Xbox One

3 Dec

Our family just got an Xbox One. We’ve been playing with our old Wii and dad really wanted to play some real games, specifically Call of Duty.

We took advantage of a Black Friday special at the Microsoft store. We got:

  • Xbox One with Kinect, Assassins Creed Bundle – $429.99
  • One free game (Call of Duty)
  • One extra controller – $39.00
  • One year of Xbox Live Gold – $27.00
  • A media remote – $24.99
  • A charging gadget for both controllers –  $29.99
  • 2 year extended warranty – $53.01

The grand total came out to a heart stopping  $654.56, including tax. The non Black Friday price would have been around $150 more.

The setup
We got home and set it up and we were annoyed to find out that the machine requires a lot of updates before you can use it. The updates over wifi took over 24 hours due to some problems that I think were on Microsoft’s side. The downloads either failed or were very slow.

We setup accounts for each person and setup the parental controls. The kids love the way that the Xbox says hi to them when they walk in the room.

The games
My husband loves playing call of Duty. He isn’t so into Assassins creed, but that might change.

The system came with a demo of a dance game which the kids like. We also purchased ($24.99) the Legends of Korra game which they love.

With Xbox Live Gold you get 2 free games a month. We downloaded a couple and they are ok. We haven’t played with them much yet.

The hardware
I am surprised that the Xbox One isn’t faster. For instance, my Roku can load Netflix 2x faster.

The media remote is really not necessary. I bought it for Grandpa — but I don’t think he will ever figure out the Xbox.

Kinect
I think its not really necessary. You don’t need to use gestures and voice to control the Xbox. But you need it to play motion games like the dancing and the sports. If it were not for the Black Friday deal, we probably would have skipped it.

The kids
I am still teaching the kids to turn the Xbox on and to start Netflix to watch their shows. So far, its not bad — especially if you use voice controls.

TV
I connected the cable box to the Xbox One and I see that it helps you find things to watch which is cool. Except, we never watch our cable TV.

Music
I am really disappointed that Xbox music has an additional charge of $9.99. Didn’t I spend enough already!!! And I can’t use Pandora or Google music. I think if I put my mp3s on Skydrive, I can play them through the Xbox but I haven’t tried it yet.

The apps
We use Skype, Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube and Hulu. HBO Go is available. Pandora is not available.

There are fitness apps that I might want to try that work with the Kinect.

I am completely surprised that the Xbox can’t access my home network. I was expecting to be able to connect to a file share on my home network but it appears that I cannot. Instead, you need to put things on Skydrive.

Overall
People criticize Amazon devices as being basically vending machines for Amazon products and services. I personally find this unfair as Amazon offers you SO many free things with primes (movies and tv, music, free books). I think that criticism is fair against Microsoft. Items from the store are prominently displayed on the home screen and when my kids click, they find that there is a charge. Some games have in-game purchases which I understand is the way that things are done now but its really annoying. I think that I will be taking advantage of Skydrive to play my own videos and music, but that likely will be another charge (they give you 15 GB for free) of $3.99 a month.

IMHO, XBox Live Gold should include 100GB of storage and some number of hours of radio play per month.

The bottom line. I like having the Xbox. Its fun to play games. But it is expensive and Microsoft nickel and dimes you during the experience. Though it is touted as being a media center, I think its still a gamer machine. Keep your Roku.

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