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Xbox One Launch Day Buyer's Guide: Games, Gear, And More

Posted on Friday, November 22 @ 00:01:00 PST by GR_Staff

Xbox One
Price: $499.99
Release Date: November 22, 2013
Notable Specs: 8GB GDDR3 RAM + 32MB ESRAM, Blu-Ray Drive, 500GB HDD, HDMI-In

Despite a rather rough reveal, Xbox One proves to be a promising game console from Microsoft. After doubling back on a slew of very unpopular digital-focused policies, the successor to Xbox 360 allows users to buy, sell, and trade used games. That said, all games—whether retail or digital—will still need to be installed to the console, and despite being fully installed, disc-based games will still need the disc in the drive to be played.

Microsoft's next-gen console was also met with negativity when it was revealed that the device's motion-sensing camera, Kinect, would need to be plugged in at all times. In response to the outcry, the Big M decided to make the camera optional, while still including it in every box. Because of this, Xbox One is a full hundred bucks more expensive than PlayStation 4, something that could potentially prove to be problematic in the battle against Sony. Regardless, the camera boasts a number of improvements over the original, offering some compelling new ways to experience entertainment.

Make no mistake, Xbox One is more than just a gaming device. With the inclusion of an HDMI-in port, the device works as an "all in one" media box that allows you to watch television using the Microsoft-developed user interface. Couple that with Skype integration and a partnership with the NFL, and you've got a whole bunch of features that have nothing to do with gaming, but do make excellent use of Kinect.

But don't worry, Xbox One will also be a great gaming console. The much-loved Xbox 360 controller has been refined and tweaked, resulting in what is arguably the greatest gamepad of all time—especially for first-person shooters. With the same great button layout and general form factor, along with an improved d-pad and buttery-smooth triggers with built-in feedback, Xbox One's controller can most definitely hold its own against Sony's DualShock 4. There's no doubt that Microsoft wants do tap into all facets of entertainment with Xbox One, but, fortunately for gamers, it doesn't appear to be at the cost of the overarching gaming experience.

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