The New Xbox One. Is It Worth Upgrading From Xbox 360?
Do you want one of these?
The Xbox 360 replacement has been out for a while now. This article explains the difference between the Xbox 360 and the new Xbox one to help you decide whether it's worth the upgrade.
The Xbox 360 has been on the market for 8 years at time of writing and nowadays is starting to look a bit old hat. The graphics and capabilities of the machine are well behind what PC gamers have been seeing in even fairly low end systems for years. I have still used an Xbox as well as a PC for years now as I do like the multiplayer aspect of Xbox live, but the hardware has been in need of a refresh for a while.
Like most gamers across the world I have been interested in what the new machine will be capable of and after some research, I thought I'd share the system specs.
First of all, this is what it looks like!
DVD = dead. Bluray = alive. For the moment anyway.
A bluray drive. Finally!
Yes, 7 or so years after Sony released their console with a bluray drive, Microsoft have decided to catch up. I imagine that Microsoft were probably slightly annoyed when they realised what Sony were planning as the bluray drive was a fairly large selling point for the PS3, while the Xbox 360 made do with a standard dvd drive.
The introduction of this is good for several reasons, the first is that you will now be able to watch blurays without needing a separate bluray player. Nice, as long as the system fan is fairly quiet of course. The second is that the capacity of blurays is so much higher than DVDs (50GB compared to 8-9GB) that games can now all be on one disc to stop irritating disc swapping. Thirdly there is now breathing room for games developers to make larger games.
As you can see from the picture above, there is no disc tray, the new one just has a slot for you to slide the disc in.
Too much effort for someone as lazy as me, but others will love it
New Kinect sensor
The new Kinect sensor is no longer optional. It comes with every Xbox One and the console won't work unless it is plugged in! Whether you want it or not, you've got it.
The new sensor is considerably more sensitive than the previous sensor. This is going to make games a sight better to play as it will be able to react to subtle movements far better. It now detects your body far closer to the camera than the previous model as well, so you don't have to move your coffee table to start playing.
The big deal with the Kinect setup on the new system is that you can use it to control the Xbox menus by swiping and grabbing. If you've seen Tom Cruise in Minority Report, you get the idea. Of course this is technically very impressive. However personally, I find remote controls and pads far easier to use as all you move is a thumb, rather than have to swish your hands around. Economy of movement is what I'm all about when I'm relaxing! The other thing the new sensor has is the ability to control the Xbox with voice commands. This worked great at the demonstration (where I suspect someone was actually controlling it in the background with a mouse), but in real life it's not quite as impressive. It works perfectly in a quiet room, but when you've got a game on and the music playing, the Kinect isn't quite so responsive.
One thing that it does do is transmit your voice to other players even if you haven't put the microphone on. It's always on, so if you are playing a game and swearing out loud, the others will hear you!
For gamers like me, who don't really like Kinect as it takes too much effort and just want to sit with pad in hand for hours at a time, the improvements to Kinect probably aren't really going to be a big deal. But for those who like jumping around, then you're going to be happy.
Do you like games? Well stop playing those, watch TV instead....
The new Xbox is no longer just being marketed as a games console, Microsoft are trying to push it an entertainment system that you can use for your music and to watch tv & movies as well.
The quite funky part of this is that you can ask for programmes to come on by name, rather than have to switch channel and search. It will then stream whatever you want to watch. So you can say 'Xbox, watch Breaking Bad' and then watch Walt doing his best to make it through life, while Skylar nags at him.
If you download movies/tv shows this won't interest you, but the people out there that like to pay for this sort of thing will probably find this feature quite nice.
Personally I don't watch films on my Xbox, I have a better system in place for that, the only reason I have a games console is to do that old fashioned thing and use it for playing games, so what about that side of it?
Improved D pad and vibrating triggers are the two new features of the new pad. Not much else is needed really.
A new controller
This is potentially a risky move as in my opinion the xbox 360 controller is great and feels perfect in the hand. The first xbox controller was bigger and not so ergonomic, but they really nailed the 360 pad.
The new one is practically identical which is a good thing in my opinion, but they have now improved the D pad and introduced force feedback into the triggers. So your trigger fingers can now vibrate instead of the whole pad vibrating. This isn't a big difference, but it does make games a bit more interactive, especially during driving games, if you hit the rumble strips at the side of the track, you can feel the tyres rumbling! The D pad being improved is a good thing although it's rarely used for anything in my experience.
Improved graphics capabilities
This is the biggest deal with the new system. Of course decent gaming graphics are what people are interested in and the Xbox has been lagging behind the competion for a while as the PS3 has more raw power and nowadays PC graphics simply blow the graphics from both consoles clean out of the water.
The new Xbox features a faster CPU, more RAM than the current system as it now has 8Gb, compared to 500MB along with a much more powerful pair of graphics processing units (GPUs) than the 360, which only has one GPU. The new system is supposed to be eight times more powerful than the predecessor, which should make the next generation of games even more lifelike and terrifying.
The new console also has a 500gb hard drive as standard, which is a fair bit bigger than the hard drives available for the Xbox 360, which boasts a 250gb as the largest drive.
Might as well bin this lot..
Will you buy a new Xbox?
Well the biggest downside of the new system is that it isn't backwards compatible with games from the Xbox 360. That is a shocking thing to hear as all of the games that we have been buying for the Xbox over the last 8 or so years are now obsolete. This includes the arcade games that many people have built up over the years.
At least for the first few years, this is going to mean that if you want to get an Xbox One, you're probably going to want to keep your Xbox 360 as well if you want to play your old games with your friends online.
Plus at the moment there is a big potential problem for gamers that like to pick up used games and save a bit of cash (which is probably most of us at some point or other, everyone I know buys some new and some used games).
Microsoft have decided that if you want to sell a game, you can only sell it to someone that has been on your friends list for 30 days or more. There are some discussions about ways that this can be done through approved shops who no doubt have to pay licensing fees to Microsoft and other such complications. This is a major blow for most people, as buying all games brand new isn't really what the majority of people want to do in my opinion. What doesn't help is that Sony have decided to not have any of these issues and simply allow people to sell, swap or give their games away the same way the system has always worked..
This is the best price available at the moment for the Xbox
So is it worth the upgrade or not?
At the time of writing there are more and more games starting to come out for the xbox one and it is starting to be worth the upgrade. I bought one a while ago to be honest but play the One and 360. I will be keeping the 360 as there are some arcade games on there I can't live without, like quarrel, but I imagine over time the majority of my gaming will slide across to the One.
I hope this article was useful, outlining a few ways in which the new Xbox differs from the current version. As my friend say, if you're going to buy one sooner or later, why wait? Get one ordered!
If you have any comments, then please leave them below. Thanks!