On the evening of November 21, 2013, my husband happened to be in Redmond, WA for a developer conference. He and some colleagues for some reason thought it would be fun to stand in line at a mall for hours as strangely-dressed Microsoft XBox dev team employees ran around gleefully.
So he went and bought a XBox One. Which he then had to fit into his suitcase for his flight home to Ohio. Boys are silly.
The result of this is that, for the first time in my life, I owned a gaming console at launch.
We’re getting to the point in the XB1’s (or Xbone hehe) lifecycle where I can recommend it to others without sounding like a fangirl. So here are some things that I’ve enjoyed about the XB1.
I am a fairly casual gamer, but the games I do have are mostly for the Xbox 360 (we have one of those as well). While the XB1 is NOT backwards compatible, it does allow you to feed a game system (or your cable TV) input through the back, so you can access that input via the XB1 interface. This lets me still play my 360 games easily without taking up another HDMI slot in the TV.
The new bundled Kinect has received a major upgrade. It is so good, it’s creepy. If B walks by while the system is on, it signs him in via facial recognition. The voice commands are surprisingly accurate. It gets B’s voice better than it does mine, and it sometimes doesn’t understand when I say “Netflix” (it helps to emphasize the x). Naturally I have tried speaking to it in a British accent, and that works, too.
The voice commands are my absolute favorite thing about the XB1–it makes watching Netflix so easy. You can go from turning on the console to selecting your show in a matter of seconds without moving. Perfect for when you have a cat sleeping on you and no controller in reach. And you can instantly pause in the middle of your 2-hr movie, long after the controller has gone to sleep.
The game selection for the XB1 continues to improve, so my next post will talk about some of the games B and I have played, including exclusives.
It is nice to see that the Xbox One’s Kinect amounts to be more productive than the disembodied, lifeless head of Johnny 5. I did notice that with the Xbox 360’s Kinect, putting on what I interpret to be an American accent made it somewhat less strenuous to use.
Is it weird that my idea of fun is speaking to the XB1 in different accents to see what it understands? It’s totally for research, riiiiight ~_^
Yeah, the new Kinect is a major step up from the 360 one. As I said, it’s a little creepy.