We are really looking forward to getting our own Xbox One on Friday, but there are certainly a few features that we think Microsoft's next-generation game console should have had ready for its release. Here are three such items that we think Microsoft made a mistake in not including with the console for launch.
Support for external hard drives: Unlike the PlayStation 4, which lets users remove and replace hard drives on their own, Microsoft decided to stick a 500GB drive in the Xbox One and make it permanent. It is not designed to be replaced by the owner nor can it be upgraded to a larger version. The Xbox 360 supported swapping out hard drives, even if they were proprietary, and it's a shame that Microsoft made the Xbox One with such a limited storage feature.
Even more limiting is the fact that the Xbox One won't support connecting an external hard drive for extra storage via its USB ports. Microsoft claims it will be adding this feature at some point, but the fact remains that all Xbox One games will have to be installed to the console's hard drive, and since many of those games will have some large storage footprints, the amount of space on the drive will be used up rather quickly.
Support for older headsets: Microsoft will include its own headset with every Xbox One purchase, but the console won't be able to use any other headphones, at least for a while. The console's controller, where the headset connects, has a proprietary data port that's incompatible with current products.
Microsoft has said it is working on an adapter for the Xbox One to allow for the use of current headsets but it won't be ready until early 2014 and there's no word on what it will cost. So the only thing Xbox One owners can do until then is use the included cheap headset.
Broadcast gameplay from console to Twitch.tv: This should be a matter of pride for Microsoft than anything else. The PS4 let users broadcast live streaming gameplay to both Ustream and Twitch.tv. Microsoft promised that its own Twitch.tv app would have the same feature but today the company confirmed that it would not be ready for launch.
Microsoft has some impressive communication features such as Skype built into the Xbox One but the fact that owners will have to wait until sometime in 2014 to start live streaming games to Twitch.tv has to sting, thanks to the PS4's own support that's ready to go out of the box.
There are other features we wish were also included in the Xbox One launch, such as backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games, the lack of native MP3 support and more. While the above issues are not deal breakers, we think that Microsoft should have made an extra effort to included these items for its Friday launch. Perhaps the company will surprise us by adding one or more of these features in its "Day One" update.
Images via Microsoft and Twitch.tv