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