Xbox One Review

Finally added the Xbox one to my home media center alongside my PS3. Its been about a month since I’ve owned it so I figured I’d write a follow up review. I was eager to test out Kinect’s capabilities, voice command controls, and Microsoft’s desire to define an “all-in-one home entertainment system”.

Visual Interface
Although its been in the market for a few years now, the tile/metro interface on the Xbox is beautiful. The flat, minimal, clean UI is pleasant to look at compared to the cumbersome interfaces that Microsoft is generally known for. The icons also match well with the interface and in relationship to each other. Refreshing coming from a company that hasn’t evolved Outlook which is a painful email client to use.

Kinect
I tested this out by Skyping with my parents and I enjoy the fact that it follows you around if you move. If someone else comes into the picture it will also pan out or zoom in to fit both of you on the screen. Responsiveness is pretty fresh.

Hardware Design
I enjoy the minimal, squared off console and the controllers are designed beautifully. That’s where a lot of my positives stop and this is where I transition to the negatives. The controller ports are in the back of the console which makes it difficult to reach, especially where it resides on my entertainment center.

Xbox Live Strangehold
Practically all internet reliant apps require Xbox live from my experience thus far. This is pretty lame considering apps like YouTube are free to access on other devices if you have internet @ home. Xbox is essentially forcing users to pay an extra internet fee on top of what you already pay through you internet provider. Horrible decision from Microsoft to restrict user access.

Absent Error Messaging
Once my Xbox Live trial expired, the system incessantly prompted me to sign in as a user with Xbox Live rather than properly informing me of the expiration. I had expected the system to have some Xbox Live Membership indicator on-screen but this was absent – a sign that the team obviously forgot this important feature to ensure users are aware of their Xbox Live standing.

Cache Reset Issues
This is probably the biggest headache I’ve experienced thus far. I’ve been testing out the Titanfall game that the system was bundled with and most of the time have no issues. However, I’ve experienced moments where the game gets stuck on the loading screen. You would think a simple fix would either be to open up another app or restart the system…right? After trying both of these methods and eventually restarting both the console and router, I eventually found one solution online that required me to uninstall the game entirely and then reinstall it. Keep in mind this is 17GB so its not a quick process. Prior to this I was also worried of my gaming profile being erased. Microsoft obviously didn’t design the system properly if its having cache issues where a simple restart won’t resolve the frozen screen issue.

Overall
I expected more from Microsoft through the sole product they have heavily invested into – I wanted to give them a chance and in many ways I feel like I should have resorted to the PS4 instead. I’m hoping some system updates and the new game releases will help sway me back but considering its 2014 and these pretty basic issues exist in this system that Microsoft considers its All-in-one system, I’m pretty disgruntled at my purchase.

+June 19, 2014
As I continue to use the Xbox One, I figured I would continue to add to this post with more positive and negative experiences. Unfortunately, what’s motivated me to be vocal is more of the negative aspects. Considering they claim this to be the all-in-one home entertainment system, my experience continues to tell me otherwise. Finally been using Netflix on it and this evening it wasn’t intuitive enough to provide the capability to start a movie at the beginning. After trying various buttons, both on-screen and on the controller, I finally had to resort to just using the rewind button until it reached the beginning. Keep in mind that there were 3 of us who all tried to start the movie from the beginning with no luck. The PS3 was able to provide a simple “Play from the beginning” button and the Xbox simply forgot that feature. Pretty lame. What other ugly gems will I discover next? Stay tuned.

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