The Xbox One has hit shop shelves - or pre-order customers' doorsteps - around the world today, with the console generally receiving positive critical responses.
The Xbox One launch event in Leicester Square.
Beset by a number of controversies throughout the build up to its launch, there was a period where it looked like Microsoft had seriously slipped up and handed the next-gen console battle straight to the Sony PS4. But, with a change of heart over key issues such as not allowing the resale of secondhand games, it seems Microsoft has turned things around.
Reactions to the console have been generally positive with The Verge giving it 7.8/10, TrustedReviews marking it 8/10 and Cnet giving it 7/10. However the Guardian did only mark it 6/10, saying "something about PS4 feels fresher, more seductive, and Sony ended this generation with one of the true great games, The Last of Us. The momentum is there."
Generally reviews praised a number of future-facing aspects of the console, such as Kinect 2, SmartGlass and its potential for Windows apps. However, the integration of TV control was generally seen as a clunky and unnecessary extra and game load times are slow, much slower than the PS4. The performance and fidelity advantage of the PS4, however, was generally seen as not making a huge difference in the heat of battle.
The reaction to much of the console's launch lineup has been a bit lacklustre, though no more so than that of the PS4. The fantastic looking Ryse: Son of Rome, developed using the Crytek engine, received just 5/10 from Eurogamer as the gameplay simple didn't match up to the stunning visuals. Forza Motorsport 5 and Dead Rising 3 scored a middling 7/10 while Crimson Dragon got only 6/10. So, as with the PS4, the big hitters are actually the cross-platform titles, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Need for Speed: Rivals.
Large Xbox One launch events took place around the globe to mark the occasion, with the likes of Leicester Square in London hosting a lavish party with guests such as Plan B., Jonathan Ross and England footballer Andros Townsend. In stark contrast the launch of the PS4 was relatively modest, though of course that console only launched in the US initially, with Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil getting the console next week.
Despite only launching in America, the PS4 sold over a million units in 24 hours. The PS3, in contrast, sold just 197,000 units in its first two weeks of availability in the US, suggesting Sony may have been right to target that key market first, where for a long time it struggled to compete with the Xbox brand.
Did you pick up an Xbox One? What have you made of it so far?