- Voice Activation through Kinect: Living in New Zealand the Xbox One was released here first (by the fact that the calendar day pretty much starts with us), so you can imagine my frustration when I set the Xbox One up that I couldn't get the voice activated commands to work. Once online it was a main topic of conversation with my friends, those in NZ all had the same problem yet our Aussie counterparts had no problems. After about a week of investigating it turns out that NZ was not given the voice bundle, WTF!! Why would you release a brand new console and remove one of it's key features and as of the date this was written we are still in the dark as to when this will be retified.
- Party Chat: Although we have no voice commands our Kinect does work for communicating via party chat and Skype. For the love of me, I have no idea who designed the party chat interface but whoever it was, they should have been shot or at very least fired because they are idiots. I set up a party and invite my friends into it but cannot hear them, why, because I did not "turn on party chat". Why would I set up a party and invite a whole lot of friends and then not talk to them, why do I have to activate yet another setting? I activate the party chat and I still can't hear anyone, why, because each member of the party having already accepted the invitation now has to go into the party chat and activate the "turn on party chat" setting. In my mind there is a lot of unnecessary piss arsing around for nothing, Microsoft get this sorted!!
- Voice Messaging: When you are in a game or in a lobby between matches, it is very convenient to send the odd voice message between players because the typing interface is useless when speed is of the essence, so why is there no voice messaging capability. I thought this system was an upgrade on the Xbox 360 not a step backwards. Again I have to wonder about the thinking behind the developers, are these guys / girls really gamers??
- In Game Recording: This is connected to point one, one of the features that had me excited was the ability to record the last 30 seconds of a game whilst in a game by simply saying "Xbox record that". Of course this is only available to those regions that have a Kinect voice bundle. I dare say there may be a manual version of doing this but I haven't bothered to figure it out for the simple reason that you have to stop what you are doing. Again Microsoft get this Kinect thing sorted!!
I am a very loyal Xbox supporter and have been for years, I'm always raving about the new Xbox One but I have to say there are one or two things that they just haven't done well and is proving to be very frustrating as the weeks and months move on.
I know there has been some negative stuff kicking around the net when Microsoft gave us the heads up on the new Xbox, personally I am really excited about it's capabilities, I like the fact that the Kinect Sensor stays on all the time (the paranoid out their thinking that Microsoft will be spying on them, really, if Microsoft want to see my hairy ass wondering around my media room then I hope they are prepared for the image!!). I like that they are trying to make the machine THE centre piece of equipment in the lounge, why not, I'm looking forward to plugging in my Sky or Cable and throwing away my remote control, bring it on.
I for one will be queuing on it's release and I am especially looking forward to the 8 new gaming franchises that have been promised to us in the first 12 months.
Being the techy gadget driven person that I am, I have to say I have been watching the development of the Xbox 360 dashboard with an element of excitement and hopeful expectation.
Over the last year I have been streaming movies on a regular basis, streaming music via the media centre and generally using the Xbox as an all round entertainment unit as opposed to using it exclusively for gaming.
A couple of months ago, you could imagine my excitement when I found out that there was an android app for Xbox Smart Glass. After down loading it to me Samsung Galaxy S2 I tried it out with Xbox music. Having chosen what to listen too, the music starts pumping out via the TV through to the sound system and my phone gives me the latest information about the album and the members of the group, a brilliant add value service for someone like me that knows the music he likes but never remembers who sings the songs!!
Using the "Smart Glass" as a remote is also intuitive, and removes the need for the multi-media remote that I used to use (albeit I still use it for music via the media centre). Where I really think "Smart Glass" comes into it's own is the information that it provides whilst watching a movie. Recently I streamed The Avengers and used Smart Glass, as well as giving general information of the movie, it also displayed the information of each of the actors as they appeared on the screen. I have to say I was blown away by this, talking about adding value, the service is brilliant. As each of the actors comes through on the Smart Glass you can click on them and find out more about them and what they have starred in before. If there was a down side to all this information, I found I wasn't paying attention to the story line at the start of the movie as I was being mesmerised by all the additional information, it was a bit distracting.
I can only imagine this is where TV viewing in general will eventually go, but for now, I have to say all the changes happening with the Xbox 360 at the moment is exciting and living in NZ we don't have too much to get excited about regarding the depth of apps available to us via the Xbox. Here's looking forward to more good stuff to come in 2013!!