The Guide to Getting an Xbox One: What Should You Buy & Why?

Lots of people view video game consoles as board games and play things, machines that they can buy to entertain themselves or their children without much complexity. Certainly a video game console can be entertaining for the entire family, but they aren’t the simply play things that they used to be. They haven’t been that way for a while. Getting an Xbox One – or any video game console – is a big undertaking.

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Video game consoles have had to change to keep up with buyers. Years ago, the only way to purchase a new Xbox game was to head to a store or get one delivered from an online retailer. Today, you can purchase Xbox One games without getting off your couch. When multiplayer gaming came along on PC, it was free and sometimes very complicated. Xbox Live Gold makes it very easy to play games with friends and other owners of Xbox consoles. There are game ratings to consider, and parental controls to setup. You’ll probably find yourself in need of at least one accessory to go along with your console purchase.

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Read: PS4 vs Xbox One: All the 2016 Details

Gotta Be Mobile has put together this Xbox One Buyers Guide for anyone and everyone interested in getting an Xbox One this holiday season. It’s a quick reference guide for anyone planning to join the ecosystem soon.

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Getting an Xbox One: Which Xbox One Bundles Should You Buy?

If you’re already thinking about what games you’re going to buy or what accessories you want, stop. Instead you need to focus on getting an Xbox One bundle that fits your needs. That might sound simple, but sometimes it can be daunting.

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Since 2013, Microsoft has released scores of Xbox One bundles. These bundles offer buyers a chance to get a console and a game of their choice. They’re designed to save you cash. Different bundles have different games. They can also have different accessories and pack-ins included with them.

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Read: How to Setup an Xbox One

Today, Xbox One bundles fit into two categories. There are the Xbox One bundles left over from the original 2013 design and bundles based on the new Xbox One S that Microsoft launched in August. For the most part, both sets of bundles do the same things. They both play games and offer Netflix, Hulu and more.

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The Xbox One S

The newer Xbox One S bundles are capable of 4K video when paired to a 4K television set. They’re also physically smaller than the older models and offer 4K Blu-ray DVD support. The older model has a Blu-Ray player, but it isn’t capable of playing 4K Blu-rays.

Read: Xbox One S vs Xbox One: What You Need to Know

Every bundle comes with an HDMI cable, a power cable and an Xbox Wireless Controller.

The Xbox One S has Battlefield 1, Minecraft, Gears of War 4, Halo, Madden 17 and FIFA 17 bundles available at most retailers. You’ll notice that some of these have different prices. The more an Xbox One S costs, the more storage you get. The most storage available in any Xbox One S is 2TB. Don’t feel like you have to go with it. Xbox One and Xbox One S can use USB drives for extra storage when necessary. Only Special Edition Xbox One S consoles come with a stand to hold the console vertically. It can be purchased separately, if you really want one.

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Read: Xbox One S Bundles: Free Battlefield 1 & Minecraft

Go with the Xbox One bundle that has the game that you or your family is interested in the most. The Xbox One doesn’t require an internet connection to play all games, but you will need one to set it up. GameStop can do that for you, or you can take it to a friend’s house and do it there.

Getting an Xbox One: Which Xbox One Games Should You Buy?

If you don’t see any Xbox One bundles with the game that you want, simply go for the Xbox One S with 500GB of storage with Minecraft. Kids love Minecraft. You can pass the included code to someone who’ll get some use out of it. That’s true for any of the bundles that come with games you’re not interested in.

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You already know that you can purchase games separate from Xbox One bundles. When doing so, be sure to keep a few things in mind. First, look at the back cover of any game that you buy. There you will find details about the game’s mechanics, like how many people can play at one time and whether it requires a subscription to Xbox Live Gold or not.

On the front, look for the game’s rating in the bottom-left corner. Ratings act as a quick way to gauge a game’s content. Obviously, if you’re purchasing a game for kids, you want to stay away from the Teen and Mature ratings. Games rated E for Everyone have the broadest appeal.

Read: How to Figure Out Which Games Are Right & Wrong for Your Child

Again, you can purchase games online or in a store. Purchasing a physical game has two advantages. You can always trade that game in towards other games in the future. Also, the game is easy to share; you just hand over the disc. Digital games have their own advantages. They can be shared digitally using a feature Microsoft calls Xbox Live Home Gold. Also, you don’t need to get off your couch to start them.

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Read: How to Share Xbox One Games with Friends

When deciding which Xbox One games to buy, don’t limit your search to Xbox One games. Some Xbox 360 games work on the Xbox One. This is thanks to the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Program.

Getting an Xbox One: Which Xbox One Accessories Do You Need?

Again, every Xbox One console comes with an Xbox Wireless Controller at no charge. If you have more than one child, or think you might have friends over to play regularly, you’ll need a second controller. They cost $60 and come in all kinds of colors. That’s the first Xbox One accessory you should have on any potential shopping list after you’ve purchased the console itself.

Xbox One Black Friday 2014 accessory deals will offer savings on headphones and controllers.

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Read: Is Xbox Live Gold Worth Buying?

If you or your family plan to enjoy the multiplayer features that your games have to offer, you’ll need a subscription to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold service. It costs $9.99 a month or $59.99 a year. $24.99 will get you three months. The console will offer you a free trial during setup, but you may need to provide a credit card. Xbox Live Gold also gets you access two a new slate of digital game downloads each month at no additional charge.

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Read: 14 Must Have Xbox One Accessories

You might also want to look into different types of headphones, but the Xbox One controller’s have headset jacks that allow you to reuse the earbuds and headphones that you have around your home already.

Good luck getting an Xbox One this holiday season.