As Sony and Microsoft prepare to dive head-first into a battle that will probably last another decade I ask myself what the next-generation stands for. It is clearly evident that the behemoths are pushing a number of new features and building further upon the foundations and philosophy of their current consoles in hopes of enhancing player experiences. But how better is better? While the two consoles are nearly identical in terms of prowess, their approach is not, and inevitably one will have to make “that” choice.
Where Microsoft pushed for heavy cloud integration may it be shifting computing tasks to the cloud, media capabilities, TV and multi-tasking, Sony chose to rely on raw power, video and streaming. And while some of these features do overlap, the Xbox One is undoubtedly more future proof in terms of what you can do on the box and it doesn’t stop there; Microsoft’s vision translates into a more multi-layered and complete player experience than its counterpart and It’s surprising how the console stays true to its name, the “One”. And even though Sony’s focus for the future seems fragmented the Playstation4’s ability to stream games to a Vita is an exciting initiative, one I’d definitely want to see more of…I like where this is going and I’ve never really truly grasped the handheld idea. There is a significant demand for handheld today and even though the Vita is an expensive peripheral, people might just be willing to jump the band wagon.
The decision also heavily relies on answers to questions such as what, how and where do you prefer to play. The Next-Gen brings an array of instruments with technical and ergonomic advancements with noticeable upgrades to both the primary controllers; the Xbox One gamepad introduces incredible rumbling triggers – so I’ve heard…where the Dualshock4 sports a touchpad and an LED, sadly the latter having no purpose unless you cough up for a PlayStation Camera (tremendously inferior to the Kinect 2.0). The second screen feature seems almost mandatory and we’ll be seeing that on both consoles. And the Move is also still alive – for sculpting at least and I don’t know why, nobody seems to.
Same purpose, different approach: Going back to the policy war of the E3: when the afterglow of Sony’s victory faded I found myself underwhelmed by what the Sony had to offer, and that is solely in terms of innovation. Microsoft’s ambitious push for the cloud seems to raise many questions, but as time passes the capabilities of Azure seem to be very real, and this is where games will begin to differ on the platforms and Sony might get the short end of the stick. I believe Sony’s understated perspective and nearsightedness has somehow already doomed their future in gaming, I was hoping for more, I was expecting more and I didn’t get it. Strangely I did found solace in the stealthy Kinect 2.0 and as time goes by we are beginning to see its potential; Microsoft’s decision for its subtle integration this time around seems more fitting, and seems to be the differentiating factor here;
And hasn’t immersion always been key?
As Gamescom approaches maybe the Playstation4 wins me over, maybe with better exclusives – who knows, the gaming industry has many well-kept secrets. But if Sony continues in following the PS3 formula, I see no place for them in my living room. If anything the past has proven that a slight upper hand in terms of hardware translates to nothing. Sure the Last of Us is ahead of its time but we are in fact at the end of the life-cycle and this time that just won’t cut it.
Investing in an eco-system and then jumping ship might not be as easy as it was Last-Generation as these consoles will be able to create and build upon extremely personalized experiences. They will essentially know who you are, how you play and what you play. The Xbox One to me presents better value for money with exclusives that I actually see myself playing and with Microsoft’s reversal of policies there is no reason not to buy. And with the full PS4 experience in reality costing much more than the Xbox One, I have chosen a side.
One thing’s for certain, the new era will undoubtedly bring a considerable boost in graphics; bigger, faster, smarter, ever-evolving worlds, with rich online and second screen capabilities. So whether you take the blue pill, or the green pill – It’ll be one hell of a ride.
- Five reasons you should be excited for Xbox One (games.com)
- Xbox One Vs. PS4 Launch Title Line-Up (forbes.com)
- Xbox WAS the only way (theonlyvalidopinion.wordpress.com)