January 26, 2020 at 12:58 AM #1549
Rating: 1.5 – Bad
This review brought to you by Doritos, no wait, Mountain Dew
The Xbox one really stumbled out of the gate with the now infamous E3 press conference where they burned any goodwill the Xbox 360 had created over the years and Sony "won" essentially by showing up and not putting their foot in there mouth. No sharing games, always online requirement, kinect being forced upon you (and the inherent privacy concerns) etc. had a lot of gamers so mad that the Xbone had to eventually back off some of their stringent requirements and try to save some face.
So then you buy one, connect your gamertag and your Xbox Live and get ready to play some games. And that’s when you meet the User Interface (U/I). Full disclosure: I sold my Xbox one in the summer of 2017 so some of this may be dated. What you’re greeted with is several slides that show you different things like what you’re friends are doing, the latest games you can buy, and a sidebar that will show you helpful things like achievements, recent messages between friends and how to setup a party. The problem lies in the fact that everything is so cluttered and confusing that you will have little idea of where to go and what to do. Want to play a game? It’s that very tiny button in the upper right hand corner of the first page. Want to look at your gaming library? Click the games and apps button also buried in a difficult to find location. Want to buy the latest Halo or Gears game? Oh that’s front and center at the top of your home page and at the top of the store!!! And that’s the crux of the problem, the U/I for this system is ALWAYS trying to sell you something first and foremost. If I pay a premium for Xbox Live, why am I still seeing ad’s all over the place?
The system will play games and play them well, the graphics are clean and very smooth, but so are PC’s and PS4’s. This will get people in the door, but what keeps them there is a great user experience and this just simply doesn’t have it. It’s abundantly clear the mandate from on high was to push more Microsoft products and services upon you and the whole platform is built around that.
- It plays games and plays them well, it will save your spot should you put them system in sleep mode
- Built in bluray player is nice
- Constantly feeling like you’re being sold something
- The Xbox one controller can’t disable rumble permanently (the Xbox 360 did this 10 year ago)
- Also, the faux carbon fiber finish (not sure the technical definition for it) ends up making the controller more slick than before, plus it’s bulkier than the 360 version and more uncomfortable
- U/I that tries to mimic a social media feed and doesn’t put and emphasis on actually gaming
- Not enough first party "must have" games (this is highly subjective)
So yeah, I’ll stick with my PS4, while the Sony isn’t perfect, at least they made a game system with a clean U/I that plays games very well (imagine that!?). The Xbone is a system run by used car salesmen, desperate to meet their quota who were somehow put in a position of power at Microsoft. Oh, and drink Mountain Dew, cause ALL gamers love it…right?
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