Better Late Than Never: Xbox One S

Better Late Than Never: Xbox One S
25 Jul 17

I’ve been holding off on ‘next gen’ consoles for a while now but recently I gave in and treated myself to an Xbox One S, the second incarnation of Microsoft’s latest gaming machine.

There was a lot of soul searching on whether the Xbox was still the way to go especially as Sony seemed to be eating Microsoft’s lunch when it came to sales with the PS4 but as a long term Xbox 360 owner the choice, in the end, seemed a simple one.

One the day I decided to purchase my next step into gaming I had spent the day boating on the Norfolk Broads so maybe the country air had got to my head but I wasn’t planning on going home without one. So I headed to my nearest store and picked up one of their ‘take it to customer service’ leaflets to grab my console. There were a couple of deals. What was available to me was a 500GB Xbox One S (500GB as I am capable of adding my own external storage), the choice of Minecraft for Xbox One or Fifa 17.

Minecraft didn’t really tempt me as I have it on so many devices already so it was Fifa all the way. The deal also included the choice of an extra game in the form of either ‘Halo 5 Guardians’ or ‘Tomb Raider’, I wasn’t really bothered which as they are both great. But on going to the customer service desk they said that they could not honour the deal as it was in fact an online offer, so no idea why I could not pick it up in store.

I also had in my grubby little hands a copy of Titanfall 2, the sequel to one of my fave games of all time. Anyway after some haggling the nice guy in the store said he would ‘see what he could do for me’ so I left him to it. He eventually managed to find me a Fifa 17 bundle, there was no Tomb Raider but they did have Halo 5 so he proceeded to scan them into the system individually including the copy of Titanfall. For some reason after scanning them all in the console with the 2 games, plus the 30 quid Titanfall came to the same price of the console on its own. The chap behind the counter just said, ‘I have no idea what has happened’ but enjoy it’. I took him on his word and left with the console and more games I had bargained for at a great price and I have been enjoying it ever since.

Like I said, I was an Xbox 360 user and I loved it to death and the experience of what came next certainly disappoint but here is the pinch. I know that Microsoft have spent so much time unifying Windows across all of their systems but it comes with the same pitfalls.

Onr turning on the console it wanted to do what Windows always does, install updates. All I wanted to do was to play some games but that was not on the cards for some considerable time as the system demanded that I made sure that everything was up to date. And also I know that this is an issue with many modern console games but they wanted updating too, some in the 10’s of gigs. Put it this way. I turned the console on at 4PM and didn’t get to play for the first time until almost 10PM. Maybe this is just me being impatient or maybe it’s just me not being ready for what this generation of console requires just to be ready.

But once I was up and running it has been a joy. The thing that makes it head and shoulder above the 360 is the multitasking. The 360 only ever seemed to be able to deal with the thing you were interacting with at the time but the Xbox One allows you to play a game and while you are waiting dip into other sections of the console and then back again. Also logging into accounts is so much simpler. You can switch so easily where before you had to decide at login who was using it or log out completely.

I was never tempted by the lure of the improved graphics as I’ve been gaming for over 35 years and a good looking game doesn’t make it a great one but the way things look is really a step up. Take TitanFall 2. I played the original on the 360 and it was amazing. Plus I’d played all of the Batman Arkham titles but playing them on the S shows you how in-depth it can make things.

Then there is the speed. There is now minimal waiting for things to load and things seems so fluid.

The best thing for me though was a throwback to my days as a 360 owner. I was a Gold Live subscriber which allowed access to free games every month, 2 x 360 games and 2 x Xbox One games but you could never claim the One games on the 360 but you could via the Microsoft web site which I took full advantage of, so as soon as I’d logged in there were over 50 games waiting for me to download and play which made me even happier with my purchase of the Xbox over the PS4.

I am only a month in, I’ve bought a second controller and am also thinking about getting the next gen Kinect as it now does not come as standard (I have my reasons). As a piece of hardware it is a jewel and as I navigated the options I also realised that it is a Blu Ray player too, which I have never had before and certainly a bonus.

I am sure there are camps amongst us all about which console is the best but the Xbox One has made me really happy.

Keep an eye out for game reviews coming soon. I have a lot to go through and I would love to hear your experiences if you too have taken the plunge.

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This new series ‘Better Late Than Never’ allows you to submit reviews of any tech, especially even if it isn’t new.

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Paul Wright


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