The State of the Union...is strong!

The State of the Xbox One

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The State of the Union...is strong!
The State of the Union…is strong!

This week will mark three months that I have owned an Xbox One. Since owning this console, my experience has been mostly positive, and it seems to fit my gaming and entertainment needs. It’s strange because usually by this time I would start showing buyer’s remorse with a new console because of a lack of software and apps. It happened with the Wii U, it happened with the PlayStation Vita, and heck, it even happened with the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 2. But this is one of those rare exceptions.

One of the biggest reasons I have not experienced buyer’s remorse is not because of a huge number of games that have since been released, culminating with Titanfall. It’s been because Microsoft has been listening to their fan base, and providing us with constant updates to make the Xbox One better than before. The days of the Spring and Fall Updates seem to be over, as they are now providing updates on a regular basis. The most recent one was released earlier this week (though I obtained it in advance through the Early Membership Program.)

While most of the updates have been great, and made the Xbox One experience better, there are still some issues I’d love to see get resolved before E3. Let me start off with what has been added and works out great.

Friend Notifications

I can see why this wasn’t added originally. When Microsoft updated the number of friends from 100 to 1,000, I figured people would want to get notifications of who logs in and logs off all the time. But it has been added since, and in a smart move by Microsoft, it seems to only show when a friend logs in via Xbox One, and not those on Xbox 360. It also lets me know when someone starts broadcasting on Twitch, which I will get to right now

Twitch Streaming

While PlayStation 4 owners can brag about having Twitch streaming access from launch, it is now Xbox owners who can enjoy using it, and it is very easy to get a stream up and running. Just by saying “Xbox, Broadcast,” I can get the stream up and running in a few seconds. From what I’ve seen first hand the stream quality seems to be quite good, and when unsnapping I can see how many are viewing my channel while playing. I do plan to use Twitch streaming more as newer games come out. In fact I encourage you all to check out http://www.twitch.tv/snarcast whenever I’m online.

Data Management

The 500 GB drive is not much hard drive space, and until Microsoft allows external hard drive support, I need to know how much space I got left, especially when you consider some games go as high as 40 GB. Thankfully an update has been released that will allow you to look at all save game data, as well as installations, so you can easily delete which games you may have traded in or sold, or returned to Gamefly as I usually do.

Silent Reboot

When I come home, the first thing I usually say is “Xbox, on” which not only turns on my Xbox One, but also my big TV and my 5.1 surround system. But sometimes it doesn’t work, and when I physically turn the Xbox on, I notice that the screen just has a simple green line, meaning another system update arrived. This has recently been fixed by doing system updates in the background as long as the Xbox One is idle.

Uploading to YouTube

This is a huge one for me. Game capture is one thing, but it’s being able to upload it to video streaming services that means a lot more. For some reason, Sony only allows game sharing to Live on PlayStation and on Facebook. But why not YouTube? Wouldn’t you want to allow your gamers to show their skills on the most popular video streaming service? That’s what the Xbox One is now doing. Game DVR and Upload Studio footage can now be uploaded directly to YouTube. I’m looking forward to using this as a way to capture my game footage to use for more video reviews.

But of course, not everything is perfect. There are still some factors of the Xbox One that I’d love to see fixed soon:

Independent Muting for Snapped Applications

I’m one who loves to snap apps while playing a game, and now with the MLB.TV app being added to Xbox One, I also like to snap baseball games while watching television. There’s one catch though. The audio for both the TV and the app play at the same time. I would love to see an update that allows you to mute either the main app or the snapped one so I can pay closer attention.

More Apps Please!

Speaking of apps, there are some that I’m still stuck using my Xbox 360 to watch. Most recently that includes the WWE App. I know plans for an Xbox One app are scheduled for this summer, but I’d like to see it come sooner.

Video Player That Supports External Hard Drives

One thing I love to do on my Xbox 360 (and when I had it, my PlayStation 3) was watching movies I had stored on an external USB hard drive. I’m hoping that when external hard drive support comes to the Xbox One, I can do the same thing that I’ve done with my 360, and watch everything without having to stream from another console, and use my Xbox One Remote instead of my 360 controller.

Easier access to my friends list

Accessing my Xbox 360 Friends list was easy, just be pressing the guide button and highlighting the Friends menu. That’s not the case with the Xbox One, as I have to jump out to the main page, and then highlight the side panel that shows how many friends are online. Even worse, when I try to snap the friends list during a game I get an error message saying “Cannot Snap Friends Here.” Please Microsoft, fix this soon. It will make everything much easier.

Thankfully the Xbox One is still in its infancy, and remember how the Xbox 360 we have today looks nothing like the one that came out at launch. I know history will repeat itself, and Microsoft is doing a great job so far. Hopefully a lot of these issues I want fixed will come at least in time for E3, if not the end of the year. Let me also know what ideas you have to make the Xbox One a better system.

Currently Playing: Titanfall (Xbox One)

Waiting For: Wolfenstein: The New Order

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