It’s been over a month since Microsoft launched the Xbox One and ushered in a new generation of gaming. Billed as the all-in-one entertainment console, this machine is supposed to do just about everything aside from cooking your meals and wiping your butt. The Xbox One has had a successful launch and fulfills most of its promises, but there are definitely some things that we would like to see improved, changed, or added. Thus, the crew at Frag Tag Radio have comprised a list of things we want to happen with our new console (sooner rather than later). Here is that list.
1. Improve Party Chat
It’s no secret that Party Chat on Xbox One has had issues since the launch. Microsoft needs to fix these issues immediately. Aside from fixing bugs, we have one major issue with Party Chat. Whenever you join a Party on Xbox One, you must “Turn On” the chat after joining. Party Chat should ALWAYS default to “On”. If I just joined a Party Chat, then I am obviously ready to CHAT.
2. Improve My Games & Apps
Clicking the “My games & apps” icon on the Xbox One dashboard will bring you to a screen where you can browse through all games and apps currently installed on the console. The problem? Everything is jumbled together. There needs to be a set of filters that players can utilize to find items without a hassle. There should be a filter to view “Games Only” or “Apps Only”. Furthermore, there should be a filter to view games and apps by letter. For example, if you want to view all games and apps that start with the letter “A”. There should also be a “Recent” filter, to view games or apps that you have accessed recently.
3. Add a Menu Tab
There are currently 3 tabs on the Xbox One dashboard – Pins, Home, & Store. The problem? Necessary apps (i.e. Messages, Achievements, Party, Friends, GameDVR, System Settings, Etc.) aren’t always visible on the “Home” screen. You can pin these apps to the “Pins” screen, but that screen is supposed to be for pinning your favorite games and other apps, like Netflix or Hulu. Having to pin all of the necessary apps, along with our games and entertainment apps, makes the “Pins” tab a jumbled mess. System apps need their own tab.
4. Add a File Explorer
On Xbox 360, you can access your hard drive and manage all of your games, apps, and save files that are installed on the console. Where is this option on Xbox One? Well, it just isn’t there right now and that needs to be fixed. You can go to the “My games & apps” tile on the “Home” screen to delete games or apps manually, but this is in no way a substitute for an actual File Explorer. Also, since you can’t access your hard drive, you will have no idea how much free space you have. How you do find out? Currently, you won’t find out until you are actually out of space. That is unacceptable.
5. Add External Hard Drive Support
Installing retail games was an option on Xbox 360, but on Xbox One it is mandatory. The new console features a 500GB hard drive, but the average retail game for Xbox One is 20-40GB. This means it won’t take long before you are deleting old games to make space for new ones. Also, only about 370GB of that 500GB hard drive is usable for installing games and apps on your Xbox One. Microsoft needs to add support for external hard drives ASAP, and we’re not talking about some over-priced/Microsoft-branded external hard drive either. We want to be able to plug in our 2TB Seagate hard drive, and we will accept nothing less.
6. Make Skype Snappable
Just about every video that Microsoft showed off demonstrating the Xbox One before launch showed people Skype chatting and watching TV or playing a game at the same time. So, why is that option not available? Your guess is as good as ours, but Microsoft needs to remedy this ASAP. Make Skype snappable.
7. Make ALL Apps Snappable
So you are playing Forza Motorsport 5 and you just got an Achievement. The prompt on your screen says to hold the Xbox guide button for details. You do so and start reading the details of your new achievement. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Doing this has taken you out of Forza and into the “Achievements” app. Well, a few minutes later, one of your friends has sent you a message over Xbox Live. You hit the guide button to read his message, and then… You guessed it. Xbox One has taken you out of Forza again and into the “Messages” app. Microsoft needs to make all apps snappable, so we can view Achievements and read messages while we are playing.
8. Add Live Streaming
We all knew that this feature wasn’t going to be available at launch, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Players want to live stream on Twitch, YouTube, Ustream, etc. PS4 features live streaming out of the box, and that means Microsoft needs to add this to Xbox One ASAP.
9. Add Media Streaming Through SmartGlass
With AppleTV and Google Chromecast, streaming media (videos, music, and pictures) to your TV through a phone or tablet is simple and painless. This is an awesome feature that thousands of people use, and the potential is there for Microsoft to do the same for SmartGlass on Xbox One. Allow players to stream media from their phone or tablet with SmartGlass to the TV through Xbox One! Sadly, this feature is not currently available and we think Microsoft needs to add it immediately. If they want Xbox One to be a true All-In-One media box (and they do), then this feature is a must.
10. Bring Back Player Created Soundtracks
There are always great games with horrible soundtracks. That was never a problem on Xbox 360, because you could just press the guide button and start your own soundtrack. Any mp3s you had on your hard drive could be used. You could also simply plug any iPod, Zune, or music player into the 360 via USB. This was an awesome feature that was somehow overlooked for Xbox One. BRING IT BACK!
11. Add 7.1/5.1 Surround Sound via Optical Output
Currently, the Xbox One features both 7.1 & 5.1 Surround Sound via HDMI, but strangely, neither of these features are available via the Optical Output. Really, there is no excuse for this feature not being available. Microsoft needs to remedy this immediately.
12. Support More Headsets
Yes, Microsoft has confirmed that support for 3rd party headsets (i.e. Turtle Beach) is coming. Yet, they have given no solid date for when that support is coming or even a good time frame beyond “sometime in 2014”, and that’s just not good enough in our opinion. PS4 supports 3rd party headsets right out of the box, which means Microsoft needed to add this feature, like, yesterday. Get it done!
13. More/Improved Voice Commands
The voice commands on Xbox One via the new Kinect 2.0 are awesome, and what sets the console apart from the PS4. The voice commands currently available work fine, most of the time, but there is much work that needs to be done. For example, we should be able to say “Xbox Play Assassins Creed 4”, instead of the drawn out, “Xbox Play Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag”. Make voice commands simpler, and make more of them available.
14. Bring Back Friend Notifications
On Xbox 360, a little notification pops up at the bottom of the screen whenever one of your friends signs on to Xbox Live. Not so with Xbox One. We grow tired of checking the “Friends” app every 45 minutes to see who has signed on that we can play with. Also, due to the nature of much larger friends lists on Xbox One, there should be an option to turn on notifications for only friends that we have placed on our “Favorites” list.
15. Add a Battery Indicator
On Xbox 360, simply pressing the guide button would bring up the bladed menu that we all know and love. Right above that menu, would be an icon showing the power level of the batteries in your controller. It even features a separate icon for the wireless headset battery level (if you are currently using one). There needs to be an easy and painless way to check the power level of batteries in our controllers.
16. Add a Player Number Indicator
Whenever I’m playing local multiplayer with my kids, it is a pain to figure out everyone’s player number. This wasn’t a problem on Xbox 360, since all you had to do was look down at your controller and see what player you were. Obviously, this isn’t possible on the Xbox One controller, but there needs to be an easy way to figure out what player you are. Perhaps having each person’s player number next to their gamer picture at the top left of the “Home” screen?
17. Unify Microsoft Platforms
This has already been rumored, but if the rumors aren’t true – then they need to be. Unifying the marketplace across Xbox One, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone would be a game changer for Microsoft. We really don’t see why they didn’t go this route from the start, but with Xbox One running a Windows kernel, it only makes sense. Bring Windows Store apps and games to Xbox One. Bring Xbox One games and apps to Windows Store. If you purchase an app or a game on one platform, then you should own it for all 3 platforms. The suits in Redmond really need to wake up and get this ball rolling ASAP, because it will be much harder for Sony to compete, when and if this happens.
18. More Games!
Honestly, Microsoft has done a pretty awesome job with lining up some great exclusives for Xbox One so far. We want them to continue that trend through the consoles life cycle. It was the same for the first few years of Xbox 360, then Microsoft seemed to just fall back on the fatal four (Halo, Gears, Fable, Forza) without giving much thought to new IPs in the second half of the 360’s life cycle. Also, get back on track with exclusive JRPG’s! Lost Odyssey, Infinite Undiscovery, & Magna Carta 2 were awesome games! Then there were the timed exclusive JRPG’s like Star Ocean, Eternal Sonata, Tales of Vesperia, Etc. Well, we haven’t seen a Tales game on Xbox since Vesperia (and there have been a few of them). While we are on the subject, get Mistwalker on the phone and have them start on a sequel to Lost Odyssey immediately. That game was awesome. Also, let Rare off the leash this gen! We don’t want a bunch of Kinect Sports games. We want Conker, Banjo-Kazooie, & Perfect Dark! Finally, Quantum Break sounds great, but get Remedy working on a proper sequel to Alan Wake! In summary – Support more JRPG’s, Let Rare Be Rare, Invest In New IP’s ALWAYS, and get Alan Wake back to writing novels.
Well, that’s our list of things that we think need to be added to Xbox One immediately! What do you guys think?