Culture & Entertainment

Should you buy the XBox One for your kids?

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Should you buy the XBox One for your kids?

Today's XBox One release is full of hype. Is this the next video game console for your family? Here's what I learned at the preview: It is pretty cool. The HD camera works to recognize everyone in your family, to the degree that you can even hand the controller to someone else and the XBox will switch players. It also works better than the previous generation in small rooms. You can give voice commands by starting them off with "XBox" Star Trek style, which isn't technology news any more but I still think is cool. However (and I asked), there is no word on what XBox will do if two small boys are yelling opposing commands simultaneously. It is, however, a big box, so make sure you have room on your shelf next to all the Diego DVDs. The XBox One is designed to be an entertainment hub. You can put your cable service through it, and use other apps like Netflix and Skype. It can run two of them at once so you can play a game and listen to music, or pause your game and take a Skype call. For me there's a big appeal to having Skype in the living room for snowbirding grandparents to watch the kids rather than lining them up in front of the laptop. I also like the idea that my kids would get the impression that playing a video game is one choice among many. It does let kids be creators. Besides some of the neat building games that are around, XBox One provides the capacity to record and upload video, and editing tools are available as well. I think this helps our kids be more active creators than passive consumers. The games are really awesome. I cannot speak to Xbox vs. Playstation, but the Forza Motorsports 5 video game made me want to play because of the level of detail as you race on courses around the world, and I am not usually a huge video game fan. Although apparently Xbox Live will match me to a player at my level... Parental controls remain intact so you can keep all the powers you're used to. So my question is...are video games a big part of your family entertainment? I have a vision that we will all one day play a game like Guitar Hero together, but in truth video games in my family are mostly a father-son affair, and we still limit them a fair amount.
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Should you buy the XBox One for your kids?

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