Firstly before you read on I just want to state I’m not a fan boy of any console, I own both the Xbox 360 and PS3, however my console has choice last gen has always been the Xbox 360. This does not mean I’m some fanboy, it simply means the overall experience of the console appealed more to me. This been the achievements, Xbox Live, Kinect, exclusive games, Smart Glass. I felt Microsoft were pretty on the ball last gen and innovated a lot with the software and overall experience offered with the Xbox 360. If you can’t understand the difference between been a fanboy and preferring a console I honestly would not read on. The Xbox One: I was really excited to get my Xbox One, I pre ordered it a few hours after the reveal conference and got my console on the launch day in the UK. Over the last few months I’ve played on it quite a bit with family, friends and on the internet with other forum members. The console its self is nice and quiet, the Kinect actually quite impressed me, the audio quality is great when its used to speak in online games, likewise the audio / video quality in Skype is really nice. Gaming wise Forza 5 simply looks amazing and has some great next gen features such as your drivatar, basically an avatar that races in the cloud based on your playing style. I do like how cloud features have been taken advantage of in this way and am quite excited to see what other innovative features the cloud could be used for. The Xbox One has some great potential, however having used it for the last few months I can’t help feel it’s just so lacking in many areas, even compared to the Xbox 360 when that launched in 2005. I will start with the good points though: • The dashboard is fast, on the Xbox 360 it would take absolutely ages to sign in and navigate through the menu’s once you had a lot of content on the hard drive. The Xbox One is snappy. • The Xbox One is almost silent, my original 360 sounds like a jumbo jet taking off. • Anyone can use Xbox Live regardless of having a subscription or not, as long as the console owner has paid for membership. Great for split screen action with mates. • The video / audio quality on the Kinect for Skype call’s is fantastic • Kinect signing people in – it is pretty cool how when someone else comes and sits on the sofa they are signed in automatically. • Games can run in the background when other apps are running, for example Skype. • You can hold a QR code up and Kinect will scan it to redeem the content • Can play Blu-rays – I’m not that bothered as all my media is on hard drives, however it’s a nice feature to have • Game DVR – so nice been able to save the last 5 minutes of game play. The bad: Unfortunately despite the good points above I have found I dislike a lot more about the Xbox One than what I like. I’ve split this up in to sections so it’s easier to read. Dashboard: • The dashboard is just useless, it can’t really do anything apart from display some square tiles on the screen. • It’s not possible to have anything except the horrible black background • No way to organise anything that is pinned to the home screen • No way to sort the apps / games, no grouping or anything e.g. apps folder, games folder, system folder... its just one big mess with stuff ordered by when you last used them. The Marketplace: • The market place is organised worse than the dashboard, you have no logical way to view anything. • Even if you find a game you want e.g. Dead Rising 3 you cant get to all the other content for that game, nowhere on the market place does it give you the option to download the game demo. In fact I was quite shocked to read online a few weeks later that Xbox One games had demos, as I had never seen any on the marketplace. • Game demos can only be found by doing a bing search for “xbox demos”, why not just show them with the games content on the marketplace?!! • No game trials for arcade type games (halo wars, peggle for example) – I understand Microsoft have done away with “arcade games” and all games are just “games” but still I really enjoyed been able to play a demo of games before purchasing them. Playing the demo allowed me to enjoy many arcade type games I would have otherwise ignored and never purchased. • When you have downloaded a demo and deleted it, the demo still remains in the “my apps and games” section with a link to download it again… • Let’s not even go in to the price of digital downloads vs physical games… Xbox Live: (To Microsoft credit we should expect a fix for some of the issues here soon) • You have no way to know if someone has come online without coming out of the game, loading the friends app and checking if that person is online. • Getting a party going is also hard to do, if you miss the invite you need to exit out the game and go in to the friends app and join manually, or check the 20+ notifications you have as they appears to be no way to clear them. • Having to then enable voice chat once in a party… why would it not be by default? • Actually getting the party in to a game… maybe im missing the obvious here however ive never found an easy way of doing this. You seem to have to use the menu in the game, where as on the 360 you could bring the mini guide up and just invite the entire party with ease Achievements: • To view the whole achievement details you have to come out the game and end up in another app, it was just a whole lot more seamless on the Xbox 360 been able to read the details of it instantly, from within the game. • Browsing the achievements is now a lot more difficult, on the Xbox 360 you could see loads on the screen at the same time, and easily see which you had / did not have, the Xbox one had some 10ft interface for them which I feel is “too in your face” • Xbox One achievements simply don’t exist on the Xbox website, the only way to view them is on the console its self, or the smartglass app. Smartglass: • Never remembers me for more than a week or two on my phone / tablet, its becomes tiresome having to constantly sign in with two factor authentication enabled on my Windows Live account. Graphics: • I expected more to be honest, the Xbox 360 set the bar at 720p as a target to aim for. 8 years later I expected games would be aiming at 1080p 60fps. Yet we’re still seeing games that are 720p 30fps. Not really what I personally expected for a console that is 8 years newer than the Xbox 360 and cost £150 more. • Maybe this will change in time, however im disappointed games like CoD look like a slightly sharper Xbox 360 version of the game. However Forza looks stunning at 1080p 60fps so I’m hoping this is just down to weather the dev can be bothered or not. Media: •No support for your own media what so ever • Can’t use your own music in game, either from an mp3 player or your home network. This was on the Xbox 360 from day one. • Impossible to stream video from the console its self, you can “play to” from Windows, however if you have to get off your ass and walk in to another room to play something from your computer whats the point. • Can’t view photos / video from your camera or computer on the console. Game DVR: • This should be one unified app, not 3 separate ones. It’s of putting using this as I must admit I still get mixed up which app I need to be in for what. • Would be nice if the Xbox One could host a network share to allow recorded video to simply be copied to the PC. It’s so time consuming waiting for clips to upload. • Skydrive is so slow for uploading too… the Xbox One averages about 2mbps uploading to SkyDrive, yet if I go on my PC I can upload at 12mbps to Dropbox or anywhere via FTP. (The max my internet connection can) TV Features: • The Xbox One cannot act as a Windows Media Center client – for someone who has integrated Microsoft Windows Media Center in to many rooms of the house this is a disappointment. • Actual console TV features I can’t comment as its US only for now. I would hope for the UK Microsoft release a DVB-T2 tuner, given free to air TV is a lot more popular here than in the US. The console could be a very impressive DVR if that happened. Conclusion: I actually wrote the majority of this article 2 months ago, however never posted it thinking my opinions might change over time. I have tried to like the Xbox One since then, however going on three months since launch not much has changed. In the Xbox One’s current state I do feel quite disappointed with my £429 purchase, £550+ if you include the other controller, additional headset and a couple of games. The Xbox One was marketed as the “one” box you will need under your TV, however with its current feature set I feel it’s the one box you don’t want under your tv. The Xbox 360 or even a basic smart phone / tablet massively exceeds the media capabilities of the Xbox One in its current state. It would be unfair to say the console very few good games at launch, as most console launches are the same, however at this point in time there’s no compelling media features or games that make the console a must have. I’m sure the console will evolve massively over time, just look at how different the Xbox 360 is now to when it launched, however at present its hard to recommend the console to anyone.