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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

PS4 and Xbox One - Which Gets My Money?



We can all admit that E3 got off to a rollicking start with the Sony and Microsoft pressers.

Microsoft showed us some games for the Xbox One and told us all how cool it will be to have a system that will do everything we need, entertainment wise. We can now have 1000 friends, though I worry this will be linked to Facebook and count them as friends too. We can watch TV, watch movies, do other things while waiting for a game to start (though most games only give you a minute or two between rounds) and even use Skype (yeah no, not yelling at my TV).

While I admit that the Xbox One is a great system, very solid and very "future", I am not impressed with the lawyer-ese they continue to use, putting the control in the publishers hands when it comes to MY games and just how out and out rude they are being to the people they are supposed to be selling their system to.

Most of the restrictions don't really bother me much. I am always online (unless a storm knocks my internet out) and I rarely buy used games. However, as I stated before, I have 5 kids and generally have two consoles. I have yet to get a solid answer about this "Family Shared Library", how it will work exactly, how it will work within a multi-console family and are publishers going to be allowed to decide their games cannot be shared within this family library. Nope, just more double talk and answer ducking.

People are rejoicing about the age restrictions being enforced because the all-knowing, all-seeing Kinect won't allow it. I hate to disappoint you but....

  • Kids lie about their ages when they register(ed) on Xbox Live. Sometimes with parental permission because the parents do not want to deal with parental controls or upgrading them to an adult account when they turn 18. 
  • I do not think it is legal for them to tell a parent that they cannot allow their child to play a game if the parent allows it. There will be an out, like now, called parental controls. Parents will probably still be allowed to give permissions for games. Sorry but it is true. 
Then there is the Kinect. They have said owners will have the option to decide what it "sees" and what is doesn't but you are still required to have HAL since the Xbox One won't work without it. Personally, I find the current Kinect creepy enough, now it's positively scary.

Okay, you have to let E.T. phone home every 24 hours or no gaming for you. That is just a crappy way to treat your consumers. "I am sorry but you are all liars and cheats so to prevent you from being the pirates we know you ALL are, you need to register with us every 24 hours." I didn't realize that Microsoft was going to be my probation officer. Plus, no vacations with the Xbox One to my family's cottage in Canada. No internet there. 

I think the biggest slap in the face has come from the spokesmouths at Microsoft. The newest doozy fell out of the mouth of Don Mattrick,  "We have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity, it's called Xbox 360." 




To be fair, I am sure he didn't mean it to sound the way it came but wow, just wow. From insulting those who worry about living in areas without a stable internet connection, or a lack of broadband, to telling those same people that they don't matter, Microsoft is really showing the consumers they couldn't give a rat's ass about them. It is the worst kind of PR and I have no idea why someone doesn't tape their mouths shut or teach them to think before speaking.

Oh and by the way, the Xbox One will cost $499. Why the $100 more than the PS4? That stupid Kinect. Think about it. The original Kinect was a $149 purchase (separately) so it makes sense that now that it is required, the system would be pricey.

If you get a Day One Xbox One, you will get an achievement! Really? An achievement? That really isn't enough to entice most people to buy a system that is going to have a ton of features they are never going to use, restrict their game ownership, have a Kinect that is always staring at them and that they cannot play without being attached to a broadband service.

***Addendum, PS4 will also be region free. Imported game love***

Sony waltzed in and claimed all the gaming love. They showed spectacular games, announced there would be no change in the "used" game market, no change in the DRM at all and now indie developers can self publish on the PS4. They also hinted at some sort of PS3 backwards compatibility in the future using their Cloud system. I know Sony will support the PS3 for an ungodly amount of time. They have always done that in the past and I have no reason to think any differently now.

The new issue is online, muliplayer gaming. Now you will have to have a PS+ membership to play a multiplayer game but that didn't surprise me when you look at all the stuff they have done to improve the online experience. The money had to come from somewhere. A year of PS+ is $49.99 (Xbox Live Gold $59.99) but if you don't have a PS+ account you can still use any of the online features like Netflix and Hulu+. PS+ members get free games every month, free themes, free items and as long as they remain members they have access to those free games. The PS4 is also a very solid system and the specs are not that different from Microsoft. Sure they didn't show a whole lot of "new" tech at the E3 presser but they didn't have to. They showed it at the original PS4 reveal.

Both systems are not very attractive but I really don't care what they look like. I just need them to play my games, do what I want and fit on my television stand.

So who is getting my money? Well, I will admit that I will eventually own both but....

Sony is going to get my money first. Though I game mostly on my 360, the PS4 makes more sense to own first. I won't have to worry about whether or not my kids can play my game. I use my PS3 for Netflix over my 360 because the interface is far friendlier and easier (and I don't get buffering errors/issues like I do on the 360). Most of the time I play games on the 360 because of my friends. I moved from California to Ohio and that is how I "visit" with them. None of them are getting and Xbox One and since the Xbox One is no way compatible with the 360, I really do not have any inclination to own one right off the bat. Microsoft stated they will support the 360 for 5 years so maybe in the next 5 years I'll buy an Xbox One. They didn't show me a single thing during the presser that made me say, "I have to have an Xbox One NOW." 

They did show me a ton of reasons why I should wait.

So true!




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