On Friday, I happily collected my Xbox One and a few extra games and accessories:
Xbox One pre-order with Fifa 14 digital download
2nd Controller/Forza 5/Xbox Live 12 months pack
Xbox One Play and Charge Kit
Game – Ryse: Son of Rome
Game – Call of Duty: Ghosts
Lots of cool stuff to play with. By the way, this is all rather heavy. The Xbox One box could probably be used to stop a car rolling down a hill, and embarrasingly I somehow strained a leg muscle carrying it across town. My leg is still sore, and this goes to show how dangerous it is going outside. Some quick googling revealed that it’s 11.38 pounds shipping weight = 5.1kg!
In my eagerness waiting for launch day, I had pre-emptively downloaded the day one firmware update for the Xbox One from http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/system/emergency-offline-update due to it weighing in a 1.2gb, and wondering how bad the giant Microsoft Azure farms would handle this. That plan failed as the link was then taken down, and it apparently didn’t work anyway. The patch ended up being 500mb.
Anyway, unboxing and setting up was quite easy. Power and power pack, HDMI cable, Kinect 2.0 cable and Network cable all went into the back, and I went to turn it on. I instinctively pressed the Xbox One logo on the front of the console, which lit up for a second and then faded. 30 seconds later I was checking the manual to see if I’d missed something in the first power on – which I hadn’t, which led me to discover that the power cable had fallen out of the power pack. Plugging that back in made the touch sensitive logo work by some sort of mystical ability.
The console then asked for several bits of information, and then updated itself. At this stage I decided to go to bed and come back in the morning to start playing games. How wrong I was.
The next morning, I started queueing up all the free stuff like most people do. Xbox Video, Xbox Fitness, Recorder, Kinect Sports, Killer Instinct. Then I thought it’d be a good time to play Ryse, but after putting the disk in and seeing it had a required update, I decided to just load up all the games I had and leave the thing going for a few hours. That few hours turned into about 12 hours.
In my desperation, I even tried plugging in a 4G Telstra dongle into my ADSL router in the hopes of some better speeds. It was actually worse, and speedtest.net revealed about a 2mbit connection, while my ADSL syncs at 2.5mbit. It was at this stage yet again I cursed the new government for crushing any hopes I had of NBN, and the previous government for taking too long.
The setup journey was finally completed, and I had a quick 2 player game of COD: Ghosts. Seemed fun enough, graphics weren’t overly exciting. The next morning I tried Ryse, and that was a lot more impressive. A quite fun game where you’re chopping people up, verbally telling armies to open fire and so on.
Coming back to what the Xbox One can actually do, there were several nifty things I noticed. Being able to snap an application like a game recorder, and switch between the snapped on app back to the game was a nice touch. Also just recording a game native to the console, then being able to share with friends or upload to Skydrive was stupidly easy. Here’s a clip I uploaded:
The Kinect itself I haven’t really used yet, apart from it auto identifying me and logging into my Live account instantly which is pretty cool. Voice commands seem to work quite well too – shutting off the Xbox just by saying “Xbox turn off” is nice. A full list of the voice commands is available here: http://support.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/kinect/voice-commands
The updated controllers aren’t too different to the old ones, and they’re fairly comfy to use.
I could go on and on about it, but overall it seems like a decent machine. It seems like they’ve set a lot up to be future proof and a lot more functionality will come which is good.
If you’ve come here to find out if this is better or worse than a Playstation 4 – well I haven’t used one yet, and previously liked my PS3 better than the Xbox 360. I went Xbox One because PS4s are sold out, and I didn’t plan that far ahead :) I think both consoles will be good so you shouldn’t be disappointed whichever way you go – but do you want a sole gaming machine which will do that role a bit better (PS4) or something that does a lot of things like Kinect, TV passthrough etc (Xbox One)?