As one generation of game consoles inexorably gives way to the next, and the next, Microsoft’s Xbox One—which replaces the Xbox 360—is shaped, interestingly, much like an old-school VCR. But it comes with a host of high-tech improvements.
• The new system uses a custom 8-core AMD chip, which is similar to the PlayStation 4 upgrade and the equivalent of the processing power of a mid- to upper-level gaming PC.
• It features HDMI output with HD and 4K support, also built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet.
• It comes with a built-in 500 GB hard drive.
• Controller type: New Improved Kinect. Camera and microphone technology is integrated and allows motion sensing, player recognition, and motion and verbal commands. There’s also a wireless handheld controller, which supports motion sensing and has a headset jack.
• Through verbal commands and hand motions, the console allows users to search and watch live television, surf the Internet, Skype, pull up movie services or play games instantly.
• The system features continuous cloud support allowing game storage, game downloads, data upgrades, as well as giving users the ability to start a game, movie or TV show on one console, then finish on another.
For all of that, however, it should be noted that the Xbox One is not backward compatible with the Xbox 360 or older games.
The Xbox consoles have the most expansive list of parental control options of all the next-gen consoles.
Game Ratings: Xbox consoles read and react to a game’s ESRB rating. Parents can select the game ratings they want their child to play, from EC (early childhood) to M (mature).
Video Ratings: Xbox recognizes and reacts to ratings encoded into movies, TV shows and other videos. Parents can set the console to play R, PG-13, PG or G-rated movies.
Access to Xbox LIVE: Parents can allow or prevent the console from connecting to Xbox LIVE.
Xbox LIVE Marketplace Content: Parents have the option of deciding the level of content kids can access while browsing Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Family Timer: This feature allows parents to set the amount of time that the console can be used on a daily or weekly basis.
Pass Code Lock-Out: Parents set a separate pass code that will keep their Family Settings protected and ensure that they are the only ones who can access or change them.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.