Right. Let me start this article by saying that it’s the second in a two part series which is taking an honest look at the pros and cons of the Xbox One. I own an Xbox One, I love my Xbox One. But I’ve noticed on a few web forums that a common complaint is that Xbox One owners often refuse to admit the flaws in the console. So I decided to embark on this two part article series to talk about the good Xbox One and the bad Xbox One. Here is my article focusing on the good, (the good’s always first), in which I mention the great games, . Below is my article looking at the negatives. I will say, however, that sometimes when you’re so close to something it’s difficult to see its flaws. So it was tough coming up with this list of bad points … but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t any.
No Games with Gold
This one’s a bit obvious. I can also kind of understand why there isn’t any Games with Gold on the Xbox One, too. But that doesn’t leave me feeling any less frustrated. It’s annoying that the Xbox 360 is still getting free games, but those of us who adopted the Xbox One early are missing out on them. It’s annoying that it has been almost half a year since the Xbox One was released, but we still aren’t getting the same service as those who use the ‘older model’. It’s also annoying that I’m paying the same amount for my Live membership as 360 owners, but I’m not getting any free games for my loyalty. I will point out, though, that if you own a 360 as well as the One, your membership is covered on both consoles for the same price. So that’s fine for me, I can still download the free games on the 360 and enjoy the benefits (whatever they might be) of being a Gold member on the One. But for the One owners that don’t have a 360 as well, it’s probably quite frustrating to hear about the free games others are getting. Particularly whilst you’re stuck between choosing whether to download a cheap but seemingly rubbish game to fill the time (Loco Cycle, I’m looking at you) or saving your money for one of the bigger titles that are few and far between. I understand that there aren’t that many games on the One at the moment, so giving any away for free would be difficult (especially a game that people don’t already have). What would be nice to see in the future is Microsoft offering us some of the upcoming indie games for free, to appease us for waiting so long for GwG. That would be really cool, but incredibly unlikely.
The controller and headset
This one could be more personal to me, but I know that my friends (as well as my brother) have experienced the same problems so far. First off, the controller feels kind of flimsy. The sides press in too easily and it almost feels like the two halves are going to come apart sometime down the line. It could be because of poor manufacturing, though I know that my friends and I ‘rage’ quite a bit, so it could be from the added pressure of me squeezing the life out of the controller through frustration. Still, I have an original white Xbox 360 controller which is almost eight years old and is still in perfect working order. I might have got slightly more angry as I’ve gotten older, but a controller that I’ve had for over seven years really shouldn’t feel more stable than a controller I’ve barely had for seven months. Especially when you’re paying £40-odd for the damn thing! My next complaint is with my malfunctioning headset. At the moment, it’s stopped working. Thankfully, the Kinect is perfect for voice-chat and Microsoft have done a great job at levelling out the party-chat audio with the game audio. Still, that isn’t really the point. I know that I’m not the only one, either, with at least three other friends with faulty mics. Not cool, people who manufacture Microsoft’s products! Especially when you have to pay £25 for the stupid adaptor to use a non-official headset if your official one has busted. On the plus side, I do love the overall design of the headset, with the buttons at the bottom to control the volume and mute the mic … just a shame that it doesn’t work! For me of course.
No external hard-drive and a lack of memory space
It’s pr0bably a good thing that we have no Games with Gold, as otherwise my hard-drive would be full by now. I’ve used almost 60% of the console’s built in memory and I’ve hardly had it half a year. Not so good! It would be nice if we could get some external storage for the console, otherwise I’ll have to start deleting stuff I’ve already downloaded and, considering that each game is an average of 25GB, that would be a right pain in the arse. But we’ll see where Xbox take the cloud, we may be able to save our game data, app information, videos and music to the cloud if they up the storage capacity. We may even be able to save full games to the cloud, rather than the hard-drive. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime I’m carefully considering which games are worth purchasing, both for their download size and for their ridiculous price, both on and off-line.
The crashes and freezes
Sometimes my Xbox One can be a real prick. Crashes and freezes are rather infrequent, but when they do happen they’re a right arse ache. I mostly have a problem with games refusing to open after they’ve frozen. Whenever I try to re-open the game it doesn’t want to start and it just boots me back to the dashboard. What’s more frustrating is that turning it ‘off and on again’ only works if you have your console set off of ‘always on’, otherwise you have to unplug the power cable to give it a proper re-boot. I’ve also had similar issues with apps, such as Netflix, Instant Video (previously Love Film) and YouTube. I’ve also had an incredibly frustrating buffering issue with Upload Studio where it will seemingly load the dash of the app, or a video I’ve recorded, for what feels like an eternity without the option of backing out.
Why is everything so damn expensive?! Zoo Tycoon is still £50 on the marketplace and £40-odd quid in store. £40! For one of the launch titles, which isn’t even that great (I’ve been told, I must admit I haven’t played it because I refuse to pay the full price). The accessories are expensive, the games are expensive and the console is expensive. Well, it was expensive, now it’s just pricey. I think that’s the thing that has really bugged me about the Xbox One and Microsoft as a whole. I paid the full price for my Xbox One on release day because I saw the potential in the console and felt a little brand loyalty to Microsoft after my seven wonderful years with the 360. Now, the console has dropped by almost £100 but those of us that adopted it early have been given jack shit in the form of a thank you for our custom. Just a little something would be nice, maybe some redeemable vouchers for the marketplace so that I can download one of their ridiculously expensive games.
Still, despite all of this, I still love my Xbox One. These flaws are annoying, but don’t make me regret my decision to purchase the One. So there we have it, that’s what grinds my gears about my Xbox One But thankfully the positives really outweigh the negatives. Plus, the majority of the issues can be easily fixed with updates and additional hardware (in the form of external hard-drives … who else wishes the memory card would make a comeback?).