The Xbox One (and why you should give it a chance)
Alright, so I know this site loves to trash the Xbox - like, seriously, Tumblr seems to fucking hate Microsoft’s Halo machine. And, while not liking a console is perfectly fine, I feel like there’s a lot of stuff that Tumblr misses out on because the default reaction to anyone owning an Xbone seems to be ‘ew’.
First and foremost, the Xbox One has completely changed its layout since it debuted, and 99% of the changes have been for the better. It’s faster, easier to navigate, and far more customizable - compare that to its competition, which has stubbornly refused to change regardless of fan demand. The PlayStation 4 still won’t let users customize their main menu (which means dealing with obtrusive ads everywhere), while the Xbone has an entire section of its main menu dedicated to user shortcuts…and that’s just one of many examples.
There’s also smaller (but noticeable) advantages, such as more consistent download speeds, better subscription incentives, and a far more user-friendly store. Sure, Bing sucks, but at least Microsoft’s eShop is worth using.
On top of that, there seems to be a genuine desire for the Xbox team to keep these sort of user-first changes coming. Recently, Microsoft debuted its new lines of Avatars (basically Miis, but with more detail), but they went above and beyond in updating them. It’s not just more clothes or skin tones, either: it’s the ability to give your avatar a prosthetic limb, or a baby bump, or the ability to choose any clothing regardless of gender. And it’s not an oversight: Microsoft specifically programmed these features into the update in an effort to be more inclusive.
Is the Xbone a perfect console? Hell no: it’s still the weakest of the bunch from a hardware perspective, and Microsoft’s only recently started making major progress into being an indie-friendly console.
Microsoft’s console is one that, in my own personal opinion, represents a company that’s willing to make changes for its fans. One could argue that these changes are because of Microsoft’s sales standings, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they’re the only major console manufacturer who consistently make changes based on fan feedback.
As someone who owns all three Generation Eight consoles, the Xbox is easily my favorite to use - and it’s not just because of my taste in games or some notion of ‘brand loyalty’ (which is funny, because I got my PS4 years ahead of my Xbone). It’s a great piece of hardware, and I’m genuinely excited to see what Microsoft does next - and it’s a shame that such a seemingly large portion of this site is going to miss out on that simply because of some outdated first impressions.