Xbox One Consoles are now available for £429.99, but unless you pre-ordered a while ago, getting your hands on one before Christmas will not be easy. I thought long and hard about pre-ordering mine after the first announcement. I decided not to.

xbox one

Here’s why:

  • The launch titles are not the kind of games I get excited enough about to buy new hardware.
  • Voice activation may be fully integrated, but it isn’t fairing well in reviews. It probably will not understand me at all and I have to memorize a bunch of precise commands to get it to work.
  • Gesture controls are complex and fidgety and the navigation menu is not scoring many points in reviews either.
  • The new controller is definitely appealing, but it isn’t new, just an improved version of the Xbox 360 controller and not enough of an upgrade to justify the current cost.
  • I don’t need a media box.
  • I own a new tablet, a new smartphone, an old but still reliable gaming computer and a laptop and in between these, I do everything that I want to do. My computer is next in line for an upgrade, but I am too much of a PC gamer to buy a console instead of a PC and so, my next big purchase will be a PC, not either of the consoles. Not even Destiny not coming to PC can persuade me otherwise and besides, I still own an Xbox 360.

Game and Tech Reviews

Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry Hardware Test: Xbox One

“There are some great ideas here, then, but we’ve had just a small glimpse of what the machine is capable of. Cool functions like resuming gameplay from standby are flaky, while the centrepiece of the media experience – full integration with live TV – just isn’t there yet outside of Microsoft’s home market. It’s coming, but we have no idea when. The core of what’s left, beyond some neat features, is very much a games machine: one whose capabilities are proven, but which remains considerably more expensive than PlayStation 4.”

Polygon’s Xbox One: The Review

“To be clear, Kinect isn’t a fully realized product yet. Gesture support is functionally non-existent, and there’s a lack of good examples of how Kinect can contribute to games. There are certain elements of Microsoft’s strategy that are missing at launch, like support for Twitch streaming and HBO Go. And the console’s television functionality impresses … if you watch television.

But in many ways, the Xbox One’s bold direction for the future is well in place. The integration of voice controls and its media strategy are a boon to everyone, and the ability to run apps while playing games is something we now want on every gaming console we have. That it has a handful of strong, exclusive games at launch only supports its legitimacy as a gaming console and not just an entertainment hub.”

Opposable Thumbs: Xbox One review: More than a game console, less than a living room revolution

“In short, buy an Xbox One if and when there are enough exclusive games to convince you it’s worth the expense. At that point, the extra media features that the Xbox One brings to the table will be nice fringe benefits, and these options may be more stable and usable than they are right now. If you can live without those platform exclusives, though, and if you can do without fancy picture-in-picture and voice commands, look into saving some money on a PlayStation 4 instead.”

The Verge: Microsoft Xbox One Review

“But nearly everything that could be great someday isn’t great right now. The Kinect is an incredible piece of raw machinery and engineering, but it’s not implemented well into games, nor does its voice control provide a truly fast, seamless way to navigate the operating system. The TV integration is an awkward hodgepodge of menus and overlays and dead ends. There’s a massive opportunity for Windows apps to turn the Xbox into something no one could have imagined, but it’s as yet gone unexplored. Some of these are easily solved problems, but others — cable integration in particular — are a much steeper uphill climb.

Today, the Xbox One is a great gaming console with a few great games — Zoo Tycoon and Forza are both excellent, better than anything currently available for the PS4, and Dead Rising is a blast even if it’s flawed. Whether or not the Xbox is better than the PS4 is entirely subjective: if you’re committed to buying a console this holiday season, buy the one with the games you want. It’s too soon to make a call on almost any other feature. Don’t buy an Xbox One expecting to immediately throw out your entertainment center.”

xbox one in green box


It is the beginning of a new era and the Xbox One is still a bit of a blank slate when it comes to the things that can be done with it. It has a lot of potential, but right now, there aren’t that many apps or games or things to do because it is barely out of the box. It looks like a decent piece of technology and I am sure that eventually, when the time and price is right, I will buy one. Many debates at the moment are gravitating towards a choice between an Xbox One and a Play Station 4. It is always tempting to jump on the launch wagon, particularly as it has been 8 years since the launch of the Xbox 360, but I am going to wait. For the Kinect to work reliably and seamlessly, for a much bigger selection of games and probably for a good deal on the hardware. After all, it’s not as if it’s going anywhere any time soon.