Recently, Xbox held a tour that allows people to get their hands on the new console early. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one of these demos, so I thought I’d share what I saw, felt and thought of the new Xbox One.

Unfortunately for me, I could only get my hands on one game, Forza 5. However, this game is one of the most technically advanced games coming to the Xbox One, so it really allows you to see what the console is capable of. I picked up the new controller and jumped into the game. I chose the McLaren P1, the cover car of this instalment of the Forza series and got into a short, one lap race around the demo track against AI players. The first thing you notice about the Xbox One’s games is just how much they’ve’ve improved the graphics. I know the Xbox 360 was released in 2005 and I should expect a jump in graphics performance, but it’s just how noticeable the improvement is! The surrounding scenery reflects on the cars, you can see tread in tires when you drive past other vehicles. It’s little things like this that make a huge difference in the game.

One thing I was very excited about trying was the Xbox One’s controller. I wanted to see how the controller’s enhancements make a difference to the game’s experience. After all, it is what you’re going to use every day when you sit down to enjoy your game! When I first picked up the controller, the enhancements seemed marginal. Ok, so they removed the battery pack on the back making it easier to hold and slightly changed the triggers, but is this really going to make a difference to your gaming experience? After I played for five minutes, I realised that the improvements were more than just marginal. The controller’s thumb sticks had a slightly more grippy material around the edge, this prevented my finger from slipping when I’m in the tightest corners of the race track. They also added vibration motors to each trigger. Now I don’t just have to look at the screen to realise my car is skidding, I have a vibration feedback that also allows me to judge the direction the car is going. Finally, they improved the D-pad so that it’s less ‘gummy.’ Each side to the D-pad has a solid click which makes the button easier, and quicker to press.

Overall, my hands on experience with the Xbox One was positive. The graphics upgrade makes the games even more realistic and is a welcome upgrade from the Xbox 360. And, the controller keeps the same, great design from the Xbox 360′s controller and just improves on something that is already brilliant, what more can you do? I won’t be picking up an Xbox One on release date. To be honest, I’m quite happy with my Xbox 360! However, for those of you that are, you’re in for a treat!

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Antony was born in Kerala, India, raised in Doha, Qatar. He works as a Systems/Network Manager.Antony’s interests don’t always seem to cross paths: football and technology. However, Antony is just as much a fan of Manchester United as he is of gizmos, maybe a bit more.
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