tell you the parts that we love for our family:
Voice commands – Okay, so at first it’s weird to talk to your Xbox, but I’ve already gotten used to saying, “Xbox On” or “Xbox Volume Up”. I love that if I don’t have the remote (or I’m too lazy to grab it), I can just command the Xbox to do what I want it to. There is a slight learning curve as you cannot just say anything, but once you learn the phrases to use, it’s great! I also love that it doesn’t talk back when I tell it to do something, like my kids sometimes do.
Loads applications quickly – If you own a Windows Phone, you are already familiar with Microsoft’s quick response technology. Xbox One takes it a step further by remembering where you left off. You see, the Xbox powers down, but it doesn’t restart, which allows it to power on and display the last app you were using quickly. If I were last watching Sling TV, it will start playing the channel I last left it on. If I was listening to Pandora, it will remember the last station I was listening to. Plus, if I want to switch from watching my Netflix movie to stream an episode of Dancing with the Stars on Hulu, I just hit the home button and select Hulu from my pins (or recent app list) and I’m playing the episode in less than 30 seconds. It’s crazy how fast I can navigate from one thing to another. I love it! It’s perfect for my sometimes impatient children!
Entertainment overload – I’ve already mentioned many of the apps that we use with our Xbox One: Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, and SlingTV. We could also purchase movies and tv shows and download them to the console’s hard drive if we wanted. For families that want to have the most current season of television shows for their kids to watch over and over again, this ability is a great feature. Plus, with the built in Blu-Ray player, you can rent movies from Redbox and watch them without needing to switch the tv’s input source to another device. And with the Store app, you can download many more apps that I haven’t even discovered yet! Who needs a cable box when you’ve got an Xbox One? (We don’t have cable anymore, in case you hadn’t figured that out.)
Skype with Kinect – My husband works away from home and we Skype nearly every day. Since getting the Xbox One, our Skype experience has been much better. When he calls us, no matter what app is playing on the Xbox, it will pop up a notification letting us know we are receiving his call. Having our Kinect camera mounted on top of our tv gives my husband a wide view of our living room so that he can watch our youngest run around and play. Plus, the camera zooms and follows us around the room, which always makes his view fun and interesting. Before this, he would either have to look at me or look at the kids. Now, he can watch and see everyone at once.
Settings for the tv – I set up our Xbox to turn off the tv when the console is turned off. Isn’t that neat? The console is also connected to our television’s volume settings. This comes in handy when the volume is far too low and I need to turn it up. The Xbox has a harder time hearing me if the volume is already high and I want it to turn down. Even still, these are great features designed to keep me from needing to look for the tv remote.
Like I mentioned earlier, we haven’t purchased any Kinect games yet for the Xbox One, but I plan on giving some as gifts this Christmas. I expect the experience will be great and fun for all of us. I highly recommend this game console for any family that is looking to get away from traditional cable or needs a streaming device that triples as a Blu-Ray player and gaming system. It really is a one-size-fits all for my family. (The only additional thing that I recommend purchasing would be a cooling fan. While Xbox One is designed to handle being on all the time, I think a cooling fan is a minimal investment that could help you get a longer life out of your initial near $500 investment.)
Do you already own an Xbox One and have a favorite feature you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!