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In a surprising twist of fate, the Xbox One has actually come under fire from... gaming media? Well, sometimes you have to take the piss to the lake to relieve the bladder, and that's exactly what Eurogamer did when they rallied up all the faults of the Xbox One's Windows 8-wannabe OS and hammered them into the ground.
The Eurogamer article is a thorough breakdown of the Xbox One's OS breakdown, though technically it's more like a never-was. The article points to a flurry of user complaints over things that aren't throwaway or just baseless nagging. Many of these complaints spawn from threads across the web housed and contained on a site called XboxFeedback.com. While there are some obvious, technical hiccups with the way some of the hardware works, it's the software that really stands out as the prime culprit of stunted growth.
The Windows 8 comparisons come forward front and center, as the drudgery of having to snap back and forth between apps – or continually return to the home screen in order to get to other app features – has turned out to be burdensome step backward from the streamlined dashboard of the Xbox 360.
There's also a matter of not being able to customize the dashboard exactly to your liking, meaning that there's always going to be a basic layout to abide by, even when you customize what apps go where. This is made worse when taking into account that friends list, achievements and other easily accessible features through the Xbox 360's “Guide” button at the center of the controller are no longer easily accessible.
So what happened? Why is it that the Xbox One isn't as feature-progressive as its predecessor (or even feature-par)? Well, a lot of it comes down to something that I've noticed with the OS: it's exactly like Windows 8, but without any of the PC features to overwrite, suspend or alter the features you don't like.
For anyone who has used Windows 8 via tablet/PC you'll quickly realize that there's a lot of restrictions and linearity present in the way the OS is used, as opposed to the freedom (and I'm using that word loosely) offered in Windows 7.
Accreting the Windows 8 genes into the Xbox One, and then gimping those features, only works against the gamer. This looks especially unappealing for gamers recently coming off the Xbox 360's eight years of progressive OS upgrades. One would have assumed Microsoft would have taken what worked and simply iterated it with the new hardware. Although, that's not what happened.
Even more than that, Kinect continues to prove to be a problem... as many gamers have complained about the Kinect's microphone still being on and listening to the activity in the user's room while they're playing online. The complaint on the feedback site rolls out the problem perfectly...
“Kinect microphone for in game chat default off instead of default on. Users are unaware that the kinect microphone is on while joining games and are transmitting private conversations / activities. Atleast provide an option during the Xbox setup screens.”
The Kinect's “default on” is still a bit of a leftover from the original Kinect's always-listening, always-watching days when it picked up the ire of anyone who wasn't fond of being broadcasted to the world and not having much of a choice about it.
One of the other big complaints is that Microsoft's digital game prices are more expensive than their retail counterparts. Why is this not surprising? Everyone saying Microsoft was going to have Steam-like prices need to seek professional help, because you may need more than a couple of pills to help with that level of delusion.
PR frontman Larry “Major 'Switch Flipper' Nelson” Hryb did have some words of comfort to share about the issue in terms of Microsoft listening and reacting to user feedback, writing...
"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."
Written like a true politician.