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Here are Xbox fans' biggest concerns about the platform right now

Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S
Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have been out in the wild for over six months now, proving their power and quality over the course of the year. More and more games are getting native enhanced versions, showcasing the speed and capabilities of both consoles. Microsoft is also hard at work solving the games "drought," with blockbusters like Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, and Starfield right around the corner. Microsoft has heard that criticism loud and clear, and only time will solve that one. But even beyond the games, not everything is perfect and polished, though.

To commemorate the half-year anniversary of the new-gen consoles, we thought we'd celebrate by complaining! What has Xbox done for us lately after all? But seriously, the Xbox platform is far from perfect in various ways, although the team has worked diligently to offer mountains of improvements since launch.

Either way, here are some of the major pain points shared by yourselves to me on my Twitter account and on the Windows Central Discord.

Xbox achievement system

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

This is something I've written about previously, and a concern I hear often while podcasting and talking with Xbox fans from across the web is, what's going on with the Xbox achievement system?

The Xbox achievement system rewards players with points for accomplishing certain challenges, as defined by game devs, within games. Gamerscore is a reflection of your accumulated achievements, but beyond that, the system has barely seen an update. A few years ago, we got the ability to see special achievement toasts when we obtained a "rare" achievement, but the system doesn't catalog exactly how many of those you got anyway, making it a bit useless.

The achievement system has also been degraded by a flood of indie games that take advantage of the system, allocating gamerscore very easily as a means of convincing people to play.

I have a feeling that there may be some underlying legacy code or database issues preventing extensions to the system, but have yet to confirm that. Either way, it would be awesome if the achievement system could get some new features or track new stats, and many Xbox fans agree.

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Xbox backward compatibility

Xbox back compat

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Another big question on Xbox gamer's minds is the Xbox backward compatibility program. Last gen, Microsoft differentiated itself from the competition with the most pervasive and consumer-friendly approach to backward compatibility we've ever seen on a console. Microsoft obtained the licenses to allow the sale and re-use of existing purchases of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Series S, and future Xbox consoles too. Many of the games are even available on Xbox Game Pass cloud streaming as well. However, there are still many great games missing from the platform.

There are licensing issues preventing certain games from hitting the new consoles via backward compatibility, as pertains to licensing music, royalties, and other legal-type things. Despite that, many gamers (including myself) are hopeful that Microsoft will once again spin up the program, and bring more of those titles forward into the future. Max Payne please.

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Xbox Game DVR, streaming, and sharing

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Probably the biggest volume of complaints were inspired by the Xbox Game DVR, which allows you to record clips and take screenshots inside Xbox games for sharing. At least, that's what it's supposed to do.

The Xbox Game DVR has taken a nosedive in quality in recent years. The surprisingly decent Upload Studio app was cancelled off, rather than polished up and developed, and the actual Xbox Game DVR system itself hasn't been a particularly great replacement. Trimming clips is slow and crashy, and moving between different areas of the DVR isn't always consistent. Uploading screenshots from Xbox to a PC often creates strange washed-out images in the .JXR format if you were using HDR, which is a pain to edit and deal with.

The storage allocation for cloud clips is also incredibly small and requires extra steps if you want to use OneDrive premium cloud storage. Editing clips together also requires third-party software, which isn't always free to use on Windows or on phones either. The Windows 10 Photos app has a video editing section inside it, but it's also terrible.

There's also the issue that since the death of Mixer, streaming games or sharing clips directly from your Xbox to streaming platforms is not as easy as it once was. The vast majority of complaints seem to at least mention the Xbox DVR, even if their focus was elsewhere.

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Xbox localization and global expansion

E3

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Here's another topic I've written extensively about: Xbox localization and global expansion.

Historically, Microsoft has (and remains) a very Anglo-centric company, prioritizing the American market above all else. As an American company, that's to be expected somewhat, but as a corporation worth over a trillion dollars according to shareholders, it seems a bit odd that Microsoft hasn't attempted to reach out beyond its heartlands more.

Microsoft has begun improving language visibility in its storefront, but things like Microsoft Rewards, subtitle support, and language support for many games and locales remain spotty at best. Some countries don't have the proper support infrastructure in place, if indeed they have any infrastructure at all.

There's no overnight fix for these kinds of issues, and often they're subject to geopolitical restrictions, tax situations for foreign companies, and so on. Microsoft is a massive target for litigation, too, and must tread carefully when it comes to the legal status it has in different nations. However, it's ultimately gamers who suffer at the end of the day, and it's tough to defend when the competition, namely Nintendo and Sony, often do far better in this area.

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https://twitter.com/GaryCSG5719/status/1425862728107843589?s=20

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Support for Xbox from Japanese studios

Ffxiv Party Hero

Source: Square Enix (Image credit: Source: Square Enix)

This stems from localization somewhat, but another big concern from Xbox fans is the support from Japan on the console platform. The situation has been gradually improving to some degree. We've seen Octopath Traveler and Dragon Quest XI hit Xbox Game Pass. We've got Tales of Arise coming to Xbox soon. We've seen Yakuza hit the Xbox platform in a big way as well. However, Final Fantasy VII R, XVI, and XIV skipping Xbox continues to be sore point for many. Big-name franchises like Persona and classics like Legacy of Mana are also skipping over Xbox, too.

PlayStation has seen a dramatic decrease in its Japanese footprint since moving its headquarters to the U.S., with Nintendo taking all 30 most-sold game positions at retail recently. If there was ever a time for Microsoft to try to capitalize in Japan, that time is absolutely right now.

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https://twitter.com/TheFool40777338/status/1425833452176297985?s=20

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https://twitter.com/tehani87/status/1425886672114229253?s=20

Third-party SSD storage for Xbox

Seagate Expansion Card Xbox Series X, Series S

Source: Seagate (Image credit: Source: Seagate)

Another question I often get about Xbox is, when will Microsoft expand its list of best SSDs for Xbox Series X and Series S beyond the exclusive deal it has with Seagate?

Right now, the only internal storage SSD you can get for Xbox is the expensive CFExpress Seagate Xbox SSD card. And while it's very good, and very convenient, the lack of competition is probably allowing Seagate to dictate the price at a premium.

Perhaps we'll see that exclusivity end in November 2021, giving Seagate a year of exclusivity. After that, it remains to be seen who, if anyone, steps up to offer a cheaper alternative.

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Other concerns and questions

Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S

Source: Matt Brown | Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

A range of other comments and questions appeared across social media and Discord, as well as my DMs about what fans hope Xbox do next. Many are hoping Microsoft looks into VR support in some way in the future. Others are hoping Quick Resume on Xbox Series S and X gets a consistency boost. The lack of support for mouse and keyboard-based games continues to be a pain point too. Some are wondering if it's possible that Xbox will ever get HDR support at 1440p in some form, while also wondering when Dolby Vision support will roll out. We still get questions about ray-tracing and shader support for Minecraft on Xbox Series X and Series S, too, after the death of the Super Duper Graphics Pack. And of course, many are wondering about the Xbox game roadmap — when are we going to see games like Hellblade II, Perfect Dark, Fable, and Avowed?

I'm more than happy with my Xbox experience, as I'm sure most others are too, but there's always room for improvement.

Personally, for the most part I'm more than happy with my Xbox experience, as I'm sure most others are too, but there's always room for improvement. I'd love to see Xbox achievements get some love, as well as the Game DVR. I desperately want to see more Japanese games on the platform as well. My biggest want of all is more rapid development on Xbox Game Pass' cloud gaming, though. More games need custom cloud-aware UI design like Hades and Minecraft Dungeons, and we need more devices like the Surface Duo which can offer a 2-in-1 experience without having to carry around additional devices to get the most out of it.

What are your biggest Xbox concerns? Hit the comments, and let us know!

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

42 Comments
  • biggest concern is still being able to find them
  • Well, things are starting to look better in terms of availability. The Xbox Series X will still be hard to find for some time, though all my nearby electronics stores have plenty of Series S' lying around... maybe because people are more fond of consoles with disc trays...
  • Last night I was at Walmart and they had a half dozen of both consoles, just waiting for folks to notice.
    I'll fly by later today. Expect them to be gone overnight.
  • Be sure to give some away to your friends for their birthdays.
    It never hurts to win some plus points.
  • Not gifting season yet.
  • I wish they would bring mixer back as a help your friend type streaming service. One of the great features of mixer was that you could have your friend start streaming (with barely any config) so you could help them in a game from their point of view. You can still kinda do that with twitch but it's so disconnected from xb that the stream quality is bad just using native xb stuff.
  • My biggest concern is forced crossplay. The best thing about crossplay is that it’s optional but Gears 5 and Halo Infinite are forcing Xbox players especially last gen ones to be severely disadvantaged.
    Also gamepass console tier should cover the cost of playing online multiplayer too on par with pc and eventual cloud tier.
  • My biggest concern is how we haven't gotten Xbox VR headset yet
  • Exactly. I have no idea why MS is sleeping on this
  • Because it is a niche within a niche that shiws no signs of growing.
    $$$ that is better spent buying more studios. 😆
  • Everyone I know with a VR headset no longer uses it.
    It was a novelty.
  • Possibly.
    It might be a solution in search of a problem much like 3D TV or KINECT and waggle wands.
    Or it is ahead of its time.
    Either way, the money there doesn't justify the investment right now.
    Sony doesn't seem to be raking it in with a massive catalog of VR games, are they?
    Also MS doesn't generally shy away from pushing hardware capabiities to the limit but not on VR so This time they're waiting for a market to energe. Don't think I'll be holding my breath.
  • There is a large volume of concerns about the lack of good quality single-player titles, which this article never addressed. It's really abysmal you ignored this despite the thousands of tweets on your thread. Second of all, you never even addressed jack **** about the DRM policies for the Xbox One titles where despite us purchasing our games legally, we can't access it if we either lose connection to our internet or if Xbox's services are down. Edits: Tweets in question: https://twitter.com/cbw86/status/1425841997454184448/photo/1 https://twitter.com/Cheeryarbiter/status/1425859546690596864 https://twitter.com/Voxelsaurus_Vex/status/1425890516730748933 https://twitter.com/JSalemani/status/1425913367542259716
  • Only a time machine can fix the first problem, THEYRE COMING. What do you expect them to do? Release half-baked games so you stop crying? Second thing is a non-issue. By the time Microsoft's servers shut down the world will have long been destroyed by WW3.
  • Second thing IS a big issue. I bought my game and should be able to play them whenever I want to. Problem is when those outages occur, guess what, I CAN'T PLAY THEM, especially if those are single-player-only titles. This needs to be addressed by Microsoft themselves. I am less inclined to buy any games on their platform if playing a SINGLE PLAYER video game on their platform require a 24/7 internet connection.
  • You can play them offline on your Home console after you do the initial download and update. That should be sufficient. If that isn't, well you can't please everyone.
  • I only have ONE XBone console, and that didn't address the issue AT ALL.
  • That makes little sense. If the game is installed and updated while online then offline it should be able to play on the Home console. Obviously this is talking about games owned by your own profile and where that profile has that Xbox as the Home console. Game Pass games won't work like this. If this isn't the case then you caught a bug and you should provide feedback for a possible fix.
  • I would, if Microsoft's ambassadors weren't too busy drinking the company Kool-Aid. All I was met with was "Deal with it." The games affected are the ALL of the digital games I actually purchased from Microsoft's actual marketplace, even the single-player games (i.e. Skyrim, Stardew Valley, etc.)
  • Well anyone can be an Ambassador, hell I think I am even one, so that doesn't mean much. Unfortunately there isn't a good way to do feedback unless you are on the Insider program on the Xbox side compared to Windows. I wish they made it easier. I think they now focus on their Reddit page, you could try there. I can't think of any troubleshooting tips to tell you other than uninstalling the games in question or using another storage device and maybe reseting the Xbox to factory settings. Something is definitely screwed up. It shouldn't be like that.
  • It is a known issue with backwards compatible games running on the Series consoles. It doesn't happen on your Xbox one console, and it doesn't happen with Series enhanced (native) games. Known issue probably isn't the right term, because I don't think it's a bug. It's just how their system works. Whether it's easy to fix, or they have any interest, I don't know. But I suppose it's better than not having such a robust backwards compatibility. It's a minor problem to me personally. I find wanting to game with internet down to be an extremely rare occurrence. Would be nice if they could change it though.
  • @Avatar of Apathy, Oh apologies. I can't edit my above response, but I see you did reference the "initial check" in your response. I'm not sure about being offline after the initial check (ie does it ever require a random checkin) as I haven't tried running a B/C game while offline yet. You may be correct it should be working for him, assuming he's played at least once online.
  • Yeah no problem. I think you understand correctly. After that "initial check" it actually should download the latest version that is the backwards compatible emulated version so you can then run it offline. I think you are also correct that that it is a Series problem, but I guess it could affect Xbox One when trying to run 360 games off a disc.
  • I was talking strictly about the digitally bought Xbone games on the Xbone. Never got the SeriesX because of my bad experiences with the Bone.
  • Strange indeed. I would definitely try to do a system reset and see if that helps. I don't know if there is a cache to clear on it, but that might do it. I assume you have tried a full power down of the system by now.
  • The second thing is definitely an issue, since you can have servers shut down and make a game inaccessible. Just musing about Forza, FM7 is about to be EoL, so no future digital purchases can happen. That'll forciblynshrinknthe player base, with no new title to move towards. Multi-player could become a non-option before the next game is even out, which would suck. Regarding that first point, the games have been "coming" for 2-3 years. When's "they're coming" going to become "they're here?"
  • Jeeze, I was hoping MS would still be in business in 2025.p
    I need to dig faster.
    😆👍
  • How is VR not on this list? It's time for MS get into it. In fact, I don't play my Xbox anymore as I favor my Quest 2
  • You and 2 other users.
    Even people I know with VR headsets don’t use them. Extremely niche.
  • I'd much rather they focus on fixing the controller disconnect issue, which STILL happens. It's nowhere near as often as it used to be, but it's still an issue, and now it's not just when I disconnect my headset (like it used to be) but it can just randomly lose connection mid game and won't resync unless I do a hard restart.
  • I actually had it happen the other day too, but mine always reconnects after a few seconds, still annoying when you play a game that doesn't pause. It reminds me of the original Xbox one with the first generation controller. The range on that sucked, especially when the batteries go low.
  • I'd like to know if they'll ever fix the Elite Controllers. Both the first-and second-gen controllers have been overpriced and prone to more faults than their stock predecessors that often drop to one-fourth the cost, if not less. Plus, when will we see an Elite built from the new Series S/X controller's design? Of course that would ideally come with big reliability improvements. I'd even be curious to see a Design Lab offering, but that seems unlikely.
  • Said it before, I'll say it again:
    They can solve the BC issue by adding a full emulator for disk drive models. Licensing issues go away with a "bring your own disk" option, even if witout upscaling, HDR, or FPS boost, even tough some of it may still be doable.
    I have dozens of 360 and OG XBOX disks that may become coasters if my (still working) older boxes die.
    In fact, many new TVs are coming without component or VGA video ports which puts the OG XBOX at risk if/when the TV dies. Given there exists at least one "unlicensed" emulator out there, MS should be able to cook up (and sell, if need be) a legit one.
  • All of the old Marvel games for Xbox. X-Men Legends/2, Marvel Ultimate Alliance/2 need to come to the Xbox One and Series X/S. It's a good thing I still have my 360 or I would never play those games again.
  • I'm fond of the RAVEN XMEN games for the OG, DC HEROES, and DEUS EX: INVISIBLE WAR.
    still fire up the old box every couple of years. Still have the disks. DC HEROES used to work off the disk on the 360, for which I have about six or seven games not in BC digital form. Maybe I should be pushing for *two* emulators.
  • An excellent article that pretty much nailed my concerns, though I wouldn’t even really consider them concerns, because honestly, I have too much to play on my Series X as of late. One of my main problems is not having enough time to play everything I’ve purchased. If I could get paid to stay home and play, that would be awesome, but I don’t see that happening.
  • Still hoping for a software/firmware update to get ultra widescreen support.
    I still wonder if the Xbox series X is technically capable of supporting the 21:9 aspect ratio, or is it that MS just does not want to offer it. Seems like there are more and more ultra widescreens being used now, added to that is the issue of Xbox games with ultra widescreen support for PC users only !
  • The most important part missing is the white version of the X. I endured the black One X, but I want the SX in white. I got the black one, and it's not fitting in with the rest of my serups...
  • Spray it or get a skin
  • He could also just wait for a special edition.
    It'll come. Problem is ramping up production to where they can do special editions.
    Say, next year, as a STARFIELD Special Edition.
  • I use a Hideit mount and put it behind the TV, it's awesome. If you can do that, I would highly recommend it.
  • My only complaint was the blinding light on the controller and they're addressing that, so I'm happy.