Indecisive About The Xbox One

*disclaimer: if you have no interest in the Xbox One/gaming in general, this blog post probably isn’t for you. Here’s some old kitten pictures for you to check out instead. You’re, uh, welcome.*

Understandably, I can’t talk about everything that happens in my life. But there are certain things I have wanted to discuss (some I’ve mentioned in passing, others I’ve saved up all secretly…like The Great Gatsby) yet never got round to doing it (in some cases, it has been a while…). Well, that ends today, people!

Okay, maybe not for all my life events (by events, I mean playing games, reading books and watching stuff), but some of them. It’s uh, better than nothing, right?

So, to kick off a (infrequent) series of blog posts about things I’ve been meaning to talk about for ages but haven’t…here are my thoughts on the Xbox One!

Since the Xbox One release last year, I’ve tried it out personally twice; last November (yeah…told you this was long overdue) shortly after launch when I went to see Gary, and then again a few weeks ago when I was at Gary’s house again. Those brief visits are my only Xbox One experiences. Otherwise my knowledge is limited to say the least; I haven’t watched E3 for a few years and I haven’t read any gaming articles for a long time (I think my interest waned when I stopped writing for Solidus/Eject Disk).

Hmm. I suppose that’s not my excuse for talking about the Xbox One sooner, as I said I would check out reviews for it first tom, you know, sound more knowledgeable about my judgements. But when I realized I wasn’t going to get an Xbox One (until I moved to the US, that is), I didn’t bother researching, hence this delay. I still haven’t looked online mind (and I didn’t play Gary’s much either), so I’m not entirely sure how good this piece will be…but I’ll go ahead with it anyway.

Right, with that glowing endorsement over with, let’s do this. I reckon a basic pro/con list in bullet points with a conclusion to finish is the best way to do it…mostly because it is also the easiest/least trying method. Nothing but the best for you guys. So, how about those negatives?

Xbox One Negatives

  • Price

The Xbox One is far too expensive, frankly. Well, at least it is too pricey for me. And my reluctance isn’t helped by how the Kinect, a device I don’t want, is a compulsory inclusion.  Oh, you can buy them separately now, but it still costs the same as if you got the Kinect too. Wow.

  • Aesthetics

It is an ugly machine, it really is. I reckon it is slightly better looking than the original Xbox, but that isn’t much of a compliment. I know it isn’t a beauty contest, but surely Microsoft could have produced something cooler? It is awkward, blocky. A little disappointing.

  • All In One

The Xbox One was sold on how it would be the full entertainment package; T.V shows, films, music and gaming. I understand why they’ve marketed it like that (more sales, bigger audience), but it doesn’t appeal to me. I’m a gamer. I care about gaming. The Xbox One is a gaming console, and that is where the focus should have been. But the media campaign was all about the accessories, all about Skype, how you could link the console up to your television and blah blah blah. I don’t care about that, Microsoft! I want to hear about the games and how the Xbox One is better than the 360! Their priorities in development were wrong, in my opinion. At the moment there isn’t enough, gaming-wise, to encourage me to invest. I’m not going to spend hundreds for features I already do on my laptop (Netflix, music etc).

  • Poor Xbox 360 Communication

As far as I’m aware, you cannot talk to gamers on the 360 while you’re on the Xbox One. You can’t send your friends messages or join their party. Again, I understand the reasoning for why this is the case, but it causes a divide. And that sucks.

  • Poor Xbox One Communication

Interacting with fellow Xbox One gamers is really clunky too, a poor system that has failed to improve on the 360. If anything, it has regressed; parties, messages and your friend list aren’t as easy to access now. The Xbox One has added unnecessary extra steps to what was once a simple process. Gary has had his for almost a year, yet he still finds it more awkward than the 360 version. I tried it, and I didn’t like it.

Also, pressing the Xbox button when you have a notification takes you to the dashboard. This is a cool feature (I’ll explain later) but I find it irritating that your game closes (albeit temporarily) when you want to check your messages. In comparison, the 360 had a pop up menu, which I think I preferred.

(I would go into further detail here on what bothers me, but I can’t remember it all from memory…I just know it was stupid)

  • No Auto Sign-In

Okay, this might be Gary not checking the options, but it seems like you have to sign into your profile every time you turn the Xbox One. Stupid.

  • No Automatic Headset Compatibility

For my headset to work with the Xbox One, I’d have to pay for an expensive (at least it was expensive when I first checked it) adapter. Cheaper than buying a new headset, but still a pain.

—-

Okay, I appreciate a lot of these problems are little things (some which may have been fixed now), but it is the little things that determine your enjoyment. The little things are what annoy you most.

—-

Xbox One Positives

  • The Xbox One Is Quicker And Quieter

My 360 is noisy and slow, and has always been like that. The Xbox One is a ghost in comparison. I was impressed.

  • Dashboard Button

I must admit, being able to close your game to check something else out (maybe watch a film or something) and then launching your game instantly as you left it, is pretty cool. You try that on the 360 and you have to launch your game up again completely. A very useful feature.

  • Record Footage

Not sure I’d do it, but yeah, I like the idea of doing something amazing and then being able to save the clip instantly.

  • Improved Kinect

I don’t want it, but I was impressed with how it worked in November. Don’t ask me for specifics, but I wouldn’t protest too much if I had it (providing I hadn’t paid extra for it, of course).

  • Amazing Graphics

They made my 360 look rubbish.

  • Improved Controller

The Left and Right Bumpers took a bit of getting used to, but otherwise I liked the controller. The thumbsticks and D-Pad are a lot better than before.

  • Memory/Downloading Games Improvement

I’ve run out of memory on my 360 and I have to keep deleting stuff. Looking forward to not being able to do that. And downloading games seems to be easier too.

  • Titanfall

I want that game so badly. It is completely different to anything else I’ve played (multiplayer-wise). If Gears of War 4 (whenever that comes out) is a disappointment, Titanfall will soften the blow.

Not the most comprehensive list of positives, I grant you, but as I’ve only played the Xbox One for a few hours, I haven’t been able to really explore the console. I can only comment on what I remember, which admittedly, isn’t much.

Conclusion

Well, there are a lot of good features to the Xbox One (most of them I probably haven’t even covered), but plenty of stuff that irritates me too. The biggest isssue is how they’ve spent too much focus on entertainment, which makes it harder for a hardcore gamer like me to justify the purchase (especially when Vanna is so skeptical of gaming in general). And though I was impressed by the graphics and the memory etc, I can’t say I left Gary’s thinking yes, I really want this. I’m still very indifferent about it.

I will eventually get one, however. Not just because the 360 will become obsolete at some point, but also because Dragon Age Inquisition comes out in November and I want to play that on the Xbox One. There is also Destiny, and Ryse, and Titanfall…plus all the other amazing games I’ve not yet learned about…

…Hmm. Maybe I’ll start putting money to one side.

Alex 

 

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