I was going to wait for a special edition console bundle that I felt I just had to have before making the leap. However, since my wife had been mentioning wanting a larger TV for her lounge (she had a 32in in there), and Best Buy had the 40in smart TV and XB1 deal for $500, I had to pull the trigger. After all, I basically got the Halo MCC bundle XB1 for 70 bucks. I picked up Sunset Overdrive so that I would have a true next-gen XB1 game to play along with the Halo bundle. My initial impressions of the system and games are below.
The UI on the Xbox is a complete eyesore to me. I am hoping that it will grow on me over time. The amount of advertising that immediately leaps out to me on each tab is a complete turn off though. I understand advertising things in the store tab, but must I see what Twitch channels have high viewership without specifically going to Twitch? Seems unnecessary to me. That said, I do enjoy the Pin tab. At least I have complete control there. I didn't spend much time in the settings menus yet so maybe I am overlooking the ability to customize (or remove) the other tabs... hopefully.
MCC took forever to download, which I expected, since I assume a ton of new users were downloading it as well based on how many people were in line at my local Best Buy on Sunday morning. When I say it took forever, I mean that it took as long for the game to download 100% as it took me to get from Chapter 3 to the Platinum trophy in The Order. So, a few hours.
Once I had Halo installed and ready to go I fired it up and got that delicious nostalgia feeling seeing the opening to Halo 1. I have never been a huge Halo multiplayer guy, but I did enjoy the campaigns in 1-3. I never really did 4, so that will be a new experience for me once I get through 1-3 again. A few seconds (30 or so) into the opening sequence on Halo 1 though I started to wonder if packing this game in was the best decision for MS to make, specifically for new customers. In that first 30 seconds there were noticeable framerate drops and screen tearing. This is a port of a remake of a game 2 gens old. Really shouldn't have these kinds of problems on their flagship series on their brand new hardware. Also, while Halo 1 looks much better than it did 10 years ago, it really isn't giving any decent showcase of what the hardware is capable of. If I hadn't owned both MS consoles previously, I would've wondered what I had gotten myself into with this one being my first experience.
With regards to Sunset Overdrive, I grabbed that one as a physical game. I threw the disc in and waited roughly 5 minutes for it to install to a point where I could play the game. Then, after seeing the opening "produced by" graphics, got another 2 minute install screen. Then the tutorial (the first tutorial anyway). After the first tutorial I got another 5 minute install screen. Then, finally, I was able to play the game unhindered. 15+ minutes to install a game off disc is a bit crazy to me. But, at least now I know so I can plan out my time a bit better when I get my new games.
My hour playing Sunset Overdrive was a blast. Game is exactly what I had hoped it would be. Last year at RI Comic Con I gave the game a quick 5 minute try and that try really was a disservice to the game itself. It is a crazy, gorgeous (even if the art style isn't my favorite), over the top fun game that I am looking forward to spending a ton of time on.
I grabbed a charger pack for the controller so that I wouldn't have to deal with the AA batteries thing. I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that they stuck with the batteries route. Not a huge deal though. While the XB1 controller is comfortable, the DS4 is certainly my favorite controller this gen though, by far.
My last gripe is when I went to renew my Gold account. I couldn't use the free 2 weeks that came with the system because I had a Gold account in the past... fine. I can accept that. When I went to renew though I learned that Microsoft doesn't accept Discover as a payment option. Seriously? One of the largest companies on this planet doesn't accept all credit card options? So, I am not on Gold just yet. I will wait for a sale and grab a pre-paid card for it.
Nothing with the system makes me regret the purchase. I do feel as though it is noticeably a notch below the PS4 in terms of UI and install speeds. My intention for this gen though has been for the PS4 to be my third party game haven while XB1 and Wii U will be relegated to mainly exclusives only. EA Access might change my mind on 3rd parties in some cases, will have to wait and see.
TL;DR: There are a few nagging issues with the UI and game installation that I am sure I will get used to. Most importantly, the games I have so far are a blast to play and I am really looking forward to picking up more exclusives (Scalebound, Quantum Break, etc.) as they release.