Hands-On With The Xbox One: Everything You Need To Know

Our first impressions give you crash course for the Xbox One.

Hot on the heels of the Playstation 4, we've already got another major release on the table. Yep, fans are getting a second heaping portion of delicious gaming as Thanksgiving (Thanksgaming?) comes a little early this year by the good folks at Microsoft. The Xbox One drops this Friday, and we've had early hands-on with the system. Here's everything you need to know about the Xbox 360's sequel:

Media Machine

Last generation proved to be the major tipping point from game consoles to mass media machines. The Xbox One continues this trend but blows Microsoft's previous outing the, the Xbox 360, out of the sky with a massive feature list of anything and everything you'll need to keep watching TV and Movies. All your favorite apps like Hulu Plus and Netflix will be available but the real kicker is the fact that you can hook in through your HD cable box and use the XB1 as a powerful DVR!

Snap To It!

Ever had to share one amazing device between two people? Now you can keep the peace with two applications running simultaneously. Multitasking is made easier with the XB1's "snap" function. Wanna play a game while watching TV? You can snap the TV app to the side and share the screen space. Need an online walkthrough to beat that tough boss? Snap Bing and look up a walkthrough!

Games, Games, Games

While the Xbox has its sights squarely on assimilating the living room with TV and movies, the real meal has always been about the games. The Xbox One has an impressive line-up of day one titles to keep the core and casual fans delighted and entertained for hours. "Ryse: Son of Rome," "Dead Rising 3," and "Forza 5" will be waiting for itchy fingers on release day along with cross-platform titles like "Assassin's Creed IV," "Call of Duty: Ghosts," "Need For Speed Rivals," and more!

And there's more to come. Microsoft has a knack for sniffing out exclusive content -- whether that's new games or additional DLC. Game's like "Titanfall" are on the horizon. We've barely even seen the tip of the iceberg so stay tuned.

Visual Feast

The next generation of gaming gets a health bump in fidelity. The Xbox One is a powerful machine capable of rendering brain-melting graphics with engaging gameplay. Those games we just mentioned? Yeah, they're gorgeous. Eye-popping color and realistic lighting question what's actual reality. Who wants to go outside when looking at games this pretty makes the real world boring and drab?

You're the Star

The Xbox One takes it a further than just movies and TV. With the Game DVR and Upload Studio, you can show off all those amazing moments to prove you've got the skills. It's a simple as saying "Xbox Record That" and that's it. The Xbox One stores your saved clips in the system. Then you can access Upload Studio to edit and save to Youtube, FB, or practically anywhere. Then after uploading you can jump right back into the game and continue where you left!

Get Kinect-ed

The motion and voice operated add-on was first introduced a couple of years ago and while it had some neat tricks, it ended up being quickly shuffled to the side. Enter Kinect 2.0. Microsoft turbo charged the innovative device to deliver a smoother, quicker, and richer experience across all games and media. The new Kinect is smarter, too. With its new 3D camera, it can adjust the visual angle for any type of gaming position (slouchers welcome!) and zoom in and out during Skype calls, making sure everyone gets face time. It's like having a personal director in your house!

Additionally, now that it's bundled with the system, more developers will attempt to create clever additions to enhance gameplay. For instance, in "Dead Rising 3" you can shout at the zombies to distract them, then set up an ambush. It's neat.

Assuming Control

Microsoft went all out with their new controller, ensuring that it had a great feel and sleek design to welcome gamers of all levels. Breaking away from the Xbox 360's bulky controller, the One's new gamepad has 40 new additions and alterations. An improved D-pad, satisfyingly tactile analogue sticks, and a silky matte finish are all welcome. However, the coolest feature is the force-feedback triggers. It seems a little silly at first, but the tiny rumbles you can feel with every rev of the engine or jolt of a shotgun gives just that slight edge that makes everything seem that more immersive. You really have to feel for yourself, but take our word for it, it's extremely satisfying when you can actually feel the crunch of a lead pipe on a zombie skull!


This might not seem like a big deal, but the system barely registers in the noise department. Seriously, we weren't even sure it was actually on, given how quietly the system operated.

On-Demand Play

Streaming while downloading is an amazing feature. Simply put, it takes the laborious time of downloading and installing a game and reduces wait to a few moments before you can jump. As you play, the game updates automatically. The means that you get in your game quickly and hassle-free.

On-Demand also includes the huge library of available apps, movies, DLC, and more to add to your digital collection. You'll never be bored again!

Final Thoughts

Microsoft really has something here with the Xbox One. The improvements over the last gen systems is only superseded by the massive list of clever features that will keep in engaged for years. At the end of the day, the Xbox One, isn't just for gamers, it's a beefy entertainment console. Adding in DRV may seem like a break away from hardcore gamer, but by packaging it as an all-in-one system there's a little bit for everyone in the family.

Come back for more as we'll round up the hottest titles for the Xbox One in a massive review Friday!