I’m still on the fence with the Xbox One. I’m liking the vibe of Microsoft’s PR campaign, although there has been rumours dampening the launch, it still feels positive to me. For some reason, negative comments are very quick to emerge online with the slightest dislike in something. But only one in thousands will actually take the time to tell everyone of the good experiences they’ve had.
There’s been so much emphasis on what you can do besides gaming that I get the feeling that it’s an all singing and dancing multi-function machine. This can be a good thing, like smart phones. Not only can you make calls and send text messages, you can read emails, watch the latest NBA game, work on a document stored on your laptop and take photos. The nature of a smart phone is very suitable for volatile tasks. I just take my phone out, use the app I want, close it and replace it in my pocket. This is where I don’t think the Xbox One works. The ability to transition from Skype, to your movie, to your music, to your game isn’t something useful to me. When I’ve decided to stay at home, I’ll either want to watch TV, listen to music, Skype my friends or play games. Having the other apps running in the background so you can switch between them smoothly is a feature, not the main focus. Especially when I play games on my pc monitor whilst others watch TV on the… TV. But for people who want the one package experience, its great.
I don’t like that it’s mandatory for Kinect to be connected to use the Xbox One. I have little to no use for it as I don’t have the space in my living room. Did they consider that? If I get the new console, I have an expensive part of the device unused. It’s like wasting money. Plus I’m just going to have it facing the wall with muffins on it or something. Another question is what about offline tournaments? You have to plug in the Kinect just to play it? I guess the hassle-free PS4 is now going to be the choice for tournaments and serious gamers.
My favourite feature of the Xbox One has to be the DVR feature. Why couldn’t they have more things like this? It would be amazing if you can record whole sessions so you wont end up having to buy extra peripherals to do something similar. I’m thinking about people who like to do walkthroughs and game guides and posting them on YouTube. In my view, gamers are more likely to want this than to use the Xbox One to watch television.
It seems Microsoft is aiming the new machine at the general public rather than gamers – people who love playing games. So right now, I won’t call it a games console, but an entertainment system. It’ll be interesting to see what they will talk about at E3 where they claim the focus will be “games, games, games”. If they are just announcing games then I definitely won’t be getting the Xbox One. Unless, of course, they announce Virtua Fighter 6 or something like that as a launch title!