Here’s what happened. I started a blog, after Build 2014, moving forward. I went to Build expecting, of course, to learn something (Universal Apps) and to mill about with others of my ilk, whatever that is, but also, I thought, to get a phone. I’d never had one, unless you count an i-mate Jasjar from a previous conference, and at the previous Build we got two Windows 8 machines (Surface Pro and Acer 8-inch Iconia) so what was left? Apparently an Xbox One, with Kinect (good) but no bundled game.
Anyway, the Xbox was a source of some adventure while it and I were still in San Francisco (nothing exciting, but a bit of a lug-around), and when I got home I decided to keep it, at least for a while, to see what I could make of it. As it happened, not much. Here were my problems:
- it was unfamiliar. There was no keyboard. I’d never held a game controller before, so I had to experiment with the buttons. There was help somewhere, but I’m not quite sure I found it.
- nothing came bundled with it, so there wasn’t really anything I could do, not right out of the box. At Build I watched Titanfall played on a movie theater screen, and that was exciting and impressive, but I couldn’t see spending $60 or so on a game like that when the Xbox itself was “free.” I’m not a shooter, but I would have played Titanfall or any of the others if I had it thrust upon me. I might have bought Forza, though I’m not really a road race fan either, but I couldn’t make up my mind.
- Xbox Live: everywhere I went I needed it, even for Netflix, to which I subscribe. Again, Xbox “free,” but a little like giving away the razor so you’ll buy the blades, or the drug dealer’s temptation. A month or so in the Xbox Live requirement was dropped for a few things, but by then I was focused on the phone I got with the “free” $500 Microsoft Store credit we also got, since apparently Microsoft couldn’t decide what to give us, or thought we were capable of deciding on our own.
- I’m not sure how I feel about the whole avatar thing. I’m “Foolish Eel” something or other.
On the positive side, though, I liked the fact that I could log in by being recognized through Kinect. Though, since no one else in my house was interested, I don’t really know if it recognizes me or just a movable object about my size and shape. And, when Netflix without Xbox Gold became available, and I figured out how to operate it with the game controller, it did look pretty good.
This, of course, doesn’t really say what happened to my blog. But more about that later.