5 Fun Facts About Microsoft's New Xbox One

Image credit XboxLive
The “Console Wars” have heated up again. Last week saw the hotly anticipated release of Sony’s newest installment of their Play Station gaming console, the PS4. This week will finally see the start of sales of Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox One. With PS4 systems already flying off shelves worldwide (Amazon.com apparently sold out of the devices in record time), we are turning our focus to Microsoft’s offering. Will sales of their new system match that of Sony’s, or will Microsoft prove a runner up? Few consumers are as passionate and committed as gamers, so either way, the sales and the debates will be fascinating to watch.

5 The Xbox One Is Adaptable

Long gone are the days when a game console was built merely to run the cartridges or discs inserted into it, and that was that. The Xbox One is designed with the future in mind: the day you buy it, in fact, it may already need an upgrade “patch” to work with all the current applications and programs available. But the console can easily handle upgrades and improvements, and could even easily run applications that have not even been created yet. An Xbox One fresh out of the box should in theory be a starting point; the system should only get better with time as you customize it and as Microsoft releases improved software, apps and programs.

4 Xbox One Might Replace Your Cable Box

If you use cable or satellite TV, the Xbox One is hoping to lure you away from these antiquated options and become your new all-in-one entertainment source. The system comes preloaded with plural apps, among them Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, so you will never be at a loss for television and movie programming. Microsoft is guessing that the convenience and control offered by access to all these options (and many more) will be enough for many folks to drop their cable subscription.

3 The Xbox One Is… Ugly

It might seem a somewhat silly criticism to level against a game console, but it’s a comment many in the tech community are making. These systems are primarily designed to make games look great, of course, and are not required to look great themselves, but it does seem the Microsoft had an almost wilful disregard for subtlety and sleekness in crafting the exterior of their new system. It is essentially a giant black rectangle made up of a few smaller black rectangles. More than a futuristic system, the Xbox One calls to mind a VCR from the early ‘90s.

2 The Design Team Behind Xbox One Considered Adding a Scent Element

That’s right, the Xbox One almost came to you featuring Smell-O-Vision. The idea was scrapped well before the Xbox One consoles were being assembled, but indeed part of the $100 million dollar design phase was an exploration of using a scent-producing element housed in the console’s controllers. What games would have featured desirable smells, we have no idea, and thankfully we’ll never have to know.

1 The Xbox One is Expensive

The Xbox One will cost you a hundred dollars more than Sony’s Play Station 4. The system will go on sale for $499 in the US and will cost even more for gamers overseas, though: in countries using the Euro, the price will be €499, which works out to almost $675 USD. In the UK, the Xbox One will initially sell for £429, which comes out to more than $690 at the current conversion rate. Nonetheless, chances are good that sales will be robust worldwide.

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