Features// An Xbox One in the Living Room

Posted 28 Nov 2013 14:28 by
You?ll also grow weary of the fact that it can?t differentiate between your voice saying, ?Xbox Skype Nick? for the Nth time and your partner?s voice saying, ?Xbox Skype Sue? for the first time and Xbox Skyping Sue immediately. There is no hierarchy of user voice recognition. That?s a bad oversight given all the boasting about being able to see your blood under your skin.

Once the nicely integrated Skype conversation between your partner and their pal has ended - despite you trying to butt in and being ignored - you... no not fair, I found that the system had to be rebooted before any more voice recognition of any kind would occur.

Oh, Games
And so to video games, which are apparently also part of the Xbox One experience. Yes indeed. I love me a bit of Forza so off I went to the latest incarnation of Turn 10?s sim/arcade racer.

E3 2013
E3 2013
This also gave me the chance to get a feel for the new controller. Honestly, this is all about feel for me. As a long time PlayStation owner my Xbox love only started with Forza 4 and my disdain for the over-ornate PS3 XMB. I?ve been using Xbox 360 for a few years now, and it?s fine. To be frank, I have no loyalty to either controller. Sorry.

I?ve not measured any of what I am about to impart - this is a subjective review based on a human relationship to a device. Here goes nothing: analog sticks are taller, the face buttons have been made more clear and Back and Start have been made less clear with the introduction of pictographs for their alternative uses. The Home (or Xbox) button has been moved up so it no longer sits between the Start and Back - and that is a very good thing indeed.

How does the controller feel? A bit lighter, a bit wider, and the bumpers are bigger.

I can see the need to update (maybe not at the purported cost though) it, but am I overwhelmed by the change? Nope. It works, which is great.

Obviously I?m not going to review Forza 5 here aside from pointing out that for the first time in my life with Forza I had head-tracking turned on via Kinect. I didn?t notice it. That?s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you like to drive.

E3 2013
E3 2013
I?ll be reviewing the following later and in more depth but for now here are my quick looks:

Zoo Tycoon - tiring and far from interesting unless you?re 10 or under I?d imagine.

Dead Rising 3 - it?s a Dead Rising game where you have to survive being massively bothered by a rising of dead people. Fun.

Need for Speed: Rivals - it?s sort of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit but slightly not so much. Fun.

Forza Motorsport 5 - it?s Forza 4 which is fun. It has Drivatars (real driving opponents including yourself) delivered from The Cloud to test yourself against. A great idea. Fun. It has fewer tracks and cars? and it has more micro transactions and therefore costs more. Not fun.

And Finally
I?ve only had this large black box for a week so I am still trying to get the most out of it. My initial thoughts are that it?s a perfectly adequate Xbox Entertainment Centre that is trying to do a lot with its GUI and services. For now it feels a bit like beta hardware though. That GUI can be slow, it is ugly to me and games have been relegated further to a mere part of the offering.

E3 2013
E3 2013
If you have the money and are a gamer, I?d give it a few months or a year until the smaller, quieter, BBC iPlayer equipped, voice-control enhanced version comes out at half the price.

Right now, Kinect is still a fudge that you have to opt to have turned off. There are no games compelling enough to force your budget, and the 360 is still going strong.

If, like me, you love Forza and have to have this new version, however, you have no choice. You have to have the hardware.

That said, it?s not bad. It?s just not finished.

Remember to Check Out all the upcoming released here.
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