Yes. It happened. Quite suddenly I remarkably found myself opening the packaging of the 1 TB blue Forza 6 XBOX One bundle. It felt very surreal. After so much trouble with Xbox and their shoddy consoles and neanderthal douche bag community, I had no plans to ever bother with them again. When the new generation of consoles were on the horizon, I did feel pangs about leaving one behind. I have collected consoles for a very long time–my entire life I have played some amazing games on some amazing systems and I still play old games to this day. I felt quite sad about my decision, but I got over it quickly when I had my shiny new PS4.
One day, when I actually set foot in a gaming store to pick up some old 360 games to replace PS3 games I can’t play anymore from my system going tits up, I saw the XBOX One games. I saw the Rare Replay and thought……. I… I want that. I never would have thought a couple weeks after that I would have that game and my very own XBOX One. Really, I shouldn’t be surprised.
It’s a really fine unit. The controller is comfortable, solid, but the d-pad is kinda shit. It feels pretty flimsy and cheap with very poor tactility. It reminds me of d-pads of old, cheap knock-off Tiger electronics games. Fortunately, it works fine enough for the few uses d-pads have in modern gaming. The rubber on the back of the controller is nice, too. It has a subtle Forza logo on it, too.
As for the console, it’s really nice. The fact it sounds like a car starting when you touch the power button on the console is a really nice touch. Even the disk eject has a custom sound. That earned some points.
The interface…. is horrible. It’s Windows tiles and ugly as shit. You can set a custom background, but you can’t see it behind the ugliness, only the border. I know it’s getting a revamp this November, so I hope it will be better. I love how when you exit certain screens, you’ll randomly load up the app, or game related to whatever it was you were looking at. It pisses me off to no end and happens ALL the time navigating through it.
What I DO like, is the showcase. On your profile page above you name and stats, you have a gallery you can customise containing the achievement art or video clips of your triumphs. Of the games I’ve played on the system, the achievement art are wallpaper quality images and not crummy icons, so it looks really nice and it’s super easy to add and remove stuff to it.
The other thing I like is the snap feature. It divides your screen by putting a small sidebar to the right which can contain whatever it is you snap like your achievement list, Skype, Twitch, party chat–whatever you want and it doesn’t obscure the game. This makes it really easy to follow conversations, manage your twitch stream, and plan your achievement hunting which, by-the-way, tracks your progress so you can see just how close you are to unlocking specific achievements.
What I don’t like is the time it takes to download ANYTHING on this effing thing. The Forza 6 that comes with it is a download, 60 something gigs, which took some 30 hours to download. I didn’t get to play it right outta the box. When enough of it downloaded that it said it was ready to play, all I could do was tutorial stuff over-and-over. Titanfall didn’t take nearly as long to download, but the Rare Replay took a few days to download the XBOX 360 titles that come with it. When I picked up Elder Scrolls Online, there was a 5 hour download which I’m gonna guess was an update of some kind. I can’t quite remember.
My PS4 downloads full digital games FAR more quickly, so I have no idea WTF is going on with that, but whenever I get a new game or wanna download one, I’ve pretty much resigned to playing it the following day. The other annoyance, is when the XBOX One downloads anything, only it gets to use the internet. I won’t be able to watch a YouTube video, surf the net, or even check my mail on my tablet. My house turns into a dead zone.
Oh, another lovely trait of the XBOX One is ignorant power save settings. While Forza 6 was downloading, my XBOX One shut down from inactivity. Thank you power save settings. I had to resume it when I woke up in the morning. It can be fixed, but it’s really lame that it’s not smart enough to wait until stuff has downloaded before doing that.
It was a pain to set-up twitch streaming due to crazy privacy setting snags I came across. The XBOX One has quite a lot of settings to control who sees what and what you can and can’t do and nothing worked until I set practically everything to public.
Oh, and I found it odd that the YouTube app contained achievements–none grant you points, but still.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with it and hoping the little annoyances will go away next month when the update drops. PS4 is still the king in my books, make no mistake of that.