When Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 eight years ago, it was "just" a game console that could also connect to the Internet to play online and download smaller games along with DLC packs. Oh, and it could also play DVDs (or HD DVD discs if you bought the short lived add-on hardware). That was pretty much all we expected from a game console back in 2005.
It's now 2013, and things have changed enormously in terms of what we want out of a game console. Thanks to both software updates and additional hardware add-ons, the Xbox 360 can now stream videos from Netflix, Hulu and a ton of other content providers; cable companies can use it to let consumers watch regular television channels through the console. More so, independent developers can publish their own games on the console directly. There are Xbox Live avatars that people can outfit with special clothes and items for a price. Gamers can even use their hand and arm movements to control games via the first generation Kinect add-on.
Yes, the era of just being able to sit on the couch and play games on a "game console" is truly over. While purists might not care for these changes, Microsoft clearly sees the newly released Xbox One as their next step in that evolution that will offer not just games but a ton of other entertainment options, including plans for original television programming made by Microsoft itself. But the question remains: should you get an Xbox One or wait until even more features are added?
This article is brought to you in partnership with Neowin.
The Xbox One is the successor to Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console. It features an eight-core x86 CPU with more than 5 billion transistors, 8GB of system memory and a 500GB hard drive. The system includes a Blu-ray drive, 802.11n Wireless with Wi-Fi Direct, HDMI In/Out and USB 3.0. Every Xbox One ships with a Kinect and with this generation Microsoft is pushing to become a de facto TV companion going beyond gaming.
The PlayStation 4 (PS4) is a last-generation console and home entertainment system featuring a x86-64 AMD "Jaguar" SoC, 8GB of RAM and 500GB of storage. Sony incorporates a touchscreen and a share button on the new DualShock 4 controller and enables a view of in-game play streamed live from friends.
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