The moment of truth.
I wanted to savor the unboxing. I took a picture of every moment and contained my excitement and took it slow. Again if you are not into this sort of thing I don’t think you’ll understand though if you have ever been excited to receive (insert your favorite product here) then you might.
Here is the photo stream of the Unboxing complete with everything that I thought was cool, entertainment center set-up, and the first boot.
Though it is just a black box, it is a pretty black box. All of the wires and everything else match in their attention to detail. There is a laser etched Xbox logo on cables, the power brick – though still unwieldy – is startling in its attractiveness (since you’ll just make sure it is out of sight anyway). Though none of these cable nuances will have any effect on anything it just makes me happy to see that they cared about every little detail. The Kinect matches the Xbox in its form factor and logo placement and they look particularly pretty when the Xbox logos are illuminated in their luminous white.
What you want to know here is whether it is as good as the Xbox 360 controller. The short answer is that it is probably better. I say probably because, who knows, your usage may vary. When I first got my hands on it I thought it felt weird. But not weird in a bad way, just different. The sticks are smaller. The triggers cradle your fingers. You hands have to relearn how you use the bumpers. Overall, after logging about 80 hours on one of these controllers I have to say that I am a huge fan. My reasoning for the sticks being smaller is that it probably takes less space or motion to actually push them forward, back and every other direction. The triggers are sublime. Though I haven’t had too much opportunity to feel the rumbling in the triggers (outside of an in-store demo of Forza 5 – in which I loved the experience) but the way it holds your finger is something I always find myself marveling at in between matches of Battlefield 4. Everyone’s first, and maybe only, gripe with the controller was that it seemed like it took more effort or at least a different kind of effort to press the bumper buttons than it did with the Xbox 360 controller. After playing with this controller for quite some time now I noticed that I am now activating the bumpers in a different manner. I am using the second knuckle on my pointer finger to click the bumper (with no effort at all) and it must feel natural because there is never a time when I go to press it and it doesn’t work.
It looks simple and it really is. To the left are your pins (anything you want easy access to) to the right is the place where you might search to buy all of your content (but most likely you’ll use voice search). And in the center is your main hub. You have a large title which is full of the thing that you were most recently doing. Under that is four of those most recent apps you were using which it runs in the background for easy use when you need them again [For myself these panes usually contain some amalgamation of the following: Netflix, Friends, Achievements, Upload Studio, Store, Settings]. One fun way to activate the main pane is the grab it with both hands and pull outward to enlarge it. Not that you will actually do this most of the time but it is fun. When something is full screen you can grab the edges of the screen and pull your hands to the center the shrink it down. Most likely though you’ll say, “Xbox, go home” or just press the Xbox button on your controller. What I am really attempting to say is that you can do most anything the way you want to do it. There is no right or wrong way. The settings menu is simple and getting to anything is as simple as doing a Bing search or saying “Xbox, go to (insert game or app here).” Multitasking with Snap is awesome though I don’t do a lot of it when playing Battlefield 4 multiplayer. I know I’ll use it for the campaign when I want to collect all of those dog tags.
Again this is something that’ll vary highly from person to person but all I have been playing is Battlefield 4 and Peggle 2. Battlefield 4 hasn’t been without its problems and that is EA or DICE’s fault but it is getting better. The game is absolutely gorgeous though and I’ve put quite a bit of time into it. Peggle 2 is as charming and fun as the first iteration and when you “Go Home” the game turns black and white in its pane (a nice touch) which I didn’t even think that would be customizable by developers.
I think that is all I can think of right now. Ask me questions if you have them.