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Xbox One - First Impressions


So the Xbox one is here and having spent a whole day with the console, it's time for Ash and Joe to give you their thoughts on their first experience at home with the next generation.


Ash: After the frustratingly long wait since the console was first announced, my Xbox One has finally arrived. Upon opening I couldn't can’t help but notice just how much attention to detail has been made just with the layout of the packaging, the Kinect peering out of its nest, its unblinking eye ready to take note of your daily activities, the console itself hidden away under well placed cables, instructions and quick scan codes.

The setup itself is relatively quick, though making space for it was another matter entirely, having to retire not only the Xbox 360 but the PS3 as well; the fight for space under the TV is already quite fierce. With just a few cables to contend with, the power supply, Kinect and HDMI cables all feel sturdy and well made in their respective sockets ( to get the "best" experience I also put my Sky HDMI through the HDMI in). The same can’t be said for the control pad, the initial thoughts of quality build and comfy where a little off the mark, the buttons and top half of the control pad feel great, a solid, comfortable and smooth build, buttons clicking and moving with real satisfaction, however the bottom half is another story, the d-pad feels a little floaty and the palm grips have a rather ugly finish, being very plastic in feel and uneven on the seams. To top it off, the controller requires batteries, just where did that reported £100,000,000 go on when it comes to R&D? Maybe if Microsoft doubled that then the other half of the controller would have been better. All said and done though, the controller does fit well, even in my spade-like hands and when playing games (the most important part) it does feel like it is the best ergonomically designed controller from Microsoft so far.



Turning on the Xbox One is also very easy; no syncing here, just load the batteries into the control pad and press the guide button and it slowly comes to life. Now here is the first real concern, as though I was fortunate for a seamless first day, the process was a little unnerving, especially for those of us who have owned a PS3 or Xbox 360 as the initial boot screen appeared to hang for a little too long. Perseverance pays off though as it all slowly comes to life, first up the obligatory day one update, which in fairness does not take too long, which then leads into a very easy setup, selecting time zones and Kinect and power settings and then, after a short advert you are set free. The machine itself seems to run very quietly, even when installing from a disc which is a refreshing change from the noisy old Xbox 360.

Each little area of the dash has its own space, some with a brief tutorial, others just waiting for you to wander through the menus and I am sure we will cover these in more detail once we have had more time with the console. Something that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed was the Upload and Game DVR functions, it is so easy to use, with a quick verbal command or use of the Snap screen you can quickly save some gameplay and share it or later edit it, already my friends list is filling up with submissions of amazing gameplay moments or achievement unlocks.



Kinect seems to work for the majority of the time, picking up most of my requests, the long list of specific orders will take a while to get used to, a quick reference card would have been a sensible addition and showing often used commands. The QR scan function however works a treat, with the Kinect taking a split second to redeem my Day One achievement.

TV control via the Xbox One is also another nice feature I am starting to use, “Xbox, Watch TV” switches to the TV screen, “Xbox home” returning to the dashboard. If you have a supported TV you can also mute and adjust the volume which is quite smart. Of course most of the TV options are USA only, leaving us out of the game there until Microsoft sees fit to offer it in the UK. Having changed the power setting to a light sleep, I am able to walk into the living room and with a “Xbox On”, turn on the console and a “Xbox turn off”, turn off the console; sadly this does not turn on or off the TV, still requiring a separate remote for this, which is a bit of a pain and will probably result in me unplugging the Sky from the console as I am not the only user of the TV in the house and the Kinect really struggles with the Mrs commands.

This is only day one, scratching the surface of what this machine can offer, but for now it’s back to the important stuff, playing games on it.

Joe: So after waiting in all day, Xbox One finally arrived on my doorstep, probably at around 17.30. Like Ash, I didn't waste any time opening the box and I also was very impressed with the attention to detail of the way everything was packed in. Having planned ahead, I already had a spare plug socket and a space on the shelf for Xbox One, with my Test PS3 relegated to the upstairs bedroom and the previous Kinect having long vacated the space underneath the TV.

Setting up the console for me was fairly simple, having followed all of the steps before upgrading the firmware and being met with the hanging green screen with the Xbox Logo. Eventually the console did spring to life and when it did the first thing I decided to do was set up the avatars for my family of five. This again was a simple process and at the end of it all resulted in Kinect recognising everyone who walked into the view of the camera. I'm pretty impressed.

What I'm not impressed about is that my Xbox One seems to take forever to do anything. Want to switch applications? Loading times. Want to play a game? Loading times? Want to do anything that involves using the Xbox One? Loading times. For me, It's hardly the seamless experienced that Microsoft promised and this particular part of the experience has left me thinking that the console has a long way to go. The potential is certainly there though.


You may have saw my video last night in which I tested if Kinect recognised a Scottish accent. The reason I did this is because the last version certainly did not. Thankfully the new Kinect is much improved; sure you'll need to learn the script of words in order to provide the camera with commands, but once you learn them it seems to work seamlessly every time. Well I say seamlessly, but what I really mean is that once you finally get the machine to recognise the fact you are saying 'Xbox' (usually six times for me) then the commands that follow (such as Turn Off, Snap, Play Disc, etc) generally work first time, every time.

There are a few features which I've tried which have impressed me on Xbox One, such as Upload Studio, which allows you to use a clip you have recorded and edit it with voice overs, picture in picture (with you in one half and the clip in the other, or even one clip in each picture) or even a series of clips strung together. The Upload Studio process is very quick and seamless and whether you are editing or uploading, it all seems to work well, although there is one major problem. The quality of the video is not the greatest, in fact as you can see in the video below, it's quite badly compressed.


What I think is probably the killer app for Xbox One could be something unexpected - Xbox Fitness. Having tried this application briefly I was very impressed. It's only free for a year if you are on Xbox Gold and then MS will start to charge a fee, however this complimentary year will be well used by most I'd say, as the application is well designed and uses the power of Kinect to track you with the ultimate precision. During any of the exercises you'll be rated and rewarded with achievements and merit badges, all of which has you hankering to go back for more. You can really feel the exercise working too, which of course is the main aim of the game. Keep an eye on this App, because everyone is going to be talking about it soon.

Another fun feature of Xbox One is the ability to switch in and out of apps. I must warn you that on certain apps, if you switch out, you could very well lose progress in any game you are playing and while this doesn't happen all of the time, it's best to save your progress anyway just in case. Problems aside, switching is a neat feature, allowing you to come out of your game if you need a break and look at achievements, read messages or check out what friends are up to, before jumping back into your game and carrying on from where you left off. You can also interact in a similar way with SmartGlass too, which I briefly checked out on my iPad. This allows you to connect with the console and use some of the apps mentioned, as well as the companion app for each game. In Ryse for instance you can read the manual, check your progress against friends and read back stories etc. It's pretty good, although was only useful because I was doing it while someone else was having a turn on the control pad.

So that just about sums up my own personal experience of Xbox One. The only real issues I've encountered are the fact that you can't take screenshots (why Microsoft?), slow loading times and the one off crash which saw Kinect go down, followed by the machine and the controller. Thankfully unplugging it and plugging the Xbox One in again seemed to fix it.

Is Xbox One worth it? So far I'm on the fence on that one. The launch games aren't exactly setting the world on fire for me and the User Interface feels like it has some way to go before it becomes the seamless experience I was expecting. But the console has potential and I have a feeling that a year from now it will be fully realising it.

Edited On 23 Nov, 2013

Comments
45
Very nice reading but highly frustrated as my console has not arrived on time. Apparently the courier hasn't received it yet, even though Shopto have mailed me to say its on the way!
spenny 10 months ago
@joe.how come you had to wait for your console? Surely working for shopto you had yrs days ago with staff discount? Same with ps4.
Mangaman1 10 months ago
my games didnt show up until today! lucky i had fifa for free else i would of been screwed!
0000000000 10 months ago
Some of us are still waiting!! Promised delivery on Friday and then had to pay DPD and extra £12 to get it Saturday but now they tell me the package is missing and I now have to contact the seller. I hope that I'm not put to the back of the queue for a replacement. Your handing of this for us in northern Scotland is a complete Joke.
malx 10 months ago
I got ours at midnight launch which is xmas box for the kid's 1st thoughts not a lot, the day one edition controller as with the 2 other controllers is a load of rubbish the seems are out and that rough catching your skin if this is the state of microsofts next gen console then please refund me my money i am very disappointed and wish we had kept the 360. The voice dose not respond to you as it should £430 for the finish build to be not perfect you are surely taking the piss out of us the gamers.
taggy san 10 months ago
@taggy san, you got yours at midnight launch you say, then WTF has it got to do with ShopTo??
Jon Boy 10 months ago
Jon Boy nothing i am just saying about the state of xbox one shopto is a great place to buy from but due to not been able to get it from shopto i placed my comment on the review by there staff......... :-)
taggy san 10 months ago
@taggy san but your comment says quote "you are surely taking the piss out of us the gamers" it does not say who it was aimed at so i assumed seen as though it's on the ShopTo thread you was on about them.
Jon Boy 10 months ago
read all the above review & had to squirm my way through after just building a new PC rig & even this nowadays building a new PC is pretty straightforward, I get my new PS4 @ the end of the week from shopto I expect to put the cables In & update the console & start gaming how difficult could it be? are some people really that simple
RICHARD 10 months ago
Jon Boy i never said anything about shopto they are great people to buy through i have a great account with them but as i traded xbox 360 and lots of games to get the xbox one i had to cancel my order with these great people at shopto and i think you just like twisting things probably cos u maybe one of the sad dim wits that cheat on games...............lol ROFFL u sad get
taggy san 10 months ago
I bought my xbox one from shopto no problems here got my console yesterday as promised thank you shopto the guy from dpd delivery came running to my door lol all in all great console great service. :)
Don't trust Shop2 10 months ago
taggy I thought your first comment was directed at ShopTo as well, you don't make it very clear and that last thing you said makes no sense... Jon Boy isn't twisting anything he's just saying he assumed you were directing it at ShopTo because of the quote. After a couple of minutes of thinking i'm still trying to understand the connection between twisting things people say and cheating on games... lol
Charmaine 10 months ago
Still waiting for my Xbox One to arrive, no tracking number for me to check where it's at either, I hope I can at least get a refund on the £24 postage
Charmaine 10 months ago
snail mailing my self hooping its doing ferry tuck to dublin as no status change since 11.38pm on the 21st - Northampton depot , so in 48 hours no update other than in trransit from northhamton .site says its enroute to next dest which i hope is dublin hense the delay.
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
agh that dirty mofo has arrived in dublin so Monday AM is day one for me.
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
@Bliss IRL i was just wondering why i have not seen you online? i ent been on here alot since for obvious reasons on 22nd so your telling me you still have not got your console!? man that sucks donkey balls.... like wtf. well a console is better then no console but sorry you had to wait man, im guessing thats shopto's fault
DARKST4R 10 months ago
did anyone else panic when first turning on there console? it took me a good few minutes, stuck on the xbox boot up screen before it changed then asked me to update lol not guna lie i was tad worried haha
DARKST4R 10 months ago
My items were not posted in time so I had to pay for next day delivery to get them for launch day. This was despite being told they would be shipped on time. I complained and have been offered half my postage back so £9 instead of £18 for my games and extra controller. I was told they could not be shipped together which is why I had to pay the extra and then guess what....they all arrive in the same delivery. Quite disgusted by the service and still not received a single penny in credit on my account. Never ever had treatment like this with amazon or play. On the plus side I love the xbox one and once the teething problems are patched it will be awesome. Got a PS4 coming from elsewhere this week but don't know if I need it really.
marcus 10 months ago
The old "I'm on the fence" or similar comment was a forgone conclusion as it's become well known that Joe is an out and out PS fanboy, and praising the Xbox ONE, even though it's a superb bit of kit would be seen by him as a form of betrayal to PS..! Knocking the Xbox ONE launch titles was also a forgone conclusion, And I'd put money on his review of the PS4 and the 3 launch titles to be full of praise, even though Killzone4, and knack have been heavily criticised as being poor.! A gaming journo should be unbiased, and unbiased reviews and coverage is not what Shopto,net news is known for..
cerberuz 10 months ago
@Darkst4r im not pissed off at all im in IRL and the next day Del is for UK mainland only. Although the Queen of England may be disappointing that we are not UK mainland , im still happy that we are not teee heeee. I will be on at 9.30 am tomorrow and if not ill be driving over to shopto in person .
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
I n all fairness shopto could increase their customer base by simply sending a day or so early to IRELAND ! For all purchases. Games i hope will arrive Monday two as they got sent via Royal mail .
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
little further digging shows shopto did not ship my console until very very late in the evening, day before launch so it has stuck for 3 days with status of exception as it missed the chance to get flight to get here on time. Per capata IRL has one of the highest gaming consumer markets on the planet.
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
playing with potatoes only goes so far .............
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
Really hope i dont get problems with my PS4 delivery. Shopto have never let me down before. I even got my WiiU a day early.
lpking 10 months ago
@Bliss yeah well hope monday is a good day for you ;) guessing you will be online most the day, lol
DARKST4R 10 months ago
not most ALL OF THE DAY AND THE NEXT 4 .
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
@Bliss HAHAHAHA i only took friday and sat. as im on holiday 29th onwards. kinda sucks as my ps4 i ordered will just be sat there until my return. ps whats your twitter? same as your user name here
DARKST4R 10 months ago
Yup yup and Yup only ever used twitter once in the past back in xmas 11 - got fifa hacked and banned account over december as they had to investigate the 200 quid in fifa stuff charged against me , Hope tomorrow morning i have all the luck in the world.
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
my Friday morning starts with a txt/email 8:30: DPD/SHOPTO: misrouted item, get it Monday(like if it's acceptable) on premium line numbers till 12:00: SHOPTO: u have to speak to DPD it's there fault DPD: you are not the account holder. i can't authorise anything. SHOPTO: I can't guarantee delivery for tomorrow but I can if you pick it up from your local depot from 9:00 at depot Saturday morning: DPD: The item was poorly labelled and couldn't be delivered there is no communication with the companies and Neither care. I know I will feel sick every time I look down at my controller and read day 1 edition. ITS YOUR FAULT SHOPTO AND MY FAULT FOR TRUSTING IN YOUR POOR SERVICE.
gameleech 10 months ago
@cerberuz I hope our regular readers can tell you how wrong you are. Our coverage is very unbiased and no one is a fanboy. In fact I'm pretty sure there is plenty of praise for the system above, but i'm not going to lie to keep people happy.
Joe Anderson (Editor) 10 months ago
@Bliss yeah I'm @DARKST4RR on twitter, I'v give u a follow. Feel free anyone else
DARKST4R 10 months ago
@Joe agreed all my live friends are reporting the same rough edges. updates will fix in time.
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
Does anyone know when the next batch of consoles will be dispatched..? I ordered mine on the 03/11/13 and was told I should receive it on the 22/11/13 even tho it was the standard edition because the day one was out of stock, I took there word for it, ordered and payed so it was out the way. Now that date has gone I've received my COD-Ghost and my play and charge kit but no console or Forza 5... I#m really distressed, the process of cancelling my order and gaining the money back into my bank account to purchase somewhere else is to long so I have no other choice but to wait like a peasant.
Colonel6271 10 months ago
Does anyone know when the next batch of consoles will be dispatched..? I ordered mine on the 03/11/13 and was told I should receive it on the 22/11/13 even tho it was the standard edition because the day one was out of stock, I took there word for it, ordered and payed so it was out the way. Now that date has gone I've received my COD-Ghost and my play and charge kit but no console or Forza 5... I#m really distressed, the process of cancelling my order and gaining the money back into my bank account to purchase somewhere else is to long so I have no other choice but to wait like a peasant.
Colonel6271 10 months ago
we are all peasants. i thought they got another batch due 26th of nov. dont know how true that is though. @ Rachel does your order say completed as opposed to being in pre order saying paid ?
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
I do agree on most of what was said however the controller using batteries does not really bother me as they seem to last for ages I have had the same set in since I got it so thats two and a bit days of gaming and from what I have read the PS4 controllers do not last long after a full charge but I will find that out when I get it on friday. The new interface does take a while to get used to but my main issue is the party system I just do not like it and would rather it wen back to the way it worked on the 360. I did not find the loading times bad fro switching between apps and it did go quite quickly though some in game loads do take a while. Also I do not see how he was being biased it just sounds like you are upset he is not saying that it is the best console ever.
Zombieflamingo 10 months ago
I ordered my console late in the day on the 17th , it has went from paid to back order , take it next time they get a batch in I could possibly receive mines then? Is the 26th of November a rumour or not for next batch?
FRANK 10 months ago
Correction. Ordered mine the 15th
FRANK 10 months ago
I didn't get mine either, it says "Backorder" now. I hope the new batch of stock arrives soon.
Doge 10 months ago
XBOX is HERE Yipeeee got one of the two games both sent at the same time - makes total sense still waiting on COD FFS.
Bliss IRL 10 months ago
@ Anthony, where did you find this out?
FRANK 10 months ago
Got mine on fri loving the machine but 3 of my games case was smashed up :( they was not enough padding in one flat air bubble pocket.so i contacted shopto and told them what was up and they said i could sent them back but i did not want to do that, so i told them when they get replacment case in to sent me 3 and they said it would be fine but don't know when that will be . so the wait game begins . just waiting on my ps4 now cheers shopto :)
nehs 10 months ago
Has anyone else from Scotland not gotten their xbox console on release day when they were guaranteed to get it? I received mine on Monday(but wasn't home until Tuesday and I found it on my doorstep). ShopTo told me it would be a 2 day delivery service to my area even though before that I was told twice that I would receive it on release with no mention of possible delays...
Charmaine 10 months ago
@Bliss IRL Hi, I paid for mine on the 3rd on November after they said I would definately get it for release. In the pre-order section it said Paid but when the release day went i.e the 22nd it started saying its on back order I. I'm outraged..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Colonel6271 10 months ago
@Bliss IRL Hi, I paid for mine on the 3rd on November after they said I would definately get it for release. In the pre-order section it said Paid but when the release day went i.e the 22nd it started saying its on back order I. I'm outraged..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Colonel6271 10 months ago
PS4,PS3,Xbox360,XboxOne,PC,3DS,Wii
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