Microsoft Finally Reveal The Next Generation Xbox, But Has It Won Hearts of Fans?

Many of you may have seen or at least heard about Microsoft revealing their new Xbox console to the public. Named the Xbox One, this console is Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Playstation 4 and Nintendo’s Wii U. However although the developers made it sound interesting, there has been a mixed response from gamers, some criticising its appearance, its system specs but more importantly, its inability to be back-compatible.

The Good

New XBOX ONE

The Xbox One finally has a Blu-ray player! Although it doesn’t mean much now seeing as the PS3 had it on its release several years ago, as well as the fact that you can get a Blu-ray player for about £50 now, it still means that games can now be developed with much better quality. (I honestly think that the player should’ve been a Holographic Versatile Disc player, then again, there are large technical issues against it) Playstation gamers just dully shrugged this factor off (obviously) but it does mean that your favourite Xbox games such as Halo 5 will be in super high definition! And that’s good!

The One’s system is also extremely sleek and responsive. It recognises your voice and allows you to carry out basic commands such as “Xbox on” or “Xbox go home” (as in the homepage.) Although this is a good thing, some people have although pointed out the possibility (whether it would work or not) of people in parties trolling others by shouting aloud “Xbox off!” and hoping that everyone’s console would turn off. Then again, the voice recognition would counter this.

Users of Windows 8 will instantly recognise it's familiar design.

Users of Windows 8 will instantly recognise its familiar design.

The upcoming games for the One is dependable on what you like. I for one loathe EA, especially their sports games. So obviously if I were to get an Xbox One, I wouldn’t get Fifa 14. I’d also avoid CoD for the same reason regardless of their “better graphics and engines!” Halo 5 is probably the only game I would solely get on the One, but that will most likely be a good half-year or so after its release.

The Xbox community has also been greatly improved. Customised advertising, recommendations and the ability to see what other people are playing/watching allows you to join in a lot easier. Achievements are also being improved as they will tell you how you got them, where and when.

Lastly, another bonus you get with the One is the bundled Kinect camera. When Kinect came out, it was rather expensive, and still is. Therefore getting both the console and Kinect for a solid price isn’t half bad.

The Bad

So what are people complaining about exactly? Well first off is its appearance. Some like the simplest design and the upgraded Xbox controller, however other people hate it. The one main thing people have claimed is that it looks a lot like an old VHS or DVD player, and I can see their point. Unlike the original 360 model which was curvy, this seems to look like the old blocky recorders that we all used to own underneath our TV’s. However this can be justified as the Xbox One is focusing on not only being a games console, but also a digital TV box and a device that allows you to search the internet. So obviously the designers must have had in mind, that this new Xbox isn’t for the casual teenager who plays Halo or Call of Duty late at night, but instead for a much wider audience, which makes sense.

And let the humour pictures commence!

And let the humour pictures commence!

Another criticism some fans are picking up on is it’s somewhat lesser dominant hardware to that of the PS4. The Xbox One has 8GB of DDR3 RAM, whilst the PS4 has DDR5. The difference between these two numbers doesn’t seem like much, but it does show, quite literally. DDR3 is good for system processing whilst DDR5 is good for graphical rendering. Again Microsoft may have gone for this due to their new wider target audience, but then again, the Xbox One, unlike the PS4, has the Windows kernel built into it. So that’s a small loss, for something that’s rather handy and (possibly) pleasant to have.

Another factor that people are poking at is how you manage to play games on the Xbox One. Instead of simply buying the game and play it instantly when you put it in the tray, you first need to install it onto the hard drive. So essentially it’s like a PC game, except not for a PC. This is an odd action for Microsoft and one that many people are rather annoyed about. Yes you get a 500GB hard drive with the Xbox One, but even so, it’s still hassle and time-wasting just to install it onto the drive. On the plus side, you can then play the game without the disc, so if you lose the disc, no worries there.

However on the downside, if you want to let your friend borrow a game from you, he/she cannot play it or install it onto their console until they receive your permission through Xbox Live, where they can then buy a copy or key of the game at full price for themselves. That to many, including myself seems like a low blow from Microsoft, especially when you think about retailers such as Gamestation, Gamestop or Blockbuster who rely on people trading in their used games and hope to trade them on, as they will rapidly lose sellers and customers due to the fact that once you’ve finished with a game, the next person to use your game cannot simply install and play it.

Xbox One’s ‘cloud feature’ has been in the spotlight for fans to jab at as well. The cloud feature allows the user to connect the device anywhere, as long as there is a wireless connection. This has an upside, especially seeing as people won’t get annoyed over plugging and unplugging those pesky ethernet cables. But on the downside, the device has to connect to the internet at least once a day in order for it to work. So, if you live or stay in a place that has no internet connection, I’m afraid I have some bad news. Now I can’t seem to find a reason why this needs to be the case. Either that the console needs to be registered almost all the time or console developers think that everyone only plays multiplayer games.

There is also the issue with the name. Some say that it doesn’t exactly flow with the rest of the generations like how the Playstation has. It seemed odd to go from 360 to One. (I was waiting for the eighty behind it.) However this name can be justified as it is an ‘all-in-one’ system. However some gamers still find it rather silly.

Lastly with the negatives is the Xbox One’s inability to be back-compatible. Sure the developers said on the release that players on the 360 will have their accounts and achievements transferred over, but that doesn’t mean that your old 360 games will work. Now many people have complained about this feature, but I honestly think that their wasting they’re breath. If they’ve got their 360 still perfectly running, then they should keep on playing their old games on there. It’s simple!

Closing Comments

Now let me make this clear, I hold a neutral view to the Xbox One, I neither like it, nor hate it. Mainly because I’m more of a PC gamer than a console gamer, therefore I won’t be buying any next generation console anytime soon. What is in this article is from what I’ve discussed about with many other people as well as what I’ve heard, so it may not be 100% accurate.

Overall it is up to you on what you think of the Xbox One. In my opinion, I’m not going to bother buying it, and the same goes with the Playstation 4 and Wii U. The reason, my PC has (in my opinion) better games and can perform a lot better and faster than any of them (but at the cost of it being a tad more expensive than consoles.) Sure I doubt that Kerbal Space Programme or Bioshock Infinite is as competitive as Call of Duty, but I find them a lot more entertaining. And overall that’s what matters. If  it’s something that you enjoy or takes your fancy, go ahead and get it!

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