If you stand outside and take a deep breath you can smell it in the air. No, it’s not sludge, or greenhouse gases or the ridiculously overwhelming scent of a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. No, it’s the holidays, and to quote Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, “Christmas is coming, it’s practically here.” Of Course, that also means Black Friday is here too.
We’ve spent all month asking for your questions and taking your comments to heart. That’s what Ask enConnected is for. If you have a question about any of Microsoft’s entertainment products send them to us at theteam@enConnected.com, post them on our Facebook page or leave them in a message on Twitter for us. We’ll sift through them before the holiday shopping season gets into full swing. For now though, lets’ answer some questions sent to us since our last edition of Ask enConnected.
Which Xbox One Should You Buy?
Q. I’ve been considering purchasing an Xbox One for my family this year on Black Friday or right after. Why should I go with it instead of a PlayStation 4. If I do, which version should I buy?
A. That’s a great question, one I wish I had a detailed buying guide for. I don’t, so you’ll have to bear with me as I explain all the nuances.
First, enConnected only really covers Microsoft entertainment products because that’s what I prefer to use. Please don’t take that as a sign that you should definitely purchase a PlayStation 4. I’d encourage you to look at your needs and base your purchasing decision from there. The Xbox One is a terrific gaming and entertainment console. The PlayStation 4 has some nifty features too. Even I think the new SharePlay and online streaming television service Sony is working on for their console are cool.
The Xbox One is great if you want a decent all-around entertainment service today. I have an Xbox One because I like being able to plug my cable box into the HDMI port and use it to control live television. I like being able to say, “Xbox, On” “Xbox, Watch ABC” and getting right to The Middle without interruption. I’ve had cable for a solid year now, I don’t know the actual number for a single channel because I’ve never had to pick up my cable box remote.
I’m also a big gamer. I love firing up games like Assassin’s Creed Unity while still watching television. I like being able to go do something else on the Xbox One and picking up in my games like I never closed them. I’m also a bit partial to Kinect 2 sensor since my brothers and sister love to play Just Dance 2014. (If you have kids, buy that game and then use video footage of them dancing to Will.i.am as insurance that they won’t ever misbehave later in life.)
Which to buy on Black Friday? I have an Xbox One with Kinect 2 sensor. It originally cost $499, but you can get it for $429 on Black Friday from GameStop. Target will even give you that price and a $50 gift card. Amazon also sells it too if you’d prefer to purchase it from an online retailer you trust. Be sure to get the Xbox One with Kinect Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle. You get two digital free games, Assassin’s Creed Unity, and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. There is also a cheaper $329 Xbox One bundle at Target and Wal-mart too. Looking into those as well. Don’t forget to pick up an Xbox Live Gold subscription too. You get free games each month and it unlocks online multiplayer. Normally, it sells for $60 for an entire year. If you buy your console at GameStop you can get a year for just $30.
Why I Use Xbox Music
Q. Why on Earth do you continue to use Xbox Music? I’ve seen some of your comments on Twitter, you don’t honestly like the service.
A. I wouldn’t say that I “honestly don’t like it.” I don’t think that’s fair. I honestly do like it and I’d like to love it someday. I continue to use Xbox Music because it’s one of the few services with a native application on all of the devices I own. I no longer carry a Windows Phone. Now I’m on the Moto X and that native Xbox Music app is one of the big reasons I made the decision to switch. Xbox Music is also the only music app available on Xbox One. I’m never more than a few steps away from an Xbox One at home, hence why that’s so very important to me.
Finally, all of my music collection is there. Since Microsoft starting offering big Music Deals through the Xbox One, I’ve been making all of my purchases there. I continue to keep an Xbox Music Pass too. My music library is dense and I’m never going to bother moving it anywhere. Unless, of course, Microsoft cans Xbox Music. Then I suppose all bets are off.
Your Favorite Xbox One Feature
Q. What’s your favorite Xbox One feature?
A. My favorite Xbox One feature isn’t an app or a service. It isn’t a game or game related utility. It involves saying just two words, “Xbox, On.”
Windows 10 Apps
Q. I’m running Windows 10 and there isn’t a single updated Xbox app. Games, Music and Video are all the same. There isn’t a podcasting app either. When do you think we’ll see them arrive.
A. I don’t think anyone knows for sure when we’ll see what Microsoft has in store for Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Xbox Games for Windows 10. We can speculate though.
If were going by precedent? I’d say the Windows 10 Consumer Preview is when we’ll hear about major Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Xbox Games upgrades. I don’t have any official information on that, that’s just an educated guess. To be fair though, it’s my understanding that the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which is the version available to everyone right now, doesn’t include a single app update. It’s more of a platform offering so that enterprises, businesses and enthusiasts know what they’re getting next time around.
Thanks for your questions folks and don’t hesitate to send us more!