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63 of 70 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon June 27, 2014
More than half a year since the Xbox One's launch, here are the Xbox One console options:

Xbox One: MSRP $399
Xbox One + Kinect: MSRP $499
Xbox One + Kinect + Titanfall: MSRP $499
Xbox One + Kinect + Forza 5: MSRP $499
Xbox One Day One + Kinect: MSRP $499 (Discontinued)

As you can see, it should be obvious to at least rule out the 2nd option since it's clearly the worst deal of the bunch. Then the question becomes, "Is it worth $100 for a game and the Kinect?" This question, however, doesn't have a one-size-fits-all answer. But I will try to at least give you some guidance.

First of all, I am happy to have the Kinect sensor, even though I use it mostly for voice commands. I have also used it sparingly to play a few Kinect games such as Kinect Sports Rivals, Just Dance, and Xbox Fitness. But I will tell you this: If I had bought the Kinectless bundle, I would probably never have bought it separately. Word is that Microsoft will start selling the Xbox One Kinect alone for $199 later this year, which is clearly not worth it. It becomes a much easier sell when you see it as paying $100 extra to get a $60 game and the Kinect sensor, which kind of makes it like $40. Or even $100 for the sensor could be a MAYBE on its own. But definitely not $150-200 for only the sensor. The point is, if you are even a tiny bit on the fence, just get one of the Kinect+Game bundles so you don't regret it later. But I can also admit the Kinect is not for everyone, and if a few extra games and voice commands are not worth it to you, by all means save the money and go Kinectless.

With that out of the way, let's say you decide you want one of the Kinect bundles. Should you go with Titanfall or Forza 5 as your free game? Again, there isn't just one right answer. Both are great games, but both have their weaknesses.

Titanfall:
[+] I find it overall the more fun game in small bursts. Especially if you tend to play over Live with friends. It seems more enjoyable to just jump into an FPS like this for a little bit, while chatting and fragging with a buddy
[+] Value-wise, Titanfall beats Forza simply because it's newer and would cost more to buy separately than Forza 5 (being a relatively old launch game)
[-] Multiplayer only. No campaign whatsoever. For some this doesn't matter, but I personally quite enjoy having the option to switch between being more immersed in a story, and some classic social killing
[-] No longevity. Being multiplayer only, with no local multiplayer, you are at the mercy of the servers. In a few short years, your game will be rendered unplayable for the rest of eternity. If the last console generation is any indicator, this will also happen well before the following generation of consoles is even out.

Forza 5:
[+] Honestly, this is still one of the most graphically impressive games. Though to be fair, car games are always a little easier to impress with, since we've been saying "WOW IS THIS REAL LIFE" ever since the PS2. But it helps that this wasn't a multi-console release like Titanfall was, so they didn't need to cater at all to previous generation hardware in developing the game.
[+] If you are generally interested in racing games, I think this is definitely one of the better ones. It's a lot of fun, and the racing physics are spot on. Very immersive with a fun career mode.
[+] Single player *and* multiplayer. So unlike Titanfall, you can still at least play single player mode 10 years from now. And if you're just not in the mood to get destroyed by 10-year-olds on Xbox Live, single player mode can offer a nice getaway
[-] Microtransactions. Huge pet peeve here. They very blatantly withheld game content that would have otherwise been included. If you want all the cars, or even the same number of cars Forza 4 had, be prepared to pay up. UGH.
[-] Launch game = bargain bin. By now, it probably wouldn't be too difficult to find a used physical copy of the game for pretty cheap.

In my opinion, a huge minus for both games is that it appears including physical copies of games with console bundles is officially a thing of the past. I won't complain too much since it's basically free, but I much prefer a physical copy for a few reasons: Doesn't take up as much space on my small unswappable 500GB hard drive, will never have to worry about download servers being down if I need to redownload the game at some point, and simply the satisfaction and tactile feeling of something real in my hands, with a pretty case and artwork, that can sit in my video game collection with all the other junk I've purchased. I will admit you lose a little bit of convenience compared to being able to change between your full games without swapping discs, but for me the pros of disc outweigh the cons. Like I said though, everyone's opinion is different on this, and since it's included for free, it's still way better than the gameless bundle.

There's still a few problems with the Xbox One as a whole, however. I still can't do lots of things my previous generation consoles could. Such as playing a wide variety of video files off a flash drive, or playing 3D Blu-rays. There's still no wireless headset like I love on my 360. Though there are some pretty fun games on both the Xbox One and PS4, neither console yet has that MUST-HAVE game we're all still craving. So I wouldn't blame you if you still wanted to wait out this generation for a little while longer as they continue to improve their system software and game lineups. By this holiday season, I'm sure there will be a pretty decent collection of games as well as some awesome bundles and/or price cuts.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2014
Admittedly, I sat there at E3 2013 watching Microsoft's and Sony's press conferences thinking: "wow... PS4 is going to crush Xbox One." But since buying both consoles at launch, I barely turn on my PS4. Despite some flaws, the Xbox One is superb.

*** Key: ✔-Positive ✖-Negative ⓘ-Informational/Neutral ***

--Performance/Hardware--
✔ 8-core processor means seamless multitasking and switching between apps
✔ The built-in wifi adapter works very well; I never experience lag while playing online despite my less-than-optimal internet speed
✔ You can use an external hard drive to expand the 500 gb hard drive
✖ The graphics processor is not as robust as the PS4’s. This is why many games run 1080p on PS4 but not on Xbox One.

--Design--
ⓘ 3.1 x 10.8 x 13.1 in
ⓘ The “front” USB port used for connecting controllers is actually on the left side (if you’re facing the console). This could potentially be annoying if wanted to position the console directly next to another object.
✖ The console is big and clunky. Certainly doesn't come off as a next-gen console appearance wise (whereas the PS4 is quite sleek)
✖ You CANNOT stand the console vertically. Physically – it’s possible. But Microsoft has warned against standing your xbox up. This – combined with its large size – can make finding space for your “uno” challenging.
ⓘ These design quirks will undoubtedly be improved upon with future versions of the console (think Xbox 360 Slim). However, early adopters will be punished in this regard.

--Experience--
✔ Beautiful, bright, and well-organized dashboard provides for an extremely pleasant experience every time you turn it on. You can customize the dashboard by changing the color scheme (I prefer the traditional "xbox green" myself) and by pinning your favorite apps for easy access.
✔ Seamless transition between gaming, apps (Hulu, Netflix, etc.), and cable TV changes the way you consume entertainment
✔ Snap functionality is awesome! You can pull up cable TV, your favorite streaming service, the Party app, etc. in the top right corner of the screen. I like watching TV with this feature for extra background noise when playing games.
✔ The voice commands have improved dramatically since launch. And trust me, it seems gimmicky at first... but you'll really appreciate the ability to turn the console on/off, raise/lower the volume, and switch between Hulu/Netflix/TV/Games when you lay down and realize you left the remote on the other side of the room.
✔ Xbox live still feels like a much more cohesive and vibrant community than PSN, even in this next generation. And Microsoft has finally answered Sony’s PS+ “Instant Game Collection” with its own “Games with Gold” offering.
✔ I like achievements way more than Sony’s trophy system

--Controller--
✔ Feels even better than the already-great Xbox 360 controller
✔ Battery lasts a long time when using the play and charge kit
✖ I own 4 controllers. 2 of them feel like the seams on the side are offset the slightest bit... As if they just don't come together as well as they should.
✖ The triggers seem to have lost their tension fairly quickly (might be partly due to the constant acceleration and braking I’ve been doing in Forza)

--Games--
ⓘ Realistically, most blockbuster games nowadays are released on both Xbox and Playstation. Exclusive titles – which come down to personal preference – provide some differentiation. So far, however, no real meaningful exclusives have been released. Xbox has Titanfall, Forza, Ryse, and Dead Rising; PS4 has Infamous and Killzone. For the average gamer, none of these are compelling enough to make a difference. Going forward, however, Halo Master Chief Collection and Halo 5 may sway some gamers toward Xbox. Then again, Sony – at least in my opinion – has had the better arsenal of exclusives (Uncharted, Last of Us, God of War, etc.).

--Final Comments--
Microsoft set out to create a holistic entertainment experience with the Xbox One. Being a hardcore gamer, I was skeptical at first. But they really made it work. I use my Xbox One significantly more than my PS4 (and I was rooting for PS4 the whole way up until launch). And this bundle is a great value: for the standard $500 price tag, you get a free quality game in Forza. I recommend getting this over the $400 kinect-less version, as kinect truly adds to the overall experience.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2014
Not sure why everyone is rating so low for not receiving the Forza 5 download key. I got mine right after my xbox shipped. I hope you all get yours soon! Enjoy!
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2014
If you have a family or housemates the Kinect is extremely useful for automatically knowing who is using the system and logging in all the appropriate people instantly. Automatic sign in with the Kinect works amazingly well and usually happens faster than your TV can even turn the screen on. The thing can spot me from the other side of the living room. The Kinect controls the power on/off for your TV as well as the volume of your speakers. If you plan to use Xbox with live-TV or have a complex entertainment center with external speakers, cable or other streaming devices running through the Xbox you should definitely get the Kinect version. Here's why: the Kinect has an amazing IR blaster built into it that can turn on/off all of your devices as well as control the volume, the playback controls and channel of what you're watching. So even if you don't have cable TV (let's assume you have a Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, or Xbox 360) the Xbox One's Kinect will control playback on those devices (pause/play/rewind/fast forward) via controller, voice, gesture and Xbox SmartGlass. The free SmartGlass app turns your smartphone or tablet into a very powerful universal remote by using the Kinect to send IR signals to all of your devices.

In addition with Kinect you also have a slew of other options like Xbox "Record That" game DVR, Skype video calling, Twitch camera broadcasting, Bing universal search of store/app content, controller tracking to know which person is playing and holding the controller, and instant QR code scanning "Xbox use a code" to redeem DLC/points/subscriptions.

For a hundred more you get a free game and a Kinect sensor. Even if you are not interested in any of the Kinect games (Fitness, Dancing, Music, Sports, Party, weird Japanese/Indie experimental games) it is still a good idea to get this version with Kinect. Down the line voice controlled services like Cortana (currently on Windows Phone) are coming to Xbox One and most likely VR games which will need Kinect. Most games also make use of the Kinect voice for menu navigation and controls. For a hundred more it is a good investment. I think the sensor will probably cost more to buy separately down the line. The original 360 Kinect launched at 149, the Kinect 2 for Windows costs 199. If you think you might want to have Kinect down the line you will end up paying more than just buying it now bundled.

Obviously everyone's funds are different and I'm not here to judge what you can afford right now, but it seems clear the Kinect version with a free game is without a doubt a better overall value given how much additional stuff you get.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 8, 2014
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***UPDATE 12.8.2014***
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After having the Kinect version of the Xbox One and the mid/late September Xbox One update, I'm loving the Xbox One over my older Xbox 360.

At first I just thought the graphics were "meh, ok" but after playing on the Xbox One for several months, any time I turn on my Xbox 360 I realize how much better the Xbox One is in so many ways, even graphically. While I will not argue the Xbox 360 isn't still a great console with an astounding amount of games, the Xbox One is better in almost every aspect (except the UI, I still hate Metro and Window 8/8.1).

My favorite game so far is Shadow of Mordor, pure amazing and the graphics are exceptional. I definitely recommend the Xbox One if you're considering it.

Keep in mind, the PS4 is still a killer console and has better hardware, e.g.: 8GB GDDR5 vs 8GBDDR3 (MS was stupid here).

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***UPDATE 9.15.2014***
-----------------------
After returning this bundle and grabbing the XBOX One with Kinect, I will admit the XBOX One is a much better, more fluid and overall better experience in every aspect. While The $100 was hard to swallow for me, especially I have ZERO desire play any Kinect enabled games, the XB1 with the Kinect is just better. I love the voice commands and multitasking with the Kinect is just exactly what I thought the XB1 should/would be. I am not disappointed by it at all.

Keep in mind, if you get the XB1 w/ Kinect it has an ACTIVE MIC which will be on and let other people hear you in an online game, such as Madden. It annoyed me so I had to disable this feature when playing online via the Settings.

Again, if you get an XBOX One, I HIGHLY recommend getting it with the Kinect as the experience is much better. I am a happy camper now.

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***UPDATE 9.2.2014***
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I decided to return this bundle and get an XB1 with Kinnect bundle as the XB1 experience without the Kinnect is vastly subpar, mediocre, inferior, however you wish to word it. I will get use to the Metro style OS even though its not my favorite. I will not consider a PS4 because I have been using an Xbox 360 for years and all my friends on are Xbox.

As for the graphics, I did try a few other games and they graphics ARE better than 360 without a doubt. Some games, like COD Ghosts MARGINALLY look better but that is due to the Developers not making the game 1080p NOT because of the Xbox One capabilities. Some games look AMAZING, some, meh not so much.

I am going to leave my review 3-stars because without the Kinnect, the experience is just horrible IN MY OPINION. Do yourself a favor, get the Kinnect bundle.

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COMING FROM PS3 to 360 to XB1
----------------------------------
I was an original PS3 user until PSN when out for 3-4 months year back. At that point I bought a 360 and never looked back. I currently have a 360 250GB Slim with no issues and I still love it. I love the 360 interface/software and how easy it is to navigate and use, even as a first time user going from a PS3 to a 360 many years ago I didn't find it hard to navigate and get to know the 360 interface. Now I love it. I love a lot of the games, have played a lot of games but mainly I still play Madden 25, COD Ghosts and COD MW3 (yes MW3 still) most frequent. I am a HUGE fan of Madden series, even though they usually suck each year and I pay $60 for roster updates like an idiot conformist. For my birthday, I decided to buy an Xbox One and just snag the Madden 15 bundle.

Before I start, I first want to say I did NOT assume this came with a physical copy of Madden 15, anyone whom might have thought that is ignorant, no offense. To sum up my experience so far, I am still on the fence about the Xbox One altogether so far.

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SETUP
--------
The setup was easy and quick. That was good. I hooked it up to a Samsung 55" LED SmartTV via HDMI. Very easy and intuitive guide that walks you through setup.

---------------------
INTERFACE - METRO
---------------------
The next thing I noticed was the PATHETIC Metro 8.1 style interface/software, its just not as easy and far more cumbersome to navigate compared to the 360. Microsoft, seriously, Windows 8 or 8.1 is a joke, it's more of a joke on a non-touchscreen device, such as a TV... sometimes I wonder if companies ever get the general public's opinion on things before release (they don't).

If you're familiar and like Windows 8/8.1 this won't be an issue for you, other wise, it's different and far less intuitive on a non-touchscreen.

------------
GRAPHICS
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Am I missing something? I have an HDTV with the XB1 setup via HDMI, I even tried a different HDMI cable than the one that was included, but the graphics, well really NOT that impressed, not initially at least. Madden 15 looks marginally better than Madden 25 on 360. COD Ghosts looks IDENTICAL on XB1 compared to 360 especially since on the XB1 it runs at 720p (wow, pathetic). Titanfal, well that looks GOOD at best. It does NOT blow me out the water like many claim. Sometimes I wonder about peoples hyped up claims.

I have not played any other games, anybody have any recommends?

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KINNECT or KINNECTLESS
--------------------------
I've never owned the Kinnect on my 360 and I opted not to get it for the XB1, but already I can tell its far less integrated without it, which is a down fall because I believe I have 0 use for a Kinnect. $399 without the Kinnect is a better deal, still not the best and it's still overpriced IMO, but at least it came with a $60-$70 game for free.

I don't need or want to talk to my XB1 but without doing so, so many of the marketed features are useless or extremely dumbed down. Very disappointing IMO. That's what I get for being poor and too ignorant to buy it with the Kinnect.

--------------------
HDMI PASSTHROUGH
--------------------
I did hook up my Comcast Motorala Cable box to the XB1, well without the Kinnect and it's IR (Infrared) capabilities, this is almost useless as it wont send any IR commands from the XB1 to the cable box without an IR cable or Kinnect. I would have some minor use for the Kinnect after all, oh well, I don't need to snap into TV while gaming. BTW, the snap feature is actually pretty cool all in all.

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IN THE END
--------------
In the end, all I really want to do is game and the graphics have YET to impress me for a new generation console as much as I THOUGHT they would. Maybe give it more time? Maybe my vision will get better? Ha. Maybe I need to give it more time and try more games. Anybody have any recommends?

I guess at the end of the day I could have done more research on the Kinnect-less Xbox One bundle. As of now, I am disappointed more so than I thought I would. I am on the fence and I may even return the XB1 soon if I cannot get into it. I will keep trying the XB1 for another week or so and decide at that point if I want to keep it or return it.

I will update my review in a week or so.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2014
At first we thought that we didn't have our code for Forza, so I called Amazon and she said it had been emailed, but she told me the code over the phone just in case.

So if you think you didn't get the code, go check your email! :)

After we put it in it downloaded just fine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2014
I see everyone is buying for them free games. If you own the,360 make sure to buy destiny digital and get it free on xbox 1.pick up another free game like diablo or madden 15 etc...
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2014
This review is for the Xbox One + Kinect with Forza 5.

True story: I went to a friend's house to stay before going to a concert. He had one of these and immediately wow'd me by controlling his entire setup with voice commands and hand gestures.

During E3 2013, this thing was definitely the underdog to the PS4. After getting one, I realized that they marketed this thing all wrong. It is not solely a console and shouldn't be noted as just a next gen competitor to the PS4.

This is part console, part media center. It does have a blu-ray disc reader so all that is required to watch blu-ray movies is to get the blu-ray app from the store (don't worry its free.)

I've got my satellite receiver wired in for the "Watch TV" feature. This particularly got my attention because the Xbox will actually download the viewing guide (based on location and provider) and allow movement through the guide using voice commands.

For gaming, its not rough on the eyes at all. I picked up Titanfall on the same day that I got the Xbox and it looks incredible. Forza is beautiful and always a plus since it came free with the console. (Definitely a bonus that the entire game is narrated by the Top Gear crew from BBC).

The only issue that I have is with the Xbox Live service. It seems to be a little choppy and tends to disconnect me at the most random times. I've spoken with the Xbox CS Reps a few times in response to this and they have been awesome in helping me to work out this mess and get some issues escalated to be worked out.

Overall: Its a very well-rounded system that should be a must-have for those that want a new way to approach the media center. Since Microsoft recently removed the necessity of having Xbox Live to watch Netflix and use a lot of the other apps, I see no downside to having it.
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on March 5, 2015
Alright, if you're thinking about buying an Xbox, you probably already know what you are getting into. As for whether or not to get Kinect, well that's more of an individual choice. It's pretty great to be able to cook dinner and pause netflix or hulu with your voice. And getting autologged in just by standing in front of xbox? Brilliant!

However, the Kinect functionality can be a little spotty. Motion control doesn't work well enough often enough, and the result is I just got tired of getting frustrated by it and reach for the controller instead. Voice control is great, but doesn't always work well if you have the tv playing at any sort of volume, and if there's people talking you have to shush them all first. For some reason it loves to stop working entirely, which typically requires a hard reset of the system and doing a little voodoo dance to get it to come back on. The steps on the website show you how to fix it, but still, it be better if it didn't happen at all. My first one stopped working completely, but Microsoft overnighted one to me for free and replaced it, so that was pretty awesome. Points for customer service Microsoft! (as a die hard Apple guy, I never thought I'd say that phrase!)

As for the console itself, I imagine the number one question is "Should I get this or a PS4? My answer: get the one with the exclusives you want to play. Yes, a good number of games play 900p on Xbone and 1080p on PS4. But you know what? 900p looks great anyway. Unless you have at least a 50 inch tv and sit no more that 7 feet away from it, you almost certainly won't notice the difference. I can barely tell the difference between Dragon Age at 900p and Destiny at 1080p, and they both look spectacular. The much bigger issue is the games. If you want to play Forza, Halo, Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive, and Tomb Raider, this is the box for you. PS4 has a remake of The Last of Us and Infamous. It's really about what you want to play.
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on January 4, 2015
I'm mostly a PC guy but I've always been a Microsoft guy when it comes to consoles. Normally I shy away from any Sony electronics. But I was intrigued this year by Sony. However, as someone who games more casually than my 20s, who watches a ton of TV, but loves movies and music, this system is almost perfect. I love the ambitiousness of the Kinect and its voice recognition has made me much lazier but I love it. I hate using remotes now. Its not perfect but I think a firmware update or 2 could really make it shine for the future. The controller is the best I've ever used. I loved the Controller S from the first generation and thought they hit a HR with the Xbox 360 controller. But picking up an Xbox 360 controller now feels like I'm holding something cheap and flimsy. This controller is much better. It really was the final selling point for me. Once I held it, I said out loud "I want it". I love having this console mostly because while its a great gaming machine, its a great entertainment machine as well. I mostly find myself coming home after work, saying "Xbox On", seeing if there's a good game or movie on TV and if not, I say "Xbox, go to FIFA 15" and I'm busting ass with Borussia Dortmund in no time. I've had the system since August and I must say that while the system could be better in the Kinect department, overall I couldn't be more pleased. I will be buying a PS4 but only for Street Fighter 5. Other than that, this will be my main system. Its great for EVERYTHING. If you want an Xbox 360 with better graphics, get the PS4. If you want the 360 that's been primed for a new generation of technology and entertainment, get the Xbox One. I think the lasting power of this system will carry it much further than the PS4.
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