ROBOT OVERLORD: Attention Meatbags! announcements concerning the next generation of gaming consoles have been made and the internet is abuzz with praise and terror! I have tasked seven members of the Major Spoilers crew to write their opinions and concerns regarding Microsof’s X-Box One and Sony’s PS4. Of those I picked four and electrocuted the rest!

Here is your Major Spoilers Breakdown of the PS4 Vs. the XBox One:


Rodrigo: From everything I’ve seen the technical specs on the PS4 are… bigger, than the X-Box One. I use the term “bigger” because although the PS4 clocks in with higher specs I think the differences in play experience will be negligible. It’s going to be up to the game developers to take advantage of those, and if you consider that a lot of games are going to come out for both consoles, we are likely to see companies aim for the lowest common denominator anyway.

That said, if you consider that the PS4 has generally fancier stats AND it’s cheaper it might tip the scales in Sony’s direction.

Zach: The pricing on gaming consoles will always be important because the right price will tempt those non-hardcore gamers to venture into the land of console games, as well as make parents more willing to purchase as gifts for their children. At launch the Xbox One will be sold for $499, while the Playstation 4 will have a price of $399. Could $100 dollars sway the market to choose one console over the other? To parts of the market, of course it will. But what I think needs to be pointed out about why the extra hundred dollar might be there is because of the inclusion of the Kinect hardware with the purchase of a Xbox One. Currently the Kinect for the Xbox 360 is priced at $99, so this could be a major reason for the price differential.

Looking back at the previous generation of consoles we will see that Microsoft has increased their console price point with the Xbox One compared to the Xbox 360. The 20 GB Premium Xbox 360 sold for $399 on release compared to the $499 for the Xbox One. Sony has done the opposite of Microsoft this time around by lowering the price for their latest model. The Playstation 3 retailed for $599 upon first release and now the Playstation 4 will release with a $399 price making sure not to repeat its pricing disaster.

Rob: Here’s the list of titles that are going to be exclusive to the X-Box One: Below, D4, Dead Rising 3, Fantasia: Music Evolved, Forza Motorsport, Halo for Xbox1 (Halo 5?), Killer Instinct, Kinect Sports Rivals, LocoCycle, Project Spark, Rabbids Invasion, Ryse, Sunset Overdrive, Titanfall, Trials Fusion, Zoo Tycoon, Zumba Fitness World Party

Here’s the list for the PS4: The Dark Sorcerer, Daylight, DC UO, Deep Down, Diablo III, Don’t Starve, Drive Club, EA Sports UFC, Final Fantasy PS4, Final Fantasy XIV, Galak-Z, Infamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, Mad Max, Mercenary Kings, Octodad: Deadliest Catch, Oddworld: New n’ Tasty, Outlast, The Order 1866, PlanetSide 2, Primal Carnage: Genesis, Ray’s the Dead, Secret Ponchos, Sniper Elite 3, The Witness, Transistor, Warframe, War Thunder.

According to IGN’s lists, these are the games that will be on one of the two consoles here and not the other. (Note, some of them may show up on Wii U or PC as well, this is just a comparison of PS4 and Xbox One) From just the scope of the list, the PS4 is obviously winning with more than ten titles ahead of the new Xbox. That said, having been with the 360 in the current gen, there are a few more games on Microsoft’s side I care about, notable the next in the Halo franchise, Dead Rising 3, and the surprising inclusion of Zoo Tycoon. Of course there are a few standouts on Sony’s side as well, such as a new Oddworld and Mad Max, amongst others. With the current environment though, all things point to game preference being the dominant factor, and in that I think I’d rather stick to a PC and a Wii U, have you seen what Nintendo‘s announced?


Brian: During the various previews of the X-Box One it has been stated that used games will not be playable on the console or will require an installation fee to unlock. Many prospective gamers oppose this concept, which prevents the capability to rent, borrow or purchase games previously owned. Some feel that this is a business decision that fails to consider the needs and desires of the end-user. These days, consoles typically cost more to manufacture and ship than at the price they sell. Therefore, game companies rely on sales of software, accessories, and licensing to third-party companies to make a profit. Many videogame retailers make much of their money through the sale of previously owned games, leaving the console manufactures out of that particular revenue stream.

Objectors state that oftentimes sampling a game, through rental or borrowing a copy from a friend, contributes to sales. Game demos, when available, typically provide a limited experience of gameplay, not providing a big enough sample to get a proper feel. The unavailability of used games would also mean having to pay more for games in general, meaning smaller selection of titles in an owner’s library, causing interest in the console and brand to diminish more quickly. The verification of a title’s authenticity would also require an online connection, which causes further controversy.

Preliminary details of the X-Box One indicate a requirement for an online connection, causing further backlash within the gaming community. Some object that such a feature is problematic if not prohibitive to some, as not all players have ready access to a reliable internet connection. There are also concerns about violation of privacy, as some feel online connectivity may provide means to collect marketing and research data from their users. This fear is further complicated by the necessity of the Kinect, a motion sensor device with a built-in camera, to be connected to the console. Microsoft has indicated that the always on Kinect is due to functionality reasons, and data from it will not be used for any marketing means.

Rob: While I’ve been on Microsoft’s side for the entirety of the last generation, I feel they are shooting themselves in the foot with the always on/always connected functionality and the ridiculously sever DRM issues. The first one is just limiting the number of people that can play because not everyone has or wants to connect to the internet. On top of this, the “always watching” part is just creepy. As far as the DRM goes, no console manufacturer has ever gone to this length to punish their customers for doing what comes normally.

Zach: Microsoft’s announcement of the always on/always connected functionality could not have come at a worse time than it did with the NSA debacle currently happening in the States and certainly throws up warning flags in my mind. That being said I can see where Microsoft was coming from by making it needed for the One to always be connected to the Internet. Online multiplayer games have been huge for years and users are constantly streaming content from their consoles; I don’t even remember the last time I played an Xbox that wasn’t connected to the Internet. Our phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops are all continually connected to the Internet, so why shouldn’t our gaming consoles be also?

Rodrigo: It is clear that the public is not happy with Microsoft’s direction for the X-Box One, but every gamer is going to have to ask themselves the question “Am I going to stick to my guns and not buy an X-Box because Microsoft is being weird about this whole thing?” How many people will change their mind when the new Halo comes out? Microsoft counts on “Most of them.”

When people realized that “buying music online” was actually “renting a license to listen to this track” there was some backlash, but nowadays almost no one bats an eye anymore. I think that Bill Gates is hoping this will be the case with the X-Box One’s sharing policies; and honestly, history is on his side.

ROBOT OVERLORD: Do you agree with the statements here? Use the comment section to record your organic opinions on the matter. If you would like to discuss anything individually, Zach, Rob, Brian and Rodrigo can be accessed through twitter as well. ARTICLE CONCLUDED!

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  1. morpheus11
    June 14, 2013 at 11:01 am — Reply

    I have been a supporter of Microsoft for a long time and have really enjoyed most of my experiences on the last couple of consoles. But, my big problem with the Xbox One is the sharing policy.

    I have a limited amount of money I can spend on video games and therefore don’t get every game I want to play. So, trading games with friends is the best way for me to get to experience games I wouldn’t normally buy.

    This idea that Microsoft is not going to let me share these games with my friends is appalling. This one thing is the part that makes me the most upset and the most likely to avoid purchasing the Xbox One.

    • Justin
      June 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm — Reply

      Agreed 100%. If I share a game with a friend and he likes it he will buy his own copy (usually because of multiplayer). Now that Microsoft is so against us sharing we won’t share our cash with Microsoft. Sony on the other hand understands whats up.

  2. kaptaran
    June 14, 2013 at 11:30 am — Reply

    Microsoft has a major problem with messaging at this point. They have, by some accounts, a pretty good system for sharing games and allowing access to your game library on different units, but the only thing the masses are hearing is about the complete lack of sharing. To then come in at $100 more expensive than their competition, there isn’t much of a reason to get an Xbox One over a PS4.

    I am excited about the Xbox One installing games from disc onto the system and NO LONGER REQUIRING THE DISC TO PLAY! This seems like a small thing, but I have repeatedly run into situations where I couldn’t play the console game I wanted to play because somebody misplaced disc 2 after I installed it (I’m looking at you Mass Effect 2).

    That said, the feature isn’t worth $500. I likely won’t get either system until prices come down and the backlog of games is large enough (and cheap enough) for me to bother.

  3. SilentDeparture
    June 14, 2013 at 11:31 am — Reply

    Even though I have access to both consoles this generation, I leaned more towards the 360 and enjoyed the experiences. Unfortunately, Microsoft left a bad taste in my mouth with their restrictive sharing and used game policy that One is set to have.

    As Zach said, I can’t remember the last time my 360 was not connected to the internet so that doesn’t bother me as much. The always on Kinect is a bit disturbing, though, especially since I have heard Microsoft has been kind of cryptic with their answers surrounding this. We already know the 360 has ads whether or not you pay for a Live subscription so I see marketing uses for the data.

    Either way, myself and some family and friends have decided to go with the Playstation 4 this coming generation and the majority of the reasoning are from the decisions of Microsoft.

  4. June 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    Not getting an XBone because the always-on kinect creeps me out. A lot.

  5. Michael Kiser
    June 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm — Reply

    After hearing the discussion surrounding the Xbox One (XBO) on the podcast this week I thought I might send in an email, but since you guys posted this handy article I will just post a comment.

    Let me start by saying I have owned the original Xbox, and multiple XBox 360s. I have also owned a PS1 and PS3. I am a gamer, but I do most of my gaming on the 360. I have not decided yet which console I am going to buy, but I have done a lot of research on the XBO and I have found that among my gaming friends there is a lot of misinformation about how the XBO operates. I am not trying to sell anyone on the XBO here I merely want to try to explain why the system operates the way it does and talk about some of the features people seem to have not heard about.

    I am also not blaming anyone for not knowing this stuff, it is definitely partially Microsofts’s (MS) fault for not communicating this information to its consumers. Most of what I have learned comes from interviews with press rather than official press releases.

    I pulled out some stuff from the article above.

    Rodrigo, you started off by talking about the PS4’s “stats”. It is true that on paper the PS4 has better hard ware stats. I do agree that overall the games will probably look and play the same on the two consoles. I would be really surprised if multiplatorm games performed or looked amazingly better on one console over the other. The one thing that XBO does have though is access to the XBOX Live cloud. MS has built a network of 300,000 servers that serve as a cloud for the XBOs. For each XBO made they are building in three times the resources of that XBO into the cloud for developers to use and work with. For instance the game Titan Fall that Rob mentioned has all of its AI and Physics calculated in the cloud and then transferred to players over the internet. This frees up the hardware in your XBO to be dedicated to just you playing the game.

    Rob, some of the games you listed as PS4 exclusives are not PS4 exclusives two that I saw right of the bat were EA UFC and Final Fantasy 15, both of those titles are multiplatform titles. Also it should be noted that a lot of those PS4 games are indie games which are still awesome but these are smaller games akin to what you would see on the XBox Live Arcade on the 360. Most of these titles are “timed exclusives” which means they will be exclusively on the PS4 for some period of time before they show up on the XBO but odds are they will show up there eventually.

    Brian really gets to the heart of the matter though. He talks about a lot of the stuff that people take issue with the XBO for.

    “ Many videogame retailers make much of their money through the sale of previously owned games, leaving the console manufactures out of that particular revenue stream.”

    Console manufacturers are not the only people left out of the used game market. The developers of the games and publishers of the games are also cut out entirely. This is why GameStop pushes used game so much. If you buy a used game they get to keep all of that money as profit. Where as if you buy a new game then the profit is split between them, the publisher, the developer, and the console manufacturer. Some people feel that it shouldn’t matter where the money goes at this stage since the game has already been bought once at full price, but I just wanted to point this out.

    “The unavailability of used games would also mean having to pay more for games in general, meaning smaller selection of titles in an owner’s library, causing interest in the console and brand to diminish more quickly.”

    The XBO can still play used game. It is simply up to the publisher to allow or disallow used game sales. It is a little more clunky with the XBO though. You will only be able to sell used games at specific locations (I am assuming GameStop would be one of them). Part of this reason is because the way the games are installed on the system (I will talk about this later) and part of it I believe is that negotiations have happened so that these location will give the developers and publishers a cut. It is true that you can’t just sell the game to anyone, but you can sell you disc back to GameStop if the publisher allows it.

    It should also be mentioned that by limiting used games sales it might make it possible for MS have sales on games similar to what Valve does with its digital distribution platform Steam. There are no used games on Steam which means every purchase goes back to the content creators and distributors. If you have ever seen Steam sells you know that there can be some crazy discounts in there. Now this is just speculation on my part but I would hope limiting the used game market, or at least providing the content creators with some cut of used game sales would result in some benefits for the general consumers.

    “The verification of a title’s authenticity would also require an online connection, which causes further controversy.”

    It is true that you have to connect once every 24 hours to verify all of your licenses. This is because of how the system works. When you buy a digital game or game disc it is installed to your hard drive and a copy of this game is also saved to your cloud (talked about this earlier). You no long need the disc. You can keep it if you want, you can blow it up, you can play frisbee with it, it doesn’t matter. All of your games play off of the hard drive. Because of this your XBO checks with the server to make sure this game is on your drive and hasn’t been sold or given away. If this feature wasn’t there you could take the disc and install it on hundreds of XBOs and have the game everywhere. You are essentially buying the code on the disc, not necessarily the disc. I believe this is also why you have only specific locations you can trade in at, because they would have to manage the license transfer as well. You can take your disc with you to your friends house if you want and install it there. All the code can live on his machine but he doesn’t have a license so he can’t play it while you are not there and signed in.

    This gets into lending. You guys do not discuss it much but it seems to be a big deal on the internet. The XBO does allow for the lending of games, just not in the traditional sense. Like I said you can take your disc to your friends house and install it and you play it to your hearts content while you are singed in with your account, but that truly isn’t lending. There is however a “Xbox Family Circle” that they have talked about. You remember that I mentioned earlier that when you install a game to your hard drive it also puts a copy of that game in the cloud? Well you can share that cloud game with your friends. You can add up to 10 people to your “Xbox Family” and they can play any of the the games you have placed in your shared games library on the cloud. I have seen reports that state these people do not have to be blood relatives and they can be thousands of miles away. There are no official details for this feature yet though, most of the information I have found is from MS executive being interviewed. I have seen reports that state you can always play your copy of the game and then one of your friends can play the shared copy, and I have also seen reports that state there is only one license and if you are playing then your friends can’t play, but if you aren’t playing a game they can have access to it (essentially one shared license). This feature seems to good to be true, but I am still waiting to see some official description of how it going to operate and what kind of limitations it will have. Also, I believe anyone that lives in your house can have access to your games library.

    “This fear is further complicated by the necessity of the Kinect, a motion sensor device with a built-in camera, to be connected to the console. Microsoft has indicated that the always on Kinect is due to functionality reasons, and data from it will not be used for any marketing means.”

    Yes, Kinect has to be plugged in at all times (which I agree is stupid) but you can go into the settings and turn it off if you want and do everything with a controller instead.

    I understand that some of these things are still deal breakers for people, and if that is the case then you should look at a PS4. Like I stated earlier I haven’t preordered either console and I am not trying to sell anyone the XBO I am just trying to inform people on why it is the way it is and how it works.

    I hope this doesn’t come off as me “attacking” you guys because that is not how it was intended. I love Major Spoilers and all the articles and podcasts you provide for us!

    If you made it this far thanks for reading I know it was a massive wall of text.

    PS: Randus is the BEST!


    • slimeknight
      June 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm — Reply

      My problem with the authentication is that its every 24 hours you have to login to be able to play a game. Steam does authentication every month. Microsoft should have done this or even just had it once a week just in case for some unforseen reason you lose you’re internet for a week you could still play the game. The biggest reason everyones freaking out online is because of the recent example of sim city and diablo 3 which i don’t think is a good comparison since with the Xbox you’re probably just pinging their servers and that’s all but people still fear about that.
      In the case of the indies you talk about they may not go to Xbox one because there’s been problems with Microsoft’s policies and some have talked openly that they won’t work with Microsoft again.
      The cloud computing sounds awesome but I’m not sure my internet connection could handle what I’ve heard is needed is 1.5 megabytes down in a multiplayer game and even in a single player game I’m interested to know what happens if my internet dies. Sony has also come out saying they could do the cloud computing as well.
      This is all that I’ve heard could be wrong but these are my fears to the system and Microsoft needs to address these fears. I’ve heard talk that you could cover the kinect if that freaks you out that they’re always watching.
      Some good points about Sony is the cloud gaming not sure my internet could play but still interested and that would cover backwards compatibility.
      Even without all of that I still would have gone with the ps4 because I enjoy my ps3 and play more of Sony’s exclusives(plus PS plus is awesome with all the free games they release) I know Microsoft’s starting something similar but I’m not the biggest fans of multiplayer shooters(interested in titanfall) or racing games. Something else is that the ps4 will play my blurays not sure if Xbox one will though I think they could since they went with bluray drive. Plus 100 dollars cheaper and I’m sold on the ps4.
      There is always going to the PC so you can play all but the first party games if you have 800-1000 dollars to build an awesome computer.

      • Michael Kiser
        June 14, 2013 at 9:11 pm — Reply

        I agree with you that the 24 hour check in is a pain. I have a really stable connection where I live. Last time i checked I had 36 megabytes down. It really wouldn’t surprise me to see Microsoft bump their check window back to a week but who knows. It also wouldn’t surprise me if they find a way to let you play offline by validating off of the disc (if you have it). Then again it wouldn’t surprise me if they just stick to their guns. They did make Xbox Live a broadband only network when it initially launched and this was when Dial Up was still prevalent. So they have set a precedence for making these kinds of decisions.

        Sony does have some killer exclusives and Playstation Plus is a really good deal (I currently have it as well).

        I have also seen that some Indie devs have had a negative experience working with MS, but others have said they have never had an issue with them. The Behemoth (the people who made castle crashers and battle block theater) said they have never had trouble working with MS. So it is a bit of a mixed bag.

        I haven’t read much about Sony’s cloud system, but I did hear about their Gaiki service where they would effectively stream games to your console. They would receive your inputs and then process and render the games on the server side, and then stream the gameplay footage back to your console. If I am not mistaken this is how they plan on handling backwards compatibility.

        The Xbox One can play blu rays though! haha

        I know that you can put the Kinect in an Off state that keeps it from hearing you. I would assume that in its Off state it would also not sense you but I am not sure about that.

        As for the failed launches of Diablo 3 and Sim City. I think one of the advantages MS has that they didn’t is that they know the absolute maximum load they could experience because they know exactly how many XBOs have been produced. When you are only dealing with software then you are never really sure how many copies you are going to have hitting the servers at once during the launch of a game. Hopefully if they have decided to go down this route they won’t be a colossal failure. I would hate for those who have invested in the XBO to have to experience something like that.

        I agree though, if you like Indie games and dislike shooters then the PS4 might be the best choice for you.

        I hope you enjoy your PS4! Really, I wish all gamers could would support each other. I never really understood why people feel the need to attack each other over the choice of which console they prefer to play their games on.

        • slimeknight
          June 15, 2013 at 10:31 am — Reply

          Definitely agree that gamers shouldn’t attack each other if you don’t like the system don’t buy it but don’t attack others because they did. To each their own. Hope you enjoy whatever you go with goes to everyone.

  6. June 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm — Reply

    I have no problem with the idea of logging online to add a serial code for a game to my account. But once a bought game has been verified as being bought I should not have to be on the internet to keep the game active. I want to be able to play without internet access. I play almost exclusively single player and do not want to have rely on having it.

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