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May 24, 2014 / Jett

First Impressions of the Xbox One

photo(45)I may own a PlayStation 4, but does it have Titanfall? Nope. Does it have Killer Instinct? Nope. Are Titanfall and Killer Instinct the two games that I really wanted to play more than anything in the current crop of next generation software? Yup. So while I don’t regret my decision to go with Sony’s console, I’ve longingly looked at the green grass on the other side of the fence, wishing I could play those exclusives instead.

Thanks to Steff being the best girlfriend in the universe, I don’t have dream anymore. The Xbox One is in my house and all is right with the world. Having spent a few days with it now, I thought I’d jot down my initial impressions of the hardware just as I did when I first got a PlayStation 4.

The actual box looked comically gigantic in pictures and other promotional materials, though in reality it’s only a touch bigger than the original Xbox 360. Yes, it’s by no means small, but it’s not going to devour your home entertainment setup. In person, I also think that the console looks rather nice with its glossy and matte finishes. Giant vents at the top and sides are designed to keep the thing cool, which will hopefully help us avoid another Red Ring of Death debacle.

Once I powered it on by touching the haptic Xbox logo button on the front, it made a pleasant little chime. After that, I didn’t hear anything from it, as the system is whisper quiet. Considering the fact that my old Xbox 360 elite sounds like a fighter jet taking off, this is a welcome change of pace.

Initial console setup was mostly easy. It downloaded the patch to disable DRM with no problems and working through the setup menus was a breeze. However, I don’t think my Kinect is set up properly. It asks for you to back up to a point where the camera can see your entire body, but my room is so small that it can only read the top half of my body at most. Furthermore, I had to do this while standing up, though I’m always sitting down when I play, so the Kinect usually doesn’t see me at all. Because of it, it never automatically logs me in as it’s supposed to in an ideal setting. I may not be dancing around in my living room anytime soon, but it did work wonders for quickly scanning in codes without me having to type anything in.

Like the Xbox 360, the Xbox One now runs off of an interface that looks and works a lot like Windows 8. It takes a little bit to get used to, though mastering voice commands can help you zip around things faster. With that said, I struggled for a while trying to find the settings menu. After a few minutes of noodling around with the interface, I turned to the internet for answers. To my surprise, the only way to access the console settings is through voice commands. I don’t agree with this particular design choice, but I’ll get over it.

One more note before I wrap this up. I really like the Xbox One controller. It first impressed me at Fan Expo last year and it continues to be great. Keeping the same base as the 360 controller, this one features a number of smaller tweaks that make it even better, from a better d-pad, to more grip on the analog sticks, to rumble on the triggers for added immersion. Between this and the PlayStation 4 controller, it’s awesome that they’re both quality interfaces to game with.

It’s too early for me to pass a final judgment on the Xbox One, but I like it so far. It also doesn’t hurt that it has the games that I really want to play. I know I haven’t been writing about video game stuff much of late, but maybe this will be the kick in the pants I needed to get back on track!

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Leave a Comment
  1. bduerksen30 / May 24 2014 9:06 PM

    Your first paragraph basically sums up why I ended up getting my XboxOne first, and why I’m waiting on the PS4 even though I got so much more use out of my PS3 than I ever did my Xbox360. The lineup of exclusive launch titles for PS4 was disappointing at best, and once most of the PS4 exclusives I am interested in got pushed back until the end of this year it made my decision on which console to buy first very easy.

    • Jett / May 30 2014 7:47 AM

      Thanks for the comment! Sorry about the delayed response. Life has been crazy of late.

      By chance, are you playing Watch Dogs?

      • bduerksen30 / May 31 2014 1:46 PM

        It happens! I haven’t picked it up myself, but I got the opportunity to try it earlier today with a friend for a couple of hours and enjoyed it.

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