What’s up, XBRO‘s? AMGfail here with another Reader Discussion topic, and this one focuses on the current generation of consoles. Have you made the jump yet, or are you still rocking the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii?
With May being the 6-month mark for the Xbox One and the PS4, both consoles have had plenty of time to sway your opinion. At this point Nintendo will have had a year and a half to state their case as well, and for the sake of this discussion we’ll be including them in the current-gen pool because sometimes it’s nice to have friends.
Do you own an Xbox One?
The Xbox One launched in North America on November 22, 2013. After the infamous Xbox 180, Microsoft managed to release a console that not only pleased their fans but brought with it a list of innovations. Voice commands make it much easier to navigate the Xbox One’s user interface and having the ability to snap between different applications and multitask has been a godsend. The Xbox One also offers a quick and easy way to capture and share your gameplay with friends with its built-in Game DVR and Upload Studio editing program, alongside HD streaming through the Twitch app. The most recent console update also allows owners to upload their footage directly to YouTube.
Of course every console has its downfall, and since launch the Xbox One has been under scrutiny as being under-powered in comparison to Sony’s PS4. Cross-platform games have constantly featured lower resolution textures on the Xbox One, with even the system-selling exclusive Titanfall failing to reach the 1080p mark. While this is more a problem on paper — as the gap in 900p to 1080p is barely noticeable, even when side-by-side — it did make the PS4 more appealing in combination with its lower price tag. Of course you can ask every Xbox One owner if the Kinect was worth the extra $100 and most would probably say yes. I know I would.
When it boils down to what matters most, being the games, the Xbox One certainly delivered the goods in terms of exclusives. Launch exclusives like Dead Rising 3, Forza 5 and Killer Instinct were all great games that were available immediately, and there were even a few odds and ends like Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, Ryse: Son of Rome, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Halo: Spartan Assault and Crimson Dragon that found their niche audience over time. And we all know that Titanfall has become the game to own on the Xbox One.
Do you own a Playstation 4?
Launching one week earlier than the Xbox One on November 15th, 2013, the PS4 had a lot going for it right out of the gate. For starters, it launched at a cheaper price than the Xbox One and was coming off of a strong E3 1013 presentation earlier in the year. Promising to focus on gaming first — as opposed to the Xbox One’s all-in-one sales pitch — while stepping around the concepts of digital distribution and DRM, the PS4 embraced the indie gaming scene and won many people over with their consumer first mentality.
Like the Xbox One, it also offers video sharing and streaming through Twitch, but doesn’t allow PS4 owners to view any form of non-PS4 streams like the Xbox One does. It’s current video sharing system is also pretty lackluster in comparison to the Xbox One’s Upload Studio, only allowing you to set a start and end point and having no way to combine multiple clips at once or provide voice-over before uploading to Facebook. Sony is currently working on improving their video sharing feature with a new application, but an official release date has not been announced.
While the PS4 is currently the strongest console on the market, it’s lacked a big name exclusive until recently with inFAMOUS: Second Son. Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack were supposed to be flagship launch titles, but both were met with a lukewarm reception by consumers and gaming publications alike. Until recently, Sony’s saving grace has been offering smaller exclusives through PSN and offering an incredible value with their Playstaion Plus membership.
Since its launch, the PS4 has offered some solid exclusives via PSN with games like Outlast, Towerfall: Ascension, Resogun, Mercenary Kings, Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark and Warframe. It’s also offered graphically superior versions of cross-platform games like Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.
Do you own a Wii U?
The Wii U is kind of the red-headed step child of the list. It’s nowhere near as powerful either the Xbox One or the PS4 and it’s also been around a year longer than both of them, launching back in November of 2012. The Wii U is Nintendo’s first jump in to the realm of HD and online gaming, and while the console did show a lot of promise with its innovative GamePad, it’s still failed to gain steam with consumers thanks to its archaic friend system, lack of third-party support and Nintendo’s complete lack of know-how when it comes down to anything having to do with the internet.
Of course there’s one thing Nintendo does better than anyone else, and that’s make games. The Wii U has had a long time to build a strong library, and it’s done just that with games like The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo has also started to embrace the indie scene with solid exclusives like Mighty Switch Force, Nano Assault NEO, Mutant Mudds Deluxe and the upcoming Shovel Knight, which is a big step for the company.
While sales figures and the overall lack of support continue to disappoint, the future looks bright for Wii U owners as some heavy hitters are just over the horizon. The biggest of course being Super Smash Bros., but they also have Bayonetta 2, Mario Kart 8 and X to look forward to at some point in the future. Let’s also not forget that the Wii U is the only current-gen console that is backwards compatible, allowing owners to play their entire Wii library — upscaled in HD no less. It also functions with all Motion Plus-enabled Wiimotes from your Wii, saving you a small fortune instead of having to buy new controllers.
If you haven’t made the jump to current-gen yet, what’s stopping you? We know it could be anything from finances to waiting for better games to release, but we want to know what’s holding you back. Maybe you’re a part of the PC master race? Let us know in the comments!
Bradley Keene is an avid gamer & aspiring writer from Baltimore, MD that handles news and reviews here at What’s Your Tag?. If he’s not writing or knee-deep in some form of video game, he’s usually watching low-budget horror films or following Orioles baseball. Follow him on Twitter @amgfail_WYT, or contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love gaming? Join TEAM XBRO today!