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I guess I just like liking things

Yep, it's a console

Yep, it’s a console

So how is it? I know you’re waiting to hear so you can decide if you want to go get one and you can’t believe it has taken me this long to get around to it.

Short version: it’s fine.

I’ve heard a lot of complaints about it, and I even sort of understand some of them, but the things being griped about aren’t really concerns for me. I’ve got two, maybe three, things I want my console to do: play games, play movies, and if it really wants to be cool, do Netflix. The XBox One does all of these things. Success!

Let’s look at some of the complaints (summarized here and here) I feel like I should explain my setup. I know my answers aren’t going to be everyone’s answers, so here’s my situation:

  • The XB1 isn’t replacing my XBox 360, it’s replacing my PS3. I only ever played maybe 5 games on my PS3, it’s function was to be my Blu-Ray player. The XB1 has a Blu-Ray player, so the PS3 has been relegated to basement TV duty.
  • Follow-up: my 360 is still hooked up and will be for a long time, I suspect.
  • I don’t really play a lot of multiplayer games
  • I don’t really talk to my XBox much
  • I have played three games on it: Lego Marvel Superheroes (loved it, finished it, took it in for store credit), Powerstar Golf (enjoying it, but I’m not very good at it), and Assassin’s Creed IV (just started it last night, but like it so far)

Was any of that important enough to warrant bulletpoints? Not even a little. But they look nice.

So here are some of the gripes and my thoughts on those gripes:

Too big!

It’s… not a portable gaming device. It sits on a shelf. I don’t understand this complaint even a little. If it were the size of a refrigerator I might start understanding the problem.

Takes longer to install games on the XB1 than it does on the PS4

When I first heard this one I didn’t even know how to respond to it. The days of plugging a cartridge in, booting up, and playing in five seconds are long gone. Sure, I didn’t know that each game would have to be installed, but it’s fine. Any game I knew I’d be playing for a while on my 360 I’d install it to the hard drive, and it doesn’t seem to take any longer on the XB1 than it did on that. I mean, I’m not running time trials or anything, but this is also a non-issue for me.

Xbox One can’t access my music collection

This one is kind of a bummer, but “bummer” and “dealbreaker” are two entirely different things. I’m sure this’ll happen before long.

Xbox One doesn’t show my photos

There are ways to show your pictures on the XB1, but you can’t show them from a shared folder on a PC, so it “can’t do it,” I guess. I can show pictures and videos from my phone directly to the XB1 using Nokia’s Play To app, and that’s usually where the stuff I want to show is anyway.

Xbox One can’t play music in the background

One of the 360’s big deals was being able to play your own music while playing a game instead of playing the game’s music. It is a neat thing that I never once used. Ever. In fact, I generally turn off a game’s music so I can hear the sound effects better. So I guess technically I am not allowed to have an opinion on this feature since I couldn’t care less unless I really, really worked hard at it.

Xbox One won’t play Media Center content

I did this on my 360 once or twice just to see if I could. It was fine but not anything I needed it to do. Another one in the “nothing I need” column.

Some changes to the controller are negative

It’s a good controller. The 360 controller feels better, but that might be years of use talking.

Everything is an App

This is a little weird, I admit. Playing a game, playing a CD, and playing a movie are all handled by different apps. I want to put a disc in and have it play it without me having to choose a different app. Of course, if I turned on autoplay I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Kinect voice commands work inconsistently

I use my Kinect to say things like “XBox, play disc” and “XBox, go to Netflix” while I’m in the kitchen getting a drink or something. Why would I ever use voice commands to pause a movie? I don’t know. My universal remote natively supports the XB1, so I pretty much use that because it works the same on my 360, my TiVo, and my XB1. I will admit there’ve been times when the Kinect didn’t register my commands, but it mostly works.

So most of the gripes people have are things I didn’t really care about in the first place. Again, it plays games and movies, so I’m pretty much set.

I will register my two biggest complaints here so you have some balance from me, but I don’t know that this’ll help you make up your mind any:

  • It is a little weird that the XB1 lost some of the functionality that the 360 has had for a long time. Yes, I just got done talking about how I didn’t use some of it, but it’s still weird that they made those choices. The 360 evolved a ton over its years of use and I have no doubt there will be major OS changes for the XB1, too. Us early adopters are helping you late adopters and you’re welcome.
  • My controllers will occasionally lose their connection to the system. A message will pop up that says as much with the addendum that I should hit a button on the controller to reconnect. I do that and it works, but it is irritating. I don’t know if it’s because I’m too far from the system or because there is a coffee table in-between me and the system or what, I just know that the 360 never did that and the XB1 shouldn’t.

Overall I’m happy with it and the games look great. There’s your cover blurb, Microsoft.

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