The lights are on
After enduring no
end of criticism during E3 for its always-online
restrictions, Microsoft reversed
course last week, adopting the offline-friendly policies Sony has planned
for the PlayStation 4. While Microsoft's change of heart eliminates a key
advantage of its rival, the Xbox One and PS4 are still very different consoles,
and right now I'm still not convinced I need to buy the former. Here's why.
Extra Cash For What?The Xbox
One's $499 price tag didn't seem unreasonable when Microsoft first
announced it, but when Sony revealed that the PS4
would cost $399 just a few hours later, it raised some valid concerns amongst
gamers. Despite Don Mattrick's declaration that the Xbox One will provide "thousands
of dollars of value" to gamers, the company hasn't given any indication of
where that value will supposedly come from. Simply saying something doesn't
make it true, and the unique Xbox One features that Microsoft has shared thus
far haven't convinced me to shell out the extra cash.
Better With Kinect?Most speculation points to the upgraded Kinect camera as
being the cause of Xbox One's more expensive price tag, but support for the
peripheral was virtually nonexistent at the show; the most impressive use of
the camera we saw was Harmonix's
Fantasia, which works just fine with the 360's Kinect. I'm not particularly
thrilled about having to set up a mandatory camera in my living room just to play
games, and the fact that I have to pay an extra hundred dollars for the privilege
isn't sweetening the deal. Developers failed to come up with an engaging use for
Kinect in core games this generation, and so far Microsoft hasn't shown any
games to convince me that the next-gen Kinect experience will be any different.
Head In The CloudMicrosoft has been championing cloud computing as a game
changer for Xbox One, and recently invested
$700 million in its Iowa-based server farm. That certainly sounds
impressive, but Microsoft still hasn't explained how "the cloud" is going to
make my gaming experiences better. Respawn's
summary of how Titanfall is using Microsoft's Azure cloud boiled down to
dedicated servers. I fully agree that dedicated servers are better than
player-hosted servers, but it isn't exactly a next-gen game changer. Other
proposed uses of the cloud, like Forza's "Drivatar" have yet to be
demonstrated. Now that Xbox One can be used as an offline console, I wonder how
Microsoft's cloud computing will be affected. Will developers be less likely to
rely on cloud processing knowing offline gamers won't have access to it?
The All-In-One XboxMicrosoft's
unveiling of Xbox One was criticized for focusing too much on television,
sports, and other nongaming entertainment. The company's strong title line-up
at E3 proved the company is serious about gaming, but the fact remains that
many of the console's features are geared towards a nongaming audience.
Microsoft has dedicated 3GB of Xbox One's 8GB RAM to its nongaming
functionalities. As someone who has no interest in watching television on my
gaming console or pulling up Bing to search for information when I'm stuck in a
game, these features are an unnecessary yet mandatory drain on the system's
Still UndecidedMicrosoft has done a good job shoring up impressive
exclusives like Titanfall and Dead Rising 3 for Xbox One, which make me eager
to hear more about the console. Likewise, the company showed off some promising
uses of SmartGlass at E3, which add real gaming value to titles like Dead
Rising 3 and The Division. However, Microsoft still hasn't provided similarly convincing examples of some of Xbox One's core features, and hasn't justified why
consumers should pay an extra $100 more than the PS4. While some audiences may
already be sold on things like Kinect and support for television programming, I'll
remain on the sidelines until Microsoft shows me some real-world examples of
why its vision of the future of gaming is the right one.
Are you sold on the Xbox One? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
All great points. I've pre-ordered both systems b/c I like exclusives on each console. Unlike this generation where I only bought only exclusives for PS3 and all 3rd parties + MS exclusives on 360, next gen will be the complete opposite for me. I may cancel XB1 pre-order and wait a year to buy one when the price comes down though. I won't decide until we get closer to the launch dates.
Not with the Playstation 4 $100 cheaper am I convinced.
I'm still not too sold because it seems like MS is doing a lot to deter fans from buying the console. Seriously.
PS4 And That's The Bottom Line 'Cause Stone Cold Said So!
Only reason I even slightly want an X box one is for Killer Instinct 3....Playstation is still the KING of KING..our True Savior!!!
so a lot of you don't want the convenience of having the ability to just go from playing a game to tv and then back again without batting an eye and playing right were you left off.....REALLY....i hate picking up extra controller's to switch the input channel.I like to watch the WWE so being able to play a game and watch tv at the same time if I so choose is just awesome to me.I'll be able to play madden 25 and watch live football at the same time yea I dont want that(pun intended)and i love the kinect voice function's and anyone who is in to technology and doesn't think talking to your device and having it respond to your command's without lifting a finger isn't cool then your not into tech like you think you are.If your afraid of your kinect watching you then turn it towards a wall it will still hear your voice command's.
i'm sold on ps4
If Microsoft announces a Kinect-free version and drops the Kinect requirement, I might--only maybe though--get interested. Otherwise, PS4 it is.
you cant compare the price of the 2 system's because one of them doesn't come with as much tech as the other.I know a lot of you don't want that extra tech(kinect) but with developer's knowing now that every xbox one has a kinect you will see more developer's start using the new kinect to enhance there game's.If xbox one didn't come with kinect it would also be 399.99
I still dont see the benefit of kinect ... it seems that the most impressive uses of the tech have been relegated to non-game related uses. How long does it take to stop believing your own hype Microsoft? They lack integrity, my monies go elsewhere.
So far the PS4 is coming out on top in my eyes, but there always room for change if better exclusives and a price drop come around. Also removing Kinect is another plus in my book.
Strong line-up of games??? Only "Titan Fall" and that Quantum game looked good. Everything else seemed plot lack luster. How much more will they milk Halo now that Titan fall, and Destiny have the same feel.
Apparently people missed Sony saying that they are more than willing to take a loss on selling their ps4's because of the market share the ground they lost against the 360. Therefore it's no wonder that they are able to undercut the Xbox one's price so drastically.
I know this is going to sound really crazy, but the one feature I would like in my next gen gaming console is to PLAY GAMES!! My smart 3D tv already does all of those other things. A PS4 is already pre-ordered.
I already pre ordered my xbox one.
nice article hang time. MS can change back to their tyrannical control at anytime. it will require a patch at launch to get rid of always online, etc. which means you are always a patch away from it coming back. beware of their terms of service and all the agreements you blindly accept whenever there is an update. i'm buying a ps4 and of course, will still be a part of the pc master race. I just can't fathom the justifications for buying an xbone.
Great article. Not to mention the utterly stupid move to have the proprietary audio port on the new Xbox One controller that prevent us from using our old Surround Sound gaming headsets (such as Turtle Beach, Tritton, etc), and forcing us to buy new select headphone Microsoft dictates. That Kinect speaker is a terrible design/idea.
Perhaps a $399 bundle, sans Kinect?