Since the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One launched in North America last year, our readers have had plenty of time to get to know both systems. Last week, we took a look at what you had to say about the PlayStation 4 one year in. Now, we're shining a light on what you think of the Xbox One on its first anniversary. What works and what doesn't? And what still needs improvement?
When the Xbox One hit North American shelves a year ago, there was a lot to like about Microsoft's third video game console. Still, it wasn't a total slam dunk. In our review, we said that while it had "little in the way of visual charms," the controller was a refinement of an industry standard and the dashboard "outclasses the competition." The voice controls were "magical" when they worked -- which they often didn't. The same could be said of the launch games lineup for the Xbox One, which ranged from gorgeous "graphics powerhouses" like Forza Motorsport 5 to titles "not worth your money" like Crimson Dragon and Dead Rising 3. Suffice to say, then, there were definitely a few issues with the Xbox One at launch. To find out if Microsoft has addressed them, we turn to our readers and the user reviews they've written for us.
For starters, the One has certainly been a pleasant addition to our readers' living room decor, with nikolaskp noting that its bulky build "blends so nice with my furniture." RyTheGeneral finds the "utilitarian design to be modern and sublime," though both UXGeek and JPASTENE thought it reminded them of existing objects in their entertainment centers, with one saying it looks like a cable box, while the other found it reminiscent of a VCR from the '90s.
The user interface also impresses. RyTheGeneral likes how "clean and modern" it is, while thiel says it's been "getting better with every system update." There are still some issues here and there, with UXGeek finding the media sharing "abysmal" and the snap feature "broken." Ultimately, though, users have been pleased with the speed at which things have improved: cbcharlie says that as a media device it's "not perfect," but it's "getting there with every update."
Many readers found themselves struggling to adjust to the voice control, with RyTheGeneral making sure to "speak clearly and annunciate my words," while UXGeek finds himself "shouting commands at the Xbox repeatedly" to the annoyance of his wife, who gets "angry at 3 AM" when she's trying to sleep. As he notes, "this sorta defeats the purpose of the headphone mic."
That said, these issues haven't stopped our readers from using the Xbox One to play games. Indeed, cbcharlie says there are "some fantastic titles out right now," while RyTheGeneral was a little more specific, noting "franchise staples like [Halo] The Master Chief Collection and Forza are the backbone while daring new IPs like Project Spark and Sunset Overdrive try to innovate." Reader cbcharlie even went so far as to call Forza Horizon 2 "mind-blowing." Still, it seems like the current lineup of titles is a little lacking. JPASTENE hasn't "enjoyed the selection of games we have received," including exclusive darling Titanfall, which he says got old after about a month. The best games UXGeek played ended up being the free ones included with Xbox Live Gold, though thiel says you would probably never buy them and "XBL Gold membership offers nearly no extra value."
The Xbox One is definitely a system our readers like, just not enough. For instance, theraspiguy says it's "a great console, but honestly, I still regularly use my Xbox 360." UXGeek feels that Microsoft "under delivered," and despite being pumped for the system a year ago, "a year later that zeal is gone." Meanwhile, thiel was a little more scathing, calling it "so bad" that it "can barely outsell the misunderstood child of Nintendo, Wii U!" They also said "you're probably better off with PS4 on the long run" and UXGeek agrees, saying, "I should have stuck with the PS4." Ultimately, while REZIN8 notes that "things are changing for the better," for the time being, users like JPASTENE are just not completely satisfied with their console purchase.