Yes, ladies and gentlemen! The future of gaming and living room entertainment is upon us. No longer will we suffer the oppression of a cruel dictator that does not allow us to multitask, download retail titles without having to set a foot in GameStop and not detect our heartbeats using an advanced Kinect 2 sensor that is straight out of an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
The Xbox One, Microsoft’s next-generation entertainment platform debuts this Friday. As such, we’ve probed you for your burning questions, and compiled the information you need to get the most out of the $499 behemoth for this month’s Ask enConnected. We’ve also added a few questions that we think users might need the answers to on lunch day as well. If you’ve got any question that we’re missing here, send them our way on Twitter, Facebook or email.
Can I disable the Kinect included with every Xbox One?
Kevin: Can you turn off Kinect for the Xbox One?
Yes, Microsoft says that the users can disable the Kinect 2 sensor from within the Xbox One’s software. That means privacy minded users need not worry about the device watching them or listening to their every word for commands. Of course, disabling the Kinect 2 takes away one of the biggest advantages of having an Xbox One. That includes opening apps and giving the Xbox One commands without touching a controller.
Replacing your cable box with the Xbox One.
Jay: Can I replace my cable box with an Xbox One?
Unless you are a Verizon Fios user the answer is absolutely not. Microsoft’s official Xbox One website stipulates that users who want to use the Xbox One’s HDMI live television features will need to plug the device into a cable box with an HDMI port. Yep, that’s not nearly as sexy as, “The Xbox One is all of your entertainment in one,” but progress is progress. Luckily you won’t need to ever interact with that cable box after the initial setup.
The Xbox One will ship with a native Verizon Fios app on launch day, so it is possible that subscribers to its cable service will get live television streaming through it like they can with the Xbox 360.
Do I need Xbox LIVE to use Netflix?
Mike: Do you need Xbox LIVE to use the apps?
So far, the official position is that you will need an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription to do anything outside of playing single player games. That includes using the Xbox One’s OneGuide features and entertainment apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus.
Microsoft hasn’t clarified if users will need Xbox LIVE Gold to access Xbox Video, currently all Xbox LIVE users get access to Xbox Video on the Xbox 360 – even if they don’t have an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription.
Is the price of Xbox LIVE Going Up?
No. Microsoft says that Xbox LIVE users won’t see the price of Xbox LIVE increase when they pick up an Xbox One.
What cables do I need to get started with the Xbox One right away?
In theory, users shouldn’t need any extra cables at all. The Xbox One will come with its own power cable and HDMI cable that supports even 4K video. Not that anyone actually owns a television set capable of 4K video.
Do I need any extra accessories?
If you’re planning on letting your children team up to play games together then you’ll need an extra controller at least. Games that use the Kinect 2 sensor won’t require anything extra since that device can see more than one person at a time. You might want to invest in a Plug and Play Charge Kit for each Xbox One controller too. There’s nothing worse than getting into a game having a controller die on you.
Kinect Fitness, is it worth?
Kinect Fitness will be free to all Xbox LIVE users for the first year. If you’re trying to stay in shape then have at it. Just remember that it’s not the real Jillian Michaels and because of this it won’t be nearly as annoying had you agreed to be trained by the real one.
Why should a Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 user buy an Xbox One?
For starters, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 devices can actually stream content to the Xbox One directly from their apps. It’s also not a bad idea if you’re looking for a way to get your Xbox Music Pass downloads and Xbox Video purchases into the living room without having to plug up a PC to your television set.
Can I play Xbox One games off-line.
Yes, though you’ll need the day one update to do so.
Do I need the Xbox One launch day update?
Absolutely. If you don’t have a reliable internet connection at home, make plans to download the update as soon as possible. Make no mistake, your new Xbox One will be a $499 plastic brick without it.
Can I play my old Xbox, Xbox 360 or Xbox LIVE Arcade games on the Xbox One?
No. If you want to play these games you’ll need to keep your Xbox 360 around to play those games. Again, that’s not an ideal solution, but the Xbox One just isn’t backwards compatible in any gaming capacity.
Can I play my old Xbox Video movies, music videos and television shows on the Xbox One?
Yes, the Xbox One’s Xbox Video app will give you access to all the video content you purchased through the Zune Software and Xbox Video.
How does the Xbox One work with Xbox Music & Xbox Video?
Tom: Will the Xbox One play my Xbox Music collection?
Yes, the Xbox One’s Xbox Music app will immediately give users access to their Xbox Music cloud collection. Of course, you’ll need Xbox LIVE Gold to get it to work.
Tom: Can I play the music and video I already have on the Xbox One?
Yes, Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One will allow users to stream content using DLNA streaming to the Xbox One. The company has also confirmed that users won’t be able to add storage to the console’s available pool of usable storage, but it hasn’t confirmed if that means users won’t be able to load music from a USB flash drive. The Xbox One also plays, DVDs, CDs and Blu-Ray movies.
Do you have questions or do you think we should touch on a subject that isn’t mentioned here? Send those questions to theteam@enConnected.com. We’ll continue to update this edition of Ask enConnected throughout the Xbox One’s launch window. Also, don’t be afraid to send them our way on Twitter, username @enConnected.