I have decided to wait these few days before to put my opinion on the Xbox One out on the web. I will go through the information we have so far about the system, give me opinion on each area, then at the end I will give my overall opinion. I think it is important to remember that at this point of time we do not yet know everything about the system, so a full evaluation is impossible.
The Xbox One has an APU with eight x86-64 cores and 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. First of all, I would have preferred if the RAM was high than the DDR3, but you must remember that in theory using the DDR3 could make the console have a reduced price. For me price is an important issue, so even though I may not be impressed by the RAM too much I can see the silver lining. Also, 3 GB of the RAM is reserved for the OS so only 5 GB will be usable for games. I think the PS4 has 8 GB of RAM, but I don’t know how much of that is going towards its OS. This is one of those things that can’t really be compared until more information about the PS is revealed. The system is also capable of running games at a 4k resolution (3840 x 2160) which should look really nice.
Now, something a lot of people are not happy about is the necessary inclusion of the Kinect 2.0 with each new Xbox. I have no experience with the current Kinect, partly because I have yet seen a game that would make me buy one as well as the fact that all I’ve seen is discontent for the peripheral. However, the tech demos for Kinect 2.0 are pretty impressive, and it seems that Microsoft’s original intent for the system may finally be revealed. I don’t like, however, how the new Kinect will always be listening in a passive sense for you to say “Xbox on.” Now, from what I’ve read, the Kinect will not actively record and listen in on your private conversations at home but will passively search for the phrase “Xbox on.” I don’t really think Microsoft would tempt fate by using the Kinect in such a seemingly diabolical manner that would surely make they’re user base plummet in numbers.
The Xbox One will be able to seamlessly integrate your TV service, gaming, and the Internet Explorer browser without having to change the input on your TV. All you have to do is say “Xbox, game” or “Xbox, TV.” You can even tell the system which channels you want to watch or what TV show you desire. Also, being able to multitask is going to be really cool. I know it can be really annoying when you’re playing a game and you have to pause the game in order to look up on your computer a guide to get our of a sticky situation. With the Xbox One, you can simply pull up an Internet Explorer tab on the side of the screen and search from there. This will make the use of a wiki or online guide even more useful in the future.
The new controller is intriguing. The current Xbox 360 controller is pretty much flawless and it makes me happy that they are not changing it too much. What does worry me is the integrated battery. It may be because I have smaller than average hands, but the battery pack on the back of the controller has never been an issue with me. So now, since the battery is integrated into the controller, you will have to actually charge a controller and not a battery. With the current controllers, if the battery runs out you can simply stick in a battery pack while the battery charges. Hopefully there will be some sort of cable which allows for the controller to be used while it charges. Not being able to play your game because you forgot to charge your controller could be irritating to say that least.
Most of my issues with the system are about to be brought up. First of all, I don’t like how the new system will not be backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games. However I do understand why this is the case. Microsoft does not want to be tied down by old technology, so they are taking a bit of a leap in order to get ahead. When the Nintendo Gamecube came out it was pretty obvious that it would not work with Nintendo 64 games. Yes, the leap from game cartridges to game disks is a little more of a leap but the concept is the same.
Now comes the things that the majority of the internet has issues with. According to what has been said by Microsoft currently, the Xbox One will require to be connected to the internet at least one a day and that used games will require an unlock fee. We do not know how much this fee will be, so there’s no way to know how upset to be about this. As I have thought about it, I’ve realized something. A gaming network that requires an internet connection and restricts used games has been successful, it’s called Steam. Now, I don’t think that the Xbox One will be very much like Steam, but my point still stands. I understand how people are upset by change, but if we as gamers do not change with the new environment that is evolving we’ll just be left behind. The system that Steam has used has been on of the most successful gaming distribution networks ever. Imagine one day where you’d log on to Xbox Live and see a hit game on sale like you can on Steam. If the system gets off to a good start, that could be possible.
I think that Microsoft could have done a much better job of informing people who the reveal this week was a reveal of the new system itself and some of its new abilities. At the start of the reveal, they said that the games would be the focus at E3, but it seems like the internet went deaf at that moment. To say that Microsoft doesn’t care about gamers or that games are not their primary focused simply cannot be said at this moment. Microsoft has not yet been able to complete its message, so judging them now is ridiculous. You don’t get into a formal argument with someone and walk out halfway through their message. As long as we gamers act like this, we will never be taken seriously. After E3, after Microsoft has laid out its entire plans for the Xbox One, then we can fully judge. There’s no way to know as of now if Sony really cares more about games than Microsoft. In my opinion, both systems are about games. The Xbox One does games and all the extra entertainment value while the PS4 only does games. We have no idea if the PS4 will also have used games restrictions or anything like that. If we should be upset at anyone, we should be upset at Sony for not being very transparent with us. All they did was show some games, none of which wowed me, and didn’t talk about used games or even showed the system. In my mind, Sony is being more malicious than Microsoft. However, this is only my opinion, so take it with a big grain of salt.