VIDEO GAMES: PS4 Vs. XBox One

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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:

BREAK IT DOWN

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?

THE ELEPHANT IN THE (server) ROOM

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!