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Xbox One: First Impressions

Is it any good?

Since getting the Xbox One on launch day i’ve spent the time in-between setting up, tinkering and generally getting used to the user interface and all the various features on show. I’d say so far i’ve been generally rather impressed with the quality of all the features and functionality available on the Xbox One. It’s a console that first and foremost wants to offer you every potential media solution it can, from full TV integration, Music, Movie streaming and so much more.

Is this a good thing or is it detrimental to the traditional reason that we buy games consoles? I’d personally say no, it’s actually not. I came into the console expecting to be bombarded by unessential rubbish, this wasn’t the case, setting up was really straightforward and nothing was forced upon me. I could get to gaming as fast as I wanted. But, I didn’t I was actually compelled to explore some of the more media specific features of Xbox One. So the store it was, a nice flush layout with crisp menus that are reminiscent of the the Playstation 3, PSN store. It feels simple intuitive and I found everything I wanted nice and quickly.

I downloaded your standard apps, skype, lovefilm, music etc. But the one I was most interested in was ‘Upload’ the Xbox One’s media sharing system, allowing you to film in game action and upload it to be shared with your friends on live. Unfortunately as of yet the feature doesn’t have Facebook or youtube integration which feels sorely lacking as for me uploading this content straight to youtube would be ideal. But it’s easy to use and can be switched on mid-game with a simple kinect command.

The controller is great. I was surprised coming straight from a PS3 controller but I adapted straight away and found no issue with the variant stick alignment. Some lovely little touches include a ring of minute raised bubbles that edge the control sticks and give you that extra touch of control. Everything feels solid and looks great, expect to hear more once it’s been more thoroughly game tested.

So what about the games, well the Xbox One hasn’t got me here yet. Partially it’s because i’ve spent so much time being a first time xbox user getting to know all the features that i’ve not really delved into any. I’ve dabbled with Fifa 14, which i’ll go into in more depth in a future article and played a couple of rounds of Killer Instinct which honestly aren’t enough to make any fair judgement. Dead Rising 3 however has been sitting in it’s wrapper staring at me for the past day and i’m actually very eager to get playing. It’s currently installing as I write this and i’ve no doubt a long play session lay ahead.

I’ll be putting more of my thoughts on the Xbox One up as well as a full console review and game reviews as we move through the week. So keep checking back for more.

All the best,
Ben Corbett-Mills / @benleopards

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