Things the Xbox One should have had ready for launch, but won't

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

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4: Xbox One remains a brick until activated via internet.

Wonder how long it'll take before they release an update for USB storage? They never released a date. It could be next week or next year. Until then, have fun deleting games in order to install new ones.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
Until then, have fun deleting games in order to install new ones.

That's physically impossible. There aren't enough games available yet to fill a 500GB hard drive. The update for USB storage will be ready before it's something you could run into.

rfirth said,

That's physically impossible. There aren't enough games available yet to fill a 500GB hard drive. The update for USB storage will be ready before it's something you could run into.


Got a source for that? Because they never released a date when they would add that update in.

Another example of Microsoft releasing hardware/software before it is ready, two recent very famous ones were Windows-8 and Surface. This method of operation smacks of a company in desperation mode, to some extent.

TsarNikky said,
Another example of Microsoft releasing hardware/software before it is ready, two recent very famous ones were Windows-8 and Surface. This method of operation smacks of a company in desperation mode, to some extent.

uh.. no it doesn't. It's just the reality of meeting a launch deadline, that is all.

TsarNikky said,
Another example of Microsoft releasing hardware/software before it is ready, two recent very famous ones were Windows-8 and Surface. This method of operation smacks of a company in desperation mode, to some extent.

exactly. it's the "sell first. patch later" strategy that microsoft's pioneered and executed to perfection. this fit very well with the average-IQ holiday season buyers' "own first. complain later" strategy. kaching.

TsarNikky said,
Another example of Microsoft releasing hardware/software before it is ready, two recent very famous ones were Windows-8 and Surface. This method of operation smacks of a company in desperation mode, to some extent.

First, there are ALWAYS more features you want to get into a commercial product. ESPECIALLY software. I release software updates as often as I can, but there are ALWAYS more things I want to add... It's the nature of the industry... If you chase features you will never release a product.

And I wouldn't say WIndows 8 was released before it was ready. Microsoft generally thought it was. 8.1 was to make people happy, not check things off their feature list.

I think the most important in the list is the support for external HDD. However, I don't think that will pertain to anyone right away since there are only a few games available, and not everyone will be purchasing all of the 20+ titles will come out on Day One.

Twitch support isn't a biggie. Being able to save the video to Skydrive, and then upload it to whatever service you want is better.

Did I miss the article on all the things the PS4 should have shipped with, but did not?

As for the HD not being swappable, let us be pragmatic and actually do the math.

The average install size for games is around 15gb (Apps are significantly less).
At launch this means users can install at least 30 games.
There are NOT 30 games at launch.

So by the time external HDs are supported, there might be enough games to require the feature.

Making this a 'missing launch feature' in the mind of crazy people, but in reality affects no one.

(Let alone the author is ignoring disc/download streaming installations to swap out titles on the fly.)

Meh. And play to xbox mp3 works. I much rather see stuff that matters. An appstore of win 8 compatible apps. Halo 5. Full integration with windows 8 beyond smart glass

The storage is the only thing of interest to me, but I really can't see using up 500GB anytime soon. I'll probably use it like Steam and just remove the games I'm not playing right now. I have no idea why you want to broadcast live game play or why anyone would want to watch someone else playing a game.

I think someone rightly pointed that there is a similarity to golf or poker. These are very popular but, for what reason? I think the point it is all relative. These twitch.tv viewings are very popular. My nephew's watch Minecraft replays hour upon hour. Yeah, I don't get it but, I also don't get watching golf or TV poker shows either. But these twitch.tv broadcastings and viewings are popular with kids, like old-guys watching other people walking around hitting a ball with stick. Why is that popular?

Wait, doesn't the Xbox One come with a head set? pretty sure it does. Why would you need expandable storage at launch if the console comes with 500GB. I can see Twitch being a small issue, but even that is just grasping at straws. I rather they focus making sure everything works, and add all these extras post launch. Congrats to John Callaham, for quite possibly the most useless, and poorly thought out article I've seen on Neowin.

If they minimize defective units at launch and shortly thereafter, it'll all be good.

EDIT: Yes, USB HD support would have been nice out the door but better late than never.

laserfloyd said,
If they minimize defective units at launch and shortly thereafter, it'll all be good.

EDIT: Yes, USB HD support would have been nice out the door but better late than never.


Yeah, I'm just hoping they work out of the box, unlike the PS4... LOL

Only External Drive support should have been ready out the door... As seeing these games suck up a HUGE AMOUNT OF HDD SPACE

Other than that, none of these other one's are of any back breaking consequence for not being ready out the box.

I'm tired of the "Older headset" support thing as well... I don't want old tech (hardware accessory wise) on my fancy new tech box. Why because newer fancier tech means better experience overall... Like CLARITY when I'm chatting with my friends...

500GB hard drive, what is it like 2008? 1 TB HDD should have been the standard in both the PS4 and Xbox One. I don't know how the Xbox One and PS4 will be able to handle all the big game installs without running out of space. You also have to consider add on content, video downloads also.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
500GB hard drive, what is it like 2008? 1 TB HDD should have been the standard in both the PS4 and Xbox One. I don't know how the Xbox One and PS4 will be able to handle all the big game installs without running out of space. You also have to consider add on content, video downloads also.

Agreed. Especially as the XBox was originally intended...

You have to look on the margin on these, or the lack of it. The cost difference on the 500GB drive vs the 1TB is a significant percent of the total price especially if you can get a bargain on older inventory.

Spicoli said,
You have to look on the margin on these, or the lack of it. The cost difference on the 500GB drive vs the 1TB is a significant percent of the total price especially if you can get a bargain on older inventory.

Absolutely, but with the economy of scale here, it really should have been nominal...

Daniel Fleshbourne said,
and no 3D blu-ray but im still getting one...Forza FTW! Just dont let me down MS!!!!
You know i like to think im a bit supported of 3d bluray because every tv i own is 3D but I watch like maybe 1 3d movie a year on it lol and im not sure why since i act like its a big deal.

Houtei said,
You know i like to think im a bit supported of 3d bluray because every tv i own is 3D but I watch like maybe 1 3d movie a year on it lol and im not sure why since i act like its a big deal.

I'm not gonna lie... I watch all my Marvel Flicks in 3D Blu-Ray (if they have a 3D version)... And Man of Steel looks draw dropping amazing in 3D Blu-ray...

hello...Gravity anyone? best 3d movie since Avatar, and piranha 3d & 3dd are a hoot!

Yeah 3d can be a gimmick and crap (clash of the titans) its overused by hollywood often but there are some real gems...

And the whole point of the xbone is convergence i want less boxes under my tv not more

Daniel Fleshbourne said,
hello...Gravity anyone? best 3d movie since Avatar, and piranha 3d & 3dd are a hoot!

Yeah 3d can be a gimmick and crap (clash of the titans anyone) its overused by hollywood often but there are some real jems...

And the whole point of the xbone is convergence i want less boxes under my tv not more

I saw Gravity in 3D.... I drooled a little bit in amazement....

Daniel Fleshbourne said,
hello...Gravity anyone? best 3d movie since Avatar, and piranha 3d & 3dd are a hoot!

Yeah 3d can be a gimmick and crap (clash of the titans) its overused by hollywood often but there are some real gems...

And the whole point of the xbone is convergence i want less boxes under my tv not more


And I do understand that (As does Microsoft as they've stated it's coming), but when it comes down to an important feature and one only a handful of people are going to use at launch, it only makes sense to focus on the important feature...

They were quite clear that it was being worked on, and it's not that important a feature for that to not be enough...

Daniel Fleshbourne said,
and no 3D blu-ray but im still getting one...Forza FTW! Just dont let me down MS!!!!

But does it play normal blueray?

Yes, it will play normal Blu-ray. Since the shipped devices (both X1 and PS4 have an older versions of the software) many features require the day one update on both systems to have many features work correctly. Playing Blu-ray will work with the X1 but not BR3D even with the current patch.

pjosephson said,
Yes, it will play normal Blu-ray. Since the shipped devices (both X1 and PS4 have an older versions of the software) many features require the day one update on both systems to have many features work correctly. Playing Blu-ray will work with the X1 but not BR3D even with the current patch.

Good deal. I can get rid of my dedicated blueray player Friday then. Free up an HDMI port!

Lucky for them theres not that many games worth getting and the avg person might get 2-3 games between now and next year so we wont need externals just yet but its still sad to not see it at launch.

The headset thing is a bit of a disappointment if it doesn't support Bluetooth as I have some expensive headphones i like to use of playing multiplier so i hope that's fixed soon.

Could care less about the Twitch though cause i will never ever ever ever broadcast my game lol

With a full blown browser, do you really need a youtube app? I mean, don't get me wrong, the one on the 360 is pretty impressive and i like how it works with the mobile app (unless you run window phone where there is no official app) but the HTML5 player should work fantastic on the browser and you can just sit on your couch and talk to youtube to play videos through kinect

Of the few things that are missing at launch, 3D Blue Ray support, external hard drives, Twitch broadcasting, YouTube app, and USB media playback seem to be the biggest ones for me. Regardless they will come.

John Callahan in negative MS story shocker.

Admittedly it seems both consoles have features missing that could have been ready for launch, but I'd rather they took time to do them right

External HDD would have been nice, but by the time people start filling up their HDD it should be available. Unlike the other console, where you need to do work to swap disks and have a lot of down time reinstalling, downloading updates, downloading cloud saves, I would assume reconfiguring WiFi, etc. all I need to do with the Xbox One is to plug in a USB cable and not disturb my already configured machine.

Mr.XXIV said,
It really..isn't a worry. None of this is affecting any of us. Even the HDD's.

You'll sing a different tune in a month or two. 500 GB doesn't go far when you're installing BluRay discs that can hold upwards of 50 GB apiece, not to mention game saves, digital game downloads, etc. I filled my 500 GB PS3 up about 3 months after I got it and had to start deleting non-essential things that would have been convenient to keep. I just never have gotten around to picking up a bigger hard drive for it.

Gerowen said,

You'll sing a different tune in a month or two. 500 GB doesn't go far when you're installing BluRay discs that can hold upwards of 50 GB apiece, not to mention game saves, digital game downloads, etc. I filled my 500 GB PS3 up about 3 months after I got it and had to start deleting non-essential things that would have been convenient to keep. I just never have gotten around to picking up a bigger hard drive for it.

We just mentioned External HDD's that we can use to transfer to other Xbox's if we wanted to. It's really not a HUGE need.

Mr.XXIV said,

We just mentioned External HDD's that we can use to transfer to other Xbox's if we wanted to. It's really not a HUGE need.

Didn't the article state that the XBox One couldn't do external hard drives? If you can that's awesome, I'm not trying to be one of those "M$FT SUXXORZ!" type of people, I was just commenting about how fast 500 GB will disappear when people start realizing how much info can actually fit on a BluRay disc.

I'm only basing the scenario for when it is ready. Basically, that we have no need to swap hard drives like most do on the PS. I think we should just do things more efficiently.

Luckily none of these pertain to me, can't wait for Friday. However, you did miss one that is coming soon that is a very big deal and that is the SDK and self publishing features. Please prioritize those first Microsoft, I want to write Xbox One apps!