This Week’s Purchase: Xbox One: Day One Edition
This week I spent a little more than I usually do on videogames, and I usually spend quite a lot. I’m not going to try and justify the Xbox One’s enormous price tag, but hey, if you’re planning to play Xbox games in the next seven years then you’ll need one of these machines, so why not get it now? ‘Day One’ has certainly been an exciting day, and before it’s over I’m going to share some early impressions of Microsoft’s new console, as well as a few of it’s games.
When I originally pre-ordered the Xbox One no one told me I was going to get FIFA 14 with it, and I wasn’t best pleased at the idea of the console coming inside a box with a large picture of Lionel Messi’s head stamped on the side. I mean the Day One Edition was billed as a collectors item, and FIFA 14 is an ephemeral game that will essentially be irrelevant this time next year. Plus the very thought of physical exercise sickens me to my core.
Thankfully this is only an outer sleeve, and underneath the first layer of cardboard is a simple yet elegant box that houses the console as well as it’s components. This cost £430, Dead Rising 3 and Ryse cost £50 each, and Forza 5 Steelbook Edition cost £60. In total that’s £590, and Dead Rising 3 didn’t even arrive on time. Ouch.
But as it turns out the absence of a third game hasn’t really mattered, as the Xbox One games take so long to install that I probably wouldn’t have been able to play it today anyway. Forza 5 took around 5 hours in total, with 31GB worth of disk install and a 6GB update file. The good news is that you can start playing at around the 10% mark, although this is more of a redeeming quality than a must have feature.
Still, in other areas the console is very impressive. It has a sleek design, and improves over the Xbox 360 with a nicer looking interface and superior controller. However, the menu currently lacks a few vital options, especially when it comes to managing your hard drive. But as long as an update is provided soon then this wont be too much of an issue.
I didn’t immediately warm to the controller in the same way I did with the PS4’s, but after a few hours worth of use I started to like it, a lot. It’s shape is not dissimilar to the Nintendo Wii U Pro Controller, but it’s curved shoulder buttons that vibrate individually give it a real edge. When playing a game like Forza, this is an awesome feature. I also like the relocated Xbox button, and it’s white glow is the finishing touch on an already attractive design.
To Microsoft’s credit, Xbox Live has been just about working all day. But this hasn’t prevented a handful of launch related issues that have effected me. New games appear not to be installing properly, and are stuck at 0% whilst update files (which can be several gigabytes in size) are downloaded in the background. I also had Forza 5 loading indefinitely on an online decal set, and although my Limited Edition DLC code scanned through Kinect effortlessly, none of the content has shown up yet. Also when the console first boots up it takes your real name from your Microsoft account. Only the name registered was not my actual name, and there’s no way to change it in the Xbox One menus. Instead you have to go to the Microsoft website and edit your account details there.
I’ve only spent a few hours with these, but my initial impressions are very positive. Both Forza 5 and Ryse have really impressed me, and Killer Instinct is a lot of fun too. Whilst Ryse has been criticised for lack of variety, and Forza for lack of content, this doesn’t stop either making a great first impression. They both showcase the power of the new console well, and are likely to please most gamers. Overall the launch line up is solid, with a good balance of exclusive and multi-platform titles that cover a wide selection of genres. Look out for some individual reviews that I’ll be writing in the near future.