Xbox One: Our Thoughts

It’s less than a week since Microsoft released their new console, Xbox One, and several members of the Ready Up Live team have picked up a system! There are still many people who don’t own one for various reasons, some are holding back to see if it’s worth the money, some want to be sure that it will live up to expectations. For those people, here are some of the thoughts and opinions that we have formed in the few days we have had to enjoy the console and launch titles:

Tyzer

Games Played: Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Dead Rising 3 and Killer Instinct.

Xbox One has had it’s ups and downs over the last few months as we got closer and closer to launch. Now that it is finally here I can say that, from my point of view, Xbox One is certainly something to get excited about.

My favourite feature has to be the scarily futuristic way it can be ready to play even before you are. It’s such a great feeling to be able to walk into my room saying “Xbox On”, and from that single voice command, my console and TV are turned on, and my profile signed in through Kinect’s facial recognition feature – all before I’ve even sat down with the remote. There is even a place where you can see through the various modes Kinect sees and it proves lighting is nothing to worry about, there are modes that can see perfect in the pitch black. On the whole, Kinect is very responsive. Granted, there are times where it will not pick up any voice command, or the wrong command at times, but once you get used to what it “wants” you to say, and get the knack of how to say it, 9 times out of ten you’ll get the correct process, and it’s very quick to act once it hears it. It’s far easier to say “Xbox, go to settings”, than to go to the home screen, go to your “Games and Apps”, and then select the settings app, and you’ll soon realise that about most of Kinect’s navigation features.

The games I’ve had the most fun playing were Battlefield 4 and Dead Rising 3. BF4 is possibly the most gorgeous game I have ever played, graphically. It is a ton of fun, and the 60FPS/1080p is really obvious – especially when the last time you played it, it was on the X360 at 30FPS/720p. Dead Rising 3, however, whilst also very nice to look at, doesn’t shine through for it’s visuals. When I first started playing it… eeep! I was gobsmacked by the insane amount of zombies that were shuffling across the streets, there are literally hundreds on screen at once! This is where the true power of Xbox One stands out.

I do, however, have a small number of issues too. I don’t like the friends app layout, nor the achievements app. They’re far too “big” and dramatic, the lists we had on Xbox 360 were much more practical, accessible and generally simpler to look at. I also don’t like the fact that I don’t get any notifications when a friend comes online, nor do I like the absence of a controller battery indicator. These are all really minor things though and will likely be sorted in the inevitable later updates. With those things aside, which are really minor issues, I am really impressed by Xbox One – heck, I don’t even feel bad about being made nearly bankrupt by it! If this is only the tip of the iceberg for the new generation of gaming, then it’s a great generation to have an Xbox One!

Chewy

Games Played: Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Ryse, Zoo Tycoon, and Killer Instinct.

So my first impressions of the console were that it’s amazing. It’s everything I loved about the Xbox 360, just taken up to the next level. The way the OS works to seamlessly transition between games and apps is amazing, and the Kinect only adds to the experience. Walking into a room and saying “Xbox On” and seeing the console come back to life AND turning my television on for me is all something out of science-fiction and I love every bit of it! Now I won’t sit here and tell you it’s not without its problems, because there are certain things that I feel need slight improvements. One being the user interface. Coming from the Xbox 360 and having been used to its UI, the Xbox One just seems… Unfamiliar. Certain features you knew how to get to in an instant are often time buried in menus that you wouldn’t expect them to be in, and the fact that I’m not notified when a friend comes online still rubs me the wrong way. The one biggest detriment to the console is its possible instability. This morning I had a little scare where my console wouldn’t insert or eject discs and then just bugged out entirely, but a hard reset seemed to fix this problem.

Game-wise I feel like the launch lineup isn’t that amazing. You’ve got a few gems like Forza 5 and Zoo Tycoon, but Ryse and Dead Rising 3 seem like the same game to me, with the exception that one is really pretty to look at, and Killer Instinct is a bit too… Arcadey? For my taste.

All in all I love the Xbox One, it’s not without its problems, but I have no regrets in a day one purchase… Yet.

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Ye Olde Apple

Games Played: Dead Rising 3 and Battlefield 4.

Going in with the new console, Xbox One has already proven to me to be a more simple, yet convenient means of communication and entertainment. It’s true what I heard from the Xbox Reveal back in May, while the Xbox One will play games as a gaming console, the Xbox One is capable of doing so much more. For starters, the Kinect 2.0 that is bundled with the Xbox One proves to easily be worth the extra 100 dollars. With the system linked up with both my TV and cable box I’ll never need a TV remote again. Plus, the QR Code recognition has made inputting a code more fun than ever before.

Now moving on to the games, Dead Rising 3 continues years after where the player left off with Dead Rising 2. The story shows references to the past installments, and makes all the mechanics of the previous titles and doubles it. More weapons, more control, more freedom. The game looks stunning, as well as the effects within the game. As far as character development goes, it’s safe to say that the rest of the story is going to be like watching a high-reviewed movie. Battlefield 4 on the other hand is much more competitive than the free roam of Dead Rising 3. I’ve seen enough footage online of 32 VS. 32 players on one map, but seeing it for myself, with real time 60 FPS… it actually made me go out as I’m writing this and buy Premium. I’ve already beaten the campaign back on the 360, but playing the first mission all over showed a drastic change in the effects and display. There’s more debris in the air, more smoothness to the reaction of characters, and it simply looked phenomenal altogether. At the end of the day, I can finally say I have a game I can’t stop playing.

If it’s one thing I had to pick about the console that I love, it’s the zero load time. I’m not one to be very patient, so I’m happy I don’t have to be while gaming anymore.

If it’s one thing I could change, it would be how achievements are viewed. Back on the 360 I loved collecting achievements, but now they’re large and obnoxious to look at and they just aren’t enjoyable to unlock anymore.

Soterios

Games Played: Forza 5.

I walk into my living room and say; “Xbox On” . Within seconds my Xbox One, Stereo Receiver, Cable Box, and Television all light up and power on. I say; “Xbox Watch ESPN” and the basketball game I want to watch comes on. At half time, I tell my Xbox; “Xbox Play Forza 5” and it instantly snaps to the game to let me play during the break in action. When it’s time to go, a simple; “Xbox Off” and my entire media center powers down.

Let me repeat that: Xbox now controls my entire media center with voice command. What?

There are a few tweaks to the user interface that I would like to see, like better control of notifications and a return my awesome avatar buddy. For the most part though, these are little gripes that I’m sure Microsoft will weed out in the next few updates. I have zero doubt it will be hashed out and better than ever.

Games look beautiful. Forza looks and sounds like I’m floating behind a REAL car, crashing into REAL walls, and placing a very REAL last place. It’s surreal.

This is the future. I am Tony Stark. It is good to be an Xbox gamer.

RUL Car

ScribbleFilo

Games Played: Killer Instinct, Battlefield 4, and Zoo Tycoon.

My experience with the Xbox One has been really great so far, there are aspects of the console that are amazing or have greatly improved from the 360, but there are also a handful of things which I find, needs fixing. The UI is a lot different, and takes a while getting used to but the Kinect integration and commands make navigating so much better. The switching between apps is really quick, and now I much prefer buying games in the online store, just for the sake of instantly switching to it. Game-wise, Killer Instinct was the main reason I got the Xbox One and and despite the small roster and no story-mode, I’ve spent about 24+ hours in it already just versing people/practicing. It would be weird not to have this game on your Xbox since it IS free. Battlefield 4 looks stunning, and with game-modes supporting up to 64 players, it gets really insane. Zoo Tycoon feels a lot like Viva Pinata, I haven’t tried online co-op but the game is still enjoyable through single player.

At this point, the switching between apps and games is my favourite feature of the console, and snapping things off to the side is pretty neat. There are a few UI features that will probably be fixed along the line, but the party and game invite system just doesn’t work for me.

Greenskull

Games Played: Forza 5, Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct, Battlefield 4, Ryse, and Zoo Tycoon.

What the Xbox One does right is game changing. Unfortunately there are still a few tweaks before it’s perfect. Achievements take too long to load and are tricky to navigate. You need to be careful when in party chat to not say “Xbox”. I lost a game of Forza due to this.

That out of the way, there are some really cool new features to the console. I love being able to walk into my room, say “Xbox On”, and have my Xbox and TV turn on. Signing in with facial recognition is super handy, also. Chat quality is significantly better. It’s clear enough that Fran Mirabella from IGN commented on the sound of the crackers I was eating. So note: Mute your mic while chewing.

Ryse came as a surprise to me. I heard a lot of bad things about it but I am thoroughly enjoying the game. The graphics are beautiful and co-op is a blast. I’m spending time on Forza and Killer Instinct which is strange to me. I don’t normally play fighting or racing games, but I’m having a lot of fun with these. The triggers feel amazing on Forza.

All in all it’s one heck of a step forward, and after some updates it will be the go-to game platform.

Start a Riot

Games Played: Battlefield 4 and Zoo Tycoon.

Let me start out by saying that the Xbox One makes me feel like some sort of wizard with magical powers. I walk into my room and say, “Xbox On,” and within seconds my Xbox, TV, and cable box all turn on. Let’s take a second to realize how insane that actually is. I’m sure if our ancestors came back and saw this kind of stuff, they would think it’s devil’s work, but because we live in this day and age, this is the future of technology and gaming, and it is amazing to be a part of it. I think the voice commands are what have to be one of my favorite parts of the new Xbox. I had a Kinect with my 360, but none of those controls compare to what they have done with the entirety of the Xbox One. Being able to smoothly transition between tv, movies, music, games, friends list, and everything else while still being able to snap many of these things to the side of my screen while I continue to game is just beyond terrific and I don’t think I’ll ever get over the shock value of just how cool it is to be able to do that.

Even though there are only a select number of games, and I have only played a couple of them, I am incredibly blown away by just how fun they are. Battlefield 4 is beautiful. I’m not sure I can even begin to explain just how good that game looks on the Xbox One. I have died multiple times in-game because I get distracted by the environment around me, and just have to take a moment to look around and see just how amazing the graphics are. And when it comes to Zoo Tycoon, I know that it has a hefty price tag for being the game that it is, but it’s an incredibly fun and light-hearted game to play when you need a break from other high intensity gaming. It’s not a game that most people would get, myself included, but after playing it at the Xbox Area One event, I knew I had to add it to my collection because it would be a nice change of pace after hours of playing first person shooters.

All in all, the Xbox One is astounding. There may be a few things here and there that I hope will be tweaked or fixed with the interface, but there’s no telling what the future holds for a console that is truly the next generation of gaming and entertainment.

bf4angrythumb

Rebel Rouser

Games played: Forza 5, Zoo Tycoon, Killer Instinct, Battlefield 4, Ryse and Dead Rising 3.

The Xbox One is aptly named. It’s the one device I’ve begun to control my living from. From the words “Xbox on”, my experience is seamless, I sit down and it recognizes me, I tell it what to do and off we go. Once I’m done with my first activity I can instantly switch from gaming, to watching Netflix, to watching TV in an instant; it’s phenomenal, because of this I find myself with my Xbox turned on every day since I’ve gotten it. The launch titles I’ve played thus far are exciting and feel refreshing; Ryse and Forza really show the graphical muscle the system has, while Dead Rising shows off what it’s capable of in terms of AI and let me tell you, these first impressions leave me salivating. Truth be told I’m fairly certain I’m still in awe from seeing hundreds of zombies on screen at once in Dead Rising, a moment which actually caused me to stop and just stare. If these tastes of the next generation of gaming truly signify what this generation has in store, then we’re all most certainly in for a treat.

Of course, a launch is never without it’s downsides. The Xbox One interface feels a little rushed in a sense. It can take longer than it should to get to simple things such as viewing your achievements, or going to your friends list. The system is also missing a few key features in the form of items like Dolby Digital support (my 5.1 surround headset has been hindered for the time being), amongst other more minor things. Thankfully, these are issues that can be fixed by Microsoft, and I have faith in them to fix it all. After all, the Xbox 360 I got in the middle of 2008 had a vastly different and less useful interface than it’s proceeding updates. Aside from that, I’ve also noticed that the system apps do crash from time to time, but again it’s an issue that can be cured by some updates.

All in all the Xbox One certainly makes me feel like the next generation of gaming has arrived. The console as it stands today is a great experience, and it has a lot of potential to become one hell of a multimedia powerhouse in the future. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Velocity

Games Played: Battlefield 4 and Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag.

First and foremost the Xbox One is truly an amazing piece of technology, it is the pinnacle of gaming and it has definitely shaped the next generation of entertainment. I had known about the features and upgrades of the Xbox One ever since it was announced at the Xbox Reveal back in May, I never once doubted the machine and it’s capabilities (although I was disappointed with the removal of the DRM-related features) and I just couldn’t want to have it in my hands. Now that I do, I feel like never leaving my house. The Kinect is nothing short of astounding, I own a Kinect system for the Xbox 360 but I do not use it, it’s features are something that I have no use for. But the new Kinect is almost a second controller, the voice commands may not work every time but nonetheless, I will be keeping my Kinect connected this time around.

That said; nothing is perfect, the Xbox One is no exception. In the few days I’ve had the console I have experienced a few hiccups and issues that make my Xbox One experience not so dandy. Namely Australian locked consoles do not support the ‘Xbox On’ voice command, I always have to boot up my console and TV separately which I find annoying where nearly everyone around the world can enjoy this feature. I also have a bit of an grief with the new party system; As of now I still have issues with using my headset to chat in a party; I do not know how to make a party private; and the party chat UI has limited options, options that I learned to love from the Xbox 360.

As for the games, well, simply put they are just works of art, nothing short of that. The graphics engine for both BF4 and AC4 blew me away, I remember playing a round of Conquest on Paracel Storm on BF4, where the weather changed so quickly and so dynamically I just stood at the highest point in the map and just watched the whole thing unfolding, it was beautiful. AC4 has got to be one of the biggest games I have played to date (even surpassing Skyrim), I looked at the map, zoomed all the way out and my jaw just hit the floor; the best thing about it is that there are no loading screens. I am thoroughly pleased with both of these games and may be picking up some more soon!

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There you have it, some of our honest opinions of Xbox One from our few days with the system. We hope that you found this interesting and perhaps useful to you in making the decision of whether to buy it or not.

If you had to pick one feature of Xbox One to be your favourite, what would it be? Let us know!

Also, if you happen to have any questions about Xbox One, or want our opinions on something not covered here, feel free to reply with those too and one of us will be happy to answer!