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.

Click here to read our Xbox One review

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 Xbox Kinect motion sensing device for the Xbox One is shown during a press event unveiling Microsoft's new Xbox in Redmond, Washington 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.

A still from 'Forza Motorsport 5' one of the first games to be announced for the new Xbox One console Forza 5 gives a limited introduction to 'next gen' gaming, with stunning graphics and easy to join gameplay.  

Suggested Topics
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Support and Development Engineer

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Designer

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Gazetteer Consultant

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...

    Recruitment Genius: Regional Support Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'