The Xbox One is undeniably a technical achievement. And come tomorrow, it’s going to sell consoles by the pallet unless something has gone horribly wrong. But it might behoove you to hold off for a while. Why?
First, it must be said that Microsoft is planning to stave off console shortages. If you want an Xbox One, you’ll probably be able to get one. The problem is that it’s still $500, compared to the PS4’s $400, and if you’re not interested in the first-party exclusives, there’s just no reason to buy an Xbox One unless you’re really into ordering your TV around by yelling at it.
The Graphics Will Be (Slightly) Lesser Than The PS4 For Six Months To A Year
The Xbox One will have slightly less-good graphics than the PS4 until Microsoft gets some software issues straightened out. As we’ve noted, most people won’t notice the difference, or care about it, for that matter. And it’s safe to say Microsoft is working feverishly to fix this thing; in six months the difference will be gone. But if you care, it’ll be a major issue.
It’s All About The Interface, And You Will Use It Whether You Like It Or Not
As Nick Nadel told you yesterday, Microsoft is very, very gung-ho on that interface. Finally, you can yell at your TV to change channels! Or start playing music! Or… well, whatever you want!
But there has yet to be a review of the console that doesn’t mention that this interface needs serious work; most critics say it functions “80% to 85%” of the time, and that’s just not nearly good enough. Microsoft is going out of its way to force you to yell at your TV to boot; commands that should be simple to do with a controller are needlessly complex for no other reason than they want you to use the Kinect. Here’s Kotaku discussing how to “snap” an app to the side of the screen, a major function of the console, with the controller:
Similarly, you can snap an app to the side of your screen simply by saying, “Xbox, snap Internet Explorer”… or you can pause the game with the home button, select the snap function, pick an app to snap, then double-tap the home button to return to the game.
Yes, these are software problems, and minor ones, which Microsoft will eventually fix. But as early 360 adopters can tell you, being somebody who pays Microsoft to beta-test their hardware isn’t fun. And there’s no reason to put yourself through that.