In 2013, console makers Microsoft and Sony looked toward a future they thought was going to completely change the video game industry. Like Nintendo had the year before with the Wii U, the other two platform holders tried to incorporate big new technology ideas into their new consoles, adapting to trends such as touchscreens, mobile app integration, motion control, voice control, and the power of cloud integration. With the Xbox One, Microsoft envisioned a completely new game console that would power your entire living room and tried to completely change the game with its hardware and capabilities.
As we near the release of the ninth generation of consoles and the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, though, things are very different. Most of the ideas that defined the Xbox One when it was announced have disappeared from the console, and new elements that were initially discounted have come to help define it. We’re looking back at some of the best and worst tech ideas of the Xbox One, from the ill-fated Kinect to the about-face that made backward compatibility possible. The Xbox One’s story is a strange one, and the console has gone through some drastic changes–largely for the better.
Be sure to also check out our rundown of the best and worst PlayStation 4 tech and hardware as well.