The eighth generation console war has begun.
As usual, Sony and Microsoft are battling to have the most-anticipated console (I’m dismissing the Wii U because Nintendo’s decline is a whole other story). Many critics agreed that at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Exposition in Los Angeles that the PS4 left a much more favorable impression than the Xbox One. Attendees were skeptical of Microsoft’s harsh digital rights management protocols and the lack of innovation shown by the Xbox One where Microsoft had previously promised “a new generation of gaming.”
I was onboard the Xbox One skeptics’ train ever since my first impression of the console with these 1984-inspired memes. Microsoft has taken the console back under the knife since fans reacted so harshly toward its “innovative” policies that many agreed heavily disadvantaged the consumer. For example, previously the system required an online check-in every 24 hours to synchronize your games library and download new content. If the check-in failed for any reason — say the user’s Wi-Fi stopped working — the system would go into lockdown. People were fond of saying that the console would transform into a $499 shiny black brick.
On June 19, Microsoft boss Don Mattrick released in a statement that a lot of the contentious policies of the Xbox One will be withdrawn, and the system will function pretty much as the Xbox 360 does. It’s really surprising that fans could put so much pressure on Microsoft to cause its to remove all of these features. Unfortunately for Microsoft, its Big Brother-esque features came at an unfortunate time amid all the NSA controversy.
I am a big fan of the “Halo” series, so I know for that and other reasons I’ll be playing the Xbox One, but I will definitely not be buying one.
The PS4, however, I am ecstatic for, though still apprehensive about the price. The Sony team had a much more successful E3 — for all of Microsoft’s bad press that ensued, Sony received nothing but good.
Firstly, the PS4 is $100 cheaper. One big reason is that the PS4′s attachable camera, a rough equivalent to Xbox’s Kinect, is sold separately for $60. I’d prefer to have the choice and save the money. Plus, I don’t think I could have that permanent eye watching me after seeing those memes I mentioned.
Sony also won over fans at E3 by saying it would do nothing to limit the trading and selling of used games. This was a big one. In fact, just after the reveal came a riotous video on YouTube subtly mocking Xbox’s restrictive system of trading games. Even Microsoft’s updated program of managing used games remains confusing. Essentially, the company says you can trade in/sell/exchange your old games, but publishers can still set up their own restrictions.
Both the PS4 and the Xbox One are slated for a holiday 2013 release.
For those of you interested in the specs of each console, here is a PS4 vs. Xbox One vs. Wii U comparison chart.