Xbox One first impressions: It works… sometimes

Xbox One

The Xbox One is here! It launched across the globe this past Friday and I was eager to get my hands on one. I managed to get hold of a brand new Xbox One Day One Edition on Saturday morning, so it was all set up in the early afternoon of Saturday. I went out shortly afterwards, so I’ve only had today to mess with it. Here’s my first impressions of the Xbox One.

It’s awesome. Seriously, as I’ve got my Xbox One setup as the central hub of my home, it’s on 24/7. It has my TV box being passed through, my Microsoft account is hooked up meaning all my Xbox Music and Video content is readily available. I’ve also got my SkyDrive photos ready to viewing at anytime. It’s pretty damn convenient.

You do not know how cool it is to just walk into your living room in the morning and have your Xbox recognize and automatically sign you in. It’s also so really convenient having the Xbox One be both a games and TV console. For example, earlier today I was sitting down and I decided to play a game. I didn’t even need to move, I just said “Xbox, switch to Call of Duty: Ghosts” and it did it, almost like magic. I was away playing my game!

“But when it works, it works like a dream. It feels like the future.”

Snapping is also a dream, just being able to snap TV is so convenient for both me and everyone else. If I’m in the middle of something and someone else wants to watch some TV, I just tell them to say “Xbox, snap TV” and instantly they have TV on whilst I play my game.

But, of course, there are some defects. For example, it doesn’t always work. Xbox One acts much more like a PC than a games console. Turning it on takes an abnormal amount of time from cold boot, and the system can slow down dramatically when downloading and installing games or having multiple apps run at once.

The Kinect also struggles sometimes, as I’ve had trouble getting it to recognize certain people. I can walk into the room and it’ll recognize me just fine, but with others it seems to refuse to see them. The voice control can also be a pain in the backside too. Sometimes it just refuses to listen.

“Xbox, sign me out” … nothing. I get no response. “Xbox, go home” … still nothing. The Xbox will just freeze and not respond to my voice. I have to pretty much shout at it to get it to hear me. The controller works fine, but Kinect seems to be busy listening to everything else but me.

The Xbox will even hear me sometimes, but not my command. I’ll say “Xbox, go home” and it’ll hear me say Xbox, but not the ‘Go Home’ bit. It’s annoying.

But when it works, it works like a dream. It feels like the future. It feels like you’re in a science fiction movie based in the 2100’s. It’s awesome. Just, when it doesn’t work, it feels so stupid. I had myself thinking at one point that it would just be fast to grab my controller.

I’m sure these defects will eventually be ironed out with future updates. But right now it’s tiresome. Like I said, when it works its awesome. But 40% of the time it just doesn’t want to cooperate. It does gaming very well, but everything else seems to be just a little bit buggy. We’ll see how it works in the coming weeks, as surely an update is on the way.

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