The Lone Gamer Goes NEXT-GEN with XBox One!

How easy is it to get into XBOne in Manila? The Lone Gamer tells all!

I’ve been holding off going into Next-Gen for quite a while, but for some reason over the weekend I finally got it into my head to upgrade. To prepare, I disassembled my old Xbox360, packed it up along with the accompanying game library (which consisted of quite a few awesome games, btw) and moved it lock, stock and barrel out of my room. A couple of hours later, after a trip to Data Blitz, I had my new XBox One, or simply XBOne as some online have come to calling it.

FYI, I am in the Philippines, so that affects conditions for buying and using game consoles.
The XBOne cost me about Php27,000 pesos, which is about 600 US dollars. This is a fairly good price, considering it adds in whatever taxes or such already. The package includes one controller and the Kinect 2 bundled in whether you like it or not. No games, albeit there are available games to be bought separately for about 2.5K pesos each. I bought none- I already had a copy of Assassin’s Creed IV for my PS3, BF4 is supposedly a buggy mess and I’m not really a COD fan. I have no interest whatsoever in Injustice and if I’m ever buying Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, it will be on PS4 (which runs 60FPS supposedly compared to the XB1′s 30).

I went home and proceeded on assembling my new console. This was a US model, so it ran only on 110 Volts (BAH) instead of the autovolt Asian model that is yet to come someday. Luckily, I already had a Transformer for converting voltage, and it was simplicity itself to plug everything in, including an internet cable. The Kinect went on top, alone on a shelf space which had previously housed the now-absent XBox360′s game library. I turned it on and VOILA, the bright green of the XBox One screen greeted me. I logged in with an existing Games for Windows account I had, and I was in. Of course, the first thing that popped up was a 580MB update. Glorious!

Adam Sessler’s long review of MS’s next-gen box.

After about an hour or so, the XBOne was mine to command once again. Since my cable connection didn’t have an HDMI connector, I could not use my XBOne to control my TV- not an issue anyway. I proceeded to try out the Kinect 2 gestures, swiping past the menus and selecting stuff to try. It was simple enough and the Kinect responsive, but I’ll use my controller as opposed to using gestures for the most part.
Ah, the controller. The XBOne controller is sleeker, more ‘professional’ looking than the previous Xbox360 controller, or even the black GFW wireless controller. The Home button in the center lights up with that wondrously bright white light you only see on cellphones or SUV foglights. It’s a nice controller, and playing with it a bit proved that the stick is more than adequate for fighting game motions (more on that in a bit).

Dead Rising 3 is one of the few disc games already available locally I plan to buy soon for my XBOne.

A Issue that Needs Addressing…
Here’s a big caveat for other Filipino gamers looking to go into Next-Gen on the XBOne. Currently, the Philippines is NOT among the supported territories for XBOne (although other XBox Live or Windows services are). So you cannot purchase anything on the XBOne store with your local credit card. This is pretty important- You will need a US Billing Address to input into your settings before you can actually buy. So take that for what it is- get past this step and you’re good to go.

Once you get past the Billing Address hurdle, you can put currency into your XBOne wallet via prepaid cards for XBox Live currency. This is, IMO, far safer and more convenient than actually using a credit card. These currency cards may be purchased at local game stores such as Data Blitz as physical cards or from online as digital codes. My recommendation is getting them from Play-Asia, since Amazon (which also sells codes) only sells them to residents within the US.

Anyway, my first games for my XBOne were both digital downloads- Double Helix’s Killer Instinct (I bought the $39.99 Ultra Edition) and the apparently much-panned Kinect game, Fighter Within.

I’ll probably go into each game more in detail as I play them but this early I can say that Killer Instinct is FREAKIN’ awesome. The game looks great on the HD screen in 1080p, moves like butter, and controls even using the controller are razor sharp. Even this early I was able to go through the training mode and do combo strings with just a few tries. The controls after all are simple enough with nothing more complex than the standard, classic ‘Dragon Punch’ Z-motion. It was fun to play through the tutorial, though I haven’t tried the single player game yet- this game is, of course, still hamstringed by the lack of Single Player content and the tiny, basic roster but I expect that eventually this game will pay off if and when Double Helix fills in the large gaping holes with more fighters, a Story Mode and more and cooler customizations and costumes.

As for Fighter Within, I’ll take that up in a separate review.

All Set for the Future of Gaming!
All in all, my purchase of my new XBOne came off with only a slight temporary hitch (the US address was a bit tricky), but otherwise installing it and getting it working was mostly easy and trouble-free. The console is a slick, lovely (if freakishly HEAVY) piece of kit, and I am very happy with it.

I do have to say that other less-adventurous gamers here in the Philippines are better off getting the Sony Playstation 4, which WAS officially released and I expect supported locally by Sony (the PS4 is also cheaper by a bit). The only reason why I haven’t gotten a PS4 myself though is- well, there are currently no games I want available yet. So for now, I’m an XBOne gamer and currently aglow with delight. Score one for Microsoft then- now, MS, why don’t you make the Philippines a supported territory already, dammit.

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