How Xbox One Works


Reception and Availability
A fan in San Diego, Calif. shows off his purchase at a midnight release event.
A fan in San Diego, Calif. shows off his purchase at a midnight release event.
©Robert Benson/Getty Images for Microsoft

Responses of those who have been able to try out the device have been positive, but it hasn't been in the wild for very long as of this writing, so most reviews note that in-home conditions might yield different results than the controlled environments of demonstrations. Some reported that they had to repeat voice commands occasionally, but according to Microsoft, the system learns and becomes more accurate the more you use it, and in most demos, voice recognition worked pretty well. By many accounts, the responsiveness of the device as far as switching from program to program, pausing games and bringing up simultaneously running apps sounds like it is as good as Microsoft would have us believe. And the graphics appear to be stunning.

Any current issues aside, policies and system functionality are somewhat mutable, so as in the past, there are likely more changes and features to come in the form of software updates and app additions. Xbox One has the potential to get better and better.

The Xbox One was released worldwide on November 22, 2013 at a retail price of $499. The updated SmartGlass app, many new Xbox Live features and a number of games were also available on that date.

As is usual with game consoles, availability is likely to be lean initially, and then they'll become more widely available as time passes. And if things follow the usual pattern, the price of the previous console should drop a bit to tide any super-late adopters over until they absolutely must have the latest and greatest.

Author's Note: How Xbox One Works

These days, I am primarily an Xbox 360 gamer (a convert from PC gaming who finally got used to the controller over mouse and keyboard), but I did buy a PlayStation 3 recently, as well, so I could go either way with the new consoles. Researching this article, however, made me lean a little toward Xbox One as my next console. With its Kinect improvements, it not only sounds like an advance in gaming systems, but an advance in home entertainment and computing devices in general. Many of us have dreamed of the day that we could walk into a room and immediately start querying our always-on computer a la "Star Trek," or swipe our way through a virtual display like "Johnny Mnemonic." The command options are still a bit limited, but this could be a stepping-stone to bringing the voice and gesture controlled helpers of sci-fi past into reality in the not-so-distant future.

And while today I check e-mail and social networks on my phone while watching TV, and use it to look up hints and walkthroughs while I'm stuck in a game, the Snap feature means my phone can be freed up for some third multitasking distraction. Sensory overload awaits.

Related Articles

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