My first 48 with the Xbox One

Xbox One PackagingIn one of my last blogs I provided you a review of Sony’s Playstation 4 (PS4). Now, as promised and only slightly delayed (the holidays really crept up on me this year, sorry), here is my review of Microsoft’s Xbox One.

The good
Microsoft, much like arch rival Sony, sold one million units of their highly anticipated next generation console on launch day. This is despite the fact that the One costs $100 more than the PS4. Of course Microsoft did launch their console in 13 markets and Sony only launched their console in the United States and Canada.

Unlike with the PS4, I was smart enough to pre-order my One. So, there was no waiting in line hoping to get my hands on a console that wasn’t already spoken for. I just shot over to my local Best Buy and picked up my console, spare controller, rechargeable battery packs and Call of Duty: Ghosts right after I left work.

Setup for the console was easy. I connected the One to my receiver with a single HDMI (High Definition Multi-media Interface) cable. Then I plugged in the massive power brick. From a strictly aesthetic standpoint, I’m a little disappointed to see that Microsoft still has a massive power brick while the PS4 has an integrated power supply unit. But I digress. It took only a matter of minutes to establish the consoles connection to my TV, receiver and set-top box. I read online some people had trouble connecting their set-top box. Maybe I was lucky. All I had to do was select my carrier (from what I could tell all of my local providers appeared as an option on the One including TDS) and set-top box model. And, voila! I was ready to rock out.
Xbox One Updating Screen Shot
Just like the PS4 there was a day one patch I needed to download to enable all of the consoles functions. According to this article, not downloading the update would leave gamers with little more than a glorified brick. I had no problems downloading and installing the update. Although, to be fair, I think my experience with Sony’s launch day update prepared me for Microsoft’s 500+ MB day one launch patch.



The bad
Xbox One Component Shelf
I think the first thing just about everyone notices about the Xbox One is its size. This thing is massive! According to the PS4 weighs in at a little more than six pounds while the One tips the scale at a little more than seven. The one is also longer and thicker. I was able to put my PS4 on a shelf with another component. However, the Xbox One needed a shelf all its own.

In my PS4 review my biggest complaint centered on the early issues I experienced with Battlefield 4 and their online play. I also experienced some difficulties with a game I WANTED to purchase for the Xbox One: Lego Marvel Super Heroes. I was not buying the game just for me. It was going to be a treat for my 8-year-old daughter. I thought it would be nice to get her a game we could experience together (I don’t think she’s quite ready for Call of Duty: Ghosts just yet). Unfortunately, when I picked up my Xbox One it was not available. In the days leading up to the launch several reports surfaced about the game’s availability. First there were claims it wouldn’t be ready then there were claims it would be ready. The whole episode left me with a headache. My problem is if you’re going to call a game a “launch day” title, then it should probably be available, I don’t know, on launch day? Now the game was available shortly after launch but, not on launch day. I think it should have been called a “launch window” title or nothing at all.

This only upset me because I brought my daughter along to pick up the console and she was crushed when she found out the game she’d been dying to play for weeks was delayed. If you’re parent, you know how much it hurts to see your children disappointed.

In conclusion
The voice control on the Xbox One works well (at least for me). I love all the apps and it truly does appear to be more than a gaming console. That said, if you’re an early adopter choosing between the two consoles really does boil down to the available games. The One has 22 launch titles including console exclusives like Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, and Forza Motorsport 5. The PS4 has 23 launch titles including Killzone: Shadow Fall, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Resogun. Many of the most popular games like Call of Duty: Ghosts and Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag will be available on both. I believe the One has the better exclusives and if you’re in it for the games (and you have the extra money) I would go with the One for now.

About Barclay Pollak

Barclay Pollak is an award winning journalist and proud to be a member of the Corporate Communications team at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) in Madison, Wis. Barclay joined the team in April of 2013. Before that Barclay worked as an Anchor/ Reporter for the NBC affiliate in Madison. While at NBC-15 Barclay was recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the television news industry. They include the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association (Edward R. Murrow Regional Award) and the Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2012 Emmy Nominee). When he’s not working Barclay enjoys cheering for all the sports teams in Wisconsin. Barclay’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus and a huge fan of Badger athletics. Barclay is fascinated by the ever changing world of technology and spends a fair amount of his free time reading about the latest and greatest developments online. When Barclay’s not learning about technology he’s scouring the Internet in search of freeware. Barclay has an 8-year-old daughter and lives with his girlfriend of almost five years on Madison’s southwest side. G+.
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