The lights are on
Video game platform holders have a long history of borrowing the successes of one another. When the d-pad was introduced, it was quickly adopted for other competing consoles. The same can be said for the control stick, shoulder buttons, wireless controllers, etc. – the list goes on. When something becomes successful, it becomes the standard.
In the new age of consoles, successful features can be added after launch. You can’t change the hardware, but you can change the software and features. An easy example to point to is Microsoft offering free games to Xbox Live Gold members. Sony made signing up for PlayStation Plus hugely beneficial by offering free games, and Microsoft saw how much value it added and began the Games With Gold program.
Xbox 360’s Achievements were a huge hit almost immediately. They continue to offer an excellent way to share progress and accolades with friends on Xbox Live. Sony saw how fans embraced the mechanic and added trophies, eventually requiring every PlayStation 3 game to include them. After seeing how motion controls affected the success of the Wii and opened up video games to a wider audience, Sony introduced the Move.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are here, and we are witness to which features are becoming widely embraced, and attempt to predict what the two competing consoles will try to implement post-launch.
Without redesigning the hardware, which won’t be happening soon, the PlayStation 4 won’t be able to pull in your cable television signal, but I bet eventually, Sony will offer the ability to snap in video and other Internet applications like Netflix and Twitter onto a single screen beside your video games.
Vita TV hasn’t been confirmed for the U.S., and we haven’t been able to try it out, the prospect of being able to play one PlayStation 4 on multiple televisions in your house is an exciting one, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a comparable television dedicated Xbox One peripheral at some point in the future. Maybe it will be something new, or maybe SmartGlass will be utilized. It all depends on how well Vita TV works, and more importantly, whether or not people like it.
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 haven’t even become the feature complete consoles that were shown during their respective announcements, but the competition is in full swing. Each console is attempting to become the best, and in doing so, we’re the winners. What future changes do you think will come to the consoles? Both Sony and Microsoft have only scratched the surfaces of what its consoles are capable of, and I am excited to see where each one goes.
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