The Xbox One is one of the most amazing pieces of video game hardware ever created. It does everything from playing amazing games to streaming media to tracking every step of your achievement addiction. But for all of that, it’s a device made by fallible humans that relies on numerous complex technological systems — which is to say it isn’t perfect. Networks go down, hardware fails, the center cannot hold, and things fall apart.
Here are seven problems with the Xbox One.
1. The dashboard is baffling
Microsoft just isn’t good at designing dashboards for game consoles. The original Xbox One user interface was less than ideal, with a sprawling and confusing layout that made it hard to find things you didn’t use often. Microsoft did a major overhaul toward the end of 2015 called the New Xbox One Experience, which would’ve been a great opportunity to streamline things and tidy it up. It didn’t.
The new interface might be even more chaotic than the last one, with everything moved to a new, hard-to-find place. You can use a few controller button shortcuts to get around quicker, but first you have to memorize what they are. It’s a nightmare of a user interface that could use a whole lot of streamlining.
2. When Xbox Live goes down, you’re screwed
Xbox Live is the service that connects your Xbox One to the Internet. It lets you play your games online, connect to the Xbox Store, and stream digital goodies. It’s no exaggeration to call it the lifeblood of the system.
When Xbox Live goes down, so do most of the things you can do on an Xbox One, including watching movies and playing the games you’ve bought digitally — even if you want to play them offline.
On the plus side, Xbox Live goes down infrequently. If you’re having trouble accessing your stuff, check Microsoft’s Xbox Live Status website to see if it’s down, and which features you can still use.
3. Mandatory game installs
This problem isn’t unique to Xbox One, but it’s a major pain in the butt when you buy a brand new game and want to play it post-haste. Before playing any Xbox One disc, the system has to install a whole heap of files, which can take a long time and eat up tons of hard drive space.
This is particularly bad for games you’re pumped to play, so you can basically forget about midnight launches. By the time you come home and install the game, you’ll be fast asleep on your couch dreaming of the good old days when games were ready to play immediately.
4. Controller connection issues
Sometimes, for no apparent reason, the Xbox One will simply forget that your controller exists. You’ll press the button to turn on your console and be dumbfounded when nothing happens. No one seems to know what causes this issue, but since you have to get up off the couch to fix it, it’s unacceptable in this cushy day and age.
The solution, if this happens to you, is to press the camouflaged silver button on the near left side of your console, then press the tiny hidden button on the back of your controller to tell the two hunks of hardware to scan for each other. Watch the video above for more information.
5. Hard drive woes
In this day and age, when even games you buy on disc can require upwards of 50 GB of hard drive space thanks to mandatory installs (see above), the 500 GB hard drive that comes on the base model of the Xbox One and Xbox One S just won’t cut it. Isn’t it time we got a few terabytes of hard drive space with our consoles? The future of video games is digital, and it’s time for Xbox One (and PlayStation 4, for that matter) to get with the times.
6. It’s less powerful than PS4
Despite the Xbox One’s outrageous size and weight, it’s somehow less powerful than the svelte PlayStation 4. This is obvious from the many cross platform games that run in lower resolution and/or lower frame rates on Xbox One. Don’t Xbox One owners deserve a power boost? Of course they do.
7. The bundled Kinect was an awful idea
When Xbox One first launched, it came with a Kinect motion controller whether you wanted it or not. The Kinect sees and hears you as you play, letting you control certain games as well as the dashboard using gestures and voice commands. It’s great in theory, but the reality is something else entirely. The games for it are bad, and it mishears your voice commands as often as not — and that’s when it hears them at all.
Microsoft saw the writing on the wall for its expensive add-on and released a cheaper version of the Xbox One without Kinect. It turns out you don’t need a Kinect at all to have a perfectly wonderful Xbox One experience. And once Kinect stopped being a mandatory pack-in, Kinect-focused games stopped coming out almost immediately. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kinect fiasco is one of the chief reasons PlayStation 4 is steamrolling Xbox One in terms of sales. Who could have predicted that bundling an expensive and lackluster peripheral with your new console was a bad idea?