Thoughts on the Next Gen Consoles
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.
Now that I've taken a look at the E3 footage, I think I have a better idea about these consoles. Of course, I won't really have any idea until after they come out, but I think I have a few things figured out.
#1 Size Matters
Both the xBox One and the PS4 are HUGE. This reminds me of the 1980's philosophy that Bigger is Better. Well, it's not. It's called miniaturization. Both Microsoft and Sony have made no illusions to the fact that they put some plastic around a PC and called it a console.
I remember my friend asking me to fix his Dreamcast back in 2000 and being amazed when I took it apart. The engineering on that thing was marvelous. There was not one wasted millimeter in that thing. I had to use tweezers to put it back together.
Size winner = Ouya at 6 cubic inches
#2 Oh Shiny!
Everything Xbox showed at e3 was gorgeous. It all just screamed “Next Gen”. Huge open worlds, rolling oceans, billowing winds, textured streets, massive explosions, and flowing hair.
Sony on the other hand, gave us a bunch of 2D games, some fake looking grass, and bunch of stuff that might as well have been on the 360 or the PS3. The only title of any merit was infamous: Second Son, which was kind of “eh”, and Final Fantasy, which you can also get on Xbox.
Graphics winner = xBox One
#3 Welcome to the club
Almost everything Microsoft showed at e3 was an exclusive title or feature of the xBox One. There was a bit of a hint that Windows 8 would share some features, but it wasn’t quite clear as to what extent. Segment after segment the game’s producers would get up and say “Only on xBox One”. I happen to know there are some other wonderful exclusive titles that weren’t shown (perhaps because they have 2d graphics, very beautiful 2d graphics but that isn’t what people are looking for in a $500 machine).
Microsoft’s message was very clear. "xBox One is a club, and either you’re in it or you’re not." (This is how Nintendo won the 8-bit war BTW).
Sony on the other hand had very few exclusives and some of them you could even get on the Vita. I think they had like 2 or 3 exclusive titles. Maybe this is fallout from Sony’s mishandling of 3rd party support with the PS3.
This basically is says “Buy a PS4, or maybe a PS Vita, or even a Xbox One. Doesn’t really matter.”
Exclusivity Winner = xBox One
#4 If consoles ran for president
“Hey! You can trust us! We’re your friend in the living room!” Both companies made promises. Xbox is continually back peddling on their awful DMR policy. Now you only have to be online to check in once a day before they send a T-1000 to hunt you down and kill you like your name was Sarah Connor. And, you only need one Xbox live account per box. (and the check is in the mail)
Sony on the other hand quickly picked up on the flack Microsoft has been getting for the past months and make some very simple and clear promises to treat us not only like human beings, but like we are people who are actually giving them money and keeping them in business or something.
Costumer Service winner = Play Station 4
#5 All I need is your first born child
$500 and a mandatory monthly fee for an Xbox One (complete with Kinect) ... Or $460 (including PS4 EYE sold seperately) and an optional monthly fee for the PS4 ... Or I could spend $150 on graphics card for my PC and pay no monthly fee.
Price winner = Ouya at $120