The Xbox One, Microsoft’s latest gaming and entertainment console, has only been around for a year. Despite that, it is incredibly clear that Holiday 2015 is the perfect time to upgrade from the Xbox 360 or the PS3. If you are planning on upgrading to the Xbox One this year, there are accessories you’ll want to keep an eye out for too.
Forget what you know about console release cycles. Take all the things you learned about the Xbox 360’s accessories and ignore that too. The Xbox One is a different beast entirely. This console has its own quirks, its own foibles. It needs some accessories before you get the full experience just like every other device.
Here are the accessories you need to consider purchasing this holiday season when you purchase an Xbox One at GameStop, the Microsoft Store or a dozens of other retailers. You may want to take a look at How to Upgrade to the Xbox One too.
First, things first. The Xbox One is an advanced entertainment console, but like everything else you probably own, you have to interact with it. There are tons of different ways to interact with the Xbox One. The free Xbox One SmartGlass app lets users change channels and move around the console with their iPhone or Android tablet. The Kinect 2 sensor for the Xbox One allows users to play games and control things on screen with their voice or different gestures. It costs $150 and includes a game. You can purchase the more expensive Xbox One + Kinect bundle at $450 too. There’s even a $25 media remote that Xbox One owners can purchase as a separate accessory.
The way almost everyone will interact with the Xbox One is the Xbox One Wireless Controller. Every Xbox One controller has fourteen buttons. The first Xbox One controller you’ll receive comes included with your console. For more than one user to play games that don’t involve the Kinect 2 sensor you’ll need a separate controller that costs you an extra $60. Microsoft makes a few special edition versions of these, but they’re functionally the same.
The Xbox One Controller is advanced, but it isn’t so advanced that you don’t have to put batteries in it. It takes AA batteries so you’ll want a decent supply if you plan on gaming for hours on end. The $25 Xbox One Wireless Controller Play and Charge Kit consists of a super-long USB cable and a battery that you stick in the back of the Xbox One Wireless Controller. In the long run, you’ll want to invest in one of these instead of purchasing a ton of batteries. Whatever you do, don’t try gaming with those cheap batteries you find at discount stores and outlets. Cheap batteries will quickly die in the Xbox One controller.
Most accessories you purchase because you want to enhance your experience. Headphones kind of fall into a different category. Sure, you’ll want headphones so that you can voice chat with people and get the best audio experience available. That being said, buying a decent pair of gaming headphones is more about giving you a great audience experience and making sure other people don’t have to put up with loud bangs and more coming from your television late at night.
The Xbox One doesn’t yet have any wireless headphones. There are tons of great headphones to choose from though. The Xbox One Stereo Headset costs $59.99. Large speakers with some padding covers the entire ear and also includes a removable boom microphone. This is the one I recommend.
Polk Audio makes some higher-end headphones for the Xbox One too. They’re called the Polk Audio 4 Shot Xbox One Gaming Headset and they come in black, blue and green for $99 at the Microsoft Store. Normally, they’d cost $160. Any certified Xbox One headset you purchase includes an Xbox One Headphone Adapter. This adapter controls volume and allows players to mute audio. There’s a standard headset adapter built-in on the bottom that allows users to listen to audio through basic earbuds and headphones. This also costs $25 if you purchase it on its own with new headphones.
The Xbox One comes with a free Chat Headset, but it’s pretty basic.
Online & Game Specific Extras
Say you purchased an Xbox One + Kinect 2 Bundle or a Kinect 2 sensor separately. This sensor needs to see your entire room so typically it’s positioned in front of your television. A lot of people like to put the Kinect 2 sensor on top of their flat screen television. The Kinect TV Mount for Xbox One is an easy way to put your Kinect 2 sensor on your television. More users will want it because of the camera cover it includes for $20.
If you don’t buy a single thing here, make sure you purchase a subscription to Xbox Live Gold. Three months of Xbox Live Gold costs $25 a single month of Xbox Live Gold costs $10 and a full year of Xbox Live Gold costs $60 a year. You need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play multiplayer online and store video clips of your achievements on Microsoft’s servers. You also need want it for the two free games you can download a month.
Good luck with your accessories purchases. Make sure you pick up one of the Xbox One bundles that Microsoft has discounted for the holiday season too. Those include a game, giving you the ultimate console accessory free of charge.