The Xbox One
1). A bigger, more diverse catalogue of quality exclusives
If Metacritic is anything to go by, the Xbox One has the worst catalogue of exclusives of any modern day console. They’re not exactly prolific either with releases often squeezed into the busy Q4 window leaving the first party slate sparse for months at a time. This doesn’t look like it’s going to improve in 2018 either with only a handful of exclusive titles – State of Decay 2, Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves – confirmed to release in the next 10 months after the high profile cancellations of Scalebound and Fable: Legends. A game console without system defining exclusives is like a car without wheels and rumour has it that Microsoft are looking to solve this problem by snapping up other publishers and studios to add to their current stable. Personally, I’d much prefer if Microsoft started to take some risks and got outside of their Sci-fi shooter/gorgeous racing game comfort zone and really committed to diversifying their portfolio. No more half-arsed Super Lucky’s Tale, more genre defying Cuphead please.
2). A more user friendly UI
The Xbox One is now on its umpteen dashboard redesign and Microsoft still can’t seem to get it right and it’s driving potential customers away. The current UI is certainly better than the atrocious Tiles system the console launched with but there still seems to be a concerted effort to make the experience of navigating menus an onerous one. There’s a lack of intuition to almost every menu option with integral icons too small and unnecessary adverts too large, sections of the screen in incomprehensibly awkward locations and the almost continual change means that by the time you’ve learned how to use it, Microsoft have amended it again. It almost makes me wish for the awful Xbox 360 Blades system again. As UI interfaces go, the Xbox One’s is a mess which is a surprise coming from a company that practically invented modern UI’s.
3). An easier media sharing method
Somewhat tied to the atrocious UI of the Xbox One is the method of sharing your proudest gaming moments on social media. On both the Switch and PS4, you can go from a 10 kill streak to bragging about a 10 kill streak on Twitter and Facebook in only 3 clicks and less than 10 seconds of your life. The process of sharing a video on Twitter from an Xbox One involves far more of your time and is unnecessarily convoluted. This is probably why both the Switch and PS4 have so much free viral advertising on social media apps, such as the #PS4share hash, when compared to the Xbox One. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see more mobile phone snaps of a TV showing an Xbox game than direct screenshots shared from the Xbox itself which speaks for itself really.
4). Slow Disk Uploads and Even Slower Downloads
One issue that still plagues the Xbox One is the slow disk install times. When you put in a disk, the game installs a hefty chunk of itself on the console itself. The various issues of this process failing aside, this process takes far too long when compared to the PS4. It takes on average twice as long from putting the disk into the console to booting up the game when connected to the internet and if the game requires a patch, it could take even longer once it’s hooked back up. That takes us onto the other issue – while Xbox Live is most definitely the most reliable online gaming network available right now, it’s not always the fastest. The network goes through periods when small patches can take hours to download and if Microsoft could increase the consistency of download speeds, it’d vastly decrease the time people need to wait to play their games.
5). A controller with an inbuilt battery
Why, in the year 2018, when there are a myriad of flashy and impressive Xbox One controllers, are we still having to put rechargeable batteries into the pads? Microsoft have previously justified their decision to exclude an internal battery pack by stating “internal batteries eventually run out” but on the other hand, they’re willing to charge £15-20 for a Plug and Charge kit on top of the price of a controller and designed the Elite pad to exclude the use of third party battery packs. The original argument holds little weight too in light of the fact that the battery packs included with release day PS4’s are still going strong today. It’s more likely a controller will get rage thrown before the battery pack dies. Moving forward, Microsoft’s next Elite design should rethink this archaic reasoning.