The fight for the best gaming console has always had the PlayStation and the Xbox as the main contenders, but it’s hard to say which one is truly the ultimate gaming machine as it all boils down to your personal taste. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. We’ve had a look at the early reviews for the PlayStation 4 to make an opinion and now it’s Xbox One’s turn.
We go through the most interesting reviews to see what the general opinion is. There’s no doubt about it – the Xbox One is a big improvement over the Xbox 360 and this has been confirmed in unanimity. We will extract the most suggestive conclusions and quotes from the reviewers to make it easier for you to make a judgment.
But what most of them seem to agree on is that Microsoft’s latest gaming console is truly one to be used for the next decade, with a few drawbacks here and there that are going to disappear in time, such as the absence of truly compelling exclusive game titles. That’s why, for now, it remains half-baked.
Richard Leadbetter with Eurogamer concludes after reviewing both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 that Sony is aiming to transform the PS4 into a small-sized but truly powerhouse machine while the Xbox One is eying entertainment, as well.
Microsoft’s vision is very different. It has taken a broader view of the market perhaps not entirely compatible with the needs and wants of the core gamer. It is willing to make the trades on gaming power in order to potentially revolutionize the way we interact with entertainment in the living room.
Anand Lal Shimpi from AnandTech says that besides gaming, Microsoft is betting big on the online environment, the TV integration and Kinect, referring to the latter as a sole reason for some consumers to buy the Xbox One. But he also hints that Microsoft could’ve done a better job with the price tag
The online story is going to take some time to flesh out. Microsoft held the clear advantage there last generation for online multiplayer, but Sony is intent on closing the gap this round. Microsoft is really hoping to win users over with things like their TV integration and Kinect. I know people who are interested in the Xbox One solely because of Kinect. If Sony’s price tag didn’t nerf the PS3 last round, it’s entirely possible that Microsoft’s Kinect bundle and resulting price hike won’t do the same for the Xbox One this time.
David Pierce with TheVerge, though, says one thing that I think summarizes all about the Xbox One, which also makes the title for our article. They way David sees it is the way I see it, as well – the Xbox One is meant to be the center of your digital house, whether we’re talking about games, movies, online or just everything else.
When Microsoft says it’s building a console for the next decade, it’s not lying. Where the PlayStation 4 is designed to simply become an ever-better version of itself, the Xbox One is poised to turn into an entirely different, entirely unprecedented device. It may not only supplement, but replace your cable box; it could have a rich, full app store; games are only going to get better, more impressive, and more interactive. The blueprints are all here. Virtually everything Microsoft is trying to do is smart, practical, and forward-thinking — even as they’ve undone some of the Xbox One’s most future-proof innovation over the last few months, Marc Whitten and his team at Microsoft have clearly kept their heads in the future.
The staff over at Polygon brings up the most important drawbacks and strong points of the Xbox One in their wrap-up, beautifully describing the Xbox One as an impressive marriage of software and hardware:
Kinect isn’t a fully realized product yet. Gesture support is functionally non-existent, and there’s a lack of good examples of how Kinect can contribute to games. There are certain elements of Microsoft’s strategy that are missing at launch, like support for Twitch streaming and HBO Go. But in many ways, the Xbox One’s bold direction for the future is well in place. The integration of voice controls and its media strategy are a boon to everyone, and the ability to run apps while playing games is something we now want on every gaming console we have.
That it has a handful of strong, exclusive games at launch only supports its legitimacy as a gaming console and not just an entertainment hub. The Xbox One is an impressive marriage of software and hardware that raises the bar in terms of what we expect from a living-room machine. Looking forward more than it looks back, the Xbox One feels like it’s from the future.
Kyle Orland from ArsTechnica, on the other side, isn’t so convinced in Xbox One’s role as a central hub of a living room, saying that it’s more than a game console, but less than a living room revolution. According to him, it all boils down to the available exclusive games:
In short, buy an Xbox One if and when there are enough exclusive games to convince you it’s worth the expense. At that point, the extra media features that the Xbox One brings to the table will be nice fringe benefits, and these options may be more stable and usable than they are right now. If you can live without those platform exclusives, though, and if you can do without fancy picture-in-picture and voice commands, look into saving some money on a PlayStation 4 instead.
Greg Kumparak from TechCrunch is one the same side of the fence, saying the following
Would I recommend buying the Xbox One? If you already have a 360 and aren’t absolutely dying for any of the launch titles, I would say hold off for now. Give developers a bit of time to figure out the console’s inner workings. Let the must-have titles get made. If your 360 is on its last leg or you skipped the last generation, however, it’s a solid buy as is.
So, what is your own opinion after reading all this – would you be buying the Xbox One or you’ll stick with the PlayStation 4? Let us know by leaving your comment below.