Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sunny's Thoughts on the Xbox One

 Our friend Sunny once again graces us with his presence. And being the first one of us to jump headfirst into the next generation, he offers his first impressions of Microsoft's new console.



Ah…the Xbox One is here. After a summer full of being slammed about some poor decisions and iffy PR, the successor to the Xbox 360 has arrived. Hey! Now that both consoles are out, maybe the console wars will subside.

Spoilers: They will not.








Console






To recognize the elephant in the room, the Xbox One is big. Much like the phat Xbox 360. It is sleek, though. The half-gloss/half matte looks good, and the white Xbox logo that serves as the “On” button looks great. The Kinect, controller, and console all share the white logo, which is a nice touch. One downside to the Xbox One is the sounds the disc drive makes. I don’t have one of the faulty drives, but when installing a game, it makes some odd humming sounds. No harm is being done to anything, just sounds a bit odd. However, once everything is installed, the console is silent.

I am a tad upset that installing games is now the standard. It’s not a huge deal, as you can eventually play the game after it has a certain install percentage…but it just gives a little less freedom, and the installs are on the slow side.

Controller






The Xbox One controller is another high point. The sticks are smaller than the 360’s, but they’re tight and feel just right. The D-Pad is a vast improvement from even the transforming 360 pad, and gives you a satisfying click in each direction. The triggers feel great. They’re curved to fit the player’s fingers better, and the rumble feature works perfectly. No games have really put use to the rumble triggers other than Forza, but I am excited to see what they can do in the future. The bumpers have been a small source of controversy, as they are bigger and wider. I find them comfortable, and much easier to slide to from the triggers.

Kinect





It really amazes me, honestly. Once you learn the [somewhat limited] commands, it works great. I hope they patch it to understand "Forza 5," or simply "Forza" instead of having to say "Forza Motorsport 5.” That being said, I have only had a handful of times that it misunderstood me. The accuracy is impressive.

Controlling the dash by hand is awesome too. I spent a couple minutes just closing my hand and breezing through the dash. Just really remarkable that it tracks all your fingers, and is completely accurate on how fast you're trying to scroll.

I have yet to play Kinect-centric games, but it has been quite useful in Dead Rising 3. Naturally, I found myself in a woman's School Teacher outfit, wondering how I changed back to the original costume, I asked my brother "Huh, wonder how I change clothes." The Kinect heard me say "Change Clothes" and Nick was back to his regular costume.

"Xbox On" is really a nice touch, as silly as that sounds. It's cool to come home and say "Xbox On" while I hang up my coat and have it instantly (with no flaws yet) use facial recognition to sign me in before I even sit down to play some games.

Still need to try Skype and see how well the chat really works, but overall it is a vast improvement over the first Kinect. I was skeptical about having to buy it at first, but I can see myself using it. They do need to add more commands, or acceptable words for existing commands, though.

Dashboard





The dashboard is very good so far. Functional, sleek, [mostly] intuitive, and complete with no ads. It’s also fairly customizable with the ability to change the color of the tiles, and the “Pin” section of the dash is the perfect place to slap your favorite games/apps. There are definitely some issues, though. Many of the features of Xbox Live are sort-of hard to find, such as inviting friends to a party. Using voice commands lends a way around this, but I certainly hope they patch some things easier to find.

The “Snap” feature works beautifully. Imagine playing Dead Rising 3 and deciding you want a guide to find collectibles. You can simply use voice commands or press the home button and Snap Internet Explorer to the side of the screen with no slow-down in the game.

Initially, I didn’t think I’d be using the ability to pause a game and have it running on the dash as I use another feature, but it works so well. For example, I was playing Killer Instinct and my buddy wanted to see a video I recorded. I paused the game, went to the dash, and loaded up “Upload Studio.” The video played, and I went right back to where I left off in my game.

I can’t comment on the TV features quite yet, but every feature of the console shows promise on the future of home entertainment.

Overall, it is a quality user interface with the potential to be fantastic, with some patching.




The Xbox one is an incredibly ambitious console that works quite well. Despite a rough start, and a number of issues that need to be fixed, this system will definitely offer the future of gaming and home entertainment.

2 comments:

  1. :D

    Well jealous of all the Xbox One owners... The only thing that annoys me about it is the required installations (and the fact that it seems they have cocked up TV for the UK - here TV is 50hz... US is 60hz... Xbox One meets the US standards, but for UK TV stutters like crazy).

    The Kinect 2.0 sounds like a dramatic improvement - everything I've heard is positive.

    Enjoy it! I covet your Xbox... :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gorilla In SpiderMan outfit with hole cut out for assDecember 4, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Hmmm... seems like that new Xbox is... is THE ONE! AHA! AHAHA!!!!
    IT'S "THE ONE"!!

    HAAHAHAHAHA!

    BECAUSE THE ONE IS THE NAME OF THE XBOX!!!

    OH THAT'S A HOOT!

    ReplyDelete