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Xbox One Problems

Andrew Williams by

Xbox One Problems

Xbox One Problems

The Xbox One is Microsoft’s next-gen console. However, it’s not without problems. Here are the main issues with Microsoft’s answer to the PS4.

It’s not backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games

One of the most annoying things about the Xbox One is that does not play Xbox 360 games. The Xbox 360 played a few original Xbox games, but the new console doesn’t play any of the games of its predecessor.

It’s a real shame, given how many of us have giant Xbox 360 game collections built up over years. You won’t be able to retire your old console yet.

Microsoft has also said it has no plans to offer a PS4-style game streaming service (due to launch for that console in 2014), as it would be extremely difficult to implement. What we’re likely to get over the coming years are re-released versions of old Xbox 360 games, given a spruce-up and individually ported to the Xbox One. However, you’ll obviously have to pay for those, so it’s no replacement for actual backwards compatibility.

The slight silver lining is that some publishers are offering low-cost next-gen upgrades for games that are going to be released on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One. However, this applied to a handful of titles only, and you do have to pay a small fee.

Should I care? Yes, it’s one of the most annoying parts of the Xbox One.

It’s sold out

The Xbox One is completely out of stock in online retailers. You can pre-order, but some places are already sold out until after Christmas.

The situation is likely to calm down a bit after Christmas, but it’s best to get your pre-order in soon, or prepare for a long wait on the high street – possibly followed by crushing disappointment.

Amazon has already announced that stock of both the PS4 and Xbox One is run out until after Christmas.

Should I care? Yes, if you want one soon.

It’s massive, its power brick is massive

The Xbox One is a very large console. It’s much bigger than the PS4, and bigger than the Xbox 360 too.

Apparently it’s to ensure that the console does not overheat, and it also helps to keep noise down as the fan doesn’t have to work too hard. Overheating was behind the ‘red ring’ issues of the Xbox 360, so it’s a pretty sensible move.

However, the power brick is a bit annoying. Not only is the console huge, so is the powerbrick. Yep, it has a separate power supply, while the much smaller PS4 fits this into its svelte body.

Should I care? If you have limited space, yes. Otherwise, just appreciate that it means your Xbox One will hopefully never die.

Several features won’t work in the UK

Lots of the more unusual features of the Xbox One won’t work in the UK – at least at launch. The most important are the media features that were shown off in the first few big Xbox One unveil events.

In the US, the Xbox One will be able to be used to control your TV, even offering its own electronic programme guide that’ll show you what’s on each channel. Microsoft has said this should make it to the UK in ‘2014’, but offered no more precise information on exactly when – it could be any time from January to December. And we’re guessing it won’t be January.

Without this functionality, the Xbox One will never really be the centre of your living room – which the Xbox One was basically sold as in the first place.

Should I care? Yes, it’s a real pity.

iPlayer isn’t supported at launch

Microsoft has announced the first wave of streaming services that’ll be available in the UK. We get Netflix and LoveFilm, but no BBC iPlayer.

We have a strong suspicion that this is down to the BBC rather than Microsoft, which would presumably love to have one of the most popular streaming services in the world on its console (it’s available on the Xbox 360 after all). The BBC is famously not all that quick to react to integration within new tech, needing to justify the development incurred thanks to the license fee. You have to love bureaucracy.

Should I care? Yes, but it’s probably the BBC’s fault.

External hard drives not supported at launch

Another feature missing at launch is external hard drive support. Microsoft says you will be to use hard drives in time – USB 3.0 ones too - but the console will need to get an update before they’ll work.

In time you’ll be able to install games to external hard drives, though, which is very good news. Game installs can take up to 40GB of space, which will quickly eat away at the 500GB internal hard drive.

Should I care? Not much, as hopefully it’ll be added before you fill the HDD up.

Not all games are played at 1080p

The Xbox One is a Full HD console, able to play 1080p games with – in theory – relative ease. However, not all games output in this resolution – some are ‘only’ 720p, like the majority of Xbox 360 games.

This does come across as a bit odd when it’s meant to be a ‘next gen’ console. However, there are obvious reasons for this. Developers generally have to cross-develop for Xbox 360-gen and Xbox One-gen consoles at the moment, and using lower-res textures will make development much easier.

It also helps to avoid most of the inevitable performance issues often seen in games made for new platforms.

Should I care? No, and most people probably wouldn’t notice if they weren’t told.

The PS4 is more powerful

For gamers, the Sony PS4 has a pretty strong draw over Microsoft’s console. It’s more powerful, with a beefier GPU, and faster RAM.

In previous generations, graphical fidelity has always been the top factor to show off at a console's launch. And if the Xbox One seems fundamentally less impressive as a console, it will be in trouble.

For a more in-depth look at this issue, read our tech tear-down of the Xbox One hardware.

Should I care? It's too early to tell what effect this may have on graphics, but it's worth considering.

Next, read our in-depth comparison of the PS4 vs Xbox One

Go to comments


May 29, 2013, 12:55 pm

"more beefier GPU"? Ignoring your typo, that is terrible English!

Richard Anthony

May 29, 2013, 12:57 pm

Are you SURE about the CEC / ARC?... I'm fairly certain that I heard Mr Mattrick mention IR control (e.g, blasters)... CEC certainly will NOT work with the majority of devices - even those which support it in one guise or another - it is about as standard as MIDI; the bare bones are taken as a concept and implemented entirely differently between manufacturers. ARC would not be required unless the TV is the "Host" of the video stream - if you are using a set-top box with the XB1 between the host device and the TV (via the HDMI passthrough), the audio will hit the XB1 before the TV thus no need for the "Return" part. ARC would therefore only be required if using a freeview type service built-in to the TV. YES - IR can be less reliable - but consider that the XB1 can "See" the video stream via the HDMI passthrough and it's not a huge leap to expect it to be able to CONFIRM a successful channel change, for-example.

We are still waiting to hear the full story of the DRM implications. YES - they could be dire - but they are SOFTWARE implemented (most likely via the cloud / voucher codes) and thus can be changed VERY quickly and easily - if it is the number one identified sales killer, you can be certain that MS will reverse what-ever decision is taken PDQ.

The PS4 is more powerful? QED. Will it be "Useable"? (Sony dont have a great track record for developer ease of use...) YES - it has GDDR5 memory as opposed to the XB1's DDR3 - so will be able to effect large block data transfers more quickly between CPU / GPU - but DDR3 will have the edge for multiple atomic transfers. I imagine this means that textures will "Pop" less with PS4? We can only talk about the numbers until we have some actual evidence. Let's not forget that the PS3 was "More powerful" than the 360... It didn't translate well enough to justify the additional cost IMO. YES I had both consoles - but I had the "Original" PS3, which refused to bitstream blurays (they fixed that with the slim) so that my amp could do what I paid for it to do with TrueHD audio. The family really only played LBP (which was an amazingly well crafted game!) on the PS3 anyway so I sold it fairly quickly.

Powerbrick? Not a game changer for me... PSUs can fail - this approach seems sensible to me. YES - the 360 had a terrible problem with RRODs with their first 2 or 3 iterations. Let's hope MS have learned from this with the XB1!

Checking-in? We do that *anyway* when we log-in to XBLive or the PSN. So you dont log-in daily? You wont be an early adopter then, so let's just see how it turns out. There's a lot to gain by checking in / being online... optional email notifications / notifications that friends are online or the ability to establish a call or videochat by voice / targetted newsfeeds etc. YES - I'm a media junkie and YES - I probably love my tech TOO much... But the records show that a lot of console players are, too... Maybe I'm being cavalier about it - but I sign in via my phone / tablet / pc etc. for notifications etc. so this isn't a deal breaker for me either. You can be sure that "Other consoles" will need to do the same very soon to be competitive. YES you will be able to opt out! It may restrict your ability to do some things the console is designed to do... But guess what... It wont be able to *DO* those things if it isn't online!

Kinect? Come on guys! Do you sit at home wearing a tinfoil hat? If so - then DONT BUY AN XB1! Or a PS4 with it's cameras (Or yeah - buy a PS4 and either dont buy or unplug the PS4 cameras and just accept that you'll get none of the benefits it might bring). NOBODY wants to watch you in your living room - I mean, why would they? are you REALLY that important or interesting eating your bag of crisps or watching the morning news in your undies? The amount of "Use" of the kinect allowed by anything other than games will be entirely controllable. It WONT be a government monitoring system, MS wont be collecting pictures or audio and it wont be easily hackable.

Am I a MS fan? Actually - NO. I seriously dont like windows. But then, I don't like MACos either, nor unix. I'm GLAD that most of what I need to do can now be done in chromeOS (OK - I know it's unix REALLY - but I dont have to get my hands dirty anymore) or Android. I am a software developer, so HAVE to use a wide spread of technology on a daily basis. I look forward to the PS4 AND the XB1 but I must admit that I LIKE the concept of voice control for my devices. I currently have a Harmony one and have considered several voice activated universal remotes but found none to meet my needs yet... XB1 could be it! And better fidelity playing Gears / Halo / whatever becomes possible with the new tech? Great!


May 29, 2013, 12:59 pm

It certainly is. I believe I was changing "more powerful" to "beefier" and made a right old corned beef hash of it. We have edited the article. Thanks for the heads-up.


May 29, 2013, 1:13 pm

Hi Richard, Cheers for the lengthy comment!

We'll look into the IR/CEC question. It was my belief that Microsoft hadn't fully explained how the TV system works, hence this degree of tech extrapolation.

Fair enough about the Powerbrick - wouldn't bug me either, but I'm sure it'll P-off a few folks.

Similarly with check-in, it shouldn't affect MOST of us MOST of the time. And we are largely tin foil hat-free these days. But don't you think some level of tabloid harrumph'ing is likely? Whether that matters is another point!

Richard Anthony

May 29, 2013, 1:33 pm

You'll never please everyone, Andrew - journalist or game console designer! I'm sure there will be endless fanbois wars and totally unfathomable levels of loyalty in all camps... I don't want to have three consoles to cover all the bases. I'm going to have to choose one console or the other. Last round went XBOX for me after having the Wii / PS3 and XBox for a few months. Wait too long and lose too much financially. Never regretted my choice despite having to pay for a LIVE service that WORKS (sadly, that wasn't my experience with early PSN). Ended up with 4 xboxes (xboxi?!) because I have three boys - even had 4 copies of Halo Reach so that we can all play online together (one memorable evening the boys had 3 mates in each room and I had the dads in the lounge with either a beer or a controller each!) The smack-talk was hilarious and I'm sure we'll do the same again over the summer after a barbeque...

I know the boys will be chomping at the bit for a new console when they are released. I SUSPECT that the xbox will still suit us best - we tend to prefer the xbox exclusives although the boys do enjoy a bash at drakes fortune when at a friends house, and still hanker after a proper alternative to LBP on the xbox. I am GUESSING that they would all prefer the same box again as it will mean they can share many of the games (so-long as they are age appropriate, of-course...). Think it's going to be an expensive Christmas again... Just hope everything will become clearer and more certain for us after E3.


May 29, 2013, 2:02 pm

That Halo Reach scenario sounds like fun!

Personally the jury's very much out for me. About 95 per cent of what I use consoles for these days is Netflix (getting old), although I'm like you I'm keen to see what E3 brings.


May 29, 2013, 4:14 pm

You didn't mention the rumours/indications that the Xbox One will be region locked. The Xbox 360 was locked while the PS3 never was, so if the PS4 isn't locked either then that's a potentially big downside to the Xbox One given how much cheaper games can sometimes be from abroad... (source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/g... sorry for external link if that's not allowed!)


May 29, 2013, 4:52 pm

Far too many negatives for me region locked ,always on internet/ kinect and the some what unproven used/borrowed games scenario, all leave a bitter taste and have taken the excitement away for me and will stick with my first love which is PC gaming and the very excellent mediaportal can do the rest.


May 29, 2013, 5:38 pm

I'll go with Sony any day.


May 29, 2013, 8:38 pm

"the Xbox One is one of the most exciting gadgets of the year. Will any of these problems put you off buying, though?"


John Walker

May 29, 2013, 8:58 pm

this console has already been passed up by me and everyone i know. which is a lot of people. and we each have massive 360 library's. we are just hoping Sony doesn't follow suit. if they do decide to go with this heavy handedness then we are just gonna stick with the pc. and we are all into tech. we will gladly pass along this information to the less tech savvy to make sure Xbox one fails. sincerely pissed off gamers.

John Walker

May 29, 2013, 9:04 pm

the Xbox seems like a system for you. congratulations. for everyone i know that's into tech, they and i will be passing.

John Walker

May 29, 2013, 9:06 pm

you know sharing games will not be so simple on the nextbox right?


May 30, 2013, 8:56 am

What the? I love my 360 and am an xbox fan. But, PS4 here I come.


May 30, 2013, 10:31 am



May 30, 2013, 10:36 am


Richard Anthony

May 30, 2013, 11:54 am

this from Phil Harrison:

"Just like today, if you have a game disc that you buy from the store, you can play that game. The game is now installed to the hard drive. Any user who is associated with that Xbox One can play that game. I can give that game disc to my son and he can go and take it to another machine inside the house and play it on that machine. Just like today, only one of us can play it at any one time."

- so that's my family covered... YES I understand that swapping games with mates is *likely* to be harder - but I always say to the boys that they should ensure they bring games back with them if they take them out to a friends - at the end of the day we've had several £40 discs eaten by a friend's puppy after lending etc. - that's quite an investment to shrug off. Of-course we would prefer to be able to swap around with trusted friends, let's see what they come up with for that. I think it's a shame that there is SO MUCH press about the inability to share when full details aren't known yet - there's a lot of energy potentially being wasted. I appreciate though that without this level of energy directed at the issue by the gamers, MS could well read the apathy as tacit acceptance of the situation and not review a flawed policy...

A few of my mates are just as in-to tech as I am and are saying "NO" to the xbox for - I am sure - similar reasons to yourself... But I know that most of them will end up buying one anyway. It doesn't make them fickle, it means they're being reactive to the MEDIA SUPPOSITIONS rather than the eventual facts.


May 30, 2013, 12:47 pm

You sound well versed and intelligent, and therefore I am surprised about your comment "It WONT be a government monitoring system, MS wont be collecting pictures or audio and it wont be easily hackable."

I am no conspiracist, (yes I may have just invented that word) but technology and 'big brother' fears are so apparent, if every phonecall we make is monitored, and your location tracked, now we have the ability to see into people's homes 24/7, don't be ridiculous, power corrupts my friend. And the best way to do so is to make it something people 'want' without thinking of the other uses. And yes of course people monitor it, you in your underpants may have no reason for them to care, but the guy next door up to something else may. That may sound secure and safe to you, catching the 'bad' guys, but then who decides who is 'good' and who is 'bad' - oh yeah, the kid with the bigger stick and media control decides who they want to blame as 'terrorists'. (Terrorism: smaller power fighting against a bigger power)

In short, a lot of people don't read or care about the small print that says they can sell on the information they collect (like with Google), and a lot of people will buy the latest console whilst only seeing the positives, giving a lot of power to people that shouldn't have omnipotence.

Richard Anthony

May 31, 2013, 1:00 pm

Hi, Dave;

I "Get" the trjoan horse theory and I can totally see how it's not a huge leap of imagination to string all the headline grabbers together to arrive at the suggestion that this *could* be used as a publicly funded stealth big brother... But the ramifications would be far worse for the government who wields such power than for those misguided and lied to in-order to provide the base data...

Imagine - a terrorist / tax dodger / false insurance claimant etc. is collared and there is no evidence to convict? No - the fact that the origination of the data came from such a setup would VERY quickly be uncovered and made public. Of-course the government (etc.) wouldn't care that it would hang Microsoft and the xbox - but just try to imagine for a moment the impact it would have on the voting public... It would be far worse than simply "Losing a few votes" - it would be absolute carnage as there would be concrete - irrefutable proof that the public were being abused en masse, aided and abetted by services offered by private companies and paid for by themselves. THAT is why I am comfortable making such an apparently glib statement.

OK - so you (and I am sure millions of others - at the moment...) see the *potential* threat as despicable - and of-course I can't say categorically that I am right - but I am confident enough to "risk" my *OWN* family's privacy in-order to gain the benefits the setup will offer me. My wife already asks "Is that thing on" regards the 360 Kinect when we are having a private conversation in-case friends or family could overhear something juicy (!) but of-course it makes no difference... There are phones / ipads with facetime / laptops with webcams etc. always on all over the house with the kids - each of which could as readily (if not MORE so) be tapped by undesirable sources in addition to unwittingly passing on some gossip.

- Richard.


May 31, 2013, 1:29 pm

Forgive me, I never intended a protracted conversation about a barely mentioned subject, which doesn't focus on the subject you wrote about; being the xbox one console as a whole, but, as an intelligent and mostly fair minded review (which in fairness is just your opinion) it carries more weight and influence than some hater may.
Having said that, because people may look up to you, that was why I mentioned that element of opinion as somewhat blasee, because I would want to encourage people to think outside the box and away from the 'other people do it so it must be right' attitude.
And with your above examples, of course they wouldn't be so obvious, they would find some other evidence or excuses to raid the house and 'oh look what we happened to find' you know they would, doesn't mean that unofficially most of their intel may come from devices such as these. And yes they have technology to do incredible things you are right, BUT it comes down to cost, - if people buy cameras for them to just tap into (unofficially) then its a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to spy than paying to send camera teams to each persons' houses!

Its a very clever long term game sir with scary consequences, like all great ideas, they start small and people abuse them.
Thankfully in the UK we didn't vote in the National ID cards, because yes convenient for day to day, but then you cannot do ANYTHING without it, and are tracked everywhere you go without effort. Like mobile phones...

Case Smith

May 31, 2013, 6:04 pm

I currently own a Xbox 360, and I get most of my games by waiting a few months after a new game is released and buy it used for a slightly cheaper price. One of the big reasons I'm buying a PS4 is gong to be that I don't want to have to pay extra to buy used or to play a game that a friend has brought over to play together. I never knew that game piracy was such a big deal that Microsoft has to introduce another price that affects everyone to attempt to deter a minor group of criminals.


June 1, 2013, 7:04 pm

Is this really the best that they could have come up with, forget about the guts because there is definitely no glory in this design, a console that is supposed to be the epicentre of our home entertainment network, it will only ever be as good as the tech you connect / sync it with, but come on, with everything in the tech world getting slimmer and lighter this is really the best that a billion dollar company can come up with, it just smacks of a lacklustre approach, ignoring the attraction of a beautifully designed piece of future tech, I have 2 360 elites, anything bigger than that just does not appeal, I may have to go to the dark side and buy a PLAYSTATION !!!!!!

Sandy Jenkins

June 2, 2013, 10:23 pm

Time to buy a sony... Just too many issues with xbox this round. DRM is a nightmare all I have to say is Blizzard or Sim City and everyone knows the issue. Besides that how many people even buy new games? If its up to DRM and load onto the hard drive I am out.


June 3, 2013, 2:43 am

I have always gone with Microsoft...until now. I have seen nothing to make me want to buy the XBOX One. If i get a new console at all, at this point it would be the PS4.

Richard Anthony

June 3, 2013, 11:25 am

Hi, Dave;

I had assumed that you were writing from somewhere other than the UK (I'm in Cornwall, by the way!) - nice to know that I'm not alone here in trying not to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

Of-course I can only offer my own opinion - and although I work in software, it is NOT (nor ever has been) in gaming; so please don't assume that I have any more *valid* an opinion than anyone else (of-course, ALL opinions are equally valid).

Right - having gotten that out of the way - back to the point... I'm sorry, Dave - I *still* can't see a point in time where submitting evidence collected this-way - no matter HOW that collection came about (primary evidence or incidental) could be anything other than devastating for both the body having collected the data, and the one submitting it... Remember that the core paranoia on this subject is regards CENTRAL data (e.g, collected via the cloud / remotely / hacked) and *NOT* stuff recorded to the machine itself - thus the simple fact that other evidence may have been used as reason to gain access to the home, could *not* lead to collection of evidence from the camera / microphone stored on the HDD - nothing is being stored! - They would need to gain that from the hosts which, in this hypothetical case, is the "Live" system... And I also can't see any justification for data being stored at-all from any justifiable (e.g, non inflammatory) use of that data.

Standard disclaimer applies - my opinion only, blah blah blah! And I KNOW that I am somewhat swimming against the tide here, but I am totally baffled why we are seeing so many comments like "Too many problems with the DRM / performance / sharing" etc. when NOTHING is absolute on any of those issues yet! performance-wise, to my knowledge, all we know is this headline figure of 5bn transistors - nobody has 100% concrete evidence that there will be a lack of performance vs. PS4 (except for some comments regards DDR3 vs GDDR5 and most of THOSE are unfounded - let's SEE it, eh?) - remember how superior the PS3 was going to be? Someone may say "No GDDR" - someone else might say "No tight cloud integration"...

And let's not forget that it's not ONLY about the hardware anyway! PS3 took YEARS for the devs to wring anything significant from the additional power. One of MY reasons for selling the PS3 was the way updates were applied vs. the xbox. I bought (secondhand) "Eye of the beholder" on PS3. It took an absolute AGE to download all the patches - as hard as it may be to believe - it was LITERALLY hours. Also when I downloaded a demo - I had to download it... Then I had to INSTALL it?!... Xbox was faster, more efficient and easier to understand. NO I'm not a neanderthal; but if I didn't mind doing this kind of stuff to play a game, I'd game on the PC! And teh kids - YES they can learn; but why should they? The process was unique to PS3 and was simply unnecessary.

Anyway... I see your tangent and raise you by my rant above!...

- Richard.

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