So for the first time ever, I got a console on day of release. Probably won’t be doing it again to be honest, as awesome as the new Xbox is (and I’ll cover that shortly) you know they’re just going to release better versions further down the line. Depressing though that is, I’m still having a blast with my Day One.
There’s a lot to love about the Xbox One, and a few things that just irk me. Not necessarily bad things, but things I think were improved where none was needed. First off though, let’s cover the great things:
This thing is quiet, like really quiet. I honestly have a hard time telling if its on or not without staring into it’s little silver light. Even when it’s running from blu ray, it’s near silent. This is a massive improvement over my xbox 360 elite which sounds like (comparatively) a 747 landing on your house.
Kinect is a massive step forward, and I haven’t used it for games yet, but in terms of navigation around your dash and controlling just about anything, it’s excellent. Even if it does struggle with my accent sometimes. But that’s ok, I’m sure it’ll learn.
Setting up the xbox was relatively painless. One 500mb download and we were good to go. Once you sign in with your existing profile, it automatically downloads all your existing info. Even brought my netflix logon with it, which was nice.
The pad at first is a little stiff as really should be expected, but once you play for a few hours (and i’m probably on about fifteen at this point) it loosens up immensely. The shoulder buttons I found took the longest time, and although a good design, took a good while to get used to. Happy to report, I’m there now though.
Game wise, I received Fifa 14 in the box, and CoD Ghosts slung in the packaging due to a GAME exclusive pack that they were selling. (They also charged me an extra £15 over what was initially agreed, but that’s a post for another time.) It was so exclusive I felt really special to pull out my standalone console from the cardboard delivery box, and find a case for Ghosts fall out after it. Triffic.
Fifa 14 I really can’t say anything about as I haven’t played Fifa since…..nope….no idea. However the buttons are pretty much the same as ever so that’s good. It is in a visual sense, a beautiful game though, so I’ll go out on a limb here and say fans of Fifa 13 will probably like it.
Call of Duty: Ghosts might as well be called Call of Duty 14 as this is exactly the same kind of update that Fifa receives every year. You either like CoD or you don’t. This one is prettier as expected, they’ve messed around with the perks system again adding virtually nothing new, but moving everything around so you don’t notice, and given us a single player story that involves firing guns outside the atmosphere. That’s right, Call of Duty in space. Oh and of course the armored dog. Never forget old Betsy there. or Leeroy or whatever he’s called. Honestly I laughed my ass off and went back to multiplayer. Perhaps this only bothers me so much as I can still remember how realistic the original call of Duty was in terms of nailing the feeling of being there. I’ve never been to space but nor have I invaded Normandy, and I know which of those I can better empathise with.
Just so that I can experience something of a new experience on my new console, I’ve just been and picked up Dead Rising 3. I’ve only really played about an hour, so i can’t really say too much about that yet but watch the twitter feed for updates. (it’s really insanely good so far)
And now a couple of things I wasn’t too impressed with. Achievements, or the total ps3ing of them. Before, when an achievement popped, you just clicked the big X on the centre of your pad, and a pop up would detail what it is you got your achievement for. Now, you can take the same actions, but all your achievement history is saved online (or in the cloud as we’re supposed to hail proudly) and so there’s a moments pause while your console syncs with the …database? i dunno. I get that ‘the cloud’ is the future of gaming. I’m even willing to buy into that to some degree, but for something as simple as achievements, it’s a waste to have to hail them back from the internet to find out what it is you just did that was so great. On the plus side of that though, achievements now have big old screenshots that come with them rather than a tiny pic so it’s much more impressive. Well to other gamers anyway.
The other negative is apps. Everything has gone apps crazy. Want to play a Cd? download an app! Blu ray? App! Mp3? go f**k yourself. The Xbox One does not support mp3. I shouldn’t have expected different really as M$ don’t really like mp3’s, and never have. But if everything has to be app based, then surely it should be opened up for other developers to make their own mp3 players and such? In a more sweeping statement, I’m also talking about allowing the playback of mkv files and the like. Perhaps this is the goal, a 3rd party app store like Apple (seems likely) but I haven’t heard anything to suggest that.
I also want 3D bluray support, but it seems I’ll have to wait for that too.
I feel it’s important that after a post this epic, I leave you with a few good reasons to buy an Xbox. So here’s more than One. (get it?)
1. The ease with which you can switch apps and ‘snap’ them to the side of your main window is just as easy as the adverts made it look. Although ever so slightly slower. Still, insanely good fun. Creases me up to hear people in Ghosts online screaming through their headset ‘xbox! xbox! xbox! snap friends! oh for …..XBOX.SNAP.FRIENDS.‘
2. Being able to record and post your lastest gaming snippets is great. Much is said of the fact you’re only able to record five minutes instead of the ps4’s fifteen, but a skilled developer will be able to find ways around that. You could record entire CoD matches on the last generation so I wouldn’t worry too much.
3. Kinect being able to recognise you after you turn it on, and sign in your profile is ace. If you don’t switch on power saving, you can wake it up but talking to it which will also sign you in. Kinect is really going to come into it’s own this gen, and you can get a good idea of that just from switching on your xbox. So long as you don’t have a twisted hybrid welsh mancunian accent like mine.
And so that’s it folks, I’ve told you all I can think to tell you. If you think of something you want to know that I missed, leave it in the comments.