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Forbes rips into Xbox One interface, says it needs a complete overhaul

Zach Epstein
March 21st, 2014 at 1:06 PM
Xbox One Review

The early response to Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation video game consoles has been pretty terrific on both sides. Of course enthusiastic gamers continue to “flame” the PS4 if they opt to buy an Xbox One, and vice versa, but gamers discussing their own experiences have showered both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One with praise. Expert reviews have found some issues on both sides of the fence, however, and one recent piece on Forbes draws attention to what it calls a pretty huge flaw with the latest Xbox.

Microsoft’s new tile-based user interface has been polarizing since it first debuted on Windows Phone. When it came to Windows 8 and Windows RT in 2012, the criticism really picked up and many people still find it difficult to navigate.

According to Forbes contributor Paul Tassi, Microsoft’s tile-based interface is actually pretty terrific for computers when using a touchscreen or a mouse. For the Xbox One, however… not so much.

“While the Windows 8 tile system functions perfectly well for touchscreens or mice, the same is not true for a controller or god forbid, Kinect motion control,” Tassi wrote. “When I first bought my One which was forcibly bundled with a Kinect 2.0, I had a vision that the new system would allow me to flick and air tap my way through the interface menu like I was Tom Cruise in Minority Report, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Trying to control the interface with gestures is like playing patty cake with an octopus, and constantly ends in frustration. What should be the most intuitive way to use the system barely works because despite all the promises, we’re a long way from Minority Report yet.”

He continued, noting that he has also had a lot of issues with voice controls, which are “about 80% accurate on a good day.”

But those aren’t the real problems with the Xbox One, he says. “It’s the interface itself, and its functionality and accessibility even when it’s being navigated by a controller which should leave nothing to chance,” Tassi wrote.

He goes on to raise many valid complaints with the user interface, including functionality issues, excessive clutter, peculiar tile behavior and menu layouts. Tassi even goes as far as to call for a complete overhaul of the UI. We definitely agree with a good amount of what he is saying, though to be frank, most of our complaints focus on Kinect growing pains rather than the Xbox’s interface.

Either way, Microsoft is all about tiles right now so Xbox fans definitely shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for a UI overhaul.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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