Xbox is on the up and up, with Xbox Series X|S consoles selling faster than any earlier Xbox technology earlier than it, even the Xbox 360. With Xbox cloud gaming, the most important studio portfolio in the corporate’s historical past, and an industry-leading subscription service in Xbox Game Pass, Xbox is poised to have a extremely nice console technology.
As good as Xbox has been doing these days, issues may at all times be higher, proper? Recently, I requested on Twitter what Xbox fans’ largest issues had been at the moment concerning the Xbox platform, and solicited over 1,000 replies with consumer feedback. Over the Christmas break, I sat down and analyzed every little bit of feedback based mostly on varied classes. If a feedback merchandise appeared solely as soon as, I added it to an “different” column. The overwhelming majority of complaints did, in truth, seem a number of instances, and the vary of feedback was fairly broad.
Here’s an summary (and wholly unscientific) take a look at the ~1,000 consumer feedback pattern I gathered, and what appear to be among the largest trending issues amongst core Xbox fans.
Xbox feedback overview
On Dec. 28, I asked Xbox fans in my Twitter following for feedback on the present state of Xbox. Each time I tracked a problem from a person consumer, I added it to a tally on Excel and produced the above pie chart based mostly on the outcomes.
No single subject wholly dominated for Xbox avid gamers.
This ought to certainly not be taken as scientific, on condition that it focuses completely on my private Twitter following and disregards the experiences of customers who’re maybe enjoying extra casually and do not get entangled in the web discourse. Still, it provides us some good indication at what the prevailing ache factors are for heavy Xbox customers, and should give us some concept of the place Xbox might prioritize improvement for future options and expenditure.
As you may see above, no single subject wholly dominated for Xbox avid gamers. The largest ache factors for many pertain to the Xbox Game DVR, which information sport captures, screenshots, and handles dwell streaming. Another huge ache level was normal issues with the Xbox OS, with many complaints concerning the abundance of “adverts” on the dashboard. Another concern for Xbox avid gamers is the notion of decreased help from Japanese studios, who more and more appear to bypass Xbox in favor of exclusivity offers with Sony PlayStation or Nintendo Switch.
Below I’ll supply some extra particulars on the complaints, and in addition we’ll begin to monitor the place Microsoft is on a few of these issues over the course of the following yr.
Xbox sport DVR
There had been many, many complaints about varied elements of the Xbox Game DVR, and for good cause. The Xbox Game DVR has fallen right into a little bit of a state in current years, in quite a lot of methods. The method the system handles HDR for captures is a bit off, with screenshots showing washed out and peculiar while you add them to a PC. It’s additionally weirdly tough to acquire your captures from a PC, with no system in place at the moment to entry cloud recordsdata with out manually importing them out of your Xbox to an adjoining service like OneDrive.
Another criticism I mixed in this class revolves round streaming. Since the dying of Mixer, Microsoft had no method to stream straight from the Xbox to streaming platforms till lately, when it lastly re-integrated Twitch. However, Twitch is not the solely streaming service on the market. The Xbox at the moment affords no native help for YouTube Gaming, for instance.
The Xbox Game DVR additionally has no system for enhancing clips collectively, providing solely a primary trimming service. In a social media world, it appears odd that the Xbox Game DVR is so bare-bones when it comes to some of these items. The previous “Upload Studio” app was left deserted and eventually deleted completely from Xbox a short while in the past.
Thankfully, Xbox engineering lead Jason Ronald mentioned on a podcast a short while in the past that the Xbox Game DVR is a high priority for the team in 2022, so hopefully, we’ll see these issues solved sooner, slightly than later.
Xbox OS customization and enhancements
For this, I lumped many complaints concerning the Xbox dashboard right into a single class, since there have been many issues that had been rather less particular. The most prevailing criticism revolved across the abundance of tiles perceived as “adverts” on the dashboard. The bigger tiles throughout the underside generate “really helpful” content material from varied sources, together with achievements, sport suggestions, and so forth. Many customers search the flexibility to conceal this row of panels and need a “cleaner” dashboard that showcases extra of the background.
There had been different complaints, starting from the dearth of HDR on the dashboard which causes flickering on some TVs whereas switching HDR modes. Also, normal velocity of the dashboard usually got here up as a problem, too. There had been some complaints concerning the complexity of the Family Settings system, too, whereas others requested Discord integration for messaging and voice chat.
Support from Japanese studios
Another frequent concern revolved round help from Japanese and different third-party studios.
With Sony shopping for up exclusivity offers across the Final Fantasy franchise, and different franchises like Persona simply arbitrarily ignoring Xbox all collectively, it is clear that many Xbox fans really feel Microsoft wants to work more durable to get a few of these builders in constructing for the platform.
Xbox has seen a little bit of success right here and there from Japanese studios. Microsoft helped carry Phantasy Star Online 2 to the West through Xbox, for instance, and Sega additionally introduced your entire Yakuza franchise to Xbox, after years of exclusivity on different platforms. Microsoft has even garnered some wins from Square Enix, nabbing Octopath Traveler for Xbox Game Pass. Yet nonetheless, main gaps in the lineup persist. While not Japanese-made, Genshin Impact skipping Xbox has confirmed a ache level for some, and Atlus’ continued absence on Xbox frustrates JRPG fans in every single place.
Microsoft has beforehand described Japan as one of its fastest-growing markets, so maybe the scenario will change in the approaching years. But it is clear Xbox nonetheless has a number of work to do in this space.
Another giant bout of feedback fell in opposition to the Xbox achievement system, which has been a bit uncared for in current years. Save for the inclusion of a particular “uncommon achievement” toast notification, there haven’t been any significant additions to the system in years. Meanwhile, PlayStation’s Trophy system has grow to be the article of some jealousy, on condition that it affords a extra granular take a look at how gamers deal with achievement looking.
Many gamers had been asking for some type of recognition for 100% completions of video games, whereas others want to be acknowledged for his or her dedication to a single title. It’s definitely true that skilled avid gamers might spend extra time in a single sport studying to play at the next degree, slightly than seek out achievements in many separate video games. Additionally, there have been complaints about some indie publishers who deflate the standard of achievements with purposefully simple Gamerscore harvesting alternatives, devaluing the system as an entire.
Xbox first-party issues
There continues to be issues about Xbox’s first-party output too, regardless of the acquisitions Microsoft has made in current years. Many of those complaints had been about completely different particular issues with regards to first-party, starting from requests to revive previous IPs like Banjo, to the perceived lack of know-how about main upcoming video games like State of Decay 3, Perfect Dark, Fable, and others.
It’s clear that Microsoft nonetheless has some work to do to absolutely restore the notion that it will probably’t meet Sony’s PlayStation platform on uncooked high quality. They’ve had a wide range of optimistic wins final yr, with extra award nominations than any time in current reminiscence. Flight Simulator, Age of Empires IV, Forza Horizon 5, and Halo Infinite had been all nicely obtained, and proceed to carry folks to the platform who might have by no means thought-about Xbox earlier than. That being mentioned, video games like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Ghost of Tsushima, and others on PlayStation simply appear to nonetheless be at a degree of high quality Xbox hasn’t been ready to attain but, regardless of the variability that Microsoft is placing out.
Players in the thread continued to request high-quality cinematic third-person motion video games, akin to the likes of God of War and Horizon. There had been additionally requires Microsoft to discover superhero video games, in response to Sony’s assured command of the Spider-Man IP. Fixing this notion will take time, nonetheless, doubtless annoyed additional by the pandemic and work-from-home disruption of the previous two years. In 2022, among the most anticipated Xbox games embody Starfield and Redfall, as the acquisition of ZeniMax begins to bear fruit for Xbox.
Other Xbox issues
There had been varied different issues that appeared incessantly in the thread. Localization issues proceed to be a topic of concern exterior of U.S. and U.Okay. markets particularly, with many customers upset on the lack of help for Microsoft Rewards in their area. As somebody who makes use of Bing and Microsoft Edge throughout PC and cell, it nearly will get me sufficient factors each few months to successfully pay for Xbox Game Pass free of charge. It’s comprehensible that folks could be mad about lacking out on this, however sadly, it is not on the Xbox crew to clear up this one, since Microsoft Rewards is dealt with by a distinct a part of the corporate. However, it additionally contains issues resembling poor language help for first-party video games, with many video games receiving no native dub in their language of selection, or in some circumstances, not even subtitles.
Many customers had been additionally requesting some type of Xbox Game Pass family plan, for multi-console households. Right now, you can share Xbox Game Pass with up to one different consumer utilizing the console-sharing workaround technique, however for folks with a number of youngsters and a number of Xboxes, these prices rack up fairly rapidly. Considering even Office 365 has a household plan, it appears a little bit of an odd omission that Xbox Game Pass doesn’t. Hopefully Microsoft and its companions can work this one out.
Many customers had been additionally citing pressured crossplay between consoles and PC on video games like Halo Infinite and Call of Duty, exposing Xbox avid gamers to hackers on PC and perceptions of unfair aggressive play while you begin mixing controllers with mouse and keyboard gamers. Many customers additionally complained concerning the high quality of the Xbox apps throughout cell and PC, which have inconsistent options at finest, and horribly dangerous efficiency at worst. The Xbox app on PC is particularly bad, and one thing we have written about extensively right here on Windows Central.
Another subject that got here up incessantly was the standard of backward-compatible video games on the Xbox Series S. On the Xbox Series X, backward-compatible video games use their Xbox One X resolutions and body charges, however despite the fact that the Xbox Series S ought to be succesful sufficient to deal with these larger resolutions in older video games, the system downloads the Xbox One S variations of backward-compatible video games by default. This could also be a precaution to guarantee clean gameplay, however I’m positive Microsoft may discover workarounds to make these options a bit higher on the Xbox Series S, contemplating many customers doubtless picked up the smaller console as a secondary platform to make the most of backward compatibility.
A endless course of
I feel the actual fact the issues folks have are pretty unfold out could possibly be interpreted as factor. There’s no central main drawback dealing with Xbox for many customers proper now, with most elements of the platform boiling down to refinement of issues which can be already there. I think in earlier years, issues over the first-party lineup would’ve by far made up the majority of fears about the way forward for the platform, but it surely appears confidence in this space has regularly improved over time.
With extra funding than ever earlier than, avid gamers finally stand to profit.
Microsoft does have its work minimize out when it comes to issues like localization, help from Japanese and different third-party studios, and the constraints on the Xbox working system. The Xbox OS is beginning to present its age a bit probably, given the restricted assets allotted to working system-level options on the field. Opening the dashboard whereas working an intensive sport reveals simply how sluggish it will probably nonetheless be in sure situations, and the standard of the Game DVR and stagnation of the achievements system stays a bit painful.
One factor is for sure: Feedback and platform improvement is a endless course of. Competition between the platform holders leads to innovation, which in flip leads to requests for extra options and content material. It felt a bit like Xbox was being run on a shoestring finances in the beginning of the final gen, however this gen, issues completely really feel utterly completely different. With extra funding than ever earlier than, avid gamers finally stand to profit, however we must always sustain the (constructive, respectful) stress on Microsoft to make sure that the complacency of yesteryear would not return.