ONE MORE TIME FOR THE PEOPLE! Introducing the last of the next gen launches, Microsoft’s Xbox One (Referred to as XB1 for the rest of the article). There are some similarities between the PS4 and the XB1, so where those are concerned I’ll keep explanations brief. This console hasn’t arrived without its fair share of controversy, but we’ll get to that later. For now, let’s focus on the XB1 itself.
What’s In The Box: I promise that’s not a pun…
The XB1 comes with the system itself, a new Kinect sensor dubbed “Kinect 2.0”, a headset, the controller, an HDMI cable, the power cord…and the power brick. Yes, Microsoft is still holding on to the power brick. Have fun arranging that in your setup. I’m curious to find out if the brick has a light on it like the Xbox 360. The light was extremely annoying at night and eventually led to me placing tape over it. That just doesn’t look good.
Kinect Functionality: The noticeable difference in the XB1 is the Kinect sensor’s ability to enable motion and voice controlled menu navigation. Games don’t require the use of it, but I’m interested to see how developers integrate it. I owned the first Kinect and there were some positives there. The Kinect is also capable of facial recognition for gamertag log-ins. The Kinect is not required for operation of the console, but it is a pretty cool touch. I wouldn’t mind channeling my inner Tony Stark while navigating the XB1 interface.
Storage: Like the PS4, the XB1 has a 500GB hard drive and will require game installs. The main difference is that similar to the Xbox 360, the disc will still need to be in the system to play the game. Here are the install sizes for the Multi-platform games that were mentioned in the PS4 hardware preview for comparison:
- Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag – 20GB
- Battlefield 4 – 33GB
- Call of Duty: Ghosts – 39GB
- NBA 2K14 – 43GB
Here are the install times for some of the XB1 Exclusives:
- Dead Rising 3 – 19GB
- Ryse: Son of Rome – 34GB
- Killer Instinct – 3.4GB
- Lococyle – 13GB
System Update: The XB1 will also require a Day 1 update. You NEED this update. Microsoft has confirmed that games can’t even be played without it. It would stand to reason that this update takes away a lot of the originally planned features of the XB1 pertaining to mandatory connectivity. I’m sure people will be frustrated by not being able to play their games immediately, but something had to give.
Now for the controversy that originally surrounded the XB1. Microsoft initially planned for the console to have a persistent connection to the internet, requiring the system to connect and check for updates every 24 hours.
Obviously, this is a problem for those without a particularly reliable connection as well as those with wireless connections. While it doesn’t happen often, a wireless connection will sometimes randomly cut off, forcing a reset of the modem. It tends to happen at the worst possible moment, so the change here is very much welcome.
The other huge problem was Microsoft’s policy on used games. That policy being: “There are no used games.” Microsoft has since backtracked on both of these policies to the delight of gamers everywhere. However, XB1 users do lose out on the system’s version of game sharing, which would allow for players to use their own Gamertag while playing a multiplayer game on another XB1 console.
The XB1 at launch does not support music playback using a USB device, but it does support audio streaming and CD playback.
Honestly the XB1 launch seems to be a bit downplayed going into November 22nd, most likely due to the policy changes and what Microsoft has had to do to adjust to those changes. I’m still excited to see what the XB1 can do in the future once Microsoft can implement some of its more positive changes to next-gen gaming. Before you pick one up, make sure you keep checking back for the rest of our XB1 coverage, starting with the breakdown of the launch titles and deals on those games by @JerzeeBalla. Enjoy the Next Generation of gaming!