Review: Xbox One nearly a set-top box replacement

By Ryan Nakashima

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Dec. 8 2013 1:00 p.m. MST

Both systems also introduce new ways of sharing some of your game play with friends. On the Xbox, you say "Xbox record that." With the PlayStation, you press the share button to capture a good chunk of action that just happened. The PlayStation makes it much easier to post to Facebook and Twitter. Both offer ways to edit these videos. The Xbox lets you insert video commentary, while the PlayStation lets you broadcast your game play and video commentary live on the online game video app Twitch.

Although the Xbox One's ambitions are higher, it comes with a few oddities. You can't say "Xbox play game" to go back to your video game, because the "play" command is reserved for playback controls or launching the music app. You have to say "Xbox select" to light up certain words on the screen that allow you to navigate, but the choices are inconsistent. Sometimes apps have "full screen" as an option, and sometimes it's "go to full screen."

However, I think the benefits outweigh any initial frustrations.

There are reasons to buy either console, not least of which is to benefit from machinery that is more powerful than its predecessors. And neither company is done innovating. The Xbox will have a Verizon FiOS app by early next year so subscribers can pull up on-demand programming. Sony plans to add original video content from Sony Pictures exclusively for its PlayStation Network. If done regularly, it will be a long-term benefit of owning its console, though it's not yet clear whether you need to pay for a PlayStation Plus subscription for those extras.

Neither console is perfect out of the box, but both offer a range of intriguing possibilities that will definitely entertain you — at least until the next consoles come out years from now.

Follow Ryan Nakashima on Twitter at https://twitter.com/rnakashi

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