jekyll / Member

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Xbox One System and Software Plusses and Minuses

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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.