My first experience with the Xbox One

I’m writing this as Call of Duty: Ghosts is downloading to my new Xbox One. Sadly, my initial experiences with this next generation console haven’t been as glorious as I’d of liked.

The unpacking was a very ‘Apple’ experience - I loath using a metaphor like that but it’s the easiest way to describe it. Several compartments for different components, all neatly presented and protected with sticky plastic. It seems Microsoft put a lot of thought into the un-packing experience.

This confidence continues as the Xbox One begins initial setup. I loved the white space, the conversational tone of the copy, and the typography. It’s all great.

It wasn’t until I began setting up the Kinect that I hit a potential show stopper.

Sound

I used a computer monitor for higher resolution gaming on the 360. It looked great and had an HDMI port for my Mac, and the Xbox One I knew I would get.

Sounds perfect except for one major flaw, a computer monitor has no speakers.

With my 360, I was able to get around this with external speakers and a specialist adapter. For the Xbox One, there’s no special cable and no audio output.

The Xbox One relies on the user’s TV to realise the external audio options. I had no TV, therefore no audio.

A quick trip to Brighton’s Richer Sounds resolved this problem.

Once I’d got the new LG TV home, I realised the stand had the wrong combination of screws. I’ve managed to cobble together a temporary solution.

A flat-screen TV balanced on Xbox 360 cases
I used Xbox 360 games to build a cradle for the TV

Is it really such an edge case that a gamer would be using a traditional monitor? I was lucky I had the budget to absorb the cost of a new TV, that will not be the same for everybody.

A positive QR experience?

I’ve never seen a QR code experience that has genuinely offered additional benefit to the user. The pain always outweighed the gain.

My bundle included a digital download for Call of Duty. Experience taught me to search for the 16 character string and get ready for frustration. Not so.

To redeem:

  1. Say ‘Xbox redeem code’. Felt a bit stupid when my wife shouted ‘What?’ from the next room…
  2. Peeling the card open reveals a QR code, at the same time, the Kinect’s camera feed appeared on the screen.
  3. Flash the code, the download starts.

Brilliant.

Summed up

Sadly, it’s been about an hour so far and I’ve only downloaded around 40%. It will allow me to play early levels though which is a nice touch.

I’m pretty sure this was all worth it considering titles like Destiny and The Division are on the way.

Just look at the Snowdrop engine!