Gamers aren’t too happy about the Xbox One’s lack of key features and turn to Microsoft for changes.
Microsoft has put a lot of stake and claim into their next-generation contender, the Xbox One, but it appears that the Redmond-based tech giant still has a lot of work left to satisfy gamers. There have been many complaints on the Xbox One’s interface, including the scrambled square-based UI and lack of an Xbox Guide, and users are putting pressure on Microsoft to make some changes.
For a $499 next-generation gaming console touted as an all-in-one entertainment solution, the Xbox One does have an impressive array of functionality. But for every advantage there seem to be two disadvantages, mainly with the confusing and often tedious user interface that forces gamers to literally search for basic functions.
Ever since the Xbox One launched across the globe last month, gamers have taken to social media outlets like Twitter and Reddit to voice their disdain.
The console itself is powerful and has a batch of nice and convenient features, but the splendor is taken away with things like the Kinect’s strict requirements to launch a game–you must say the entire game, for example Xbox Play Forza Motorsport 5 instead of just saying “Play Forza 5“–or the universal dislike of the Windows 8 live-tiles interface.
Additionally the Xbox One has no indicator of how much memory is taken up/available on the 500GB hard-drive, forcing users to grab a pen and paper and do some math.
A website has been launched to address what improvements need to be made with the Xbox One. The site, known as XboxFeedback.com, allows users to add to their already sizable checklist and make their voice heard.
Below we’ve included a number of the most common complaints, many of which are quite surprising, especially considering these are basic features you see included with an Xbox 360:
- The return of the Xbox Guide
- Friends section on the home screen
- Notifications when friends log on or when you receive a friend request
- Hard drive memory management pane
- External memory support via USB
- View recent players to make new friends/send feedback
- More refined Kinect phrases
- Simplified party chat options
- Transferring game chat audio to TV, headset or both
- USB keyboard support for typing messages
- Optimize game installs (currently takes 30 min – 1 hour)
- Controller options (turning off rumble feature, battery indicator, custom button layouts etc)
- Avatar store
- Send and receive voice messages to recent players & friends
- Playing music in the background while gaming
- Custom themes–background pictures
- Ability to see Xbox One games/status updates on Xbox 360
The main consensus lies in the fact that many gamers are geared with the Xbox 360′s traditional set-up, with drop-down interfaces and a logical design. With the Xbox One, those sentiments have been almost thrown out the window, and it’s not that gamers can’t adapt, it’s that they don’t want the adaptation process to be so tedious and irksome.
It’s interesting–and admittedly bedazzling–how the UI is set-up in the Xbox One. The Windows 8 live tiles are nice to look at, but practical applications like in-game notifications or even party chatting can turn into a fiasco. Consulting a user’s manual will no-doubt allay some of these tribulations, but these sorts of things should be quick and easy and not so meticulous.
According to Major Nelson, Microsoft has heeded their call and is on the way to making said changes a reality:
“I had a meeting today about much of this and I can say that things will get better. I can’t offer a timeline of a list of what till be addressed first, but we are aware of the issue and things will get better.“
Some might argue that with a higher price point, the Xbox One should be more streamlined and optimized than the PlayStation 4. Some even feel like the console is completely foreign from the original Xbox experience, instead feeling like an amalgamation of a Windows 8 PC with an Xbox 360, and in some cases they’d be right.
The overhauled UI fits in with Microsoft’s plan for a unified ecosystem of products, and the Xbox One’s x86 architecture coupled with its flexibility provide it a top-tier position in this structure (recently announced as Threshold).
Microsoft has proven they are open to criticism and feedback when they reversed their highly contested DRM policies before the console’s launch, and they’ll likely roll out a slew of updates and patches to address these features.
While the PS4 lacks many of the features, functions and media capabilities that the Xbox One has to offer, its UI has been praised as being sleek and simple. It has its drawbacks, too, like the myriad of errors that can be prompted by everyday tasks, but it’s practical and anyone can use it.
It’s important to remember that both consoles are in their beginning stages, and they will continue to take shape as time goes by.
It might take Microsoft a bit to sand off the rough edges of the Xbox One’s UI, and it’s quite ironic that current-gen tech possesses certain features that are absent in both next-gen systems. It’s only the beginning, though, and the Xbox 360 and PS3 have had eight years to solidify their current state.
It’ll be interesting to see where both consoles are in that time frame, or even just a few months, but for now Microsoft has its work cut out for them.