The mighty virtually sword-wielding behemoth of a console, Xbox One, launched worldwide on November 22nd shifting well over One-Million-Units in a space of just 24 short hours. That is quite an impressive number given the Xbox 360 for its own launch weekend (2 day) sales was at seventy thousand in the US! Whilst no ‘official’ review of the Xbox One hardware is or will feature on thisisxbox.com as we are concentrating on the review batch of launch games for the unit – it is felt that something should be said for the Xbox One’s current dashboard state and the important features it lacks that make it feel like a step down from the Xbox 360 UI.
No Voice Messaging
It was already known that the Xbox One would not support cross console communication except for text messaging, but you might be surprised (as was I) that Xbox One to Xbox One gamers also can not send each other voice messages and are limited to text messaging only from the dashboard.
Missing Profile Options
Xbox 360 gamers can edit their profiles, view the profiles of others, read Bio’s, Motto’s and identify newly added friends requests. On the Xbox One, there is no option to edit any profile information other than Appear Online/Offline, Set Gamerpic, Privacy and Avatar settings. Viewing another gamers profile only tells you their gamertag, Friends, Followers and Rep. It does include recent activity, but information that might give you a bit of personality is missing. Friends are broken down into Friends and Followers – the system identifies how many new followers you have (those who sent you friends requests, but not requested back) but fails to give any indication as to who. The only way to find out is to go through and check if you are mutual friends, although now the 100 limit has been increased this will be somewhat of an effort in the near future.
Xbox One gamers have the same Avatars as Xbox 360 gamers but no Avatar store. Avatars have no real prominence of the Xbox One dashboard and only generally visible now when you decide to use one for a gamerpic. Gamerpics have been improved and since the option to report an inappropriate gamerpic is available this gives some suggestion that gamers will be able to set their own pictures with Kinect (maybe) in the near future.
Snap / Unsnap
It’s actually really annoying because to Unsnap with a controller is long winded if you are using the larger part of the screen. Having to go back to the Home tab, select the Snap panel and then B button out of it is awkward. The whole UI of the dash is a little bit awkward, a great start but definitely lots to be improved over time
No HDD Space Options
There is no way to see how much space you have used or have available on Xbox One, this may be to limit the shock that whilst 500GB seems a lot, with some games racking up 40GB before updates and DLC – that 500GB could be swallowed up very quickly.
Games and Apps Grouped All Together
Oh yes, although you can Pin your favourites to the Pins tab on the front section of the dashboard (it is great) the console lists all games and apps side by side together as bloody great big squares. No view by options to show recently played, games only etc – think of the Windows Phone 8 app list when you swipe the start screen, but only this is horizontal!
Long Install Times
If you didn’t know before, you will now. The Xbox One does not play games from disc and every single game has to be installed to the HDD. Where as on the Xbox 360 this was a really quick process, on Xbox One it is absolutely painstakingly slow. RYSE: The Son of Rome took around 45 minutes to install from disc, Dead Rising 3 took around 30 minutes – it is an excrutiating wait for a gamer, but ultimately worth it as next-gen visuals (well current gen now) are amazing to see!
It Does Have Good Bits
Xbox One does have a lot of great features such as better voice control, UPLOAD studio to edit game DVR clips, use of Kinect to film you alongside those clips. The ability for multi-tasking between the games and the dashboard with no interuptions – and perhaps the best feature ever, the use of Kinect to scan QR codes for DLC and paid content! The outstanding quality of the games on offer is just fantastic (look out for our reviews), but with less dashboard features than the Xbox 360 it does in some ways feel like a step down.
It is rightfully assumed that Microsoft must be working to include better dashboard features in the near future, given that the Xbox 360 has received dash-updates for a number of years it is bound to be a matter of time before new planned additions are rolled out on Xbox One.
We’ll keep you posted, but if you have an Xbox One – why not share you thoughts in that little comments box below…it wont bite you!