The Xbox One just outsold the PS4. Here’s what Microsoft’s console needs to maintain its lead.
It’s been a good year for Microsoft’s next generation console. Last month it was revealed that the Xbox One had outsold the PS4 for the last year, and it looks like the Festive Season may add to its fortunes. A lower priced Xbox One – without a Kinect module bundled into the package – and the addition of some new features such as the BBC iPlayer (finally!) have bolstered its position in the market. Still, there are a couple of features we’d like to see Microsoft add to its console, which if it did, may make its position as the current market leader a little more secure.
Microsoft’s new console has a lot of the same issues the Xbox 360 had in this department – the peripherals are rather dear. The initial outlay for a console nets you a controller (and if you fancy paying for it, a Kinect module), a set of cables and a free set of batteries. If you fancy playing local co-op with a mate, that’s another £32 right there.
Sure, you could make the argument that the PS4 has the same problem, but at least you can recharge the new DualShock 4 controller off the console. With the Xbox One, you have to fork out for either a series of new batteries – because the controller chews through those – or you have to hand over £20 for a Play & Charge Kit. We don’t expect every single convenience to be made available off the bat, but paying over the odds to continue playing is a chore we expected to be left behind on the last generation.
See also: Xbox One vs Xbox 360
More Xbox 360 Games
While we never expected the Xbox One to be backwards compatible – hey, platform makers have the right to make money after all – it would be good to see some Xbox 360 games from yesteryear land on Microsoft’s next generation platform.
This year saw the release of the superb Halo: Master Chief Collection, but as good as it was, it made us hungry for more. The Xbox 360 had a ton of exclusives we wouldn’t mind playing in HD: Crackdown, Viva Piñata, The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings and the Fable series among them. It’s also worth pointing out that Halo’s R-rated exclusive shooter sibling, Gears of War, probably wouldn’t need that much of a spit-and-polish in the visuals department for an HD release on the Xbox One. Seriously, play it – it looks and plays as fresh as it did back in 2006. We’re looking forward to a lot of the Xbox One’s future releases, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to say goodbye to the classics from the Xbox 360’s heyday.
See also: Best Xbox One games 2014
The Xbox One’s main menu is supposed to look like the Windows 8 interface on PCs, tablets and smartphones. That’s all well and good if you’re using a touchscreen device, but navigating through a series of tiles with the Xbox One control pad just feels unintuitive and unwieldy. While we get the idea that one uniform UI is something Microsoft is keen to promote, we have to confess we miss the rather pared down and slick interface of the Xbox 360.
And while we’re on the topic of the main menu, a few more customization options would be nice. Granted the PS4 isn’t exactly bursting with visual options but at least you can chose a dynamic theme. The PS3 offered players the opportunity to personalize their backgrounds to their heart’s content – and that was last generation. Come on, Microsoft: give us the ability to put our own personal stamp on the Xbox One’s homescreen.
See also: PS4 vs Xbox One
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This may be a little unfair as Microsoft has never really made much of a foray into the handheld console market – the Windows 8 OS on smartphones notwithstanding. But both the PS4 and the Wii U offer remote play as part of the package and not only do they work very well, they prevent a lot of fights over the television – which may prove invaluable this Festive Season.
Visual parity with the competition
One of the biggest criticisms leveled at the Xbox One is the fact that a lot of the cross platform Triple A titles don’t have the visual fidelity offered on the PS4. In fact, it’s become such an issue that the phrase “1080p and 60fps” has almost become a rallying call among gamers.
While some have opined that 1080p and 60fps aren’t the be all and end all in gaming, It’s not like this visual fidelity isn’t possible on the Xbox One – the Forza titles offer it as a given. So Xbox One owners have every right to feel irked if they see the competition getting something that’s not available on their platform – especially since, in terms of processing power, the Xbox One and PS4 are neck and neck. Say it with us, Microsoft: “1080p, 60fps”.