Xbox One System and Software Plusses and Minuses

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Posted by jekyll (9140 posts) -

Just a 'quick and dirty' of some thoughts on the system and some software after a few days...

Console itself

  • Plusses: much more quiet than the 360; comes to life from standby in about five seconds; saying "Xbox on" to bring your whole entertainment center to life is awesome; system updates automatically while in standby; Kinect recognizes what you say with great accuracy
  • Minuses: learning when and in what specific order to issue voice commands takes some time (no natural language like Siri); some things can be hard to find (like settings); hand gestures to control things takes a lot of patience


  • Plusses: feels a bit better in your hand; ridges in the thumbsticks lessen slippage if your fingers get sweaty; improved and enhanced vibration
  • Minuses: no warning if your batteries/battery pack are running low; enclosed headset doesn't detach from controller easily

TV watching via OneGuide and a connected provider box

  • Plusses: saying "Watch CBS" and having it go there is really convenient if you're not near your cable/satellite remote; using the OneGuide to say "What's on BBC America" and having it jump there is really great (saying the name of a show you see elsewhere on the guide and going there is even cooler)
  • Minuses: the voice commands merely generate the same RF frequencies as a remote, and they're entered... very... slowly (changing a channel takes about five seconds as you watch each number pop up on screen); some channels simply flummox the system (you'll never get "Watch WPPX" to work); pass-through HDMI surround sound support is technically beta and takes digging to an obscure part of system settings to enable; Verizon DVR doesn't power-up upon start

Call of Duty: Ghosts

  • Plusses: stunningly gorgeous; controlling Riley the dog is novel, and the multiplayer guard dog killstreak reward can be very helpful; getting Field Orders after an MP kill as an 'on the fly' way to get a bonus is a neat touch
  • Minuses: multiplayer is a huge step back from the near perfection of Black Ops II (ex. level progression is slow, Scavenger is nearly useless again, maps are not amazing and really unfriendly to running a sniper class in free-for-all, only lock-on weapon to take down aircraft is obtainable only via a killstreak, Maniac killstreak stupidly overpowered); both Demolition and Capture the Flag are, at present, not among the multiplayer modes; playing the campaign on Veteran mode is not quite as challenging as early series titles (but you will still curse... a lot)

Need For Speed: Rivals

  • Plusses: just plain, fun, speedy, forgiving pick-up-and-play arcade style racing, whether you're the cop or the racer; can do many minor events against many random cars you see; very friendly to people joining you and mixing your world with that of other instances of the game currently being held
  • Minuses: my god, the music is so terrible; if your Internet connection drops out, you lose a lot of seemingly unrelated functionality; steering feels really sluggish, especially at slower speeds

Forza Motorsport 5

  • Plusses: Simply a work of art from a graphics standpoint; if you want to adjust settings by a mm here or there to try and drop three hundredths of a second from your lap times, you can; a ton of exquisite cars, both modern and classic; the guys from Top Gear, 'nuff said
  • Minuses: you feel like you're a bit handicapped if you're just playing with a controller and not a wheel

Dead Rising 3

  • Plusses: another purely fun game that's easy to play since there's no overly tough combos; zombies are always awesome; killing them with a flaming scythe is even more awesome; constantly running clock provides a good bit of tension; some really great, inventive combo weapons and they last a good while; SmartGlass app on your phone put you more in the action, as in-game texts come to you personally, not just your character
  • Minuses: constantly running clock prevents thorough, careful exploration; collectibles like weapon blueprints are disappointingly spoon-fed via map icons that display them from a good city block away; irritating NPCs abound

If you're only getting one game, get DR3. It's a blast.

#1 Posted by GuitarSmash (207 posts) -

Minuses (The Controller): The bumpers are HORRIBLE!!!

#2 Posted by Videodogg (12557 posts) -

I need more convincing on DR3. What kind of game is it...what you do beside killing zombies in weird ways and dressed in strange clothes? I hate overly repetitive games.

#3 Posted by GuitarSmash (207 posts) -

@Videodogg: Honestly thats all there is to the game, its just mindless fun. On coop, it is amazing.

The story is a joke and has the worst one of all Dead Rising games...

#4 Posted by zombieweekend (35 posts) -

My major gripes are about the Kinect. This is the reason to buy the system over a PS4. Yet, the only decent Kinect game is a one-level demo. I'm getting Zoo Tycoon and Fighter Within eventually, but there's no way I'm paying full price for games reviewed as 4's and 5's. Voice needs work. Works good, but should be better. The voice shortcuts need work. a single shortcut should be able to accept highly similar commands as long as they aren't like completely different commands. Voice integration should be better. Why is there a single menu anywhere that isn't voice compatible? Gesturing needs work. I'm much better at it now, but it's still too slow. The hand icon needs to come up faster. If the thing can measure my heart rate from variations in my skin, it shouldn't take 2-3 seconds to figure out that my hand is up, or have problems seeing my hand period when I'm not sitting upright on my couch. Kinect integration in the blu-ray player is sub-par. I should be able to gesture through movie menus! Aside from Kinect, install times are really, really bad. Like, intolerably bad. You shouldn't have to walk away and do something else while installing a game. A fix is coming with the next update, I would assume, at least it better be.

The good is everything else. Fix these complaints, and I'm good. The graphics are good. I don't care if they're the best. I could care less about 99% of mainstream games, so whether they're exclusive or lower rez, or whatever the issue is doesn't affect me. I can guarantee I'll never play anything with MLB, NBA, or NFL in the title, and I'll never play anything that has a 4 or 5+ suffix, and I will likely not play more than 2 or 3 shooters the entire console cycle. I also have little interest in competing online. It's not that I'm opposed to online gaming. I was on XBL day one, and those early days were an amazing experience, but they are long gone. So those types of issues do not affect me. I want a different console experience. Xbox One is that experience, WHEN they fix the above issues.

#5 Posted by jekyll (9140 posts) -

Minuses (The Controller): The bumpers are HORRIBLE!!!

Any particular situation? I haven't encountered any difficulties with them.

#6 Posted by zombieweekend (35 posts) -

I don't like the bumpers either. The controller is too narrow at the top. In order to not break a finger while pressing, I have to take my thumb off the thumbstick.

#7 Posted by GR3YTHUNDER (14 posts) -

@zombieweekend: yeah bumpers are slightly close. i haven't found them that useful though (unlike the triggers which are a bit more of an issue). I have PS4 and Xbox One, and the xbox one controller feels better. For fighting games actually the old Xbox 360 controller gave me a little bit of an ache for some reason after several hours in the middle. The new controller form fits the palm more possibly because of the narrower top. both are vastly improved controllers. Everyone whose come over say the Xbox One controller feels better, and presses buttons better (not to mention looks better). (it should be given the time and investment MS spent on it) I'm waiting for Capcom to release a Street Fighter game on PS4 to really test out which D-pad is better.

#8 Posted by sailor232 (4469 posts) -

I'll mention a few minus' and the rest is seen as plus' for me.

1. No where can I check how much storage I have used.

2. Paying for Xbox Live should include Xbox Music

3. If my speakers are turned up Kinect will not hear my voice, easy fix would be to have the included headset act as a medium for speech.

4. The headset proprietary port.

5. The headset is only used for Skype and in game chat, It can't output sound from a game or music etc.

#9 Edited by BattleSpectre (5966 posts) -

I'm enjoying my Xbox One so far. It's still early though but nonetheless the future is looking quite bright indeed. Can't wait to see what else they have waiting for us.

#10 Posted by donalbane (16210 posts) -

I like the controller, but find the bumpers to be a step back. The Impulse Triggers are amazing in Forza, though... too bad the other 1st party exclusives I got (Ryse and Dead Rising) don't use the feature so well.

The UI is neat, but I miss all of the features that the Xbox 360 had like being able to see how much charge was left in the controller etc.. I also miss all the apps like HBO GO and Gamespot TV, and hope they are added soon.

The TV feature is great so far, but I think it slightly degrades the picture quality of the signal, and the fact that you can't check DVR content is a real letdown. Hopefully this can be added later also.

But so far, it's a great system I've been spending a lot of time with. I also have a PS4, but have been spending most of my time on the Xbox One... mainly because it's needed for TV haha. I like it, and can't wait to see how much it improves over time. The wired chat headset is particularly great... big improvement.

#11 Posted by KingJuggaNott (78 posts) -
#12 Posted by dinb (1132 posts) -

They need go put the old method of selecting items with kinnect. Hovering over a button to select is better than pressing the button with your hand. Kinnect always ends up moving my hand up.

#13 Posted by zombieweekend (35 posts) -

@dinb: Yeah, they should ditch the push and pull mechanic altogether. I'm MUCH better at it now, and it still gives me problems occasionally. They need to move it to a closed fist mechanic, which works pretty well. Something like open palm to mouse over, close fist to select, and then rotate fist or pull back to open. Another one that should work would be a thumbs-up, and then bring your thumb in to a closed fist to select.