Xbox One Review: More Than a Video Game Console, Kinect Makes it an Entertainment Center

The Xbox One was released today at midnight, and is being heralded as a multi-purpose entertainment machine that does much more than gaming.

Once set up, the Microsoft console will become the sole entertainment center. The cable, TV, and pretty much everything else that uses an HDMI cable can be connected and run through the Xbox One. Also, once hooked up, the Kinect allows all the apps to be run on voice command, even the TV.

According to NBC News, Xbox One is able to tailor the cable/satellite programming to the users' specifics to only watch and view programming "you care about." Xbox only does this when commanded though, otherwise the regular remote works.

The Kinect voice command is said to be very responsive, and has a whole list of commands that the Xbox hints at by highlighting them green on the screen. The Kinect focuses in on the person who is speaking and tries to pick up their voice, which could sometimes get diluted if multiple people are in the room, but otherwise works fine.

Kinect will learn to distinguish between all of the users of the console and load up the proper start screen for the person who boots up the console. Xbox One is in a way always on, and ready to pop up at the simple "Hello Xbox."

Some of the features that are integrated with the console are Skype, Netflix, Amazon Video, Fantasy Sports, sports apps, social networking, and perhaps eventually a Windows programming.

The Skype feature has been praised for changing the way people talk face to face. The Kinect follows the users's voice around the room and fixes the camera in a way that it feels like a TV show with panning, cropped zoom-ins, and focused looks.

The Snap feature allows Xbox console owners to do multiple things at once on screen. Spread out all over the screen, it can split up between a web browser, movie, television, and video games that one can seamlessly bounce back and forth through with a simple voice command. The multiple HDMI ports and Snap viewing can even allow for different console play on the Xbox One. For example, a PS4 can be played through the console, and even split screened with the Xbox One game running next to it.

Overall, the Xbox One does not want to be a video game console, it wants to be the entertainment center. It could realistically replace all the wires and gadgets hooked up, and just do it all itself.

Microsoft released the Xbox One today, November 22. It retails for $499, and is currently sold out almost everywhere.