12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Xbox One - Off to a very promising start,
This review is from: Xbox One Console with Kinect (Console)
I got my xbox one yesterday (the Forza day one edition) and have been playing around with it ever since. I plan to review it for what it is rather than what it is not. Plenty of comparisons exist to other kit out there exist already so I'll look at what works and doesn't with the Xbox itself.
Firstly the product came very well packaged. It's not difficult to get into it and start to unpack and set things up but it's very tidily done and provides good protection for the expensive kit within.
One it was all unpacked then plugging it all in was simple. You need to plug in the power supply, plug in the Kinect (you don't have to do plug this but it's a massive improvement over the previous iteration of Kinect and adds greatly to the experience of the console, plug in the HDMI cable, put batteries in the controller and then press it's home button to fire up the console once switched on.
The controller itself is lovely, it feel solid and very comfortable and has a very nice D-Pad (at last). The one negative is a slightly less comfortable placement of the bumpers. A new feature is haptic feedback providing vibration in the triggers, it has to be played to really get a sense of how well it works in a car game such as Forza, it genuinely adds to the experience.
Set-up does need some time. Initially you will see a green xbox logo: this can take a while so be sure to never switch off the console at this stage, just give it some time and the console will begin the update process. Once the upload begins it will step you through the process of connecting to your network and then downloading and installing the update.
One completed the console powers up. The interface is a Windows 8 style interface and is much tidier than the existing 360 interface. It's also very fast and smooth to navigate. Initially not a lot is installed. You need to download and install the apps you want to use (and there are loads including some essentials such as the Blu Ray player app and CD music player).
There are already some great apps available including a fantastic Xbox Fitness suit which is going to get lots of use for me as I only train at home now due to eye disability meaning I can't go out cycling and the like anymore. This app really shows off how improved Kinect is. You can see what it sees of you at all times and just how accurare and responsive it now is and it works perfectly for this type of app.
Kinect is now deeply integrated into the Xbox experience. You can use it to quickly jump around between apps, games and tv using voice commands (which are not yet 100% but work about 80% of the time for me) and can also use gestures to quickly swipe around the menus and point then pull back to select what you want to do. If Kinect had been like this before I suspect it would have been very well received. I wasn't convinced on it's inclusion but am much happier with it now.
As well as apps of course the console has the added feature of an HDMI in. This allows you to feed an other device with an HDMI out into it but is ideally aimed at TV. This is something I'm really enjoying. I can jump between games and TV with simple commands and it jumps instantly and very smoothly. I can also use the snap feature (which works as advertised) to snap any app I like to the side of my screen whilst I game. As a sports fan this means I can snap a match into the corner of my screen and keep an eye whilst still playing. I can also jump to full screen as and when I want.
Features like this really come into their own when you experience them. It's a genuine evolution of the console concept, integrating it into the centre of your media experience and i'm very impressed with it.
Finally there are the games. Some of my games such as Forza were downloads. Grabbing these was very simple, you show the QR game code to the Kinect (having gone to the store and said "use code") and it instantly recognises it and allows you to download it. Some of these are pretty huge and take a while on my 25 meg connection.
I've also got some Blu Ray games. Somewhat disappointingly these all have to be installed rather than running from disk (I'm guessing this is to do with the speed difference in loading and streaming from a hard drive rather than a much slower Blu Ray). The installs also take quite a while. This is thankfully mitigated by being able to start playing after a small percentage of the install has completed.
At the moment I've tried out Forza, Fifa, Killer Instinct (a free download with one playable character free), Dead Rising, Ryse and the Freely available Kinect sports preview (another game that shows how well the motion works now, even recognising your hand opening and closing). It's a good selection of games, they look lovely and sharp and crisp (as a pc gamer mostly in recent years I appreciate this as the very jaggy visuals of the older consoles was jarring to me these days.. not that it stopped some of the games still being amazing of course). This variety of games is going to keep us busy for some time and it looks like there will be some good stuff coming over the coming years.
Overall I'm very pleased with it. As with all new consoles it's a work in progress. The 360's functionality and look and feel changed massively during it's life as did the quality of the games and good they liked so if this is a starting point its exciting and suggest good things to come.