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The Xbox One: A Reflection

I’ve owned my Xbox One S for 3 years now. I got a fancy controller and a charging station for it too. I also purchased a microphone adapter (more on that in a bit) and a new Razor Kraken headset. Now it was time to play COD and Battlefield with some friends and ignore those beautiful sunny days. I don’t need vitamin D and I need to dish out vitamin L in some jabronis face! L stands for lead. It was fun but then something happened that I didn’t expect. My friends weren’t playing these online games as much. So I also decided to take a break from multiplayer games. I played some killer exclusives like Forza Horizon and Cuphead but then…what else is there? I have a PS4 sitting right beside it. It has Spider-Man, Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War, The Last of Us, Uncharted 4, MLB The Show19, Bloodborn, Shadow of the Clossus, The Last Guardian, etc.

I haven’t turned my Xbox One on in 2 months. I look at it and I want to but then I start thinking about it. What is the Xbox One? How will it be remembered? When you think of the 360, PS2, Genesis and Nintendo you immediately start picturing games that defined those consoles. Even Turbo Graphix16 had Bonk. Is Forza Horizon going to be that memorable? Cuphead is fantastic but can it define this console? It’s no secret the exclusives are lacking and that’s trouble for Xbox. A lot of defenders out there can list the features Xbox has over Sony and they’re not wrong but Sony is kicking Microsoft’s ass. A lot. I consider buying third party titles for Xbox One that I can get for PS4 because I want a reason to turn it on.

I decided on Resident Evil 2 because I received Xbox gift cards so I had no choice. No complaints at all but the PS4 made use of the mic in the controller when completing a portable safe puzzle. The Xbox controller has no mic. I know what you’re thinking “It’s just a stupid beeping melody ya Sony fan boy jackass!” Yes it is. But lets say I’m holding two copies of RE: 2. One for PS4 and one for Xbox One. They’re the same price but the sales guy tells me the PS4 version makes use of the mic in the controller. It’s not a huge feature but enough to nudge me into buying it for PS4.

The Xbox One X has way more horsepower than the PS4 Pro but who cares? Honestly if you’re a real stickler for hardware and frames per second that’s cool but I don’t see Spider-Man web-slinging using your fancy Xbox. I don’t see Kratos lecturing his son or Nathan Drake make a cheesy one-liner after an insane action sequence. Go buy a PC if you love what’s under the hood so much. I don’t want to rag on the Xbox I want to love it but it has to give Xbox fans more. It has to give them a reason to buy it because when I think of Xbox One I think PS4 lite. A console that plays all third party games with a sprinkle of exclusives but none of them are great. They’re good but not great.

The launch was not off to a good start. The kinect should join the console mistake hall of fame.

The kinect is stupid. I’ve seen lots of PS4s, Switches, and Xbox Ones at various friends and family residences and I’ve never seen the kinect. I don’t know why Microsoft has to be so short sighted. They know people don’t trust them right? We buy your crap operating system because we have no choice (cough*anti-trust*cough). We know you’re a soulless Corporation that’s probably part of some ancient secret order that has Eyes Wide Shut parties every Thursday. Now they want to sell me a camera that watches and listens to me? On the couch? At night? Well if it includes Netflix I’m in.

The only problem with this is it’s gimmicky and no one gives a crap about talking to your console unless it’s part of a game. I don’t see how talking at a piece of equipment is supposed to make our lives easier. You pick up the controller which you were going to use anyway and turn it on from that. When you could do that with the 360 it blew my mind. It blew my mind because it is a perfect feature (unless you have no thumbs) and perfect means it doesn’t need to change.

The hardware is nice even if it’s pretty useless but lets talk about the headset issues. I’ve gone through two different headsets (Turtle Beach P21 and the Razor Karken) with the PS3, PS4, PC, and Xbox One. Guess which console is the one I had issues with? For whatever reason I would get a stupid echo in every game no matter who I played with and no matter which headset I used. Some of my friends had ultra expensive mics and some of them had cheap ones- it didn’t matter. The mic system is garbage. I plug my Kraken into my PS4 and it’s crystal clear with no echo and my friends don’t echo. I’ve tried restarting, I’ve tried using the mic adapter, I’ve tried not using the adapter, I’ve tried the dashboard settings, I’ve tried the volume controls, it’s broken! I googled and googled for a solution and eventually I find myself going down the Reddit hole and finding no solutions but pissed off Xbox Live subscribers.

Lets talk about NAT types. WTF are NAT types? I have never had to restart my modem to get a decent connection since I had a 56K dial-up modem. I wish I could calculate how much time we’ve wasted taking turns restarting our freakin high speed modems just to get an “open NAT type” so we could play lag free or actually join each others games. Again I do no want to sound like a Sony fan boy but I have never- ever had to deal with this garbage on the PS4. Maybe I’m alone in that and other players have had some PSN issues but I can only speak about my experiences.

So why did I buy an Xbox? Honestly it’s because I wanted to play games online with people I know and everyone I knew who had a PS4 had no interest. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had a lot of fun online but- man did I have to go through some garbage. It’s frustrating because this is a current-gen console that was supposed to have a fool-proof online service compared to Sony. During the 360 vs PS3 era Xbox Live was amazing and it should of been because you had to pay a subscription. Why Microsoft? Why do I have to hear my own voice echo when I yell profanities because I have a moderate NAT type and can’t join my friends lobby!

This system has everything going for it but it’s soulless. The Dreamcast is beloved for its games and its unique design. It was DOA but it was Sega till the end and you loved it for that. In the future what are we going to say about Xbox One?

Sony and Nintendo have homeruns and that’s going to be a problem for Microsoft. But only in the video games division they are still very much Cyberdine or…Cortana? I typed Cyberdine in my smartphone and it autocorrected it to Cortana. Don’t believe me? Try it!

Ha! Made you type.

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