The battle for the living room is a cold war no more. Sony's PlayStation 4 is ready to go thermonuclear, hitting UK shelves on November 29th. While the official Xbox One release date is this Friday, November 22nd 2013, there have been numerous reports of failures of PS4 hardware. It is the Xbox One that I have played and so will be talking about, I hope that the PS4 is better than this or I will be sticking to my PC. So, before this hits stores I wanted to give an early review of this console and hopefully you will reconsider your pre-order. The Xbox One has already had a bit of a rough ride since its May unveiling, initially landing itself in hot water for a number of unpopular features including a mandated 24-hour online check-in and restrictions on the used games market. However, with those features now removed, and it seems to be back on track. But given that privacy fears still remain causes grave concern, as Microsoft describes the Xbox One as "the ultimate all in one entertainment system - one system for a new generation" and will feature heavy Kinect integration as standard. OK, so at the Dublin Expo they only had non-retail "show models" and the dashboard button would only crash the system on these models. I cannot vouch for these features as a result. The fact that they had no retail modules a week out should concern you as much as it does me. The new Kinect camera is a 3D scanner that can identify the various heartbeats, voices and faces of six people at once. Oh, and it needs to be on for the system to work even on the show models! The system requires a complete power down to turn off the camera, therefore you can't use it. To date, Microsoft have not presented a version of the Xbox One that can or should be turned off. Microsoft have attempted to play down the privacy fears, claiming that it is "a leader in the world of privacy", and adding that "the Kinect will not snoop on anybody at all." In reality, the Kinect camera is constantly pointed in your face like HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey and it also gets you killed in FSP's if you move whilst playing. Everything about this camera is a bad idea. What was wrong with leaving this optional? It's a gimmick that only bad things can come from. In the interest of being even handed, there was a bright spot among the slop in the Xbox trough, the new controller! It is a thing of excellence. They have returned to a wired over wireless, so the battery pack is gone. It is lighter as a result and fits comfortably into your hands. The shoulder buttons are smaller, and the triggers are refined. The D-pad actually works, it is responsive and I wish that I had good games to made use of it. The menu and dashboard buttons have moved to the upper part of the controller. Overall, this is the best controller that I have ever used. Kudos, Microsoft! Now for those who are interested, the Xbox One will feature 15 exclusive games, including Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct and Halo. I have played a few of these and I will give a quick review of each of the launch titles that you can kill your brain cells with.