The Xbox One- Six months later

I received my Xbox One back in November.  I have some observations to share after something approaching six months living with the big black box.

  • There are no where near enough good games available yet for the Xbox One.  Titanfall is out, but yet another multiplayer shooter isn’t really all that appealing
  • I expect the game selection to improve vastly by this fall
  • the One itself is solid, quiet, and performs well.  The hardware hasn’t shown any quirks at all yet
  • There were some pretty serious shortfalls with the Xbox One software initially.  Forming up and communicating via parties was clumsy in the extreme, the friends interface was inefficient, and everything felt slower than it should because of the multiple steps through the UI that always seemed to be necessary.
  • Microsoft has been doing an impressive job fixing up those shortfalls with a fairly quick release schedule.  The improvements since January in particular have been remarkable.  I would say there is still room for improvement: adding friends to a party still feels slower than it should be, and looking up friends and their achievements is sluggish.  But I’m happy with where things are heading
  • The Kinect is… interesting, but not exactly overwhelming.  I’m probably not the “target demographic”, which seems to be people who use their Xbox One as a “home entertainment center”.  I don’t hate the Kinect, though, so it could be worse
  • It is finally possible to hook up a third party chat / audio headset.  Microsoft starting shipping the headset adapter in March

My biggest problem to date with the Xbox One has been network connectivity.  I don’t believe Xbox Live services are at fault.  Instead, I think my ISP, Telus, is doing some “traffic shaping” to control bandwidth on their network.  I also have recently been reconfiguring my network at home, and that caused some problems as well.  But I can’t really blame these problems on the One at all.

In total, I am still quite happy with the Xbox One.  I don’t feel any urge to buy a PS4- that box has no larger selection of games, and no particular benefits over the Xbox One.  That said, I don’t fault anyone for having chosen PS4.  The choice was and continues to be pretty difficult.

I also don’t blame people for holding off on joining the latest console generation: both consoles will likely really come into their own late this year.   Personally, I’m looking forward to Watch Dogs, and maybe the new Wolfenstein.  The game I was most looking forward to, Witcher 3, has been delayed until 2015.

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