Gadget junkies love a new machine. The Xbox One is fun to mess around with, whether you’re experimenting with the voice and motion controls of its Kinect camera or using such apps as YouTube and Netflix to feed Internet video to your big-screen TV.
But most early buyers will want to know what games they can play. The Xbox One launches with 22 games you can buy online and download. You can also buy 18 of them – the good ones – the old-fashioned way, on disc. The Xbox One itself went on sale in North America and Europe on Friday for $500.
The standouts are high-definition versions of games that have already been available on Microsoft’s previous console, the Xbox 360. They include Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag,” Activision’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” Electronic Arts’ “Need for Speed Rivals” and 2K Sports’ “NBA 2K14.” All of those are also available on Sony’s competing new console, the PlayStation 4.
There are a few Xbox One exclusives:
– “Forza Motorsport 5″ ($60) is the system’s visual showstopper, from the chrome of an exotic Ferrari to the vistas of Australia’s iconic Mount Panorama racetrack. Its most intriguing innovation is Drivatar, which creates digital doppelgangers based on the driving tendencies of each human player. The result: Even when you’re competing against computer-controlled cars, it feels like you’re racing against other people. It’s exhilarating.
– “Ryse: Son of Rome” ($60) is a classic sword-and-sandals epic about a soldier named Marius Titus who seeks vengeance against those who killed his family. It has a lovely cinematic sweep, but may end up being best remembered for its copious bloodshed, as Titus finds ever more dramatic ways to eviscerate his opponents.
– “Dead Rising 3″ ($60) doesn’t deviate much from previous entries in Capcom’s zombie-survival franchise, but it makes up for its lack of originality with sheer scale. Instead of sending a dozen or so zombies your way, “Dead Rising 3″ fills the screen with hundreds of them. And each one seems as though it has a different way of getting to your tasty brains.