The Xbone reviews are out

Looks like the press embargo has lifted on reviews of the Xbox One in anticipation of the console's impending public launch, so you can now go read reviewers' impressions at places like Yahoo, Ars, and Kotaku.

I have to admit, I haven't been reading the reviews so much as nibbling at them, combing through and extracting their vital essences at key points concerning the things that fascinate me about the Xbone-PS4 contest. I'm getting the sense that the key considerations line up something like this:

  • The PS4 has very similar hardware that's maybe 50% more powerful.
  • The PS4's DualShock controllers add built-in speakers, along with a touchpad for something vital: pointer control.
  • The PS4 costs $100 less.

Meanwhile, the Xbone is a DVR, maybe? Seems like that's the response. Also, voice controls and you can wiggle your arms.

I'm not clear on how all of this works out to someone choosing an Xbox One over a PS4, but those are the outlines of the conversation apparently taking place.

More than one reviewer has remarked on how games don't look that much different or better on the Xbone than on the 360, which is both scandalous and also somewhat predictable to the grizzled veteran of contemporary PC gaming. Some portion of the explanation involves the co-development of these first games for multiple console generations, and the rest can be attributed to the fact that many nerds have poor vision. You decide what proportion goes where.

As for me, I'm going to get back to testing BF4, CoD: Ghosts, AC4: Black Flag, and Arkham Origins on the GTX 780 Ti and R9 290X at 4K. In that task, there is no ambiguity. The generational change is imparting repeated, blunt-force trauma to my rods and cones.

I've attached a gallery of 4K shots from Ghosts to give you some of the flavor. Click through and choose "view full size" to embiggen. Just be aware that the impact isn't quite the same when you're scrolling and panning across the image with much larger pixels.

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