Three months in – Xbox One

It’s been three months since I first purchased the Xbox One and a lot has changed within that time in regards to the system. Updates and games have been released. If you are still thinking about which system to get or if you’re on the edge of purchasing the Xbox One and you’re still not that sure, carry on reading and I’ll give you my opinion of if this system is worth it

Before I purchased the Xbox One, I still wasn’t sure what console to buy and I wasn’t sure if I wanted a console that was purely for gaming ( ala Playstation 4 ) or something that would allow me to use it as an entertainment system as well. Having the console both for gaming and entertainment sold the Xbox One to me and I decided to go through with the purchase.

Xbox One Controller

Once you get the system out of the box, you will see the mammoth that is the Xbox One. It isn’t the smallest, and may be up there with some of the biggest consoles and does remind you of the ol’ VCR you used to have in the 1990’s but don’t let that detract anything away from this console. The controller is a major upgrade over the previous generations of Xbox controllers. It feels natural, ergonomic and friendly to your hands. I have played for hours constantly and my hands have not hurt once from doing so. Everything else about the controller seems familiar and that’s comforting considering you have just paid a lot of money and this is what you’re going to be holding going forward.

 

Xbox One Dashboard

After turning on the Xbox One I was greeted to a Day One update, not something you want from a new console but hey ho, once it had finished downloading and installing, I was greeted with the new dashboard. Following the new dashboard that was integrated into the Xbox 360, this also does feel familiar to Xbox 360 owners who owned the console when this theme was brought in. The new dashboard feels quick and responsive and is easily learnt. Some people may have the feeling that the UI isn’t what it used to be, that it has changed too much but after 10 minutes browsing it, You’ll adapt to it with ease. New areas have been created on the Xbox One to accommodate the regular features such as settings or seeing your achievements. This can become a pain to find as we are used to pressing the “X” button and bringing up a pop-up to show us.

When the Xbox One was first announced to be bundled with the Kinect, many people turned away as they knew it would increase the price for something they believed they didn’t want with their console. I was not too bothered when I bought mine and didn’t see what the fuss was about. Instead, I saw something positive. Controlling the console by using your voice or hand gestures is great and add’s a new depth to controlling the console. I was feeding my daughter and wasn’t able to grab the controller but by saying “Xbox Go to Netflix”, I was able to load up a TV show to entertain us.

The interface, controller and new features that include voice commands are a breath of fresh air but also maintain the comfort of having the same style as the Xbox 360.

Now to talk about what everyone wants to know, how are the Xbox One’s graphics compared to the likes of the previous generation or even the Playstation 4. The shader textures and the overall quality of the graphics on the Xbox One are a massive improvement over the last generation of consoles. While I was playing Watchdogs, I could see the rain bounce of the concrete and could see very detailed reflections of the neon lights of some shops. This add’s a sense of realism to the game and it allows to immerse your self even further into the game. Comparing the Xbox One graphics against the Playstation 4 graphics is a tough one. Outright, the Playstation 4 has the more powerful system and can generate better graphics but it also depends on the developer and the time and effort they have put into their game to be beautiful.

The game selection so far is mediocre to say the least. Because the console has just launched and not many games have been released that are specifically built for the Xbox One, we are treated to ports of games from the previous generations. In no way is this bad, in someways it is great ( see: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition ) but I would like to see more games coming out that will take advantage of the system and what it can output.

To sum it up, The first three months of owning a Xbox One have been a blast. Being able to immerse myself in the real life graphics and playing Titanfall and Watchdogs has been a blast and something I would recommend it to any gamer. Would I recommend this console right now, Yes. It scores an A+ in regards to the entertainment value it brings to the table. 2014 is going to be a big year for gaming and with this year being the first full year for the consoles, expect some big titles to be released in fall.

If you own an Xbox One, how has your experience been with this console? Would you recommend it to your friends?

 

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I’m on Twitch

Good news! After recently investing in the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One, I’ve been able to stream my gaming sessions with ease and with no extra hardware. It’s great. I can be found over at Twitch. I’m currently not able to give a timetable for my streams so if you’re wanting notifications , subscribe to me on there and it will notify you when I’m able to stream.

Trailers of Trailers – Go Away

“New Madden 15 Trailer Out Now – Click here to view!”

 

While I was browsing a social networking website, this small advertisement appeared on my feed from EA Sports. My heart started pumping faster because I realised that this is the first new next generation Madden game that has been created, not just ported, for the next generation consoles. I eagerly awaited the trailer to buffer and once it did, I blanked everything out. The original video is only thirty seconds long and guess how much gameplay they showed….. None.

From a company as a large as EA Sports, this type of trailer is just not acceptable. Now that the gaming market has grown larger, the companies have started caring less and less because they know that there is a large group of people that will buy the game without even seeing the trailer. From a marketing perspective, this is a terrible approach as it doesn’t show any gameplay at all or even attempt to show off the next generation graphical advancement’s. No, The guy in the Panthers uniform doesn’t count.

If she was the 1990’s or earlier 2000’s, they wouldn’t get away with this but because they’re such a large corporation in today’s industry, it’s acceptable.

This is how to showcase a game….

 

What do you think? Should they stop creating a trailer for a trailer of the game?

 

New Name, New Content

Well, It’s about time I finally stepped up my game in regards to this blog that I have created. I first created this blog in 2012 and I really did not have any idea where I wanted to take it. I have attempted to change the direction of this blog too many times, not knowing that in three months I may or may not like what it has become. I have sat down for a couple of hours today and really had a good thought on the direction I want to go. Many things have run through my mind, shall I solely focus on video games and not explore other passions like photographer, or films. This has lead me to the decision of wanting to create a blog that is not going to be in a bloated market of niche blogs. I am going to create a blog that I am about to post my opinions on anything that I feel strongly about.

I have recently purchased the domain CreatedbyJamie.co.uk and that’s the new name of this blog. I was going to stick with the Made By Jamie title but it has been bought by another individual so that was out of the question. I have also changed the layout and theme of this blog so please feel free to comment on what you think of it.

Hope to see your comments soon!

Why I quit an effortless job

At the age of twenty, the world was before me. I was able to mold my career into what I wanted it to be. I was working as an Apprentice I.T Technician in Bradford which was a wonderful job with wonderful people, but it wasn’t enough. I have a passion for I.T but I have a bigger passion and that is creating and developing new products and new things. I wasn’t able to do this in the current job I was on so in December 2012, I really got my head down and learnt HTML5 and CSS3. I spent countless nights learning this, going until 2am in the morning just to learn the code that would allow me to unlock my future. I loved it, it allows me to create something with just a couple of lines of code. After five months, I had HTML5 and CSS3 down to a tee, I was brilliant with it but I needed a job that could further extend me knowledge and experience in it. Freelancing and creating example websites could of helped with that but who wants to choose a guy who has two websites on his portfolio, including his own, and pay him thousands to handle on of the most important marketing tools your company has.

I applied for hundreds of jobs. Hundreds didn’t reply, One did. It was a company based in Wakefield that did Email Marketing which I thought would be a really interesting start and could allow me to work with others that shared the same passion and dedication that I did. It was a job that would be able to kickstart my career in web and the entire idea of it had me going head over heels in excitement. It was perfect. I went to the interview in my best suit and I had revised questions and the company itself. I was confident during the interview which I knew I had to be to at least have shot at getting the job.  Three days after the interview I gave up hope, thinking that weren’t going to get back to me but after work one day they phoned me and offered me the job. I was so excited to start this new exciting role and get myself full of knowledge from others around me.

My first day went off with a bang. I set off an alarm by arriving too early and didn’t have a computer for the first two days. My optimistic eyes looked past this and believed that It would be a great place to work. My co-worker had been working here for two years and had a good amount of knowledge of email marketing and how to develop emails for the majority of Email clients. I had a line manager that was friendly and looked out for me. For the first two months, the job was brilliant. I was a sponge, sucking up all the information that I would get from my co workers and other workers around me about the marketing sector and email and web development in general.

That’s when it started to go down hill….

One of my co-workers was let go of, for the reason of “She wasn’t needed here anymore” & “This isn’t anything to do with financial reasons”. I looked past this and concentrated on learning and working. This is what I wanted to do and I would prove to them that they had picked a great employee that will make the best product for them. The three month provision meeting came up and I went in nervous, thinking that I might not have made it. They discussed with me that I was doing a good job but they wanted to give me some extra work and prolong my probation period, they gave me thee work that my co-worker had before she left. This is everything to do with the scheduling, data extraction and data importing side of email marketing. They were giving me work that something else got a pay cheque for and didn’t increase mine a penny. My initial reaction to this is that It would be a challenge but it was a workplace and this is expected.

I carried on working as normal, with the same passion and dedication as before, even with the extra workload, and then my daughter was born. At this point, it all changed for me.

Before she was born, I was travelling two hours in the morning and two hours at night. This didn’t bother me because I didn’t have that bond with my daughter yet. I entertained myself with music or a book, it got me through the horribly long journey. Once she was born, it really got me down. I had to set off at 6:30am in the morning to get to my workplace for 8:30am and left work at 5pm to get home for 7pm. When I would come home, my daughter would be about to go to bed, leaving me the whole five minutes to spend with her. This really got to me, I have a daughter and I can barely see her due to having to travel so much for a workplace that doesn’t really appreciate how much work I put in to make them successful.

I got the finance director to one side for a small chat. This is when I explained that I barely see my daughter, I am travelling 4 hours a day and for near minimum wage, it really seemed like this place was not worth it for me. The only reason I am coming into your workplace is because of my daughter and that I need to provide for her. She took this in and replied with…

” Not many parents get to see their children”  & “Turn your negativity into positivity”

What? The parents that do not get to see their kids are the parents that are scooting about the country, earning £30,000+ and can provide a happy life for their children. Turning negativity into positivity, how do I turn the near depression of not being able to see my daughter into positivity?

This is when I decided enough is enough. I wrote up my resignation letter and happily handed it into my line manager. The following two weeks that I had to work their were the best two weeks of my work life every. No cares went through my mind of how the company is going to go in the future, the only care on my mind was how I am able to look after my daughter.

On the last day, they attempted to Blackmail me into saying. The same financial director that I said I was near depression approached me and said “How do you think this is going to make Emily ( My Daughter ) feel, you need to set a good example by showing her that you need to go to work and earn a living”. She’s three months old, not three years.

I left this workplace and went freelance for a few months and got a job in the middle of Leeds. The current job I have is the best of all the jobs I’ve had, the people are friendly, the work is different everyday and the workplace environment is brilliant.

To close, if you are considering to leave your job, if it is getting you down or making you feel depressed, get out. Ofcourse you will need to apply for jobs before leaving but if the job is something you don’t look forward too in the morning, you will need to get out. I  did and it was the best decision I ever made.