It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me to hear that we have a new addition to the household.
We’ve always been a multiplatform household of gamers. Our living room boasts XBox 360 alongside PS3 alongside Wii, and I’ve been PC gaming since the days of Elite on the venerable BBC Micro my parents had the foresight to but, way back in the mists of time.
Most of our media streaming has been through the 360 in recent years, so the closer integration in the One was a big draw when we saw the reveal. So, we duly put a pre-order in with our local Game store when they opened the list.
All through the honeymoon, I have to confess, we were still getting excited about the launch date. Once we were dealing with Lady M’s injury, the thought of the new console kept our spirits that little higher.
Due to monumental poor planning though, we suddenly realised I was going to be working all through Day One, and would also need to pick up Miss C for the weekend. Suddenly the prospect of having the XBox One on Day One was looking shaky.
Fortunately our local Game in Staines announced that they were going to have a midnight opening, so I decided that this was an opportunity to cross an item off the bucket list. Decision made, I finished paying for the console.
I went for the Premium package on offer, which was bundled with Fifa14, and got Ryse and Forza5 to go with it. A spare controller and rapid charging packs for both went on the list. I also got the 2 year support option because it’s a new console, and after the hardware issues encountered over the years with the 360 I’m a little wary of build quality in consumer electronics in this stable.
The midnight launch was extremely well organised. I counted some two hundred people at the door, but having been the seventh person to pay up I was duly ushered to my place in the queue. Barely ten minutes after midnight I was leaving the building weighed down with bags of goodies.
And then home to sleep. I had library work to do, but I did tweet my thanks to the store for making it a fun and painless experience.
So for us, Day One didn’t start until 8pm, and like a bunch of kids in a sweet shop we started unpacking things, swapping cables and plugging peripherals in.
After a wait for the activation patch, and a bit of a false start where I mistakenly made a new profile before re-reading the screen, we were quickly all transferred into the new box. The games could begin.
Gameplay is smooth, though we were impatient while games installed and patched the first time. TV integration with our LG was smooth. I’ll be intrigued to see what happens when we upgrade to a smart TV.
The handsets are gorgeous. Seriously very cool ergonomics and an almost sensual pleasure in holding them..
The Windows 8 interface is taking a little time to get used to, and the Snap function has some potential, even though it currently feels a bit Inception-esque with menus inside your menus.
Forza5 is beautiful, though escaping career mode is proving a little unintuitive. That may just be me though. Lady M has gleefully claimed it as her game…
I’ll play Ryse later, but in the meantime I’ve left Killer Instinct downloading as she plays and I take Miss C out riding.
I don’t think I’m going to tire any time soon of just saying XBox On, and seeing it all just spring to life.