If you’re looking to be the super cool parent of the year, then the Xbox One is what your gaming tween/teen will want to see under the tree on December 25th. The highly anticipated gaming system hits stores today with much fanfare.
Microsoft has high hopes for the Xbox One, hoping it’ll land in family rooms everywhere as the “all-in-one entertainment system”. Xbox is synonymous with gaming but it now also integrates directly with your tv. Turning the tv on is as simple as saying “Xbox on” and changing channels can be done the same way by voice command. (feature not fully operational in Canada yet). You can switch from playing games to watching tv, movies, music and the internet all with little effort. Even multi-tasking has taken on a new meaning as you won’t have to interrupt your game to watch tv, chat with a friend on Skype or look up game walkthroughs.
The Xbox One has been redesigned both inside and out from its predecessor, the Xbox 360. There’s a new look, new controller, a Blue-ray drive and built-in Kinect that responds to hand and motion gestures as well as voice commands. It’s great to have a makeover but parents won’t be happy to know that this comes at a cost — Xbox 360 games are not compatible with the new console.
Speaking of games, the Xbox One has the following tween friendly games available now or just in time for Christmas:
- FIFA 14
- Forza Motorsport 5
- Just Dance 2014
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
- NBA LIVE 14
- NBA 2K14
- Peggle 2 (December launch)
- Powerstar Golf
- Skylanders: Swap Force
- Zoo Tycoon
- Zumba Fitness
The built-in Kinect is the main reason for the higher price point but I have to say Kinect games really are a lot of fun as you don’t require a controller to play, which opens up the possibilities to gaming. The Xbox One Kinect is more accurate and powerful than the original, which means it can better detect where people are standing and mimic their movements.
With the popularity of sharing, the one cool feature is the ability to tell Xbox to record the last 30 seconds of the game so that you can edit, add a voiceover and share the clip with friends via Xbox Live and/or download to Skydrive (which can then be shared).
The Xbox One is not the only new kid in town. Sony’s Playstation 4 was just released last week and many are weighing in on the Xbox One vs. Playstation 4 debate. However, families with younger children (with no older siblings) may want to consider Nintendo’s Wii U, which may be a better option for younger gamers.
There really are a lot of neat features to the Xbox One but at a cost of $500 (the highest amongst gaming consoles), Microsoft is counting on its versatility in appealing to mom, dad and older siblings alike.
Xbox One retails for $499.99 CAD at electronic retailers like Future Shop and Best Buy.
About Wendy Morelli
Wendy loves her 2 kids and her iPhone, not necessarily always in that order. She is an app obsessed mom who loves everything tech and is (unfortunately) old enough to remember the brick Motorola cell phone and the Commodore computer. Her love for technology stems back to the 10+ years of working for technology based companies. Wendy's alter ego, "AppHipMom" has been featured in Canadian Family, iVillage, Women in Biz, EverythingMom, BlogHer and Savvy Mom.