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The Next-Gen Launch Lineups: Strengths And Weaknesses

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are nearly here, and their respective software launch lineups are finalized. Do both systems offer something for everyone? We break down the software lineups by genre to see how the early offerings compare.

First-Person Shooters
First-person shooters are immensely popular amongst console gamers, and both next-gen launches are debuting with the latest installments of Battlefield and Call of Duty. While Infinity Ward confirmed that Call of Duty: Ghosts is running at 720p on Xbox One versus 1080p on PS4, Xbox One users are getting first crack at the game's DLC, along with early access to Battlefield 4's Second Assault map pack. On the other hand, PlayStation 4 has the only major platform-exclusive shooter at launch: Guerilla Games' Killzone: Shadow Fall (along with the lesser-known free-to-play shooter Blacklight: Retribution). Microsoft will likely get the last laugh with next year's launch of (the forever exclusive) Titanfall, but as far as launches are concerned, we're giving a slight advantage to Sony.
Advantage: PlayStation 4

Racing Games
No system launch is complete without the release of the latest and greatest racing title – but don't tell Sony that. The company's flagship racing sim has always been Gran Turismo, but when GT 6 launches on December 5, it will be available only on PS3. Sony was prepping DriveClub as a next-gen replacement, but its recent delay leaves the company without a first-party racer. PS4 owners will at least have the action-oriented Need For Speed: Rivals, but so do Xbox One owners - along with the first next-gen entry in Microsoft's lauded Forza Motorsport series.
Advantage: Xbox One

Fighting Games
Another longtime staple of system launches, the fighting game genre has become increasingly niche over the years. Xbox One offers fans the only new fighting game available at launch (aside from Ubisoft's Kinect-oriented Fighter Within), with the download-only revival of Killer Instinct. The game features just six fighters at launch (with more planned as DLC), which can be bought piecemeal or altogether. All is not lost for PS4 owners, however; the system will launch with Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, which includes all of the previously released DLC characters for NetherRealm's acclaimed superhero-focused fighter. Whether Killer Instinct can live up to Injustice remains to be seen, but seeing as how most gamers buy a next-gen console for new experiences, we're giving the advantage to Microsoft.
Advantage: Xbox One

Sports Games
While not a huge factor in most system launches, many sports game franchises enjoy large and dedicated fan bases. That said, both Sony and Microsoft are leaving the genre up to the third-party publishers. Both systems will have next-gen versions of FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, and NBA 2K14 available at launch. While not strictly a launch title, NBA Live 14 will release a few days after the PS4 launch on November 19, and will also be available for Xbox One on day one. The only difference between the sports lineups of the two systems is Xbox One's cartoony budget title Powerstar Golf; while the title might not appeal to all sports fans, it's still one more option than PlayStation 4 owners have, giving Microsoft a slight advantage.
Advantage: Xbox One

Coming Up Next: Some modern genres to consider...

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