Part Five: Games
Very few people are looking at buying the Xbox One as an all in one entertainment box though and the main question to be addressed here is: How does it perform as a gaming machine? Any credible journalist would state that it’s almost impossible to judge a console’s long term potential based on its launch window, but I’ve found that there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the One.
The launch lineup of Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, NBA 2k14, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Madden NFL 25, Need For Speed Rivals, FIFA 14, Just Dance 2014, Battlefield 4, LocoCycle, Zoo Tycoon and Crimson Dragon isn’t bad at all for a brand new system, however, just like with the PS4, most of these titles aren’t system sellers.
The One requires that all disc games be installed onto the internal hard drives before playing. These installs are fairly massive (ranging from 25-50 GB it seems), but you are able to start playing once the game has installed enough data to unlock the single player. While it’s scary to think how quickly we may end up burning through the 500 GB hard drive, I have to admit that the install times are fairly quick and the benefits to these installs are immediately obvious as traditional loading times in game have drastically been diminished.
Admittedly, I did encounter a few issues. Need for Speed failed to render a distant texture for a moment and characters in Killer Instinct did not immediately show when selecting their portrait, but being able to jump right into a game is still a fantastic feeling and is worth the extra space taken up on the hard drive.
Of course, each game looks different and you can read more about how each one runs in their individual reviews, but even at this very early stage in development, the visual power of the Xbox One is very impressive. Killer Instinct may have gone a bit overboard here, but the sheer amount of particle effects present when performing some of the more advanced combos was outstanding. The visual acuity that developers have been able to put into these games shows a great deal of power, and it’s only going to get better as they become more comfortable with the hardware.
I’m going to be that guy here and I’m going to directly compare the One to the PS4 in terms of pure power. And, regardless of what some people may think, right now they are dead even. If you’re concerned with buying one console over the other simply due to graphical power, you cannot go wrong with either system. Time will tell if one is able to break away due to any number of reasons, but at the time of this writing they are absolutely identical.