Xbox One reviews are in: Good in parts, but the yolk's on you

Eggs Box

Frank Monnerjahn (cc:by-sa)

I also need FOUR CANDLES.

Microsoft (NSADAQ:MSFT) wants to see an Xbox One in every living room. Wire it inline, before your TV and let it listen to your every word you say. It's not just about videogames, you know: It's all about the ecosystem (baby).

Well, the reviews are in, so what do bloggers say? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers can't make an omelette. Not to mention: Waddya mean, "Four candles"?..

Your humble blogwatcher curates these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 

Does JP Mangalindan make a fortune from doing this?

If the Xbox One isn't already near the top of your holiday wish list, it should be. ... Microsoft wants to own the living room in a way the company's previous products never could.

...

It's not mandatory that users issue voice commands to navigate around, but in some cases, it's actually easier. ... And here is where the Xbox One trumps the PlayStation 4...if Microsoft can iron out some performance quirks...the decision won't be too hard: it's far easier to glimpse the future potential in the Xbox One, starting with 10 seconds of time and the simple two-word voice command: "Xbox on."  MORE

 

But Kyle Orland ain't convinced:

Microsoft is positioning its newest system as the center of a Netflix-filled, Kinect-controlled, do-everything-on-your-TV world controlled through a single source. ... But there are still a few kinks to be worked out before the Xbox One truly becomes the center of everything.

...

The extremely boxy design and sharp, 90-degree corners don't do the case any favors in the aesthetics department. ... That extra size seems to pay off, though, when it comes to keeping the system quiet...topping out at about 120 Watts during a power-hungry game [and] 17 to 18 Watts...in standby mode. This allows [you] to power the system on just by saying "Xbox, on."

...

By including an HDMI input on the Xbox One, Microsoft is encouraging users to plug their other set-top devices in through the system so they can receive messages and game invites...while watching TV or using other devices. The passthrough works great...watching TV on the Xbox One was a neat if not transformative experience. ... The best use for this feature is probably watching TV while playing a game. [But] if you can do without fancy picture-in-picture and voice commands, look into saving some money on a PlayStation 4 instead.  MORE

 

So Arthur Gies gives us the shape of things:

[It's] "inoffensive" — there's no sugarcoating the console's lack of visual flair. [It's] designed to blend into the other components of your home entertainment center. ... It's quiet, and it runs relatively cool. [It] has a Blu-ray drive...partnered with a 500 GB internal hard drive.

...

Microsoft has...repeatedly outlined a vision for a console based around entertainment, apps and connected experiences, tied together by Kinect. ... And the console's television functionality impresses … if you watch television. ... The integration of voice controls and its media strategy are a boon to everyone.

...

The Xbox One is an impressive marriage of software and hardware that raises the bar in terms of what we expect from a living-room machine. [It] feels like it's from the future..  MORE

 

As a rule, Preston Gralla generally gets grumpy, but today, he seems wistful, if anything:

Steve Ballmer, in his final speech to company shareholders, makes it plain: He believes [XBox is] core to Microsoft's success.

...

The Xbox One, he said, is the fruit of Microsoft's strategy [and] "a reflection of what is possible when a company, our company, is unified under a common vision." ... I generally don't agree with everything that Ballmer says...but he's right about this one.

...

Xbox is...the key component of Microsoft's push into entertainment and beyond. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are battling over entire ecosystems...not just pieces of hardware and software. Xbox gives Microsoft a leg up on both Apple and Google. ... Ballmer is right: Microsoft needs Xbox.  MORE

 

Meanwhile, Fred Thomas waxes cynical:

[I] plan on selling mine day one and waiting to purchase one for myself after the new year.  MORE

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