XBOX ONE

I was very disappointed to hear the announcement of delaying the launch of XBox One in the Netherlands. Except in Belgium and Luxemburg he did launch in Germany and England. For a moment it looked like the XBox would come to the Netherlands late 2014. I was not willing to wait that long, I was to curious about the device. What could it do, how will the new Kinect react and work, what are the differences with XBox 360 and how much better are the games. I am not a great gamer, but I like to kill some time behind the XBox.

In the Netherlands I preordered the XBox One. But waiting is not one of my habits. In Germany they sell it via the Microsoft Store or Amazon and they will send it to the Netherlands. England is also possible, but the plug gives some problems.

Via Amazon I ordered the XBox One bundle with Call of Duty. Luckily I did not have to wait to long, right before the Holidays it was home.

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After connecting the XBox to your TV and following the wizard the XBox is set up. Standard things like location, language, Internet, XBox account etc were needed during the wizard. Language and Location are tight together for some reason, in location Germany English is not a language. During the wizard Kinect is proposed as device to sign you in with your face on the XBox. It shows how great quality the Kinect camera is.

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Then your new XBox One is ready to go. But you can not do much with it. Just like a PC, the Operating System is loaded and active. Now you need to install the apps.

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For every goal there is an app. An app for audio CD’s, app for DVD’s and Blu Ray’s, Skype, Netflix, SkyDrive. If you don’t need it, it is not installed. You are in control.

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My bundle contained a game. This game was not on a Blu Ray. Instead there was a card in the box with an QRCode. To install the game, you go to the store app, tell you have an QRCode (the 26 characters codes exists too) and you show the QRCode to the Kinect while sitting on your couch. The XBox scant it, checks it and gives the possibility to download and install. How easy. Ok, the games are a bit bigger, so it takes a while. But you do not have to wait till the end of installation, after a couple of percents ready you are able to play it already. Handy!

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After installing the games, you can pin them to your Home menu. It looks bit like Windows 8.1. After install it is in the all Apps and Games section, by selecting it, you can pin it. Here I miss the possibility to create sections or groups like Windows 8.1.

I am not playing XBox the full day and the livingroom is also used to watch TV. On the One you can connect your digital decoder of your provider, the XBox will pass the signal through to the television set behind the XBox. So it wrapped in your XBox OS. Now watching television takes 3 devices: XBox, Decoder and Television. Advantage you can Skype watching TV etc. We have Interactive Television from KPN and it just worked. The XBox can be setup, that he will turn of the TV if you turn of the XBox.

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Skype can be installed on the XBox and it pretty complete. I had to try that. The camera of the Kinect is really great, it follows the speaker and zooms in to the speaking person. The microphone of the Kinect will be used during the Skype call of course.

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Another nifty feature of the XBox One is snappen. A bit similar to Windows 8, two apps run side by side. Underneath Skype and TV, that is fun. I missed the possibility to change the space of the ‘snap’, it is a standard value.

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Like I told before the XBox One can be controlled by Voice too. You yell: “XBOX” and it will respond with a“Listening” in the Righthand corner. Then commands can be used, like “WATCH TV” or “GOTO SKYPE” or “SNAP TV”. And the command is executed. Super handy.

Despite I bought the XBox in Germany, everything is functional. I have bought games in Germany and England. Without problems I can play them. What does not work are Xbox Music and XBox Video, those two apps are regional and do correspond with my region of my Live account.

And support is also ready, I had to try that one too. My XBox One had a faulty Blu Ray drive, I could not play CD/DVD/Games. But via the Support site (in Dutch) it was send to naar Czech Republic, repaired and return to me again.

So if you do not want to wait …

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