Microsoft Xbox One, The Full Review - HotHardware

Microsoft Xbox One, The Full Review

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The Xbox One has a much boxier, more angular design than the Xbox 360. In terms of its actual footprint, however, the Xbox One is not much larger than an Xbox 360 Slim. There is no confusing the two consoles though; the Xbox One has flatter surfaces, glossy accents, sharper angles, larger vents, and a look that is all its own.

Xbox One, From The Front
The Xbox One, From The Front

The front of the Xbox One is simplistic and utilitarian. It’s completely flat, with a matte finish on the left and a glossy finish on the right. The left side houses the console’s slot-loading Blu-ray drive—which will also play standard DVDs, but not 3D Blu-Ray movies—and on the right, the Xbox logo acts as a touch-sensitive power button.

Xbox One Has Flat Surface, Vents, And Sharp Angles All Around
The Xbox One Has Flat Surface, Vents, And Sharp Angles All Around

Swing around  the sides and you’ll also find additional perfectly flat surfaces. The top section on the right is devoid of any markings, while the bottom section is vented to allow air into the console, and beveled at the front. We should point out that there are dust filters on the inlets, so the inside of the Xbox One should stay relatively clean over time. You’ll need to clean the filters occasionally, though. The right side of the console is devoid of any features, other than the vents, while the left side houses one of the unit’s USB 3.0 ports.

The top of the unit is also somewhat two-tone, like the rest. Again, it’s completely flat, with a glossy finish on the left side and a giant row of vents on the right. It’s right under these vents where the APU cooler is mounted. The cooling fan is just barely visible if you look down into the Xbox One and tilt your head at just the right angle.

Xbox One's Rear Port Cluster
The Xbox One's Rear Port Cluster

Around the back of the Xbox One, however, there is a lot to see. There is yet another long vent that runs along the top edge, and just below it reside the rest of the Xbox One’s various input and outputs. From left to right you’ll find a two-pronged power connector, an HDMI output, an S/PDIF output, an HDMI input (for the TV pass-thru), two USB 3.0 ports, the custom Kinect Sensor connector, an IR blaster output, and an Ethernet port. The Xbox One can be hard-wired to a network, but as we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s got Wi-Fi built in as well.

New Xbox One Kinect Sensor
The New Xbox One Kinect Sensor

The angular design cues and mix of glossy and flat finishes from the Xbox One console itself carry over to the new Kinect sensor too. Unlike the original Kinect, this new sensor does not have a motorized base and it does not move to track users throughout the room. It has a pivot adjustment, but once it’s positioned, it’s meant to stay in one spot. In fact, if you move the Kinect Sensor, Microsoft recommends re-calibrating the voice controls on the Xbox One. We found that even moving it a few feet makes a big difference, so consider the recalibration a necessity if you move the sensor, not an option.

On the left side of the Kinect Sensor is the device’s wide-angle, 1080p camera. And on the right is an Xbox logo that lights up when the unit is powered on. In the center, behind the translucent, glossy surface is an array of IR (infra-red) transmitters and receivers, which work in conjunction with the camera to track movement and also blast IR signals throughout the room to control your cable box or track the game controllers. Along the bottom edge of the Kinect Sensor is an array of noise-isolating microphones which do a decent job catching voice inputs, even when there’s plenty of noise in the room—like, while gaming.

Xbox One Controller
The Xbox One's New Controllers Feel Great In The Hand

The new controllers for the Xbox One look very much like the controllers for the Xbox 360, but there are many refinements under the hood. The general shape is similar, though the finish is much nicer on the Xbox One controller and it stands up very well to the smudges and muck that can build up during heated gaming sessions. The joysticks are very responsive and feature knurled edges for better grip. The buttons are solid and offer excellent tactile feedback, and the controllers are well balanced too. There is no longer a large bulge on the bottom for the battery pack (at least when using alkalines) and the general fit and finish is of high quality. The right and left triggers also offer haptic feedback now, so it’s not just the palm grips that shake and vibrate in-game. In Forza 5, for example, the triggers respond like gas and brake pedals and provide different levels of feedback depending on your speed, the terrain, etc.
 

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Does it play blu-rays?

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By RCone on Nov 20, 2013 "Does it play blu-rays?"

100% compatibility with non-3D titles. 3D might be supported later, but regular blurays are perfectly watchable on the device!

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Yes. From the top of page 2, "The front of the Xbox One is simplistic and utilitarian. It’s completely flat, with a matte finish on the left and a glossy finish on the right. The left side houses the console’s slot-loading Blu-ray drive—which will also play standard DVDs, but not 3D Blu-Ray movies."

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Great review. Cant wait to get mine on Friday!

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Yep

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Cool

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Oops, even though it will play Blu-rays it won't play 3D Blu-rays. A serious omission.

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so I've been thinking since the Xbox One is not backwards compatible would it be possible through the HDMI input for the tv to hook the your 360 up through that? Albeit it would not be true backwards compatibility it might work though for those of us who have a plethora of 360 games we have yet to finish and/or start and still want the dual functionality to watch Netflix or youtube alongside the game. I do realize you would then not be able to hook up your cable or satallite box to the Xbox One but mine doesn't have an HDMI output and the tv thing doesn't really interest me anyhow. Of course Microsoft may have already foresaw people trying to this and put stop gap measures in place to keep it from happening which is most likely the case. If I've thought of then somebody else must have thought it as well

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@Josh - You could technically plug in whatever you like into the HDMI input on the Xbox One, and when you switch to that input, whatever is being displayed will be shown on screen. That's really no different than simply plugging the Xbox 360 into a different input on your television and just switching to it though.

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Sometimes, I wish I weren't such a PC snob, because a lot of what the Xbox One brings to the table looks quite nice. I just can't get over the poor graphics and poor performance capabilities in general (again, I'm a PC snob), and appreciate too much the unparalleled flexibility of the PC. Back when the X360 and PS3 launched (both of which I purchased at launch), I didn't feel like the PC was vastly superior at the time. This time around, the delta is enormous. But - so is the power draw, to be fair.

That all said, I am jealous of those who will be playing Forza and Killer Instinct. And while I am not sure I'd put it to much use personally, the new Kinect is unbelievable - Microsoft -really- did nice work there.

"The new consoles may be getting the lion’s share of buzz as of late, but rest assured their arrival is a good thing for the PC."

It's a little unfortunate that it takes a new console generation to make this happen, but I'll take it. Oh, and once the Xbox One gamepad becomes available for the PC, I'm picking that bad boy up. Yet another benefit for PC gamers.

Fantastic look, Marco.

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