Microsoft’s Xbox One is almost two months old and has been purchased by more than 3 million gamers. For the most part it is a solid next-gen console that offers a great mix of entertainment options in addition to the usual gaming fare. When it comes to new technology like the Xbox One there’s always going to be a bit of learning curve for the developer to nail down the marriage between the software and hardware. As a result a few issues may rear their ugly head during the honeymoon period that slightly hamper the overall experience.
In regards to the Xbox One there are three areas in particular where it needs to improve in 2014 to make it an even better next-gen console. All of these suggestions can probably be implemented through a software update, and at least one of them is already in the works, so it’s not like the fixes are pie-in-the-sky type of operations. The list below isn’t ranked in any particular order, but if I had to pick my own personal #1 I’d go with faster game installs and loads.
Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comment section, but please avoid troll speak ;)
Faster Game Installs and Loading
One of the most disturbing features of the Xbox One is its inability to install a new game quickly. Considering the power of the Xbox One it is quite disconcerting that most new games take upwards of 10 minutes or more to install before you can play them fully. This same process on the PS4 takes almost no time at all, typically 1 minute or less for games that are available on both platforms (Kotaku report), so it can be done. Maybe it’s a disk writing issue on the Xbox One, or an optical drive limitation, but the install process needs to get faster when installing traditional game discs.
In the same aspect the Xbox One needs to get faster during in-game loading too. Although, this problem may be related to the game’s actual design, so the developers may have a hand in this issue. The biggest offenders so far have been Ryse: Son of Rome, and Dead Rising 3. The latter requires upwards of 30-45 seconds just to reload a checkpoint after dying, which quite frankly is excruciating. In this next-gen era of gaming in-game loads should be nearly non-existent, or less than 10 seconds, so this needs to improve as well.
More Robust Social Sharing and Streaming
Microsoft has already confirmed that live streaming to Twitch will be added to the Xbox One in a 2014 system update. At this time the release window for this update is non-existent, so the only way to live stream on a next-gen console without the need of additional hardware is to buy the PS4. At least the lack of live streaming on the Xbox One is being addressed, but Microsoft definitely dropped the ball by not including this at launch to go head-to-head with Sony’s PS4.
On the other hand, both systems suffer from a lack of sharing options. Currently, the only way to share content from the Xbox One is to upload it to your SkyDrive account. Once it’s there you can then download the file and share it on other networks, but that requires a middle-man of sorts, and not all gamers may have a PC on hand to share their accomplishments in a timely fashion. The Xbox One’s connection to SkyDrive actually gives you more sharing options than the PS4’s limit of Twitter and Facebook, but the extra step takes a bit of the simplicity and timeliness out of the sharing process. It’d be nice to just auto-upload UPLOAD Studio projects right to the video network of your choice without the need of a PC.
Finally, the Xbox One also needs to have the ability to share screenshots, which it can’t do at this time without a manual process that requires going to SkyDrive and capturing screens from a previously uploaded video.
One of the best features of the Xbox One is its ability to run multiple apps, including a running game, at the same time, or while the system is in standby. Unfortunately the latter feature is still in beta and it shows. Just like a Windows PC, the Xbox One definitely needs to be fully restarted every once in a while to avoid stability issues when you leave a game running in the background to use other apps, or while putting it into standby.
When firing up a game that you’ve left running for days there’s a great chance the game will either bomb out back to the dashboard and not start again until the Xbox One is fully restarted, or other glitches may occur. I’ve personally experienced this with Call of Duty: Ghosts and Halo: Spartan Assault on multiple occasions. Other times the game may start, but it forces you to use the controller you last used when it was running. This is a notorious issue with AC4, so if you leave it running while shutting down your console you better make sure that your controller is charged, because the game won’t recognize another one until you restart the game completely.
Games running in the background is a fantastic feature on the Xbox One, and when it does work there’s nothing better than stepping right back into the action after turning your Xbox One on again after a break. Hopefully the process will improve over time, because it is quite useful for multi-taskers.
The Xbox One is a fine machine, and these issues don’t hamper the overall experience in the least, but if each issue is addressed the Xbox One will only get better. Luckily most of them can probably be fixed with some testing and system updates, so hopefully it’s only a matter of time before Microsoft provides the first major Xbox One system update to make it an even better all-in-one entertainment system.
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”