My wife was very excited on Black Friday when she did the impossible: find an Xbox One in the store. Even though I was willing to wait, she insisted that as an early adopter I just had to have one. And, who am I to argue.
After using it for a few weeks, my first impression is this: Good potential, but still too early and not enough of a bump up from the Xbox 360 to make you run out and upgrade.
The real problem is the lineup of games. Xbox One is not backwards compatible with any of the Xbox 360 titles. As a result, the only games available are new ones that came out at launch - some dozen or so. Of those, almost all of them are also available on the Xbox 360. So, those games are not really an incentive to get the Xbox One. Of the few games that are exclusive to Xbox One, I picked up Ryse: Son of Rome. This is a third person action combat game. The graphics are really good, probably better than almost anything out there right now. But they are not a leapfrog over what I have seen on current generation consoles. Its only marginally better graphically than, for example, The Last of Us on PS3. In terms of gameplay, its good, but not great.
The much touted feature of the Xbox One is its ability to be used with your TV. You can set it up in HDMI passthrough, which means you plug your cable box into it, and then connect it to your TV. It intercepts the cable box output and adds additional capabilities before sending to your TV. It has its own TV guide, and can take spoken commands to change channels. However, there is no TiVO functionality, so you cannot record shows. As such, right now its little more than a glorified remote control for my cable box (indeed it uses the Kinect sensor as an IR blaster to change channels on the cable box). Neat, for sure. But worth $500? No.
The Kinect is also underutilized right now. The one game I have doesnt use it for gaming. Yes, you can use it for navigation in menus. And it supports signing in via face recognition. But these are icing, and whats missing is the cake.
The other big thing about Xbox One is its multi-tasking. It has a snap mode that is similar to Windows 8 or RT. You can have one thing running in most of the screen and then have a sidebar for something else. I found this most useful for watching TV during the laborious install process for Ryse (which took almost 30mins). Once installed the game started pretty quickly, and so the multitasking wasnt useful for me since then.
The net/net is - I think there is promise here. Once the titles start coming, and Microsoft figures out how to better leverage its connection to the TV, I think the Xbox One has promise. But, for any but the bleeding edge early adopter, my recommendation is to hold off on Xbox One for now.