Touching on Games
Ryse: Son of Rome is the best looking launch title on any system right now. The combat is fun and satisfying, and story is decent. Co-Op is fun, but repetitive, and surprisingly very involved in terms of what it'll take to "complete." Forza 5 runs smooth, looks great, and has more lens flares than a JJ Abrams movie. Dead Rising 3 is impressive too, looking over a group of zombies is actually frightening. Zoo Tycoon is addictive, cute, and great to play with kids. Honestly there isn't a launch title I felt wasn't worth playing. We'll have full co-op reviews soon of all of the launch titles.
Microsoft has the much stronger lineup here. There are simply more and better games to play on the console right now. At least a half dozen exclusives, and I'm not talking rehashes of old Xbox 360 games.
If there's a downside I saw, it seems all first party titles are including microtransactions as standard fare. Despite paying $20 or even $60 for a game you can spend additional money to gain experience faster in Forza 5 or purchase bonus continues in Crimson Dragon. It's a concerning trend and it might be the price we have paid to remove all of those ads from the dashboard.
Another disappointing thing with the Xbox One is the install times on games and loading times in general. While the PS4 saw games install in just a few minutes, I've had a few cases where the Xbox One takes almost 10 minutes to install a title. That said, the download and play stuff works great and after just 15 minutes or 10% of the download of Forza 5 I was up and playing despite the entire downloading taking almost three hours. Despite everything being installed to the hard drive I have found that the load times seem to be longer than expected as well.
Wrapping it Up
Overall the Xbox One has a lot of features going for it and a lot of potential, but it's not quite there yet. Microsoft has laid the groundwork for the more progressive of the two consoles, but I just feel some of the interface inconsistencies both in usability and voice commands hold it back. The multitasking capabilities of the Xbox One can't be downplayed, this is a true multitasking system that behaves at times more like a PC than a console.
The strength of the Xbox One is the games. There are simply more games and better games available on the Xbox One compared to the PlayStation 4. There's at least one title available for everyone from kids to adults, from core gamers to casual gamers. Microsoft is strengthening the value of Xbox Live Gold as well with the inclusion of services like Xbox Fitness, though sadly, apps like Netflix are still stuck behind the paywall.
The next generation of consoles have provided us with an interesting dilemma as a reviewer. We can fault the device for its issues and shortcomings, but the reality is, in six months these will most likely be fixed. Even despite these, the Xbox One is a solid platform right now and feels loaded with potential to do something different. Until it gets there, you can keep yourself busy playing the games.