The Xbox is so much more than a gaming console, but it doesn't have to be.
For me, my Xbox is my hub, my daily routine. I wake up and I turn on my Xbox. My main page doesn't feature the last game I have played, it shows me YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Now and Blu ray player. I'm not saying I don't game on it, of course I do, but it's not my main use for the console. That has changed over time.
As the Xbox evolved, so did I. I only ever used my 360 for gaming and it was a phenomenal experience. That's really when Microsoft got their claws in me, where they gained my loyalty. As they implemented new “apps” and functionality, I adapted and learned to incorporate it into my gaming experience. Sure, you could argue that someone on the PS3 could have had a similar experience going into the PS4, and you wouldn't be wrong. I just never enjoyed the UI and also, that's not a fight I'm trying to stir up.
I remember very clearly when I opened my day one edition Xbox one. There was this thing called “one guide” and the idea of it blew me away. I could plug my cable box/satellite box into my Xbox and it would be incorporated into my system instead of having to change inputs between the two. Now, I must admit, this did not function well for me, but I did now a lot of people who had no issues. So this is not how “I” Xbox. Plus I cut the cord on cable a long time ago. But it's an option for those who are interested.
Until I recently upgraded to the Xbox One S, I also used Cortana (formerly just referred to as “Xbox”) very frequently. The ability to just say “pause” or “play” or “record that” without having to pick up a controller and turn it back on was a huge option for me. Something I actually miss with my Xbox One S. There is still an option to use Kinect on the console, but you need an adapter. I opted to spend the $20 on a Xbox media remote……. which is so good! Motion makes the remote light up, which is very handy when watching a movie with the lights out. It's fully functional with the “one guide” and is super easy to navigate through menus.
My wife uses Pandora on the daily with the Xbox and we each have our own custom home screen. Each with our own saved screen shots as backgrounds and custom avatars. She does not game too much, and the Xbox is still very much part of her daily routine as well. Between music and watching either Greys Anatomy on Hulu or ER on the DVD/blu ray player, she thoroughly enjoys her experience with the console.
As far as gaming goes for me, Xbox is always my first console of choice for games that are available on multiple consoles. I have so many friends on Xbox live that it only makes sense. For me, Destiny was my big Xbox adventure game. The first year of that game I ranked among the top 1% of all Xbox gamers in time spent playing Destiny. It was all because of the amazing online experience I had from Microsoft. You see, you're not just getting free games with your subscription fee, you are getting solid, dedicated servers. One of the things that I think give Microsoft a leg up on the competition. (Just my opinion, don't yell at me)
The future of Xbox gaming looks good to me as well. I can't wait to jump into the new game pass that is launching as I write this article. Also, with EA access still exclusive to Xbox, I find myself constantly checking and downloading the new games they add to that library.
There are a lot of you out there reading this and are saying “ya, we know all this”, and I'm not hear trying to sell you an Xbox. I really just want to know one thing…….
How do YOU Xbox?
Please share in the comments. I'm genuinely interested in the different ways this console effects other people's lives. Let me know how your Xbox is incorporated in your life, or if it is at all.