My New Xbox One Experience
And NO, You Don't Know What I'm Thinking
(Commentator's Note: My column for this week was scheduled to be my annual Hardcore Bowl prediction. However, when recording the video footage, the MPEG TS files from the Live Gamer Portable ended up being corrupted and unusable, and recording new footage and editing would not be done before my deadline. I will give everyone though the final projected score, in which the Seahawks will win 45-31. Again I apologize for this, and I hope next year I will be able to work out the bugs and bring back the Hardcore Bowl the way it was intended to be shown. Now with that out of the way, let's get to the task at hand.)
I know what you're all going to say from the title. "Here we go with another positive Xbox One review. I'm sure M$ paid Todd off and he's getting a $3 bonus for every 1,000 views on his column." Yes, I am aware of the whole controversy regarding Machinima offering a bonus to promote the Xbox One. But just so you all know, though I have my YouTube channel, I am not part of any multi-channel network (MCN,) especially Machnima. Yes I also publish for Space Monkey Mafia Studios, but I do NOT get any incentives from them, nor Microsoft for this review. I suggest that all of you who want to jump on the "M$ paid Todd off" bandwagon, to check this out. I think Boogie did a great job explaining everything, but it would be fun to see his Francis character do one of his rants as well.
Yes, as you can tell from my comments above, it's official. I now own an Xbox One. I spent a long time going over both the Xbox One and the PS4, and even with all the troubles the Xbox One had in its launch, namely the always on connection and used game DRM, which thankfully have been removed, (although some people act like it's still there) but in the end it was the exclusives that were coming out that impressed me more.
Let's look at it this way. The Xbox One (I still refuse to use the derogatory term Xbone) has Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, Peggle 2 and Killer Instinct to name a few. As for the PS4, it has Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, and Resogun as its exclusives. Looking at both EXCLUSIVE lineups closely, I favored the games that were coming out on the Xbox One. I waited nearly 20 years for a Killer Instinct remake, which did not disappoint me at all, and it will just keep evolving as more becomes available.
Forza Motorsport 5, despite being smaller than Forza 4 is amazing to look at and drive, and Dead Rising 3 is just darn fun, and this is coming from someone who didn't care for the other two games. I have tried Knack, and the gameplay felt rather basic for a next gen console, and I will mention that I have not played Ryse nor Killzone, but I hope to soon.
As for the console itself, enough with the "it looks like a VCR" excuses. Yes it's not a looker on the outside, but it's inside that matters. And yes, I do like integrating my satellite receiver and changing channels with my voice. I will get to the Kinect later, but the HDMI In has become a godsend for me. Before, seeing as how my TV only had one HDMI input, I controlled all of my inputs by way of an HDMI switch box, but now I run the switch box right into the One to control both my satellite and Xbox 360. Playing my 360 via the pass-through did not show any sign of lag at all, though I feel as if it does soften the image just a bit.
Then there is the Kinect. You all know my experiences with the original Kinect, and how it eventually became "self aware" by controlling itself any time it wanted to. For most of the time with my Xbox One, the new Kinect is more resistant against trying to gesture by itself, and as for the voice commands, they work pretty well about 80 percent of the time. Sometimes changing the channel on my satellite receiver requires several attempts to recognize, but when it worked, it is almost surreal to see the results.
Even more surreal, when I added both my TV and my surround receiver, a simple command of "Xbox On" turned on not just the One, but both the TV and surround. Talk about a huge convenience for me. No longer do I have to juggle between several remotes to get everything on. I can deal with that!
Game capture also works out great for me. Yes, Twitch streaming integration is not available yet, but being able to record a quick game clip just by saying "Xbox Record That" is very convenient. If only the video quality was much sharper, because it's heavily compressed. But then again, I can always fall back to the Live Gamer Portable to record higher quality videos. Having the Xbox One support external capture cards is a huge plus, but it will not read the Xbox 360 from the One's HDMI In. I guess it's to prevent capturing of television programs. As a result, I do have to run the Xbox 360 directly into the LGP to record it.
Safe to say, I am enjoying my experiences with the Xbox One. BUT, there are some things that I hope get resolved soon. For once, please make it easier to see when my friends log in. Though they got annoying at times, it helped me out when I knew someone logged in. For me to see who is online via the One, I have to go to the Friends menu, which means I have to leave my game and check the list. Good thing the game will resume right from an automatic save state as long as I didn't change to another game first.
Also, please hurry with supporting external hard drives. Considering the Xbox One includes a 500 GB hard drive, it will only be a matter of time before it gets filled up. Seeing that USB 3.0 port just begging for upgrades makes me confident that I can boost my storage up to 3 TB.
And speaking of storage, I would love to see the ability to manage my saved games and files. With some installs reaching up to 35 GB, and some DLC hitting 13 GB (as in Dead Rising 3,) there are times I need to delete games that I don't play anymore. Yes I can press the Menu button on a game and delete it from there, but I still will not know how much storage I have left.
Finally, get Twitch streaming to work. I would love to stream some Killer Instinct matches of my own and get others to face me online. It will be interesting to see how it will work out.
Needless to say, the haters are wrong about the Xbox One. It's a darn good gaming system that will always get better. Keep in mind how the PlayStation 3 started off and in the end it turned out to be a darn good gaming console of its own. I can't wait for E3 to see what can come in the near future, and I know Titanfall will hold me over until then. Stop complaining about the 6v6, those of you who obviously played it way before its release (and I'm not talking about those who played the Beta either!).
Currently Playing: Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One,) Killer Instinct (Xbox One)
Waiting For: Titanfall (Xbox One,) Battlefield 4 (Xbox One. Yes I'm giving it a second chance on a next gen console)
Tell Todd what you think - he can handle it! Email him at : firstname.lastname@example.org.