November 2013 was when we finally got our hands on the original Xbox One. The new console issued in the next generation of gaming almost five years ago and has gone through two new mid-season refresh cycles. The past few years have been really great to the Xbox One though, with Microsoft most recently putting out one of the most powerful consoles we’ve ever seen. So, what’s the current state of the Xbox One?
After almost five years, the Xbox One family is in quite a comfortable place. The console itself is sleek, the later iterations are smaller (which is amazing considering the amount of power these consoles pump out) and the continued work on the design of the console is always appreciated. Speaking of that, let’s look at the design.
The original Xbox One had a good design, if not a bit simple. It was slick, it fits perfectly into most entertainment ecosystems, and was able to integrate much of what was already in that ecosystem. The next mid-season refresh made the console slimmer (a previous complaint had been the size) white (interesting choice) and got rid of the huge power brick while amazingly keeping the power output the same, making a smaller footprint in the setup with the Xbox One S. The Xbox One X somehow kept the small footprint but made all the internals amazing, creating the most powerful console we’ve ever seen.
On top of this, Microsoft came through with the ability to fully customize the color scheme of our controllers with Xbox Design Lab. Then, the exclusive consoles they create continue to be top of the line products down to the last detail. Take a look at their Sea of Thieves controller and all the amazing details placed on it.
The Xbox One continues to impress with updates that further improve the user interface. It’s easy to use and continues to be one of the better-looking UI interfaces of all the current generation consoles. One of its best features is the amazing amount of games to play that come with its backward compatibility. On top of that, we’ve got cross-play with PC, EA Access, a consistent online experience that does better than the competition, Games with Gold which continues to provide a good selection of titles (as long as you don’t already own them), and Xbox Game Pass. Xbox is getting closer and closer to the games as a service model, and while we haven’t decided whether it’s good or bad, it’s definitely the pioneer in this new field of gaming.
Since we’re discussing the current state of the Xbox, the one big problem must be addressed. The Xbox One is lacking in the exclusives and single-player department, and we’ve seen that its something to be concerned about despite Microsoft’s initial sentiments. The PlayStation and Switch are both thriving on single player exclusive titles. We don’t have to look any further than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, God of War, Neir: Automata, Horizon Zero Dawn, or Persona 5 to see the excitement and potential for titles that have outperformed expectations and have no multiplayer aspect whatsoever. Exclusives and single player selections are limited on the Xbox One and it’s become a bit of an issue. The question is, where does Microsoft go next?
It seems they have two options, either to show up and bring us some surprise hits, or stick to their game-streaming service and integration for their all-in-one service hub.
What are your thoughts on the current status of the Xbox One and all its iterations?