The first video game console I ever owned was a PlayStation 2. I loved it, and sank countless hours into the games I owned for it.
As the newer generations of consoles were unveiled over the next several years, I didn’t keep up with the new releases. After the PlayStation 2, I got a Wii instead of an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. I also had a cheap laptop, which I learned very quickly was not good for gaming.
I was happy with my set up, though. I enjoyed the games I played, and I still cherish all of my classic PS2 games.
Finally, during my senior year of high school, I decided to get with the times. I saved up my money to get a current-generation console. Star Wars Battlefront (2015) had just been released, and I was NOT going to miss it!
The decision between the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One was a tough one. I had always been a fan of PlayStation, but it was more expensive. In the end, I purchased an Xbox One.
Overall, I have been satisfied with Xbox. But as with anything, it has its upsides and downsides.
To start with the positive, the graphics are great! To be honest, graphics aren’t usually my first priority when judging a game, and I’m coming to this console straight from the PlayStation 2 and the Wii (and also the Nintendo DS); but I don’t care about numbers, resolutions and all that stuff. I just want my games to look good and play good, and Xbox certainly delivers.
Another positive is the controller. The Xbox controller is a little bit bigger than the PlayStation controller, and I love the way it fits in my hands. Going back to play my old PlayStation 2 has made me realize just how small its controller is compared to Xbox controllers. I also like the different layout of the analog sticks on Xbox. It just feels right.
The user interface on the Xbox is very user-friendly and easy to operate. It’s easy to find the settings menu, apps, games and other options from the home screen.
I like how Xbox offers a variety of apps, such as Spotify, Netflix and YouTube. Xbox can also play Blu-Rays and DVDs, which makes it an extremely versatile console. I use it to watch movies, play games and listen to music.
I also like being able to buy physical, disk copies of games or digital copies. I like having the actual disk and the case to go with it, but I also like how easy it is to just buy a game off the Xbox store and download it without having to leave my apartment.
While I love my Xbox, the console does have plenty of flaws.
The user interface, while easy to use, is really slow. My games all perform fine, but for whatever reason I experience a ton of lag on my home screen. If I swap tabs from “home” to “store,” it takes a long time for everything to load. This could just be because my console is now a few years old, but it is very annoying.
While I love the way the controller feels, I hate that it requires AA batteries. Having to constantly swap them out became annoying and expensive, so I finally just bought a chord to plug it in to the console.
The problem is, now the port on the controller has become warped, and my controller frequently loses connection. I honestly don’t know why the controller was designed this way, when it could have been designed from the start with a rechargeable battery pack. Packs like this can be purchased, but there’s no reason they should not have been included in the design from the start.
Also, Xbox lacks Bluetooth connection options. The controller does have a headphone jack, but it would be nice to be able to use my headphones’ Bluetooth option.
Both Xbox and PlayStation have games or series of games that are exclusive to each console. Xbox has a few exclusives, such as Halo and Forza, that are legendary. My problem is, not all of these exclusives are for everyone. I’ve given Halo a chance, but I’m just not a huge fan. I love Forza racing games, but that’s really the only exclusive I like.
I feel left out when I see games like Uncharted or Spider-Man that come out for PlayStation but not Xbox. I think my bigger issue here is with exclusives in general, but while they exist, Xbox is missing out on some cool games.
I also dislike having to pay for Xbox Live. Microsoft has fully embraced the subscription service model, as they have also introduced Game Pass. Paying for Xbox live is annoying, and it feels like a trap. Many games require it, and can’t be played without it. If I can’t play a fully-priced game without also buying a subscription to Xbox Live, then something needs to change.
Taking into account the good, the bad and the ugly, I still like Xbox. I like the games, graphics and the controller, but there are some annoying mechanics that need fixing. It will be interesting to see what the next generation of Xbox will change or keep.