Why the Xbox One deserves your £430

The PS4 has dealt a blow to Microsoft's console at E3 – but the Xbox One is still a contender. Here's why

Sony's PS4 presentation at E3 has dealt a pretty comprehensive blow to the Xbox One – it's cheaper, plays used games and doesn't periodically connect to the internet to check up on you. But don't count Microsoft's slab of tech out just yet – it has one or two tricks up its sleeve.

Kinect

The Xbox One's Kinect is a marvel – and it's leaps and bounds ahead of the PS4's PlayStation Eye. Where Sony's camera can track movement and offers face recognition, the updated Kinect can monitor your facial expression, measure how much force you're exerting with your muscles and even track your heart rate. Much has been made of how potentially intrusive that is – though Microsoft stresses that you can turn it off or pause it – but that rather overlooks its potential for gaming.

According to Microsoft, it could be used to bluff AI opponents at a game of poker with facial expressions, or measure your heart rate for a fitness game (and you need only look at Wii Fit to see the potential for a more sophisticated exercise game). But that's just scratching the surface – imagine a survival horror game that monitors your heartbeat and engagement to dynamically ramp up the tension. It could even call an ambulance when you inevitably keel over from the stress.

TV

The number of times that Microsoft mentioned "TV" in its initial Xbox One launch has become a running joke – but many people will buy the Xbox One as a home entertainment hub first, and a games console second. And in that respect, it's a good sell – voice and gesture commands, the ability to switch in and out of games at will, deep TV integration, Skype, and the console's ability to learn your preferences all combine to make it a home entertainment powerhouse. Then there's the fact that it finally – finally! – adds Blu-ray, plus it'll likely score exclusive features based around Sky in the UK. As an entertainment device, the Xbox One's certainly a tempting proposition.

More after the break...

Games

And then, of course, there are the games. Big, exclusive names like Forza Motorsport 5, Minecraft and Halo are a powerful draw for gamers, and many won't be able to resist the lure of familiar franchises. There are also plenty of new titles with the potential for greatness – notably Quantum Break and Project Spark, which use the Xbox's TV integration and SmartGlass features respectively. Finally, indie titles like What Lies Below prove that Microsoft isn't neglecting the smaller developers.

Xbox Live

One thing that slipped by almost-unnoticed in Sony's PS4 presentation was that online gaming will require a PSN Plus subscription – unlike the free online gaming delivered by the PS3. That means Sony and Microsoft's online gaming offerings find themselves scrapping it out on a truly level playing field for the first time – and on current evidence, Xbox Live has the edge, with Skype group video calling, an established gaming community (with gamerscores carrying over from your Xbox 360) plus Microsoft's ability to use its 300,000 Xbox Live servers to create "living and persistent worlds." PSN, meanwhile, offers the ability to dip in and out of friends' games, which sounds cool – but the various PSN outages and hacks of the last few years don't inspire confidence.

The controller

The Xbox 360's controller was leaps and bounds ahead of its PS3 rival – and although Sony has made some improvements to the PS4 controller, all Microsoft needed to do was leave well alone. Thankfully, it has, retaining that comfy-in-the-palm shape, intuitive thumbstick layout and triggers – and adding a couple of bonus features, too. Most interesting is the vibrating impulse tech built into the triggers, which should add a fantastic layer of immersion to racing and FPS games.

Comments

I dont like the idea of not being able to use 2nd hand/traded games, however, the Xbox One looks absolutly amazing!

All this talk about the price vs the PS4 seems to be rubbish. Correct me if Im wrong but the PS4 only comes with the controller but it doesnt come with the camera does it? Assuming it doesnt then you need to add the cost of that on if you want to make use of all of the machines capabilities. 

That said, as it stands Ill probably be getting the PS4, Xbox looks great but I just want a machine to play games on not take over my living room, I have Sky and my ipad for tv and internet capability.

Person below me... what the hell? "Buying all your games again"? WTF? Why would you need to? Why is backwards compatibility such a big issue? Just because you buy a new console doesn't mean you have to throw away your 360, that doesn;t make sense! It's never been an issue for me... I even still have my Original Xbox!

 

Everything gets blown out of proportion on the internet and I'm so cik of everyone already saying "M$ have lost, SONY FTW!" etc. For all the reasons stated above, that all outmatch the Playstation, I believe Xbox One is a much better console. But everyone is just focussing on the negatives - "needs to connect every 24 hours! Boo!" "Not backwards compatible! Shit!" "No used games etc"... rather than the pros... of which there are LOADS! I particularly like the feature of you can play your games via the cloud without a disc... even round your mate's house while signed in! That's AWESOME!

 

I think these features do make it a better console that the PS4, and explains why it's more expensive... but I still think at £430 is TOO expensive... once again in the UK we have been ripped off! It should be £320 based on the exchange rate! FFS.

well i feel let down by MS. as i am not buying all my games again. just so microsoft can make more money. so as soon as my xbox live runs out. It will be a PS4 for me. then i can still old PS3 game on it.

 

so MS you will lose this war this time. as this is a stupid idea. 

 

No backwards compatible. this is a big mistake.

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