My Dear Gamers, Visionaries, Friends.
In perhaps one of the fiercest and most memorable console battles in recent history, so much focus has been put on these two new consoles. Both the Xbox One and PS4 had insane starts in their hopefully long and prosperous lives, but it appears that the PS4 is simply selling better. As much as any Xbox fan wants to argue, the numbers don’t lie! With over 4 million units sold, the PS4 has broken all kinds of records, becoming the best selling console of all time, beating another Sony console (the PSP) and getting the PS4 into the history books. But I don’t think that Sony fans should decide absolute victory just yet, with the Xbox One selling over 3 million units and growing, they are just getting started. While the opening battles may be won, the war is far from over.
Lets take a look at the reasons why the Xbox One may be ahead sooner than we think.
1. The premise – Ok, so the PS4 had very good sales at launch, thanks quite a lot to its notion of ‘a games console for the gamers’ and I’m not going to lie, that was a big part of what made me ditch my Xbox 360 and return to a glorious Sony future. I think that many a gamer like me did exactly the same thing around launch, “I want better graphics and I want them now,” right? At the moment, the One may not be competing spec wise in many areas but was that really the goal anyway? A big part of the One’s launch was to create an entertainment system that could flawlessly provide you with everything you need to complete your electronics den in one package, even having apps to get you food! This focus on entertainment is surly something that is really going to come into its own as the console gets a bit more content under its belt and as people start to look at upgrading electronics, why not just get an Xbox One with it all in? The PS4 by comparison may have the better graphics, but the UI is very minimal and you can see why the gamers who are not fussed about a few extra frames will decide to go for the more complete option.
2. The Features – While the games have had to be the big focus at the start of the generation, (as they provide perhaps the clearest way to define any ‘advantage’), it is the Xbox’s feature set which seems to be more complete. While the PS4 focused heavily on its sharing options, as a PS4 gamer I am extremely envious of the One’s ability to record and share clips and it’s something I wish Sony could replicate. For those unfamiliar, the PS4 can record up to 15 minutes of game play footage while the One can only capture a shorter 5. Again to those who like to see all the figures written down its a clear winner, but when you look at the practicality of it, it’s all semantics. I have often found myself wanting to save the last 30 seconds for a good kill or an interesting glitch except, with the PS4, I have to sort through 15 minutes of footage to find my clip. This can be skipped through, but it seems unnecessary. The Xbox’s ability to record the last few seconds of play, as well as its great editing features, will surly come to light and appeal to those who only thought the PS4 offered great sharing capabilities. I have to admit that I thought Sony had this nailed, that is until my mates got the One. Tie in all of this with the Kinect and you have yourself a great experience all round . Now that the Kinect is finding a place and becoming more than just a gimmick, it is really adding value to the bedroom/living room. This will not only serve families better, but also those who genuinely want to multitask with games, films and other apps.
3. The Games – While the tech behind the games has been the subject of a hell of a lot of scrutiny, the actual content looks insane. I mean, even with all of the negative feedback the Xbox has been receiving over the last few months, there is only one real game on everyones lips, and that is Titanfall. Personally, I can’t see the massive appeal for the game, but surely you can’t ignore the sheer presence that the game has had over the last year. Towards the end of the last console generation, Sony stepped it up to reproduce the sort of success that they gained through The Last of Us and are again trying to capture that interest with The Order and Infamous. These games will be very popular I’m sure, but will that sell consoles in the same way as a new Halo or a new Gears? Sony has always been exceptional at delivering new IP’s but Xbox proved with the 360 that it could pull off sequels like no other. Ok, so you may be seeing it with a couple of frames less but now that the gaming ‘snobs’ have had their say, the people that just want to play will be picking up the console they think has the best stories, and honestly, it’s a level playing field.
4. The Fans – That’s right, you guys! Ever since the announcement of the Xbox One, it has dramatically changed due to the concerns of its fans. I, for one, don’t expect this to change and if anything the One will just become a console perfectly suited to what the people want. As a PS4 gamer I hope and pray that they continue to develop the PS4 to suit me and hey, I even hope that it stays better than the Xbox. But companies are guilty of getting big headed, it happened to Microsoft to get them in this mess in the first place. But as long as you guys keep calling them on their shit, then they will have to change and adapt to make sure that they stay relevant.
With all that to come, the One may be flagging a bit now but give it a few months and it will have found that extra bit of speed that it needed to catch up. I can’t tell you what this space will look like at the end of the year. But I will be very surprised if it’s the same as it is now. There is only one thing that we can be sure about – it’s one hell of a time to be a gamer!