Xbox One Review

Xbox-One-With-Kinect

The new generation is here- pt. 2

I’m going to be honest with you from the top- I like the Xbox One better.  The machine might not be as powerful as PS4 processor wise, but all the little gimmicks here and there makes Xbox One the next generation machine we’ve been waiting for.  Not to mention the new Xbox manages to transform your living room experience into something greater with everything packed into one machine.  No wonder they called the new Xbox “One.”

The biggest gimmick of the new Xbox is the Kinect.  The Kinect comes pack with the system, and without it, there aren’t a lot with the new Xbox.  The Kinect has an impressively wide 1080 HD camera, multi-microphone array and IR camera to aid visions in the dark.  The Kinect is the reason that Xbox One costs $100 more than the PS4, and it’s definitely worth it.

xbox-one-kinect-sensor_1280.0_cinema_640.0

The main function of the new Kinect is the voice command.  With one simple command, your Xbox will open apps, voice chats and even turn on.  That’s right, the new Xbox is never really shut down, but in a very, very low power state where you can turn it on with one simple “Xbox on” command.  You can even have the machine turns on automatically once you sit down before it if you want.  I turned the option off, cause it’s not like I’m always going to use my Xbox.

The Kinect not only recognizes your voice, it also recognizes your face.  Try it next time having your friend commanding your Xbox.  If might work eventually, but it’s definitely not as easily as having yourself commanding it.  The accuracy of the voice commands are great with low failure rates, and they can pick up accents easily as well.

The new Xbox dashboard is designed like Windows 8 with tire like apps.  It might seem like a great idea at first, but it can get quite confusing right away.  The cluster apps are difficult for you to search what you want, and it can take quite a while to get used to it.  There is no real way to organize the apps either, but to pin some of your favorites to the side.  Well, at least you can do voice commands with a simple “Go to Dead Rising 3″… etc,  and the system will go there right away.

Xbox-One-Dashboard-Tiles

It really does take me a while to figure out how to work the dashboard though.  For example, the apps don’t close right away when you exit them, and you have to turn them off manually.  There is a new menu button on the controller where you have to press to show a list of options and find the quit one.

The coolest thing about the new console is the Snap function where you can open two apps at once.  Now you can either play games and watch Netflix at the same time, or even Skype while playing games too.  It might make the screen a little smaller, but it’s definitely helpful from time to time.

The new system also comes packing with many day one apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and Skype.  While most of the apps are something we already have from the previous Xbox, it does help make the transition easier.  Mentioning Skype, thanks to Xbox One, now I’m actually looking forward to chatting with my old relatives on Skype again.  With style, too.

xbox-one-controller-front-large

Not much has changed in the new controller.  The buttons are improved, and now we get an actual D-pad as well.  The triggers are noticeably different this time, and it’s a change for the better.  The bumpers are the same as before, but with a better design with the controller.  There are two new buttons- menu and snap to replace the start and back buttons.  The menu button serves the similar purpose as the start button, but the snap button is a whole different story.  It allows players to quickly open a list of apps available to snap with, and players can quickly run two apps at the time.  The new controller comes with a great headset too, and it has wonderful quality sounds with great control system.

My biggest problem is that the new controller doesn’t feel good to grip.  It feels kind of awkward and a little bit of disappointment compares to the PS4 controller.  Also, it’s strange at this day and age Microsoft still decides to have their controllers run on AA batteries.  I have a love and hate relationship with this decision.  At least when you’re out of power, you can just switch for fresh batteries right away without the need for playing with a cable attached.  However, charging controllers does save money on batteries, and in case you ran out of those too.

Xbox-One-Console1

The hardware itself is a problem too.  The Xbox One looks cool and all, but it is simply way too big.  It’s like Attack on Titan next to my other consoles, and it’s really heavy.  I guess all the great things cannot fit into a small package like PS4.  The design of the new Xbox is different than the previous one, and it’s more focused on fanning out heat.  The power button is touched this time with a mirror surface.  It’s beautiful at first, but then it can easily collect dust which is a problem.  However, for the first time ever Xbox console no longer has a disc tray, but a disc loading slot.  Not to mention it’s the first time Xbox uses Blu-ray as its media, too.

Unfortunately, while Xbox One has 500 GB of memory space, it cannot be removed or add-on.  That means, if you ran out of space, you ran out of space.  It might not be a problem soon, but the space might run out in the near future.  Especially consider the fact that all Xbox One games have mandatory installation, and cannot be play directly from the disc.  Also, the system doesn’t give you anyway to explore how much space is left, unless you go through all the games and apps, and do the math yourself.  This is something that Microsoft overlooked, and need to be fixed right away.

Another great thing about the system is the option to HDMI in or out.  Normally, HDMI out is where you get to see the things on your system, but Xbox One has the option for HDMI in where it can serve the function as a cable or satellite box.  This way, you have the option to snap and do two things at once with the console.  People tried running other game consoles through Xbox One too, but it lags significantly so it’s not recommended.  Overall, these are all some extra functions to make Xbox One the ultimate one stop machine for all living room devices.

Wii U, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, these are all consoles of the next generation.  However, if there are any machines that truly define the new generation, it will have to be the Xbox One.  It’s a machine that will change your gaming experience, and your entire living room.  Also, it feels great to command your Xbox with your voice.

8.5/10