5 Essential Tips for New Xbox One Owners

With the first specials of 2016 on the horizon, the number of people buying Xbox One and PS4 is expected to skyrocket over the next few weeks. After all, new game releases give those who keep their old consoles the biggest excuse to upgrade: games they can’t install on devices they already own.

The Xbox One has changed a lot since Microsoft first announced it in 2013. Many of these changes have to do with the environment in which the console is launched. Feedback from the gaming industry and the forces at work have forced the company to rethink which package. -ins are included in the console. Moving away from Kinect gestures as a control method, Microsoft has bet big on a new software design for the Xbox One that it believes reduces the time it takes to do the things average games do on a daily basis.

Buying an Xbox One, or any video game console for that matter, can seem a little confusing at first. Here are some tips for new Xbox One buyers looking to get the most out of their new purchase.

Xbox One Still Better With Kinect

Two years later, you no longer need to buy an Xbox One bundle with a Kinect sensor, and this is one of the biggest changes Microsoft has made to the gaming ecosystem. With the new Xbox One Experience update, the company even eliminated the ability to navigate apps and use the Xbox One’s menus with gestures.

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The voice commands remain, though, and they’re as useful as ever. The sensor is still capable of communicating with televisions and cable boxes. A high-end webcam for Skype too, and doubles as a microphone replacement when you don’t have a chat headset. Add navigation in most Xbox One apps and I think it’s still a viable accessory.

Disc and Digital

The battle between disc and digital games rages in the wider gaming community. Xbox One embraces digital gaming in a way the Xbox 360 never did. Digital games arrive the same day as their physical counterparts. Users can download them earlier to save time on release day.

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Whether you adopt digital or disc games is up to you. Disc-based games offer trade-in value, while digital games stay with you forever. It’s worth noting that digital games don’t force you to get up from the couch and insert a disc into your console.

My typical rule of thumb for digital games is to focus on multiplayer games and things I know I’ll want to pass on often. I only buy something directly from the Xbox Store when I know I will play often. I buy anything that is a single player campaign on disk so I can loan it to a friend or trade it after I’m done with it.

Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Live Gold Home

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The biggest change from Xbox 360 to Xbox One is to adapt to the key differences in the way Xbox Live works.

For starters, you don’t need to buy an Xbox Live Gold subscription for every member of the family now. Cleverly, Microsoft Live Gold unlocked a console. This means that as long as only one person on a given console owns Xbox Live, everyone has it. Setting a console as your home console unlocks Xbox Live Gold for everyone, even if you’re not signed in yourself. All digital games you purchase are also unlocked.

You can take your Xbox Live Gold and games with you when you leave the house. To do this, simply sign in to your friend’s console with the same Microsoft Account and Password you use at home. But to get the most out of it, you’ll want to store all your digital games on a hard drive and carry it with you. This will allow you to avoid re-downloading everything.

No Need for Chat Headset

Xbox One Chat Headset

The original Xbox One bundles came with a chat headset that you could plug under your Xbox One controller when you wanted to talk to your friends in a Party or an online game. Newer Xbox One console bundles do not include headsets. Instead, Microsoft is encouraging buyers to use their own headphones with the headphone jack placed under the Xbox One controller.

If you have a good set of headphones, use them. Remember to stay away from using Apple’s EarPods with the headphone port on the Xbox One controller. This headphone is very meticulous, very meticulous.

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Playing Your Xbox 360 Games Takes Some Work

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If you’re upgrading from an Xbox 360, be sure to check out Microsoft’s detailed list of Xbox 360 games playable on Xbox One. The company regularly updates the list by adding new games to the Xbox One Backward Compatibility Program after they’ve been approved and tested by their publishers.

Congrats on your new Xbox One.

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