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Xbox One - hands on first impressions


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Old 29-09-2013, 18:11
fastest finger
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At the Eurogamer Expo, I managed to get a little hands on experience of Xbox One with a quick blast on Forza 5 and thought I'd share my thoughts.

Firstly, the hardware itself. In the flesh, when viewed from the front the console doesn't actually look as big as I thought it would and won't look out of place in any AV set up. It did seem surprisingly deep though which could be problematic in small spaces such as kid's bedrooms. I'm not certain if these were final retail units or just prototypes builds used for exhibiting but the glossy surfaces were really badly scratched suggesting it's not at all durable. Of course, that could just be a symptom of being set up and moved about over and over again and therefore wouldn't be an issue in most home environments. The consoles were running whisper quiet as far as I could tell and were cool to the touch. It seems that huge fan is certainly doing its job easing any fears of potential reliability issues.

Kinect is a sizeable chunk of kit, but in reality looks much better than those horrible front-on promo shots that Microsoft use. The cable looked really thick and inflexible though, and could be difficult to keep looking neat in your set up.

Onto the controller. I have to say the pad felt great to hold. Getting rid of the protruding battery compartment has made a massive difference. Everything was responsive and the triggers felt great. I loved the way the triggers are angled so that your index fingers can rest comfortably between each trigger and bumper button. The sticks are well positioned although felt a little small after playing 360/PS3 for all these years but that's probably something you'll get used to. I really didn't like the textures around the edge of the sticks though. I cant stand laptops with textured track pads I'm afraid I feel the same about these, but that's purely a personal thing. The big disappointment for me was the rumble triggers. I hated them. The main feedback from the pad was a satisfying deep rumble as expected, but the triggers gave a horrible, harsh buzzing sensation. It made the triggers rattle so much you could actually hear it. It may just be a faulty pad, but hopefully it's a feature you'll be able to turn off.

As for Forza 5, it played as I expected which is to say very similarly to its predecessors. No bad thing if you're a fan of the series. Sadly, it was the Laguna Seca track on display which is perhaps not the most dramatic way to show off the game's abilities. (There's a limit to how exciting you can make grass and tarmac look). That said, the car models and lighting were excellent and the whole experience was silky smooth. I was surprised to see some noticeable aliasing but I can forgive that bearing in mind it was very early code.

Overall, I have to say it was a very positive experience.
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Old 29-09-2013, 18:14
He4rt
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Thanks for this FF

Firstly, the hardware itself. In the flesh, when viewed from the front the console doesn't actually look as big as I thought it would
This is a misconception that regularly gets brought up by people on the internet. The Xbox one is actually the same size as a Sky HD box (give or take a few mm).

Did you get to play TitanFall? Eveyone i know that was at Expo has said how fantastic it is.
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Old 29-09-2013, 18:17
fastest finger
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Thanks for this FF
You're very welcome.

Did you get to play TitanFall? Eveyone i know that was at Expo has said how fantastic it is.
Sadly not, we were told the queue was 3 hours long and we simply didn't have the time. But from what I saw of it being played by others it was very slick, very fast and very smooth. I've heard nothing but good things about it.
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Old 29-09-2013, 18:28
SimonB79
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Glad ya enjoyed yourself FF ... IF I decide 2 dabble the Kinect will never leave its packaging ... Absolutely HATED the original!!! ... Christ!!! RYSE & Deadrising3 better be good!! lol

(SimplyGames still have day1 FIFA editions guys)

PS, how big was the powerbrick FF??? (Or was it outta sight?)
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Old 29-09-2013, 19:29
fastest finger
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Glad ya enjoyed yourself FF ... IF I decide 2 dabble the Kinect will never leave its packaging ... Absolutely HATED the original!!! ... Christ!!! RYSE & Deadrising3 better be good!! lol

(SimplyGames still have day1 FIFA editions guys)

PS, how big was the powerbrick FF??? (Or was it outta sight?)
The power brick was hidden away, so I can't really comment beyond pictures I've seen online.
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Old 29-09-2013, 19:36
2Dshmuplover
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Nice write up, a shame you hated the impulse triggers, I get the feeling I will love it. Other than the feeling they gave you, did you notice that they give you intelligent non-visual cues as to what your tyres are doing on the road? (ie. wheels locking, skidding etc)
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Old 29-09-2013, 19:37
jokerz
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At the Eurogamer Expo, I managed to get a little hands on experience of Xbox One with a quick blast on Forza 5 and thought I'd share my thoughts.

Firstly, the hardware itself. In the flesh, when viewed from the front the console doesn't actually look as big as I thought it would and won't look out of place in any AV set up. It did seem surprisingly deep though which could be problematic in small spaces such as kid's bedrooms. I'm not certain if these were final retail units or just prototypes builds used for exhibiting but the glossy surfaces were really badly scratched suggesting it's not at all durable. Of course, that could just be a symptom of being set up and moved about over and over again and therefore wouldn't be an issue in most home environments. The consoles were running whisper quiet as far as I could tell and were cool to the touch. It seems that huge fan is certainly doing its job easing any fears of potential reliability issues.

Kinect is a sizeable chunk of kit, but in reality looks much better than those horrible front-on promo shots that Microsoft use. The cable looked really thick and inflexible though, and could be difficult to keep looking neat in your set up.

Onto the controller. I have to say the pad felt great to hold. Getting rid of the protruding battery compartment has made a massive difference. Everything was responsive and the triggers felt great. I loved the way the triggers are angled so that your index fingers can rest comfortably between each trigger and bumper button. The sticks are well positioned although felt a little small after playing 360/PS3 for all these years but that's probably something you'll get used to. I really didn't like the textures around the edge of the sticks though. I cant stand laptops with textured track pads I'm afraid I feel the same about these, but that's purely a personal thing. The big disappointment for me was the rumble triggers. I hated them. The main feedback from the pad was a satisfying deep rumble as expected, but the triggers gave a horrible, harsh buzzing sensation. It made the triggers rattle so much you could actually hear it. It may just be a faulty pad, but hopefully it's a feature you'll be able to turn off.

As for Forza 5, it played as I expected which is to say very similarly to its predecessors. No bad thing if you're a fan of the series. Sadly, it was the Laguna Seca track on display which is perhaps not the most dramatic way to show off the game's abilities. (There's a limit to how exciting you can make grass and tarmac look). That said, the car models and lighting were excellent and the whole experience was silky smooth. I was surprised to see some noticeable aliasing but I can forgive that bearing in mind it was very early code.

Overall, I have to say it was a very positive experience.
I love the feel of the Xbox controller so may get one for the PC when it becomes available.
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Old 29-09-2013, 21:22
fastest finger
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Nice write up, a shame you hated the impulse triggers, I get the feeling I will love it. Other than the feeling they gave you, did you notice that they give you intelligent non-visual cues as to what your tyres are doing on the road? (ie. wheels locking, skidding etc)
Honestly, no. They just didn't feel subtle enough to convey that kind of feedback. They just came across as buzzy and annoying. But, I only did 2 laps which isn't much time to take everything in, so maybe with extended play you'd learn to read the signals. It was an early build too, so perhaps something that can be refined.

The consensus amongst my group of friends was that they'd be better suited to a different genre, such as a FPS.

I think they are a very nice idea, but the implementation just didn't work for me.
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Old 29-09-2013, 21:46
2Dshmuplover
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The actual conception of the impulse triggers came from Turn 10 after prototyping various tech so it's interesting that your group of friends felt it would be better suited to FPS. They already do a fantastic job of recreating tyre traction using the 360 dual rumble, but then I like all the buzzing and vibration I can get so long as it's well programmed. If your tyres aren't slipping and you're not locking the brakes/driving offroad/smashing into other cars then you shouldn't feel anything.

But anyway, that's awesome thanks. I look forward to it.
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