As one of the most modern systems on the market, you’re going to be having years of great experiences every time you power up the Xbox One.
“Xbox, on!” What do you want to do today? You could go the usual route and pop in your favorite video game title, which will have you remembering why you bought the thing in the first place, but as one of the newest competitive consoles, it’s so much more than a simple gaming machine.
A bit of armchair net surfing for you, or would you like to get up off the couch and Kinect to something a bit more physical? You could go shopping, or simply sit back and sort yourself out with your favorite songs (or both).
Connect with your friends over Skype or Facebook, or catch a nap while watching Netflix. No matter what you choose to do, when you unwrap the beautifully packaged features of the Xbox One you’re sure to find what you’re looking for, as will your family and friends.
With such a wide variety of pleasures to peruse, we’ve come up with some innovative ideas to assist you in really reaping the relaxing rewards of your Xbox, so grab a chair and check out our Top 10 Ways to get a Great Xbox One Experience!
1. Get a Curved TV
One thing the Xbox One doesn’t do is create a hologram that you can interact with to satisfy your every need (Microsoft, work on that one). As such, and as with every other console out there, you’re going to need a TV to make the magic come to life.
You could head over to Walmart and pick up a cheap flat screen television, but we’re not here to assist you in having a “good” Xbox experience; we’re going to ensure you have a great one.
Samsung caught our eye with two of their offerings, so let’s start things out with the first one, the Samsung UN65H8000. Here we have a 65 inch beast, boasting 1080p, of course (who would settle for less?). For those of you who don’t know, you really need at least this much resolution to present yourself and your guests with the perfect picture.
This baby is also 3D, coming with 4 pairs of active 3D glasses to boot. I haven’t had the pleasure of watching 3D on a curved TV quite yet, but I’m actually drooling right now at the prospect, especially on something of this size.
But this TV is more than just a pretty face; it’s as smart as your Xbox One, with motion and voice control as well as lots of the ports we all need, know, and love (4 HDMI and 3 USB). It is also a “smart TV” in itself.
The real kicker here is the hot 240 Hz that is sure to eliminate even the question of ghosting, presenting you with gorgeous graphics that stream smoothly from the source to you.
You might also want to take a look at the UN65HU7250, another selection from Samsung. Here’s one that’s just as big, but we wipe out the 3D (hey, I’m sure they’re cooking up something better anyway), and replace it with 4K Ultra HD.
Is the 4K really worth it? Let me tell you, I wish real life was in 4K! The truly amazing picture quality granted by this gift from Samsung might just get you fired for skipping work (all the more reason to work from home)!
The Hz drops a bit to 120, but that’ll satisfy your needs in most situations anyway; the 240 above is simply icing on an already pretty cake.
Are the curved screens with all their pretty power really worth parting from the screens you’re partial to?
Well, while the packages are out of this world expensive, the pricing is not. These TVs don’t boast the huge price tags they used to and are in a zone that may have most families considering the purchase.
Let’s get something straight, though: This is not an in-home IMAX screen. You’ll not be dazzled with your friends watching Laser Floyd, and you won’t be surrounded by all the spinning stars of the solar system.
While the differences between these and ordinary flat screens are not extremely noticeable, they do help reduce reflections and provide great picture quality and processing power. They also feature fun additions that can only add to your Xbox experience.
Are they simply a novelty? Perhaps, but they’re really cool novelties, and you’re sure to be the envy of your social circle when they’re sitting around your new hemisphere.
Will I pick one up next time I’m in the market for a TV? You bet, if there’s nothing better by then.
2. Have a Home Theater System
You probably already do have a home theater system, but is it up to par with the near perfection delivered in the features of the Xbox One? You need a system that’s as cool as your console, allowing you to be submerged in sound.
You want to freak out when the lights are low, where that devil from Dead Space will make you soil yourself. You want to feel the bass as the glass of water ripples from the pounding of an impending encounter with Jurassic Park’s T-Rex. You want to experience the ambience of that mystical forest you’re wading through on your way to battle.
You don’t just want a new home theater system: You need one.
Luckily, we have some superior selections for you from some well-known names that are sure to fit the bill without breaking the bank (after all, you just sprung for a new curved TV).
Beginning with big boy Bose, we have a few buys that you can’t really go wrong with. The Acoustimass series has some decent 5.1 channel offerings. The 6 starts out at an affordable price, and gives you your center speaker plus 5 others, as does the 10.
The 6’s tiny speakers can blend in anywhere, while delivering big sound. The 10 stacks these side speakers on top of each other for a multidirectional effect, and will set you back around double the price.
Go for the SL2 wireless surround link; you don’t want cords running everywhere.
Unknown Onkyo has some decent dishes as well. Can I start you off with an Onkyo HT-S3500, a delightful 660 watt 5.1? Or would you like to go directly to the main course, the S5600 7.1?
A receiver side dish is included with each one, and though the speakers are a bit bigger than those of Bose, the price tags are not.
A variety of options await you when shopping for your new system. Don’t forget to check out affordable options from Sony Bravia (which doesn’t like those tall, slim speakers), or step things up bit with a selection from LG Electronics.
Don’t disregard a dark horse here, however. I use a Logitech X-540 for my 65 inch Sharp, and I’ve gotten my share of noise complaints. Good designs at great prices take this computer company out of the corner and into your living room.
3. Have a gaming headset?
You’ve decked out your den with that curved TV, and you’ve gotten a sound system that will knock the hat off your head, but there are times when you either need to cut the sound at the request of a family member (or the local police), or you simply want to keep the experience all to yourself.
Having the right gaming headset will keep your bass boosted when you can’t bring down the house, and it might just let you pass into your own perfect, personal, private world of pleasure.
Skullcandy has some sexy selections specifically designed for your Xbox One that won’t make your wallet suffer. Some SLYR sets are specifically tailored to titles such as Assassin’s Creed 4 and Halo, and in addition to their color schemes they have some cool features such as the GMX sound mixer, that lets you tune others out while turning background music up.
At a reasonable price point, also take a look at the wireless PLYR 7.1! I’d actually sample some Skullcandy if I hadn’t recently purchased a new piece, but other formidable offerings will give you more food for thought.
Logitech steps into the light again with some affordable (albeit not as sexy) yet awesome pieces, like the wireless G930, also 7.1. Razer also has some designs designated for Xbox play, like their Kraken variants.
Don’t forget to stop by the old standby, Turtle Beach, which continues to be a force in the market due to its wide range of products and prices.
Shop around and find a gaming headset that suits both your play style and your personality. Remember that you’ll more than likely be enjoying this with the other options provided by your One, not just simply gaming with it.
If you’re in it for the sound, rather than telling your buddies who is sneaking up on them, focus on features other than the mic. Go wireless when you can, so you can sit back and savor your system.
Available funds aside, although some of the boast-worthy big boys are in the more expensive price range, you can still find something to suit your needs for cheap without much trouble. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good headset, however, and don’t skimp here when it comes to quality.
4. Take on top Xbox One titles
In spite of all the other features loaded into the Xbox One, people purchase gaming consoles for just that: gaming. While tons of titles tempt and tease, you don’t want to waste your time on junk games that don’t really bring out the best in your Xbox experience.
Story, graphics, gameplay, and replay value are what you’re looking for, and if you’re still unsure of what to buy, try one of these top titles from our brief rundown of fan favorites.
When Mechwarrior marries an FPS, you get Titanfall, an action packed beauty that pits man against machine. Multiplayer heavy, you’ll be hooked from the get go.
Grand Theft Auto V has stolen the hearts of fans of the franchise once again (and undoubtedly has added more than a few new recruits). The sheer variety of diversions this wonderfully witty world has to offer will keep you going when your gang is too busy to come over.
Middle Earth addicts get some methadone with Shadow of Mordor. Assassin’s Creed mechanics bring pleasure to your ranger’s path, as you hack, slash, sneak, and stab your way through hours of orc-killing awesomeness.
Speaking of Assassin’s Creed, #4 will have you singing along with your pirate crew as you sail beautifully rendered seas and explore vivid environments. If you love pirates, this is your game without a doubt.
Fly through tracks faster and furious…er with Forza Motorsport 5. Pop hoods on gorgeous cars and race to your heart’s content with cars you’ll never be able to afford in real life.
What do all these games have in common? Unprecedented graphic presentations, stunning characters, worlds and environments, and pure entertainment value that won’t disappoint characterize each of these titles in our top 5 picks.
5. Acquire Awesome Accessories
With your cool setup coming together, it’s time to accessorize! Anybody can go pick up an Xbox One, but it’s what you do with it that defines you.
Set yourself apart from the pack and consider these and other ideas to enhance your Xbox experience.
As far as controllers go, there’s quite a variety of them out there—too many to cover here, in fact. If you want to sort through the myriad of control pad clones, go right ahead; there are some good ones.
What I would encourage you to do if you’re going down this route is to deck out whatever you get with either a set of metal sticks and buttons and/or get yourself set up with some custom Kontrol Freeks. Skin it out if you must, but the metal accessories and high sticks add both pride and precision to your gameplay, all while ensuring Billy next door doesn’t have the same setup as you.
If you want something special, take a look at some of these luxuries. Really feeling your Forza? You’ll be blown away with the Thrustmaster TX Ferrari 458 Italia Edition racing wheel and pedal set. Sure, it’s expensive, but it’s damn cool, especially if you get the separate shifter.
Mad Catz puts out some nice 8 button fightsticks, so if you’re more into mashing skulls than cruising courses, these are the sticks you want. Either customize yours or spring for that controller you’ve always wanted but could never bring yourself to buy, and you’re on your way to Xbox heaven.
Other accessories available will add to your experiences with the One’s other features.
Various manufacturers make Chatpads, which are basically keyboards you can hook onto the bottom of your controller. These are great while surfing the Internet, or, of course, chatting.
Similarly, both you and your controllers will need to recharge every now and then. While you’re getting a bite to eat, put your pads on popular pedestals like the Energizer 2x, which are both functional and stylish.
Sure, your Xbox One has numerous voice features, but some people need a remote! Pick up the Xbox One Media Remote, which, though more expensive, is much better looking than its competition at its low price.
Cheap accessories make you look cheap; cool and creative accessories…
6. Choose a Chair
You’ve got all your stuff, now have a seat! While you don’t need one for everybody, you definitely deserve a throne of your own, and these are undoubtedly better than the one you are sitting in now. That’s why buying one of the best gaming chairs on the market can have a huge impact on your gaming experience.
Sound Egg gamer chairs are even trippier than their original 60’s brethren, enhanced with acoustic foam lining the inside like an opera house and adopting as many as 5 surround sound speakers—all you have to do is pick a color!
If you’re a solo gamer (if you’re not, you may just convert after this), forget the investment in the big TV and pick up three small ones for the undisputed heavyweight champion of all chairs, the Emperor 1510 (LX).
Ride this scorpion’s tail to gaming glory, surrounded by screens and everything you could ever want in a chair. Don’t worry, it’s cheaper than a sports car (but not by much).
If you don’t want to finance your new gaming chair, you might find yourself in an X Rocker variant like one of the wireless Spiders, of the X Rocker 2. Not bad choices, but I’d get one with a pedestal.
7. Set the Mood
Your gamer room should be as unique as you are, so make it so!
Start by choosing a theme. I went an ultra-contemporary route, with black leather, glass and chrome tables of multiple levels, all built into the atmosphere of a 60’s lounge. The TV is decked out as well—large, with gold curtains making it look like a mini movie theater. It’s all very upscale, nice, and modern.
What you do here is up to you. You might go anywhere from Star Wars to Vintage Gaming, but get stuff that goes, and get creative. Insert colored light bars on the walls, and pick up some lightsaber hilts to put on the walls underneath them. Consider a remote control R2-D2 for those sitting on the sidelines.
You might even want some character cut-outs or statues, or even scale it up a bit, and frame some authentic memorabilia, “Hard Rock Café” style. Use this tactic with old school gaming items as well, or even go through your closet and frame some of your old Nintendo Powers or other magazines.
With titles like Halo and Assassin’s Creed, replica weaponry looks great on display, so throw them in glass cases, and you’re on your way.
The themes and ideas are endless; just pick something you’re into, and let yourself go (and don’t forget other activities, like pool, shuffleboard, air hockey, foosball, darts, or even full-sized arcade machines and tables).
8. Could you get any Cooler?
You could, but you’d need to get a cooler first! Not just any cooler, of course, but something that undoubtedly goes with the room you’ve just created.
You could go with a standard kegerator, which is always a nice touch, but if you’re not up for drinking (or haven’t reached the legal drinking age), you might look around for something…cooler.
Having something to get drinks in the hands of guests is both essential and aesthetic, and you’ll never get the ladies to come over if you’re all sitting around the house sucking on hoses coming out of beer hats. You’re cooler than that.
9. Get the Munchies
Drinks covered, but what about food? Gamers get hungry, and they don’t want to leave the room, so have snacks on hand.
The munchies are coming, so get ready! A hot dog cart in your living room? Maybe! Some vintage carts, like those made by Coca-Cola, not only look good, but often include cool features like hot dog rollers, coolers, and condiment dispensers.
Go big with a popcorn machine, like the HKP-200 series, and don’t forget the extra butter! Throw a bunch of candy bars in with “The Claw” and let your friends pay you every time they try to retrieve a bar, rather than you springing for snacks.
The same thing goes for large candy store vending machines, where you insert a quarter and receive a handful. After your initial investment, you might just make some money, along with some new friends!
10. Don some New Duds
Last but not least, you! You’ve put so much time and effort into achieving the perfect Xbox One experience for you and your guests, so now, finish strong by looking the part.
There are plenty of places to pick up some dandy gamer duds out there, and for many of them you can just hop on your Xbox and order online. Try Splitreason and Redbubble for clever takes on classic games (gotta love a t-shirt with Sub-Zero dispensing ice pops), or for more logo-oriented clothing (and even memorabilia), check out sites like J!nx, Gamerabilia, and Insert Coin.
Whether you’re veritably vintage or dark and dangerous, you’re sure to find something for you (and maybe even that special someone) on one of these great sites. Happy gaming!
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