Next week, on November 22, Microsoft will release the Xbox One in America, as well as other territories, though there are some who were lucky and got one early. For the rest of us, the Xbox One, begrudgingly known as the Xbone, has a spotty history with the gaming community. This was both because, at Microsoft’s E3 presentation, there was a focus on the Xbone being a media center, as well as concerns over DRM, though that was reversed. Microsoft has since announced a slew of games, seemingly bringing the focus back on games, but does this make the Xbone worth the $499 price tag?
The Xbone’s specs are certainly impressive. They embarrass the 360’s specs about as much as the PS4 trumps the PS3. The Xbone is not as impressive as the PS4, but it’s still impressive. While it doesn’t have the ability to swap hard drives like the PS4, it does support USB storage. The Xbone includes the Kinect 2.0, which features a better camera and better motion sensing capabilities. I am of the opinion that the Kinect tried to solve a problem that didn’t affect anybody, but the 2.0 improvements makes it look like a cool addition since it’s already included.
Much like the PS4, the Xbone includes a redesigned controller. This controller includes an improved directional pad and an improved battery. These improvements are great for fans of the 360 controller’s design, especially the battery. Instead of having a proprietary charger, it uses a micro USB that turns off the wireless function of the controller when plugged in, turning it into a wired controller. This is perfect for those who use Xbox controllers for PC gaming.
As I said last week, a console is only as good as its games. While I wasn’t a fan of the PS4’s launch titles, I actually think there are some quality games coming out for the Xbone on launch. I must admit, I am incredibly biased based on the fact that I have been waiting for one of the launch titles to come out for over ten years. Killer Instinct, a fighting game which saw its last release in 1996, is long overdue. It has one character available for free and has all the characters available for $20. There are a few other games, such as Crimson Dragon and Dead Rising 3, that look fun.
A little bit down the road, the Xbone gets Titanfall as an exclusive. If you haven’t heard of Titanfall, it’s being made by Respawn Entertainment, a studio founded by the founders of Infinity Ward, the studio that created created Call of Duty. It is a first person shooter that has robots. A first person shooter. With robots. Needless to say, this is one of the coolest game concepts I’ve ever heard.
The Xbox One has the opposite problem that I saw with the PS4. It has a few cool looking games, but it also features some useless features, such as the Kinect, as well as a steep price tag. I think the Xbox One looks a little stronger than the PS4 due to the wider game choice, but only one of these games (Dead Rising 3) is a full length retail game; the other two are downloadable titles. I think it is too early to make such a heavy investment in the Xbox One, but it might be worth buying after some more games are released.