We’re less than a week away from the release of the two next generation consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. PS4 releases on November 15th, while the XB1 releases on November 22nd. It has been 7-8 years since the 2005 release of the Xbox 360 and the 2006 release of the PlayStation 3.
Sony and Microsoft have been fighting for the living room space and our money for several years now. Who will win this time around? Is there enough space for the 2 next-gen consoles to coexist? Gamers of all shapes and sizes are the winners. Doesn’t matter if the gamer is casual and only plays “Candy Crush” and the occasional “Call of Duty” (the recent iteration of COD made $1 billion on day one). Doesn’t matter if the gamer is hardcore and plays all the indie games like “Flower” and “Minecraft” and triple-A titles like “Infamous” and “Gears of War”. Everyone wins, but there are some caveats.
These consoles do arrive with a hefty price tag, though, so games and features play the important role of swaying the wallets of consumers. Some people have to purchase gizmos and gadgets on day one, so launch titles will have a strong gravitation for them.
Sony’s launch lineup looks a little barren now especially with the recent delays of “Watch Dogs,” multiplatform hacker adventure and “Drive Club,” social network racing simulator, while XB1 has a special looking launch lineup with zombie butt-kicking,“Dead Rising 3” and racing simulator,“Forza Motorsport 5.” The PS4 has family-friendly action/adventure, “Knack” and futuristic shoot-em up, “Killzone: Shadow Fall.” Each console receives its share of multiplatform titles ranging from shooters like “Battlefield 4” and “Call of Duty: Ghosts” to sports titles like “FIFA 14” and “NBA 2K14.”
A console’s initial launch will not make or break a system. The PS3 had a rocky launch releasing a whole year after the 360, but today both their worldwide sales are approximately 80 million each respectively.
PS4 has the price point going heavily in its favor being a $100 cheaper at $399 versus XB1’s $499. Both are expensive pieces of hardware. Sony is trying not to make the same mistake of the previous generation’s $599 blunder, while XB1 is trying to sell this idea of a 1 box for all things entertainment.
XB1 has a multitude of features catering not solely to gamers, but to other multimedia applications like Netflix, Skype, etc. This is evident in their new commercial displaying sports, Skype, racing and movies all in one commercial.
PS4 has been targeting gamers through and through with much of its support going toward indie developers like. Their launch commercial features 2 men singing Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day,” while participating in live action racing, shooting and fighting.
Each companies’ target demographic is clearly depicted in each commercial. Microsoft wants to sell you an entertainment console that plays video games, while Sony wants to sell a games console with entertainment capabilities.
The main difference between the two consoles is the highly improved camera and motion controller, Kinect 2.0, the spiritual successor the Kinect on 360, bundled with the XB1 and heavily integrated into how the XB1 functions. XB1 can be controlled exclusively through voice command, which makes things much faster if executed correctly. The PS4 has a camera called the PSeye, but it is sold separately and not as heavily advertised and/or probably less powerful.
Is the XB1 worth the $100 price difference? Does the PS4 need more than just games? This all depends on numerous variables. Which games does a player prefer? Are you a fan of the adventurous “Uncharted” series or the guns blazing “Halo” series? Is it better to bide time and wait to purchase? Should consumers wait on the new toys? There are many questions surrounding the launch of a brand new system and this month, there will be 2 new systems.
It may be wiser to bide your time on purchasing a next-gen console (especially if you already own a 360 or PS3) until console reviews are released, bugs are fixed and more games are released.
This is a difficult choice to make. You decide. It is your living room.