Monday, 18 November 2013

Sony PS4 vs Microsoft Xbox One

Which is better, the Microsoft Xbox One or Sony PS4? I was in The Sunday Times recently debating for the side of the PS4. You can see my thoughts (versus fellow journalist Stuart Andrews representing the Xbox One) here. I couldn't fit everything I wanted to in the piece however. So read on for more of my thoughts on Sony PS4, Microsoft Xbox One and their other competitors...

At launch, I think neither the Sony PS4 or Microsoft Xbox One are really worth the price of entry - the initial slate of games for both systems is woeful and neither yet demonstrate the power of the next-generation consoles.
I picked the Sony PS4 because of the two, it's more game focussed and I believe that yelling and waving at your TV, with your game console controlling your TV viewing and overlaying itself on top of your set-top box is something that might go down well in the US, but less well here in the UK (or much of Europe). While the Xbox One is attempting a one-box-rules-them-all approach to the living room, Sony's machine is more streamlined towards games. I also think Sony's work with "indie" developers in the last few years should bring more interesting, quirky and unusual games to the PS4. That said, Microsoft has one big weapon up its sleeve at the moment - Titanfall is an exclusive to the Xbox One, and one that looks very exciting.
Perhaps a bigger threat to both the PS4 and the Xbox One is not each other, but other parties coming in to the console/TV space. If Google or Apple manage to bring the same game store you have on your tablet to the big screen, that might be a console-beater, as might Valve's Steambox idea - taking the brilliant and simple (and dominant) PC gaming distribution service and turning it into a console is a great idea.
Whatever the future holds, I for one am fairly sick of the same old franchises with just minimal graphics upgrades. If the next generation of consoles is to truly convince, it needs to do a lot more on enemy intelligence, emotional storytelling and the interactive experience, and stop sweating the shiny visual details quite so much.


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