With the launch of Microsoft’s new Xbox One console less than 2 weeks away, let’s take a look at some need to know things about the console to help you prepare your next-gen experience!
With the launch coming on November 22nd, and virtually every pre-order now being filled by major electronic retailers, getting a console could prove to be a tough chore. Microsoft has said there will be an unknown amount of consoles to buy outright without a pre-order, but they as well as retailers have been silent on the exact number. With that being said, most of us who plan on getting a “Day One” version, more than likely have theirs pre-ordered. TechRaptor is here to help, with our Xbox One – Launch Day Guide!
The Console and Accessories
In the box, you’ll have a few things to look forward to. At the beginning, there was a back and forth on whether the new Xbox would include a headset. It’s been confirmed that yes, a mono headset will be inside with your console. You’ll also get the Kinect 2.0 camera, one controller, and a high-speed HDMI cable for HD hookup. Now, there are a few recommended things we at TechRaptor believe every gamer should have. First, a second HDMI cable. With the HDMI Input on the Xbox One, a second HDMI is a must to allow for all the features to be fully realized. Microsoft has made a HUGE deal about the entertainment aspects of their new console, and one side of that coin is the ability to hook up directly your Cable/Satellite box into the console, allowing it to be pseudo set-top box, but more importantly, to use the Xbox TV feature, allowing a split screen view of your TV programming while you game. You’ll be able to still utilize additional Kinect commands and more with it hooked up in this configuration. Second, a Play and Charge kit. For 360 gamers, this was a must-have accessory that allowed you to game for hours without your batteries running dead. You could charge your controller while the console was off, ensuring you had a fully charged controller each time you played. You’ll also have the ability to buy the batter packs seperately for each additional controller you have. Third, a badass Racing Wheel! For the Forza enthusiasts, ThrustMaster has developed a fantastic, and albeit, expensive racing wheel for those who want the most immersion in their racing experience. Finally, a high quality headset. The Xbox comes with a mono-style headset, but for true gamers, a true 5.1 headset is a must. Luckily, the folks over at Turtle Beach will have a couple of models, but it’s not looking like they will be available until sometime in Q1 of 2014, which could be a great way to spend those gift cards given out during the Holiday’s!
Microsoft has done a solid job getting some spectacular looking launch titles to hit day one. A few of the highlights will be Forza 5, Dead Rising 3, and Ryse:Son of Rome, and Killer Instinct, all exclusive titles to the Xbox One. These four titles have garnered a lot of positive press since E3, with Killer Instinct surprising EVERYONE! KI will be a digital download only game, allowing you to utilize the free mode, which only features the character Jago, purchase individual characters, or buy the complete game outright. Reviews so far have been very positive and could be a fantastic online fighting experience, especially with the new and improved D-Pad. Forza 5 has, quite possibly, the best looking graphics of all the launch titles and gives the Xbox One an advantage over the PS4 since Sony does not have a true racing sim coming out during launch. Reviews for Forza 5 have also been stellar, touting the look and feel of next gen gameplay and graphics. Turn 10 has utilized the new rumble trigger features to perfection in this one. Next is DR3, which looks to improve on all aspects of a solid franchise, this time adding in a ridiculous looking multiplayer mode allowing you to hack and slash your way through hordes of zombies together with a friend! Again, reviews for DR3 have also been very good as well, continuing a trend of top notch launch titles. In Ryse:Son of Rome, developed by Crytek, is the first game to fully utilize the voice and motion controls of Kinect into a Triple-A type of game. Blood, beauty, and swords! How could this get any better? And of course, you have some solid 3rd party releases like Madden NFL, NBA2K14, Battlefield 4, and CoD:Ghosts that all should see an improvement from their 360 predecessors in all aspects, not just graphical capabilities. So far, NBA2k has been one of, if not THE top rated next-gen game out. With enhanced graphics, a slew of immersion, 2K really has upped the ante with this one. DR3, Ryse, and Forza 5 all have exclusive “Day One Edition” DLC pieces if you purchase those during launch week.
Day One Update
Majority of gamers who will be getting their Xbox on launch day will more than likely be connecting their console to their high speed network. You’ll need to do this immediately to ensure you get your console the latest update, allowing certain features to be unlocked and to fully utilize the console from the get-go. There’s been a lot of backlash towards Microsoft for their decisions as well as their about-face on certain features and aspects, but they’ve listened and changed their approach since E3 trying to appease the masses and give gamers what they want: A fantastic, great looking, and reliable console to use for the next decade.
Long Lines at Retail
Of course, this wouldn’t be a true console launch without HUGE lines developing at your favorite electronics outlet. I’d recommend contacting your retailer where you’ve placed your pre-order, and flat out ask them what their procedure is going to be at midnight. Best Buy has already come out and said what they are doing, which is having 2 lines. One for pre-orders and another for individuals looking to buy the console without one. You’ll also want to make sure you get there at least 1-2 hours early in order to figure out which line you’ll need to be in. There’s nothing worse than sitting in the wrong line for hours, then having to revert to the end of the other one! I’d also recommend making sure you have had enough to eat and have gone to the bathroom before you wait in line. I know these things sound silly, but you don’t want to be that guy who has to pee while waiting in line! Also, bring a fully charged smart phone (if you have one) to allow you to pass the time while you are waiting! For those in more frigid temperatures, bring chairs, blankets, and a thermos of hot coffee or cocoa to help keep you warm while you wait. Local Gamestop’s have been sending out texts and reminder calls to let customers that pre-ordered their consoles, that they are having a launch party, giving everyone the opportunity to fulfill their remainder balance as well as pay for any games and accessories that you’ll need so once midnight hits, everything will sail smoothly.
Good luck everyone and I hope to see you on Xbox Live, November 22nd!
Look for my first impressions and ultimate review of the Xbox One in the days to follow.