Picking up one of the current generation’s consoles is a really smart move, even for those who don’t play video games often. Both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 have a whole host of extra features, making them an entertainment centre for the whole family as well as a high-powered gaming machine.
The Xbox One offers a whole host of new features and tricks which enhance the entertainment experience. Some make gaming more interactive, others are social features that you and your Xbox Live friends can use. Microsoft has updated Xbox consoles to offer Windows 10 capabilities, and this has made them even more flexible for users.
As well as putting your game and film discs in to play and watch, you can now enjoy a wider range of entertainment through the new console. Make sure you take some time to explore the features of your new Xbox and to get to know what it can do. You won’t want to miss out on any of the fun experiences the console offers!
So what can the Xbox One do, and how can users make the most of its features? Take a look at our guide to the top Xbox One tips, and enjoy a whole new level of console interaction.
Get your smartphone involved with the Xbox app
Download Smartglass for Xbox One and you can turn your mobile phone into a remote control. The touch screen of your device can be used to zoom in on web pages and open links, making the console’s IE web browser much more simple to navigate. You can also scroll through menus, select music and more. Some games have integrated Smartglass technology so that the touch screen can form part of the game, and others allow you to interact with menus without halting gameplay.
Make video calls with your friends
Xbox One users who have a camera or the Kinect sensor can make full use of the Skype video calling service – right from their console! The application now supports Microsoft consoles and allows calls between up to nine people at a time. Enjoy full screen HD calling and link up with friends and family all over the world. You can also access and reply to all of your messages, and add new connections and search for your Xbox and Outlook contacts.
Customise your controller to your liking
You can finally take control of which button does what, right inside your Xbox One console. As well as setting up your preferred control configuration for each game you play, you can also adapt the controller to suit your preferences while you move between menus and access Xbox one features. Download the Xbox Accessories app and follow the instructions to reach the button control settings.
What’s more, you can make your controller your own with custom aesthetic modifications to give it a stylish edge. From thumbstick covers to decorative plates and vinyls, you can protect the controller against wear while ensuring that you stand out from your friends with a gorgeous personalised controller.
Show off your game highlights with Twitch streaming
Now that Xbox allows video streaming through the Twitch application, you can show off the very best of your gaming skills and enjoy watching others play, too. Twitch is available on Xbox One and uses the game’s record facilities to capture gaming action as it happens. Web cameras and Kinect enable multi-angle streaming, including watching players themselves as they take on top titles.
The streaming service is popular with users who want to see a game before they commit to buying. Rather than relying on reviews, you can actually see the action unfold in live play. Not great for anyone who hates spoilers, but Twitch is a fun way to make your gaming more interactive.
Speak to your Xbox with Kinect
Xbox One is the first voice activated console from Microsoft, and it makes using the features much easier. You can command your console to switch on and off, to answer calls, launch games and more – all using the Kinect accessory. The voice activation allows you to record video and still images from your games, and to send messages to your friends or start Xbox Live parties.
When Cortana comes to the Xbox One in 2016, this voice command feature will really come into its own. Microsoft plans for the virtual assistant to take over many of the tasks users currently perform with the controller, making much of the console’s interaction a hands-free experience.
More free games than ever before
Don’t forget to download your free games every month if you are an Xbox Live member. It can be easy to forget to check in at the store, and you could be missing out on loads of great content. 360 Gold members used to enjoy twelve premium titles per year – on Xbox One, you can access a whopping four games every single month!
The games offered are older titles, but include some of the biggest franchises and top releases from the last few years. There’s a good mix too, with first-person shooters, action-adventure games, puzzles, platformers and more.
Play Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One console
Perhaps the biggest piece of news from E3 2015 outside of games releases, Xbox One owners will be able to use their 360 discs and downloads on their new console. That means you can still play your favourite retro titles, without needing to keep the old console. Backward compatibility has been missing from the last two generations of video game consoles, but Xbox have recognised that game buyers should be rewarded and are ensuring that money spent on 360 games was an investment that is paying off.