The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
The day hath finally arrived. As prophesied, today was revealed to us- THE XBOX ONE. And it was- actually extremely underwhelming. Although it is to be expected, Microsoft's focus on entertainment over gaming was none the less disappointing. Overall I think Sony's reveal was a much more focused and interesting presentation of their plans for the future.
Firstly, the focus of the conferences. Microsoft spent the first half of the meeting talking about the new xbox live and *groan* it's integration with Kinect. A large focus of this time was on the ease of use and simplicity of the system. All you have to do is talk and swipe and your Kinect will switch to tv and to movies, then to tv, then to music, then to games... This went on for quite a while, and while it's all very impressive, it's not what I want in a VIDEO GAME CONSOLE. What I want, is games and the ability to play games. This stands in stark contrast to Sony's Playstation 4 reveal, in which they emphasized gaming and the developer friendly nature of the console. The majority of their press conference was was devoted to developers showing off their projects, and the possibilities, chiefly gaming-wise, that are made possible by the system. I realize there are those who will be excited by the living room entertainment system nature of the Xbox One, but when I watched both conferences, I went in with the mindset that I want to see how they change gaming and how we play games, and frankly, PS4 has that one in the bag.
Secondly, exclusives. Although they have never sold as well as Xbox exclusives, Sony has always had more first party studios working on exclusives for the platform. This advantage was clearly at the top of their minds as they entered the conference, as they announced and showed off six exclusives at the conference, and more have trickled out since including the ever popular Gran Turismo 6. Conversely Microsoft only showed off two exclusives, and although they will doubtless be popular, the variety found on the PS4 can not yet be matched by Xbox One. Now, I realize, Sony has had a huge headstart on Microsoft, and has had more time to form relationships with developers and prepare for the system launch, but it is still disheartening to see the lack of attention games are getting from Microsoft.
Finally, the controllers. Both Sony and Microsoft have innovated on their old controllers, but one has clearly been iterated on more than the other. Microsoft's changes have been minimal, and although it is nice to have slightly more convex or sticky analog sticks, that doesn't really change the way we play. Sony on the other hand, has made gaming the forefront of their design even when it comes to the controller. In their last console, the Vita, Sony did their best to give developers the freedom to have players play in any way they want, and this is mirrored by the new controller. Whether it's the touchpad, share button, or Move functionality, players have the freedom to control a game in the way that they want. Microsoft's controller, while solid, is plain, and personally I have not been a fan of Kinect, and so am not confident that it will be the form of control that makes me want the system. When it comes down to it, the Xbox One controller may feel better in the hands, and may be more responsive, but the PS4 controller is more daring, and puts the power in the hands of the player.
Technically, the two consoles are very similar. PS4 has slightly more and more powerful ram, but I doubt this will make much of a difference in the development cycle. The good news here is that it will be much easier to port games between the two as compared to the jumble of memory that was he PS3. The real question, because they are so similar, is of the price. This, I'm sure, will give one console or the other the edge in gamers' minds.
Because this blog is focusing on the gaming aspects of the two consoles, I won't go much into detail about operating systems, or entertainment functionality. I'm sure Microsoft will have more third party apps and ways to watch tv and movies than Sony, and will no doubt integrate better with all forms of entertainment, but when it comes down to pure simple gaming, Sony has a clear edge over Microsoft, at least in my mind.
I realize I may sound like a fanboy, and it's true that I have always preferred Sony consoles to Microsoft, but in this matter, I feel that it's a simple question of analyzing the information we have been given. Agree? Disagree? Leave your own thoughts.