Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Console Whores

So, remember that thing I said about early adopters? Yeah, that's happening as of now. The Playstation 4 is a little over a week into it's life cycle and the Xbox One is 2 days in. Critically they both have been praised for what the console's bring to the table, Playstation 4 received a little disappointment with it's lackluster line-up of release titles, while the Xbox One didn't deliver fully on Kinect functionality or some of it's other promised services. So, who won?

Well, no one did. They came out pretty even with critics, that's a good thing, well, at least one would think that's good. That means that both consoles are worth your attention, and then all it comes down to is personal preference. But, that's not what it has turned into. The internet has a funny way of getting the voices of a few genuine people who are having an issue's voice heard, while also allowing hundred's more trolls to get through to cloud the actual number of problems. Amazon's review pages for the PS4 and the Xbox One have lit up with people making fake 1-star reviews on both consoles, and subsequently people flaming them for making them.

It goes without saying however that both consoles were flawed from the start (that early adopter thing, yeah here it is.) 100's of consoles at least on the PS4's side were shipped out bricked from the get-go. Amazon appears to be quite busy trying to take in bricked consoles, and ship out new ones. The Xbox One is seeing similar numbers thank's to a faulty disk drive that is both eating disk's and just causing a lot of problems. These are the problem's these console's will become known for. The Red Ring of Death was the target of everyone who felt the need to just hate the Xbox 360 for no real reason. There are probably thousands of internet meme's featuring the dreaded RROD. I had a 360 that suffered from the RROD, I sent it in, they extended my warranty, fixed it and sent it back with a free month of Gold. After that it was the Open Tray error that became the target of all the 360 hate. Essentially after extended periods of use either the laser or the drive's mechanisms would just give up requiring you to send it in and pay, or replace the drive yourself.

But, while the Sony faithful descended on the Xbox 360's every flaw (it's RROD problems, the Disk Drive problems, the fact that you had to pay for Live in order to play online, it's lack of true HD capabilities, etc.) the PS3 had it's share of issues which anyone with a love for the 360 was forbidden to speak of. Like the infamous hacking of the PSN that shut it down for months. The Playstation Network went down when a group of hackers managed to compromise it giving them access to all PSN users private info (they never confirmed that Credit Card information was a part of it, but one could be sure it was) after Sony finally sealed all the holes in their network they brought it back up with a host of freebies for the inconvenience,  only to find it's website which housed all the same information hacked about a day later. From there is was the Yellow Light of Death and subsequent Disk Drive problems.

So, the reserved gamer might be able to see the both console's have had their fair share of problems, and now with two brand new and super expensive consoles on the market that they are already having their fair share of issues. But the Sony Faithful are already descending on the Xbox Fanboy's and Vice-Versa. Why? Why do we need to put down another person's decision to play on the platform of their choice? Why can't we just be happy with what we have, and not really care about what the other guy is playing on. They are both video game consoles, they are both HD, they both have a Blu-ray drive, they both feature mountains of useless apps for you to share your gaming habits (that no one really cares about but you.) they are both as next gen as you can get. But, yet the flame war is officially in full swing.

Let me dispel some myths for you, allow me to run you down what you get for your money, not what was said way back before the console's came out and no longer applies and is therefore not a valid argument (which is a major thing on interwebs, yes Microsoft had some crazy policies 6 months ago, they don't anymore, yeah neither are backwards compatible (yet) but we all already knew that, and if you didn't you should have educated yourself prior to dropping $400-$500 dollars on one), I'm going to lay it out there in plain terms with no real bias.

The PS4 currently has 17 titles available, 3 are PS4 exclusive titles, 5 are PSN titles, 12 are available on PS3/Xbox 360. The PS4 Features a Blu-ray disc drive, 500GB of internal swappable (meaning you can upgrade it) storage, Sony is currently working on it's cloud capabilities (which should allow for importing licenses for PSN purchases on the PS3), the controller is an updated version of the Dual-Shock 3 controller from PS3, featuring a new touchpad and share button (the share button allows you to share gaming moments at the click of a button.), it's inner workings are almost identical to the Xbox One's but slightly more powerful. Also for the first time it is a requirement to be a PS+ (a previously optional service from Sony which gave subscribers free games, free themes, avatars, timed game trials, and additional cloud storage) member to play games online.

The Xbox One currently has 22 titles available,  9 are exclusive to the Xbox One, 3 are Arcade titles, 12 are available on Xbox 360/PS3. The Xbox One features a Blu-ray disc drive, 500GB on non-swappable internal storage, the Xbox cloud should be up and functional as far as I know. The controller is an updated version of the Xbox 360 controller, it features special tweaks to the triggers for easier use, and when used in tandem with the Kinect when you set it down while watching TV or a Movie it enters a low power state so as to not drain the battery. It's inner workings are almost identical to the PS4 only slightly less powerful. Xbox Live Gold is still required for online play, if you currently have Xbox Live Gold for the 360 it carries over to your Xbox One (currently as a Gold member you only receive access to special sales, and 2 free games per month.)

So, as you can see the Xbox one has slightly more games (doesn't necessarily make them all good games), while the PS4 has slightly more power (doesn't necessarily mean you will ever need it until way into the console's life cycle). But, yet people have found a way to turn this into a war, the console's are nearly identical, but somehow one is better than the other. It's one thing to have an opinion, it's a completely different thing to bash someone else's because it differs from your own. The simple fact that with the Xbox 360 and the PS3 still going strong you have no reason to jump on the next gen boat just yet.