It is crazy to think that the Xbox One is now five years old. This along with the PlayStation 4 feels like they have only been around a couple of years, but the truth is these consoles have been around for half a decade now!
I wanted to share my thoughts on the Xbox One, its pre-launch run-up, the launch and the way the console is now.
Last console generation while I had both a PS3 and a 360, the Xbox 360 was the console of that generation for me. Xbox Live was better than PSN and the whole console just felt far more friendly than what Sony did. So before the Xbox One and PS4 were announced I was leaning more towards the Xbox side of things.
Of course the pre-launch of the Xbox One was a disaster. Always online, no sharing games and a whole lot of talk about TV, not to mention the forced Kinect 2.0 made people wonder what Microsoft was doing? For me, as a gamer of 30 years, the always online and no sharing of games or using pre-owned games felt like Microsoft were trying to change this hobby I liked to just benefit them! It was a nightmare and many people were turned off from the Xbox One and never looked back.
It is also important to talk about that it was not just that which caused the PS4 to race ahead. The PS4 was far cheaper as it did not force an add-on that you did not want. The Kinect worked out at an extra 100 bucks and for many people that was the real sticking point. Also, the Xbox One was a much bulkier looking console than the PS4.
To be fair, Microsoft has turned things around incredibly well. They actually listened to the community (although you could argue they had no choice) and changed things that people wanted to be changed. No more always online and pre-owned games were now not an issue. The smaller Xbox One S is a truly fantastic console that looks cool, plays 4K Blu-Rays and is currently being sold for a great price.
Add to this the fact that Xbox Live is still a fantastic service and Xbox have managed to steady the ship. The creation of the Game Pass which is one of the best deals in gaming has made an Xbox One feel very appealing to many new gamers as well.
While the console may not have the strongest lineup of exclusive games. Halo, Gears of War, Sea of Thieves, Forza and Sunset Overdrive have all been fantastic games. Also, many 3rd party games look best on the Xbox One X which is the most powerful games console around.
So while the Xbox One may be in a distant second place (or maybe even third if you count the Switch) I think after the initial mess of a pre-launch, Microsoft has done right by gamers and the Xbox One is a solid console and one that you really cannot go wrong with. For me personally, the Xbox One controller is a million times better than the Dual Shock 4, especially for first person shooters.