10 overlooked Xbox One features you should know about

Without it, virtually no one would have played or developed an online Dreamcast game in the last decade. The same lesson may apply here.

Xbox One features

We really liked both the Xbox One and PS4 controllers

4. Xbox One gamepad tweaked to near-perfection

The Xbox One gamepad's 40 innovations translate into making one of the best controllers ever made even better.

Right off the bat, we noticed that it's lightweight, doesn't sport a bulk battery bulge in the back, has closer together face buttons, and features a much-needed D-Pad redesign.

Sure the PS4 controller is leaps-and-bounds better than the PS3 controller, according to our extensive hands-on time with the DualShock 4.

But the Xbox brand controller was already closer to perfection before its 40 innovations, making it seem like it received less buzz.

And speaking of buzz, Microsoft put tiny force feedback motors into the Xbox One controller's right and left triggers. Rumble hasn't seen a bigger impact since Nintendo debuted the technology in Star Fox 64.

Xbox One features

And this is just the first-party, not the afterparty

5. 15 exclusive games in the first year

Microsoft isn't known for publishing a ton of triple-A, first-party games outside of Halo and Gears of War. Nevertheless, it promised 15 exclusives in the first 12 months of the Xbox One launch.

Well on its way to living up to that promise are new game franchises like Ryse: Son of Rome, Quantum Break, Project Spark, Sunset Overdrive, Below, LocoCycle, D4, and Crimson Dragon.

They join existing IP Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, Kinect Rivals, and Killer Instinct.

A new Halo game is on its way to Xbox One, but there's little known about the game other than it will run at 60 frames per second. It might fall outside the 12-month window.

That means game number fourteen is Titanfall, which should be noted is coming out on the PC as well, and the last one is an untitled new franchise from Vancouver subsidiary Black Tusk Studios.

So while Microsoft has been known for buying exclusives while Sony produced heavy-hitters itself in the last generation, it looks as if it's upping the in-house ante on the Xbox One.

Xbox One features

It's down with the CoD

6. Still has Call of Duty DLC as a timed-exclusive

Say what you will about Call of Duty, but the game breaks its own "best selling in entertainment history" record every year, and Call of Duty: Ghosts looks to be no different.

The Infinity Ward-developed game is coming to all relevant platforms (in other, words not Wii U), but it's downloadable content will debut first on Xbox One.

That means that CoD players owning one of Sony's machine may have to wait up to an extra month to buy the supplemental maps and modes that come out post-launch.

Xbox One features

Can do more than One thing

7. Xbox One multitasking is slick

Another feature that Xbox One-owning gamers will appreciate starting in November is the ability to switch apps instantly and multitask on their new console.

Microsoft boasted an instant switching voice-controller feature with commands like "Xbox, game" and "Xbox, watch TV."

These voice commands are a plus, but it's the lag-free switching is makes the user interface feel so lightweight compared to today's clunky UI.

Having to press the slow Xbox 360 guide button and then the Y button just to exit into the dashboard and search for the next app you want to load will be a thing of the past.

Xbox One features

Not a pain in the SmartGlass to setup

8. SmartGlass, Twitch integration are established

While Sony is going with a proprietary second-screen option for PS4 by incorporating the PS Vita for some unique gameplay enhancements, Microsoft is opening its doors to rival devices with SmartGlass.

This companion application for Xbox One is compatible with Windows 8 devices, Windows RT tablets and Windows Phone 8 smartphones.

Outside of Microsoft's domain, it also works with iOS and Android hardware, so more people may actually use Xbox One's second-screen features.

Likewise, Microsoft has chosen to use the established Twitch live streaming video platform to host videos via its gameplay DVR.

PS4's share button may not have the same built-in audience that's always hungry for more gameplay video on a 24-7 basis.

Xbox One features

Send in... the clouds

9. Xbox One Cloud

Microsoft was pretty excited for the Xbox One's use of the cloud, citing it as one of the many reasons gamers will want to be always online with the new console.

Although the check-in requirement has been dropped with the exception of the system's initial setup, Xbox One will still make full use of the cloud when there's an internet connection available.

Microsoft's 300,000 servers for Xbox One give developers the ability to offload some of a game's processing power, like AI, to the cloud, thus taking the system's specs to an appropriate cloud-like level.

Xbox One features

Xbox 360 achievements were so good Sony 'invented' trophies

10. Achievements are carried over from 360

It may not count toward anything, but Xbox 360 achievements have kept gamers loyal to the Microsoft system for the past eight years.

Because the company is carrying over these Xbox Live bragging rights to the Xbox One, it's going to be hard for any hardcore gamer to completely abandoned their achievements.

With Microsoft expanding the role of these rewards and promising a "new generation of achievements," there's even more reason to stick around.

Xbox One features

The first battle is over, but the war is far from won

All-in-two systems

Both Xbox One and PS4 are shaping up to be the most feature-attractive systems to date in the ugliest, box-like chassis ever.

No matter, both Microsoft and Sony's console have their own advantages.

That means the next console cycle is going to be even more competitive than the past 8 years, to which innovative developers and gamers are the real winners.

Matt Swider