Black Friday Xbox Deals Buying Guide


The Xbox One is Microsoft’s successor to the Xbox 360, which is now showing its age eight years after its launch. But it’s also something much bigger, much more ambitious. The Xbox One is Microsoft’s way of attaching itself to every single thing you do in your living room. It is a gaming machine, a set-top box, a cable box and a computer all rolled into one. The box itself isn’t much to look at, it’s not ugly so much as it is just boring. It looks like the ultimate sci-fi evolution of a VCR, part glossy, part vented and all very black and boxy and humongous. There is a disc drive on the left side, a glowing power button on the front and really nothing else to see. It is not pretty or well-designed like the PlayStation 4. The glowing Xbox button takes you home from anywhere you are and start and select have been replaced by the occasionally confusing view and menu buttons. The coolest new feature is the controller’s impulse triggers which are hyper specific vibrations that fit whatever game you are playing. In Forza, it is made to feel like you are actually holding a steering wheel in a fast-moving car, it is really jarring and only exists in a few places but it is something developers are definitely going to make use of.


Setting up the Xbox is a long, somewhat complicated process and it does take a while but Microsoft does a good job of guiding you through the many configurations updates and options. Basically, you are setting up a gaming machine, a universal remote and a PC all at the same time. It Is definitely worth taking the time to do it right. When you turn on the Xbox one you will see a very similar tiled interface to one you would see on any other Windows 8 PC. It is pretty, colourful and customisable. Different users can have different colours in different layouts and as soon as you sit down the Xbox recognizes you and adapts everything to your particular set up. As long as you are in a quiet small room, the voice controls work pretty well, but if there are any other people, other noises or just any echo, it starts to get really problematic. It felt like half the time it took me two or even three or four tries, to get the Xbox one to recognize commands and it didn’t always get them right either. Microsoft has said that developing apps for the new console will be really easy but we haven’t really seen the fruits of that yet. Its impressive microphone is a pretty fantastic experience to just sit on your couch and talk to someone, otherwise for now there’s really just the standard set of media apps. The potential here is huge and most of the apps work really well, but so far, the experience Even the best games on the console like Forza, Motorsport 5 and Dead Rising 3, don’t feel like something completely new and different. They are gorgeous, with better graphics and amazing detail, but they just feel like the best, yet not a huge leap forward and like the PlayStation 4 the Xbox one has a large group of third party titles. Xbox fitness in particular is really fun and is a great demonstration. The Xbox one experience with the most room to grow, where Microsoft is clearly betting on the future rather than the present, is its TV integration. Right now, it’s kind of a mess changing channels with your voice is great, but it doesn’t always work and even when it does it’s just a series of Xbox menus overtop of your cable boxes menus with no clear indication of what’s going on. It doesn’t support Dolby Digital yet either, which means no surround sound, which means I won’t be plugging it into my cable box anytime soon. Really the best thing the Xbox one offers right now, is that you don’t have to switch inputs between the Xbox in your cable box. The voice control is just good enough that I want to use it all the time but so inconsistent that I can’t possibly do so. The Xbox one is a great game console to look for in Black Friday Deals!