Hands-on: Xbox One and Xbox 360 (2013) together at last

When Microsoft announced that it's new Xbox One console wouldn't have backward compatibility, it had to decide what to do with the Xbox 360. The answer, it turns out, was to redesign it to look like the Xbox One, to make it part of the family.

Microsoft has so far been coy about showing the two consoles side-by-side, although they have been spotted behind glass together previously. In the midst of reviewing the new Xbox 360, Pocket-lint was given exclusive access to a beta unit of the new Xbox One console to see how the two machines compare together - sadly we weren't allowed to turn the Xbox One on, but at least we got a jolly good gander.

Design

As you can see from the pictures, the Xbox One is considerably larger in size and stature to the new-look Xbox 360. The harsher lines, large grille vents, and slot loading Blu-ray player look to make mincemeat of the Xbox 360 even if the design now follows the same language. The two are cast from the same dye, but you can tell who's the big daddy here.

The design language runs through the exterior coating of the two consoles with both using a matte and gloss finish to add depth and interest to the console. In a play on the design, the two consoles offer an alternative viewpoint to each other.

The Xbox One features a more chequerboard pattern with the finishes, while the Xbox 360 is more a wraparound. Both are finished beautifully and both come across as solid, sturdy and well made.

Controllers and sensors

As you can see from the controllers side by side, there is a large difference between the two, and we aren't just talking the different-coloured A, B, X, Y buttons.

The Xbox One controller is noticeably wider than the Xbox 360 controller and the battery compartment realigned to fit better in your hand.

Likewise the Kinect sensor, now included in the box for the Xbox One, is vastly different. It mirrors the design of the One console and loses all the curves as well as the motor.

In use

Turn the consoles on and while the interface promises to be the same, the capabilities of the Xbox One will be vastly superior.

Sadly, that's not something we were not able to do on this occasion, although we've seen many examples of what the Xbox One will offer during E3 and the previous announcement event in Redmond. 

READ: Xbox One news and gaming previews

We'll will have to wait until full review units are available to really see what the new games console is like to live with, but for now at least, you have a selection of pictures against the new Xbox 360 to see how the two compare.

We will keep you posted.