Initial Impressions – Xbox One

I recently acquired an Xbox One and after playing around with it for a few days I have formed some thoughts about it which I would like to share.

I purchased the Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle model without the Kinect, so it was $350 for an Xbox One and two games (Unity and Black Flag). There was also an additional promotion going on at Target that gave me $20 off a 12-month Xbox Live Gold membership when I purchased the console and membership together. All in all, it was a pretty sweet deal for a new gen console, some games (one of which just came out recently) and a one year membership to Xbox Live.

XboxOne-2

So, having owned a PlayStation 4 since launch day last year and having not touched an Xbox console since then, getting back into it was a bit of a learning experience. This is mostly due to the Windows 8 interface, which I am not a big fan of. I didn’t care much for the update that brought that type of dashboard to the Xbox 360, and I don’t like the new and improved Xbox One version either. Personal preferences, I suppose. Anyway, one thing I do like are the personalization features such as the dashboard color scheme. I’m a color oriented person, I like things to be pretty and colorful, yet I rather dislike the color green. This makes most Xbox related things obnoxious as their primary marketing color is green (though I’m not huge on the PlayStation’s blue scheme either). Being able to make everything black and purple (purple being my favorite color) was a big plus for me. It’s not just the dash either, notifications pop up in-game with the same purple color and I can totally dig that.

I also enjoy the ability to use achievement images as backgrounds and account banners. Another plus would be the stock library of profile pictures for your account. There were a ton of options right off the bat and I found almost all of them to be really cool, which made it hard to choose one. Eventually I decided to co with a picture of my avatar in her Catwoman costume, but it was a tough choice. It’s nice to see such an improvement over the lame stock set the Xbox 360 has had for its entire existence.

I do miss the share button that is featured on the PlayStation 4 and not on the Xbox One, but there is some kind of recording feature in effect which I have yet to get the hang of. Maybe when I figure all that jazz out I wont miss the share button as much, it’s only been a weekend since I purchased the One. I do like being able to pause a game, turn the console off, turn it back on and jump right back into the game without loading or menus. That is a real time saver. Though I don’t really like how quitting the game on your profile so that another account on the same console can play their save game is kind of a hassle. I mean, it’s not like it takes a ton of time, but it feels more difficult than it should be.

The controller is odd, maybe I’m just not used to it yet though. I’m not really liking where the “pause” and “select” buttons are, mainly. I’m so used to them being nearer to my thumbs that I often have to look at the Xbox One controller to find them. Also not a fan of the battery usage, as I hate having to buy batteries, but I think I will just invest in a charge station of some sort in order to alleviate that issue.

I’m looking forward to using it more and especially to playing some of the exclusive games coming out next year. I’m most looking forward to picking up Fable Legends and Rise of the Tomb Raider, whenever those happen to come out. While the Xbox One is still way to large for its own good, I have found in the past few days that it’s a pretty cool console. I’m glad I purchased it and I hope to use it more in the future.

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