Xbox One's biggest mistake was showing too much

Xbox One controller
Isn't it too early to say you will or won't buy one?

The criticism aimed at the Xbox One since its reveal last Tuesday only goes to show how smart Sony was to keep its launch event in February fairly light on details.

Consumers should be ready to keep an open mind until the finished product is available to try out - but the more you tell people, it seems, the more faults they'll find.

Sony took some stick after its own little show and tell, but the PS4 itself got fairly good press. The games looked great, which was the most important thing. And because we didn't see much else, there was nothing bad that could be said other than "we want more".

Microsoft, on the other hand, is taking a right pummelling after so-say getting its message all wrong, and it's the product itself that's having to soak up the snark on the forums.

It doesn't help, of course, that the Xbox One itself is even more ugly than the original Xbox by several orders of magnitude.

Beyond the surface

Hideous appearance aside, though, I think the Xbox One is going to be a fantastic console. In fact, looking at what we know about both consoles so far, you'd have to say they both look likely to sell well.

The fact is that as gaming machines they're about as similar as it's possible to get, so it'll be the other features and exclusive titles that shift units and that's clearly why Microsoft chose to focus on those things at its launch event.

So I've watched with interest as the internet has exploded with fury at Microsoft's focus on TV integration, and I can't help but wonder whether the world has lost its frame of reference.

Seriously, if you use TiVo or a Sky HD box to watch TV, why on Earth wouldn't you want to make use of those cool integration features? If they work as well in real life as in that live demo, it looks like a great feature. If you don't want to use them, that's cool too - right?

The pre-owned games furore is also quite a curious thing. Who would you prefer to make money from used games, the people who created them or the retailers whose only role is to take your cash? How this situation pans out simply depends on how it affects availability and prices, and those are details we simply don't have yet.

So let's just chill for a second, breathe, and trust that Microsoft and Sony know who their customers are and what they will and won't be prepared to pay for. As long as it doesn't cost us any more, everything's cool.

Instant-on is awesome

The main frustration I have with my Xbox 360 is that by the time I've booted it up, selected FIFA 13, downloaded and installed game updates and then got my manager mode savegame loaded, 10 minutes have passed and I've been seduced by America's Most Electrifying Police Taserings 6. It's the exact opposite experience people have come to expect from mobile games that load up in a matter of seconds.

So I think the instant-on feature of both consoles will be huge. How many times would you have had a quick game if you knew your console could be switched on instantly using just a voice command, with games booted up before you'd even reached for a controller? It's an awesome feature.

It helps, of course, that all games will have to be installed on the HDD and won't require the discs to play them. Given how ludicrously loud most Xbox 360 models were, it makes perfect sense to limit the use of the Blu-ray drive. But silent operation aside, it's the instant gratification factor that's the bigger benefit in my opinion.

Problem for Microsoft is that these are the sort of features you simply won't appreciate until you get them in your living room. And they're not the sort of things that many people think about before they tear up the comments sections at the bottom of the internet. Let's see what E3 brings.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.