Let the games begin.
The Verge - 7.8
Today, the Xbox One is a great gaming console with a few great games — Zoo Tycoon and Forza are both excellent, better than anything currently available for the PS4, and Dead Rising is a blast even if it’s flawed. Whether or not the Xbox is better than the PS4 is entirely subjective: if you're committed to buying a console this holiday season, buy the one with the games you want. It's too soon to make a call on almost any other feature. Don't buy an Xbox One expecting to immediately throw out your entertainment center.
The Xbox One is here for a decade. If Microsoft can deliver on all its promises in that time, it will have built a console truly worthy of Input One — but that's a big if.
Polygon - 8
But in many ways, the Xbox One's bold direction for the future is well in place. The integration of voice controls and its media strategy are a boon to everyone, and the ability to run apps while playing games is something we now want on every gaming console we have. That it has a handful of strong, exclusive games at launch only supports its legitimacy as a gaming console and not just an entertainment hub.
The Xbox One is an impressive marriage of software and hardware that raises the bar in terms of what we expect from a living room machine. Looking forward more than it looks back, the Xbox One feels like it's from the future.
Kotaku - NOT YET
IGN - Review in Progress
For now, the Xbox One is a compelling platform with inventive ideas and lots of potential, but it's also a walking contradiction. It's a device built around new media, supporting video apps, live video chat, and custom gameplay videos. But one of it's primary features is also a lifeline to old media, live TV. And what value does that bring outside of news and sports? Everything else is already being delivered in a much more consumable and better designed way with apps like Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Go. Microsoft is betting big on live TV staying relevant over the next decade, and we'll have to wait and see if that pays off.
There are some great ideas here, then, but we've had just a small glimpse of what the machine is capable of. Cool functions like resuming gameplay from standby are flaky, while the centrepiece of the media experience - full integration with live TV - just isn't there yet outside of Microsoft's home market. It's coming, but we have no idea when. The core of what's left, beyond some neat features, is very much a games machine: one whose capabilities are proven, but which remains considerably more expensive than PlayStation 4.
Wired - 7/10
And that pretty much encapsulated my experience with Xbox One: It does a lot of things, and in a way that you may find extremely helpful, but you’ll need to take the time to learn how to do them — and learn by trial and error when it’s best to just stop trying.
As a video game console, the Xbox One offers about what you'd expect from a new Microsoft console: a big, heavy box (though quieter than you might expect), more impressive specs (though less than what you might expect after eight years), an improved controller (though still with a few odd oversights), and some good exclusive games (more reviews are coming but look into Dead Rising 3, Forza 5, Powerstar Golf, and Zoo Tycoon). As the central hub of a living room entertainment complex, though, Microsoft has a much harder sell. The company needs to prove the Xbox really adds enough value to be worthwhile and to justify the extra cost of the included Kinect over its similar competition.
The Xbox One may not be exactly what Microsoft thinks it is, but it's still a strong start for a powerful game console. Its sheer speed, versatility, horsepower and its ability to turn on and off with words make it a relatively seamless entry into our already crowded media center. What determines whether it stays there is the next 12 months: Exclusives like Titanfall and Quantum Break will help, as will gaining feature parity with the competition (we're looking at you, game broadcasting!). For broader success beyond just the early adopter's living room, the NFL crowd must buy in to Microsoft's $500 box. But will they? That remains to be seen. What's there so far is a very competent game box with an expensive camera and only a few exclusive games differentiating it from the competition.
For now, the Xbox One is one impressive living room box machine—and it more than justifies its $500 dollar price with the inclusion of at least $100-worth of set-top boxitude—but you're going to be better off waiting for a little while to see how things shake out.
But—and this is admittedly a sizable but—if the Xbox One can straighten the few little quirks it has with some software tweaks, this thing is going to be unstoppable in a way the PS4 could never touch. It's too versatile, too feature-ridden, too future. So wait, yes. But while you do, go ahead and start clearing out plenty of space underneath your television.
With that said, it’s important to stress that one key term: “Day One”. The current state of the Xbox One — and the PS4, for that matter — is quite likely very, very different from what the same consoles will look like in just a few years. Compare the Xbox 360 on Day One to the 360 today; from the games to the interface, it’s almost unrecognizable. Both Microsoft and Sony are laying the runway for the next few years.
Note: There are clearly some large inaccuracies in this review so take it as you will.
Microsoft has taken its share of criticism regarding Xbox One, including many of its policies regarding used game sales and privacy concerns. Most of those decisions have been reversed, thankfully, and what we're left with is a solid next-generation console that unifies your gaming, movie and television watching under one voice-controlled roof. Now, let's see which platform gets the best games.