The stars are brightly shinning and holiday cheer is spreading like the common cold in a inner-city preschool. The season of caviar wishes and cookie dreams is finally upon us folks, with it another edition of Ask enConnected.
You’re too late to submit your questions for this month. Don’t worry though, we’re already looking out for questions in the new year. Send them to @enConnected, post them to Facebook or email them. We shouldn’t beat around the wreath; let’s begin.
Backgrounds on the Xbox One
Q. How do you put a background on the Xbox One?
A. Lovely question, especially since Microsoft just released an update that included that specific feature. Here’s what you want to do. First, you’ll need to load a picture onto a flash drive or hard drive. Then download the Media Player app and press the menu button on your controller once you’re looking at the picture you want to use. If everything is on the same network, you can use DLNA technology to pull an image from your Windows notebook or tablet too.
If you select different Achievements on your Xbox One profile you can use those too. Personally, I’m pretty partial to using different colors in my background. Keeps everything clean and slick.
Q. How is Windows 10? I’ve noticed you have it running.
Weird, I am running Windows 10 on a machine, but hadn’t publically disclosed that anywhere but Twitter. You have a very good eye.
I don’t like Windows 10 at all, but that’s because I’m a big fan of the Start Screen and we haven’t seen what that touch-centric interface will look like. Mouse and keyboard users will love it. That Start Menu everyone loved is back, now it has plenty of Live Tiles. Windows Store apps now run in the Desktop alongside typical apps form back in the day. I think I’ll love it once the single store for Windows Phone, Xbox and Windows is in place. Until then, I’m decidedly optimistic. ”
I’ll say this, to get me excited for Windows 10 Microsoft need only show me a single store that includes games, apps movies and televisions in one interface that’s available on every platform they sell, then buy a hot dog. Basically, I’m a cheap date.
A Surface Pro 3 for Xbox Owners
Q. Surface Pro 3? Should I buy one? Does it make a good Xbox companion?
A. If you’re in the market for a laptop, absolutely. If you’re in the market for a tablet I’d say the best thing to do is weigh your options.
The Surface Pro 3 is a pretty robust machine. There’s the powerful processor, that high-definition 12-inch display and ridiculously thin body. The Surface Pro 3 has a terrific kickstand that’s adjustable too. We published a Surface Pro 3 Review just last week.
As far as it being a good Xbox companion, the jury is definitely out on that one. You can plug the Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller into any PC and play games downloaded from the Windows Store with controller compatibility. Android, iOS and Windows Phone all sport SmartGlass apps. As such, you don’t have to spend $799 plus the price of a Surface Pro 3 keyboard to get an Xbox companion. That’s great news.
Game of the Year
Q. It’s the end of 2014. Game of the Year recommendation please?
A. Someone asked me this question on Twitter earlier today and I jokingly said Titanfall. Then I thought about it a bit more and realized that I don’t really have a definite Game of the Year Nominee for 2014. I’m sure if would have made it out this year I’d be thinking Batman: Arkham Knight. Of the games I did play, I’d say it’s a tie between Titanfall and Watch Dogs.
Titanfall’s gameplay was fresh and amazing. I love the way Respawn made it easy to pick up and enjoy, even for novice multiplayer guys like me. Here’s my Titanfall Review. Multiplayer was great. We should be honest with ourselves though, the story was pretty “meh.”
Watch Dogs had a lot of unique ideas. I loved being able to hack just about anything in Chicago. I hated, absolutely hated some parts of that game’s story. Also, that game’s save system was truly broken on so many levels. Here’s my Watch Dogs review.
My favorite game of the year was Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Unity. Unfortunately, no sane person is sticking Unity on their Game of the Year list. It’s not broken now, but it definitely was at launch. That game has way too many different tie-ins too. Expect a detailed review for that game soon.
Thanks for sharing your questions folks. Keep them coming. Perhaps if there’s enough we’ll roll out a second edition of Ask enConnected after the holidays.