I was a guest on TWiT’s Tech News Today show today and one of the topics was the Xbox One. All of the game review sites have had their chances at the console over the past week or so as they prepare their launch reviews, and it seems like the consensus is, in a couple words, just wait.
In other words, while some were absolutely wowed by some of the early peeks at the Xbox One’s capabilities, most felt it was a little rough around the edges.
My feeling is that consoles often launch feeling a little undercooked, over time they mature and ultimately deliver on their potential. The Xbox 360 definitely followed that model, and it seems like the Xbox One is possibly following the same route.
Of course, as I’ve written before, the stakes feel higher this time around since Microsoft is coming in almost as the incumbent champ from the last round, so naturally they are trying to defend turf as they try to transition last-gen 360 user over to the new console.
The usual reason it takes a console a few years to hit its stride is that it takes developers that long to know how to tap into the unique characteristics of each console. The Xbox One is an especially complicated console, introducing voice control to gaming as well as bringing full body motion-sensing via the Kinect to each console (the Kinect was launched in the final third of the 360’s life and was not available on many consoles so many developers never developed for it).
It will be interesting to see what developers can do over time. The biggest wows among reviewers so far seems to be around the amazing power of the Kinect not only as an in-game controller, but also through things like facial recognition to match gamer to session.