Microsoft’s XBox One all-in-one gaming/entertainment console was released worldwide Friday, and the reviews so far are a mixed bag. While several leading gaming websites loved the graphics and plethora of features for the $499.99 unit, the overall experience the console provides has been called everything from “inconsistent” to a “significant leap.” From the built-in voice command feature, to the connectivity to your cable box that allows you to simultaneously watch TV and play your favorite games, Microsoft’s new system changes the way video games are played in the home.
Here's what to expect if you haven't picked up Microsoft's next-generation console yet.
You can play games or use apps on the system, while watching television in another screen, on your TV. If you’ve ever wished you could play “Madden NFL 25” and watch Sunday night football, or watch “Adventure Time” on Netflix while your local nightly news program is on, you’ll be impressed with the feature. You can even watch a movie and Skype with a friend.
This feature got IGN’s attention quickly. “It’s moments like those when the Xbox One will mesmerize you,” IGN’s Fran Mirabella III said. “It’s excessive, but it’s pretty cool.”
The system is nearly silent.
Unlike the XBox 360, which growls at times, Microsoft’s newest system, like the PlayStation 4, is nearly silent. A report in Eurogamer.com even says the system is built to run virtually noise free for 10 years.
Our sources say that Xbox One is expected to remain almost entirely silent in standby
and during its media functions, with fan noise only noticeable during gaming when the AMD processor is really being put through its paces,” Eurogamer’s Richard Leadbetter said.
. The new XBox One controller, according to Microsoft, sports 40 improvements over its predecessor, among them a lighter design and more comfortable analog sticks. However, several websites complained of Microsoft’s headset compatibility problems, which caused gamers with high-end devices to wait for an adapter. There were other issues as well. Gizmodo
loved the feel of the system’s controller, but felt that the rumble feature was a bit too much.
“Basic actions like holding the sticks forward are improved by the new textures around the sticks' rims, but it's nothing you think about,” Eric Limer said in his review of the console. “The rumbling triggers are a little more noticeable, on the rare occasion that they actually start rumbling (at this point, mostly when you're driving a vehicle, in pretty much every game that has vehicles). It's cool but it almost always feels like a gimmick. Of course that's how rumble felt too, before it became a standard.”
The game library. With many of the same games as the recently released $399.99 PlayStation 4, the thing that sets the XBox One apart is its myriad of features and exclusive launch games. While “Killer Instinct” and “Forza Motorsport 5” scored well with a variety of critics, other titles the likes of “Ryse: Son of Rome” and “Crimson Dragon” didn’t fare nearly as well.
“’Ryse: Son of Rome’ is huge in scale, but small in scope,” Gamespot’s Mark Walton said in his review. “For all the stunning spectacle it throws at you--the sight of a hundred-strong army laying bloody waste to a barbarian horde, the march of a legion as hulking great fireballs rain down from the sky--your part in it all is that of an outlier, a lone wolf single-handedly trying to save a crumbling empire. What you're left with, then, are the scraps: small melee battles against a procession of mindless opponents who you slaughter in painfully shallow third-person combat.”
In the end, the extra hundred dollars you’ll spend on the XBox One in comparison to to PS4 is a worthwhile one if you enjoy Microsoft’s exclusive titles more than Sony’s and want more casual features than gamer goodness. USA Today
summed up their feelings on the console by saying it does several things right, but not as well as you might have expected.
“The Xbox One does a lot of things right in this light, bringing usable voice controls and so-so multitasking to the TV in interesting ways,” Brett Molina said in his console review. “But there are still a few kinks to be worked out before the Xbox One truly becomes the center of everything you do on your TV.”
Now that you know what to expect from the console, will you purchase the Xbox One? Sound off in our comments section below.
Published at 11:16 AM EST on Nov 22, 2013 | Updated at 5:35 PM EST on Nov 22, 2013