When the Xbox 360 launched in 2005, it was a cutting edge, seventh generation console that combined crisp graphics with motion-sensing technology. The Xbox One, which launched in late 2013, is the latest and eighth generation of the Xbox console family. It offers better graphics, faster processing, more storage, and more advanced controllers than the Xbox 360.

The two console generations differ on the outside, too. Sharing some design features with the latest Microsoft phones and tablets, the Xbox One is boxier and slightly larger than its predecessor. This larger size is also said to cut down on overheating, an issue the 360 has sometimes faced.

While Microsoft almost completely overhauled the Xbox in its creation of the Xbox One, the Xbox 360 still holds the title for best-selling game console in history.

Comparison chart

Xbox 360 versus Xbox One comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartXbox 360Xbox One
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CPU 3.2 GHz PowerPC Tri-Core Xenon Single-chip x86 AMD "Jaguar" processor, 8 cores, Clock speed 1.75GHz, 32MB of embedded SRAM memory.
Online services Xbox Live for multiplayer support, downloadable movies, music, and games, online surfing, and meeting other players. Xbox Live. $60 annually or $25 quarterly.
Price $199.99 for 4GB console, $299.99 for 4GB console with Kinect, $299.99 for 250GB console, $419.99 for 250 GB console with Kinect $399 without Kinect. With Kinect: $499US €499 £429. Xbox One/Titanfall bundle for $450 at Walmart and Best Buy.
Storage capacity 4, 20, 60, 120, 250 or 320 GB hard drive. 500GB hard drive (not removable or upgradable by user) / 1TB
Sound Stereo, 5.1 Surround, Dolby WMA Pro 7.1 Surround Sound
Generation 7th generation console 8th generation console
Manufacturer Microsoft Microsoft
Graphics ATI Xenos with 10 MB embedded eDRAM and 512 MB DDR3 video RAM. AMD Next Gen, Radeon HD 7xxx series equivalent
Media DVD, CD, HD DVD (discontinued in 2008), downloads Blu-ray, DVD, CD, downloads
Predecessor Xbox (first generation) Xbox 360
Units sold worldwide About 80 million (as of January 2014) Over 20 million (as of March 2016)
Available Versions 4 GB and 250 GB 500 GB, 1 TB
Backward compatibility Xbox Originals 50% Library Some backwards compatibility with 360 titles
Internet Browser Yes Yes
Motion Sensing Kinect Kinect Full HD
Online Subscription Fee Xbox Live has a subscription with flexible pricing options. Xbox Live has a subscription with flexible pricing options.
Controllers up to 4 wireless and/or wired controllers up to 8 controllers
Wi-Fi As an add-on; built into the S model Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct
Processor PowerPC Xenon Customized AMD x86-64 Jaguar
Controller input Xbox 360 Controller, Kinect, Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel, Kinect Xbox One Controller, Kinect, Voice Commands
Video Output HDMI, VGA, Component Cable/D-Terminal, S-Video, SCART HDMI
Memory (RAM) 512 MB 8 GB DDR3 (5 GB available to games). 32MB ESRAM. 68GB/s Bandwidth.
Resolutions 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i, Monitor Resolutions 720p, 1080p, 1080i
Audio Output Stereo RCA, Optical Toslink, HDMI Optical Toslink, HDMI

Hardware

The Xbox One has more efficient computing capabilities that allow for smoother operation. In the Xbox 360, there's a 3.2 GHz triple-core processor, while the Xbox One features two quad-core modules. Memory has also been increased significantly between the generations, going from the 360's 512MB to the One's 8GB.

Another difference is between the two is how the Xbox One operates on the inside. Microsoft has separated the computing systems that handle game play from the one that handles surfing the web to use applications like Facebook and Skype. This allows console users to update apps when necessary, while still leaving the gaming system unchanged for game developers.

Controllers

Upon the launch of Xbox One, Microsoft claimed that it made more than 40 upgrades to the controller. Some of those upgrades include adding “menu” and “view” buttons – the view button allows users to watch replays of game play – and a USB port for battery charging. Other changes include:

Kinect

The Xbox 360 pioneered the Kinect motion-sensing device, but Kinect was released as an add-on only in 2007, two years after the 360 console debuted. The Xbox One comes bundled with a newer version of the Kinect and has a faster processor for better interaction.

Both versions have received mixed reviews, with some complaining of lag and other usability issues.

Removable hard drive

You may not remove the hard drive from the Xbox One. However, there were removable hard drives in early versions of Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 E 250 features an internal hard drive that can be removed and replaced as needed. The Xbox 360 E 4 GB flash hard drive is not removable.

Bluetooth capability

Only Xbox 360 has Bluetooth capability.

Via a separate Xbox-branded headset, Xbox 360 users can use Bluetooth near-field technology to interact with the gaming console. Primarily, Bluetooth for Xbox 360 is for chatting with other players while gaming online. It is also capable of receiving phone calls.

Graphics

According to reviews and comparisons of game play, Xbox One features smoother, more realistic graphics than its predecessor, Xbox 360. This is due mostly in part to an improved and quicker graphics card, and a faster processor.

Backward compatibility

The Xbox 360 is capable of playing games released for the first Xbox system.

Many gamers were upset when it was announced in 2013 that older Xbox games may not be played on the One, but Microsoft has said that it’s possible to rig an XBox 360 through an XBox One using an HDMI cable to play older games.

Finally, in June 2015 Microsoft announced at the E3 conference that Xbox 360 games can now be played on the Xbox One. Microsoft developed an Xbox 360 emulator for the Xbox One so that older games can be played on the new console.

Available games

Because the Xbox 360 has been on the market since 2005, it has more games available than the One. There are close to 1,000 games available for the 360 console.

As of January 2014, there are just under 100 games available for the Xbox One.

Exclusive games

Since 2005, some 250 exclusive games were launched for Xbox 360, including Halo 3 and Halo 4.

So far, there have been 11 exclusive games for Xbox One, including Killer Instinct, Halo, Sunset Overdrive, Dead Rising 3, and Powerstar Golf.

Applications

Similarly, Microsoft requires an Xbox Live Gold paid membership to access most applications – like Netflix, YouTube, or HBO Go – with either Xbox 360 or Xbox One.

A comparison of features of the Xbox One and Xbox 360 video game consoles from Microsoft, including Xbo Live Gold membership
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A comparison of features of the Xbox One and Xbox 360 video game consoles from Microsoft, including Xbo Live Gold membership
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Technical issues

During its run, Xbox 360 experienced technical failures, and its “red ring of death” became notorious among gamers. When the console experienced a “general hardware failure,” a red light would illuminate on the front of the console. The problem got so bad that Microsoft had to extend its manufacturer's warranty on all models before the Xbox 360 S.

Having only been on the market since November 2013, no chronic issues with the Xbox One have surfaced yet. However, some users have complained of noisy or non-functioning disc drives.

Subscription services

Xbox 360 users could sign up for a free subscription to Xbox Live called “Silver” (later changed to Xbox Live Silver). There was also a premium subscription called Xbox Live Gold that cost $59.99 per year. The biggest difference between the two services was online multiplayer game play.

With the introduction of Xbox One, Microsoft has eliminated the free Xbox Live subscription. Instead, users will have to pay for a subscription or forgo access to online game play and other Live features. The subscription still costs $59.99 per year.

Both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One allow users to download applications like Skype and Netflix and to access the Internet through the console using Xbox Live.

There are several differences between Xbox Live Gold for Xbox One and Xbox 360. In additionto apsps and online gameplay, Xbox One is capable of handling a game DVR, Skype, and SmartMatch, a service that pairs online gamers.

References

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