As a dad of a daughter, I’ve always been keen to undermine the idea that some activities or pastimes are for boys only – whether it’s climbing trees, being into Star Wars, or playing video games…
So gaming is an area I’ve been keen to explore with my daughter, especially before any sense of ‘that’s for boys’ seeps into her consciousness.
We’ve just upgraded our existing console (which predates my becoming a parent) to an Xbox One – specifically the Xbox One S Minecraft Favourites Bundle.
To me, the Xbox brand has always been synonymous with serious gaming, aimed at older kids and adults – so how does it work in a family environment? Are there games that my young daughter can play? What other uses are there for it? How easy is it to set up? (This is our first Xbox).
Xbox One S: What’s in the box
You get a white 500gb Xbox S, a wireless controller (with batteries), power lead, and a HDMI cable. You also get download codes for any games included in the bundle (in this case Minecraft) and a 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial. And it’s all in very cool Minecraft packaging.
The initial set-up is very easy. There’s a pamphlet showing you how connect it, but it’s so simple you don’t really need it – connect HDMI lead from Xbox to TV, plug in power, insert batteries into controller, and power up.
You also have the option of running any set top box through the Xbox, but this is something we have yet to explore. I would recommend downloading the smartphone app. Among other things, it doubles as a remote control and makes entering redeemable codes a whole lot simpler.
So – easy, you’re ready to go! Ok, not so fast.
Configuring your Xbox One S: Think of the Kids!
Once it’s on and hooked up to your screen – the real set up begins. You will be guided by onscreen instructions to set language, region, and display settings – as well as the most time consuming, the big bad system update. Have your wifi details standing by. And a glass of wine.
This set up – while easy to do – is time consuming, with all the downloads and installing. You’ll even need to update the controller software, download a DVD/BluRay player, set parental controls, and sort out an Xbox live account. You’re looking at a good hour or 2.
If you’re buying this for the kids, they are going to want to play with this as soon as possible. My advice is to get this set up done prior to the big reveal to your kids. After you’ve completed it, you can still package it back and wrap it up to maximise their surprise. If this is for Xmas, this is a good activity to have running in the background while wrapping their presents and drinking mulled wine. 🙂
This console came bundled with Minecraft. I’ll go into the game more in another post (as Minecraft deserves a post of it’s own), but as there was no physical copy of the game – it was a redeemable code – this was something else that needed to be downloaded and installed prior to use.
For more on how to set up your console, especially if you’re buying it as a present, head to the Xbox One S family hub and check out this video too.
The Xbox One S: Gaming console and media hub
For me, as well as getting my daughter into to the fun of gaming early, having access to other girl empowering media is vitally important. So it’s great that we can watch the likes of My Little Pony, Young Justice, and The Legend of Korra via our Xbox, with streaming apps like Amazon Video and Netflix. There are also plenty of movies downloads to rent or buy.
It’s also worth noting that the Xbox One S offers 4k streaming (from available services) for those already with, or looking to upgrade to, a new 4k UHD TV.
The Xbox One S: A console for all the family
There’s lots more to explore, but so far it’s easy to see that the Xbox One S is not only a powerful gaming console, but a versatile media hub – and is perfect to have at the heart of a modern family living room.
While Minecraft is a great game to enjoy with your kids, I am really looking forward to upgrading our existing family games – especially LEGO Dimensions. And browsing the Xbox games available to download, it’s clear there are plenty of other great titles for kids too.
My daughter is increasingly keen on gaming, and the addition of the Xbox One S into our household has only encouraged it. So far, it looks like we have a gamer girl in the making.
Also raising a new generation of gamer girls is Darren of Love All Dads. Check out his Xbox video with his daughters:
The Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle (500GB) has an RRP of £249.99.
**This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Xbox UK.**