As the next generation of consoles releases, many parents are trying to figure out all the features and benefits of these new gaming systems. And while their children might be excited about faster gaming, better graphics, and a more responsive controller, many parents are more concerned with safety features and pricing.
It would be great if gaming systems all released their own parent guide when they released all the selling points of their latest console. But since most don’t, I’ve researched, tested, and reached out to my gaming friends to compile this Parent Guide to Xbox. My hope is this Xbox guide will give parents who have very little to no gaming experience an in-depth overview of the Xbox gaming system. I want there to be enough meat to this that you feel you know and understand the gaming system while not giving you all the extra fat. So, grab your plate, and let’s dive in and learn about the Xbox.
Parent Guide to Xbox
The release of the new Xbox on November 10, 2020 meant many parents were scrambling to get their hands on one in time for Christmas. Parents often ask me why their kids prefer one gaming system over another. There can be a few reasons. One is that kids sometimes really want to play a game that’s only available on a particular gaming console (an exclusive game). They may also be drawn to a gaming system because they want to game with their friends. Xbox does make it easy to game with friends. And, their parental controls make it easy for parents to set up safe gaming options for young kids.
There are a variety of reasons to purchase a current generation console, even years after they come out. However, it can still be a big decision as to what console you wish to purchase. Even with their now-reduced prices and financing options, consoles can still present a major financial investment.
So take a bit of time to research the games and services available on the gaming console. Discuss as a family the features that are most important. Involve your kids in the process of researching gaming systems and games. They will not only learn how to use the system, but they’ll find some really fun and educational games as they dig in and do some research.
A Quick Rundown of the Xbox
The Xbox has proven to be an incredibly popular and successful console. With over 46 million units sold, the console stands as a powerful competitor on the console market.
The Xbox continues to use the Xbox Live service in order to play games online and chat with friends and other gamers.
Throughout its lifespan, the Xbox has received several revisions. These revisions include the Xbox Series S and the Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series S, with the “S” standing for Slim, is a much smaller variation of the Xbox Series X.
The Xbox Series S is offered in both a version with a disk drive as well as one without. These consoles are also available in a variety of storage sizes to suit your needs.
The Xbox Series X serves as a graphical upgrade to the Xbox One, allowing for gameplay in 4k. Many titles were available to upgrade via the Xbox Series X’s hardware, allowing you to play the games in a higher graphical quality.
Additionally, there were many aesthetic variations of the Xbox, with many console sets introduced. These sets included the console, a controller, and a game. These consoles were usually styled after the game, featuring artwork indicative of the game packaged in the bundle.
These bundles can be quite rare and serve as fun collectibles for avid fans of certain games.
Parent Guide To Xbox: Xbox Games
Throughout the console’s life, there have been numerous console exclusive games, the biggest being Gears 5, as well as Halo 5. These games are sequels to legendary franchises that stem from the Xbox 360 and the original Xbox respectively.
Several other high-end games have been released for the console as exclusives, including Sunset OverDrive, Halo Wars 2, Quantum Break, Rare Replay, and Ori and the Blind Forest. There are many more exclusive titles in a variety of genres.
These games have been incredibly popular since their release and are great reasons to choose an Xbox. But, most of the popular games for Xbox feature violence and sex. They aren’t age-appropriate for the young kids in your home. I’m a big fan of gaming with your kids, so let’s look at some of the kid-friendly games Xbox has to offer!
Despite what you might hear, there are actually several kid-friendly games for the Xbox. And you can find games that don’t contain sex or graphic violence for kids of all ages. The five games below are just a few of my favorite Xbox video games for families with young kids.
#4 Unravel Two
#5 LEGO Worlds
But what about Minecraft? Is it available for Xbox?
Yes! Minecraft makes console editions for both Xbox and PlayStation. It’s also available for Xbox 360. So, if you are a parent looking for quality gaming content, or your child has mentioned wanting to play Minecraft, you will be happy to know this beloved game is available for Xbox.
LOOKING FOR MORE GAME SUGGESTIONS? CHECK OUT THE 10 VIDEO GAMES THAT ARE ACTUALLY EDUCATIONAL!
Parent Guide to Xbox: Hardware and Specs
While many parents and families don’t really need to know everything about a console’s hardware, it is important to know the bare minimum of what to expect. The Xbox console launched with over 500 gigabytes of memory, providing space to install games.
You can also purchase external memory options to increase the number of games you can have on the console at any given time.
The console features an 8 core CPU, and the RAM allows the console to clock in at over 68 gigabytes per second. This means the console has incredible power to give gamers the ultimate gaming experience.
Additionally, the Xbox features storage via the Cloud to save game progress. The console also allows for backwards compatibility with a select library of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games.
The console features an integrated social system where players can add each other, chat in parties, and send messages. The console also features support for Blu-Ray and DVD disks that allow gamers to stream movies through the console.
The Xbox also allows users to download a variety of apps for streaming music and video, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify. This makes the Xbox almost an entertainment center, capable of being the one stop shop for any media related needs. As a parent, I love it when I can purchase any device that can be used for multiple things.
I also found that this multi-use purpose is a great way to get parents who don’t love gaming to interact more with the gaming system their child uses. It is important that as parents we know and understand the gaming systems our kids use. So, learning all the ins and outs because we are actively using the system is a perfect hands-on way to get to know all the features–even if we do need to ask our kids (or Google) an occasional question.
Purchase and Pricing Information for Xbox
I’m just going to say it–the new Xbox consoles are pricy! And, the easiest way to get one is to go with the subscription model. Here you can get an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S and 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, with over 100 high-quality games and an EA Play membership.
Xbox Series S is $24.99 for 24 months
Xbox Series X is $34.99 for 24 months
At a glance, that seems totally affordable for most families. Heck, I pay more for our family’s monthly Hulu subscription. But, total that cost and you’ll see that Xbox Series X will run almost $900 for two years. If the entire family is going to play and enjoy the gaming system, it’s money well spent. But if you have mostly younger kids, it’s likely going to be a waste of money if you aren’t into gaming yourself. Why? Because many of the games that are included are going to be rated Teen or Mature. If you fall into this category, you should definitely consider purchasing an older refurbished Xbox One.
Parent Guide to Xbox: External Accessories
Upon its release, Microsoft put out the Kinect 2, the hardware successor to the Kinect on the Xbox 360. The Kinect is a camera device that tracks the movement of the player and translates that into in-game activity.
There were several games made for the Kinect 2 and Xbox One, most notably the games of the Just Dance series. However, the apparatus was not well received and support for the Kinect 2 quickly ended.
Several game developers released their own accessories such as the guitar controllers for Rock Band 4, as well as Guitar Hero Live. These guitars could be plugged into the console via the USB port and used to play the fast-paced rhythm games.
Additionally, Ubisoft released an Xbox One compatible Amp Corde that allowed gamers to plug real electric guitars and basses into the console for use with Rocksmith, a video game guitar tutor.
There are many different companies that make 3rd party controllers and headsets for the console. Controllers will come with a new Xbox system. But there are times when a different controller is nice. My favorite controllers for Xbox are:
Here’s is a great video which shows some of the configuration possibilities of the Xbox Adaptive Controller
This is a great low-cost controller for times when your family is gaming together, or when your kids have extra friends over for a gaming night.
Parent Guide to Xbox: Wrap Up
Since its release in 2013, the Xbox has stood as an incredibly powerful and popular console. There are a variety of exclusive games for the console that cater to every type of gamer. Additionally, the Xbox Live service continues to be incredibly popular with all the benefits you receive through the service. It’s especially helpful for parents as it gives them parental control features that are intuitive and easy to access and implement.
The Xbox is a great system, and for those interested in purchasing one, there are many deals and variations of the console available on the current market.
IS YOUR FAMILY AN XBOX GAMING SYSTEM LOVER? LET US KNOW WHAT FEATURES YOUR FAMILY LOVES ABOUT THE XBOX. DOING SO WILL HELP KEEP THIS PARENT GUIDE TO XBOX A LIVING, UP-TO-DATE GUIDE THAT’S HELPFUL FOR FAMILIES GAMING TOGETHER!
Sign up for my newsletter and get Tech Talk Conversation Cards FREE!
As parents we know we need to talk to our kids about technology, social media, and online safety. But, many times we just need help getting started. Tech Talk Conversation Cards can help. You’ll find over 50 questions on technology, social media, cyber-bullying and sexting.