The Xbox One is a testament to Microsoft's towering ambition. It represents their desire not only to occupy a place in your home entertainment center, but to lumber straight into the center of it. It is a black plastic tank, a hard-edged chunk of corners meant to conquer everything in its path. But for all its imposing physicality, it has a surprising number of weak spots.
Microsoft stumbled when announcing the Xbox One, betting that users would be okay with an always-online Xbox that blocked used game sales and required a Kinect motion camera to operate. But the gaming public was livid at the news, and eventually Microsoft relented, removing the console's Internet and Kinect requirements as well as its DRM.
Even before Microsoft officially revealed it, whispers were circulating that the console was behind schedule, and our sources told us that Microsoft was as many as six months behind in generating content for the Xbox One, then code-named "Durango." As the launch has drawn closer, we continued to hear from sources that the operating system and core software weren't ready, and that the system might be in for a rough launch.
The Xbox One I've been using for the past week and a half is significantly different from the Xbox One Microsoft announced back in May. The relatively short period of time Microsoft has had to make so many changes is evident in the console and its software. Xbox One is clearly coming in hot, and many of its features aren't quite complete.