Xbox One review roundup: internet's verdict on Microsoft's challenge to Sony's PS4
Microsoft's reach has exceeded their grasp - but they're in for the long haul
It won’t go on sale until midnight tomorrow in the UK but the first reviews of Microsoft’s Xbox One have come in and, as you’d expect, there’s good news and there’s bad news.
As with the PS4 there’s a general feeling that the Xbox One has got everything right, but not everything perfect. There’s still a lot of development that needs to be done – especially when it comes to voice commands and the integration of TV.
Over at Kotaku, Kirk Hamilton says the console is “a testament to Microsoft’s towering ambition” but that there are plenty of problems with the UI (voice commands are occasionally buggy for example, and there’s a tendency to punish ‘unusual’ home entertainment set-ups). However, he also notes that a lot of this can be dealt with in software updates and that the core concepts behind the system are sound.
Engadget’s Ben Gilbert takes a similar tact, calling the Xbox One a “work in progress”. Like Hamilton he praises the Kinect 2.0’s “impressive” capacity for face recognition, signing in users automatically “without fail”, but also draws attentions to flaws such as the “crippled usability” of the Snap function – a feature which pops apps into a restricted slice of the screen on the right hand side.
The Kinect 2.0 is impressive (it can see in the dark, there's infrared, etc) but it's still not the perfect way to navigate the system.
And Microsoft’s ambitions to take over the TV have clear problems too. Wired’s Chris Kohler points out that although being able to switch between TV and gaming quickly is a boon, once the Xbox One controls your TV, it controls your TV – and this can mean moments when you charge into your sitting room to catch your favourite show and are stuck waiting minutes because of an unexpected update.
Despite these consistent grumbles, much about the Xbox One received has received unanimous praise. The new controller hasn’t messed with perfection (though the replacement of the Start and Select buttons with ‘Menu’ and ‘View’ is apparently odd) and the social features (sharing video, built in HD Skype, etc) are as good as, or better than those found on the 360.
The console has been praised for removing the underslung battery pack and adding vibration feedback to the triggers.
When it comes to games, the general feeling is that the Xbox One has stolen a march on the PS4, with most of the big titles (Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV, various sports titles) appearing on both consoles, but with Microsoft’s exclusives giving it the edge.
The Verge has called Forza 5 and Ryse “true cinematic spectacles” that “really look next-gen,” whilst also praising the graphical capacity showed off by the massive zombie hordes of Dead Rising 3. Zoo Tycoon also seems to be an unexpected hit, with reviewers describing it as an unexpected bit of light-hearted fun.
So, to summarize this summary: the Xbox One is good. It’s more than good – but it’s not great yet, that’ll take time. However, this is to be expected really: both the Xbox One and the PS4 will be staying underneath customers’ TVs for eight to ten years. Neither are simple prospects and both will be keeping fans’ waiting for their ‘true’ form. At least till then we’ll have the games.
Forza 5 gives a limited introduction to 'next gen' gaming, with stunning graphics and easy to join gameplay.
Life & Style blogs
Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year, says study
Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...
£25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...