Microsoft Xbox One review – Mirror Online – Dan Silver
Dan Silver delivers his definitive review ahead of Friday’s big launch
After months of speculation, sound bites and spins, the next generation of console games finally kick off in the UK at midnight tonight with the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox One (lucky North American gamers have put the hand on Sony’s PlayStation 4 at the end of last week). And the good news is, it was worth the wait.
Microsoft’s monolithic black box won’t win any design awards, but that’s another story beneath that functional exterior. Much has been said about the company’s multimedia ambitions for the Xbox One, and while the lack of integration with Sky and Virgin Media is a big blow, you can still plug your set-top box into the back of the console and perform multiple tasks, watch live TV in a window on the side of the screen while playing video games at the same time.
Microsoft calls this feature âsnappingâ and it works for all console apps, including Skype which, thanks to the Kinect 2.0 camera accessory, now offers full screen HD video calling on your TV for the first time.
The controversial Kinect mandatory inclusion has pushed the Xbox One price above the all-important Â£ 400 barrier, but once you’ve used facial recognition and transparent voice commands to log in and control your console, what initially appears to be a gadget soon becomes an essential part of the experience.
Also factor in full voice control of your home entertainment system, thanks to Kinect’s built-in infrared blaster, and you’ve got a set that really looks like space-age tech rather than just a desktop console. games.
Let’s face it, though: Most people who buy an Xbox One will be intending to play games on it. And like with most console launches, there just aren’t enough of them. Or rather, there isn’t enough of it to deliver a next-gen experience equal to the hardware.
Yes, the graphics are generally stunning and are a real generational leap beyond what console gamers are currently used to. But with a few exceptions, much of the gameplay will be too familiar to Xbox 360 owners (check out my reviews of the 10 Biggest Launch Titles here).
Potentially groundbreaking titles like Titanfall, Watch Dogs, and Destiny aren’t due out until next year, so you won’t be missing out on much if you decide to postpone the splash until after the Christmas rush.
That said, early adopters will still have a lot to show, however. The Xbox One is an impressive and powerful multimedia machine that has the potential to forever change the way you interact with home technology.
The Xbox One releases on November 22 at midnight and has a suggested retail price of Â£ 429.99.
Why not try Dan’s review of the PlayStation 4 and its top 10 launch titles. Our page for Xbox One deals and Xbox One games.