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My history in consoles is quite interesting: I’m a PC user. I grew up with a Commodore Vic-20, 64 and Amiga 600. I owned a Sega Saturn and only played Sega Rally – literally. That’s what it was bought for, and that is all it was used for. After that, I never owned another console until the release of Grand Theft Auto V… I bought a PS3 specifically for that.

You could say that I’m one of those guys who console exclusives would appeal to, and indeed, I bought for GTAV, then ended up trying Red Dead Redemption as well. Apart from that? I didn’t feel there was much a PS3 could offer me that I didn’t have already on PC or another service. Saying that, I have nothing against consoles, I just know what PCs offer as well.

For our TV (as this is relevant), we cut the cord a while back. We use antenna (to get local 83 digital channels, mostly crap but all the local affiliates). We then used an Apple TV (version 3, unhacked) and either used Netflix, Hulu, bought seasons/movies, or I transferred my DVDs to digital format and streamed from iTunes on my PC, to the Apple TV.

As E3 approached I knew I wanted to get a console, but I wasn’t sure which. I went into it planning on getting a PS4 (I bought games like Last of Us on PS3 and never played it), so figured I would upgrade and get around to playing that eventually on the PS4… But no, Microsoft totally won me over at E3… I started to take the XB1 seriously. But I still wanted Sony’s conference to impress me more…

…but they didn’t. I felt the Sony conference was very disappointing. After E3 I went back and watched the original XBOX announcement, I read some of the early reviews, the Kinect controversy stuff and all. I ended up making the decision to get an XB1, but why?

Well, mainly because of how it’ll work with my PC! I will be able to play XBOX/console exclusive games through my PC with Windows 10. I can also stream my iTunes media library of DRM free content (which most of it is, from my DVD collection), use it for Netflix, and even use it to control my TV (I bought the USB antenna adapter). With that, I can stream my TV channels from the XBOX to iPhone and iPad through the Glass app, remote control it, and even control my TV itself… This essentially replaced the Apple TV – AND – replaced the “smart” features of my Smart HDTV.

I bought an XBOX with Kinect, mainly because I have kids and they love both the dance and kids games that use it. I love using voice control, and am really shocked how well that works. I’m British and live in the USA, so we use Skype a lot. I can literally sit on my couch and say “XBOX, call mum” and it does it. Kinect has a built-in camera and microphone. It also listens to things like “go to Netflix”, “volume up”, “watch channel 7”, etc. I love it! No real concerns over privacy for me, unless you want to hear us talk about how tired we are each evening, or see my Husky dry-humping my Labrador. The XB1 replaced the Logitech (Skype) TV Cam HD we had.

Something I never expected, was how much I would use the XBOX for non-gaming related activity. I watch Netflix and TV a lot, but even watch Twitch (gaming streaming) quite a bit as well. I used to stream Twitch from my iPhone to Apple TV using the Twitch app. The XB1 replaced the need for that app on my phone.

What else? Well, I’m cheap. I’ll spend money on something I want, but don’t often want something the day of release. I’ll quite happily wait six months for a Steam sale, or until a game is vastly reduced by other means. XBOX One backwards compatibility is huge – HUGE. I’m cheap enough that being able to buy a 360 game will satisfy me. It’s a little annoying that legal issues mean games have to be approved to play, but I’m OK with that. Really hoping Red Dead Redemption makes it soon! I’d also quite like to see Skyrim, because even though I own it on PC, I often want to game away from what is, effectively, my office. That’s why a PC guy owns a console…

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About Tim
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British-born U.S. Resident, Tim Wheatley, works for Image Space Inc., a developer of driver-in-the-loop simulation technology. He lives in Illinois with his wife and children.
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