So, I’ve been catching up on the E3 news (I would dearly love to watch it and react straight away, but I have to wait until I can read what people’s been saying), and my first reaction is this: Microsoft are in MASSIVE danger of destroying their console and games division.
As a general rule, I have no loyalty to any console maker or game publisher – it is purely all about the games for me. If there’s a good game, I don’t care what system it’s on, I’ll play it. That’s the main reason why I own Nintendo systems, Sony systems, and Microsoft systems, and play games on each of them.
And right now, Microsoft have showed the best level of games – a large number of games for the first year (anyone who’s been keeping an eye on Nintendo’s Wii U will know about the struggle of first-year games for the consoles), and quite a number of exclusives, many of which looks absolutely brilliant.
But this time round, Microsoft are making it almost impossible for me to merit buying the system, especially when you then looks at Sony’s upcoming system. The games on the PS4 does not match the numbers level of the Xbox One, but they do appears to be of equal quality.
Where Sony really wins out though is what you can do with the system:
1) You can buy and sell used games without any restrictions. The one thing that many game publishers and consoles makers forget is that not everyone is able to buy games at full-price. Indeed, if you ask people, a lot of them will say they can only maybe afford one full-price game a month. If you give them a wide choice of games, they’re probably going to go for the one game that they know will be good or has been massively hyped up to be in their awareness – so they’ll go out and buy the big games. The Call of Dutys and Final Fantasies so on. They won’t be tempted to take a risk. By selling their old used games, they’ll have more money and are more likely to take a risk on games that they won’t normally buy. I freely admit, there are some that “abuse” the used game system, but I also know people who actually do get the more unknown types of games by selling their used games.
2) You don’t need to connect every 24 hours in order to play your games. I grant you, most gamers will have internet connections, and most of the time they will be connected every time they switch on the console. But what about those times when your internet connection go down? I’ve been lucky enough (so far) that when something went wrong with my internet provider, the longer I was without internet was a few hours. Others are not so lucky – to this day, I hear that some people are forced to wait for new routers, etc, for a week. That’s a week without any internet connection. If that happens and they has an Xbox One, they’ve basically paid £429 for a glorified doorstop. And don’t give me any excuse about “but you can still watch films, etc…” I have other things that will play films – at a glance, I have 4 things that will play DVDs, and one that will play Blu-rays. So why would I even remotely want to fork out that much money for something that I can already do?
3) The price. Sony are selling the PS4 at £349. Microsoft is selling theirs at £429 (As I’m based in the UK, I’m using UK prices – and just for once, I’m not going to complain about how the UK is always overcharged). One of the reasons that the Xbox One is so expensive is because of the Kinect. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good things about the Kinect, but is it really something that is absolutely necessary for playing games? Or even for switching on? Shouting out “Xbox On!” or whatever it is you do is not exactly my idea of fun, and definitely not worth even spending an extra pound for, never mind 80. I’ll stick to pushing a button thank you very much. It almost feels like Microsoft has forgotten just how disastrous the PS3 launch was, with Sony’s low point being Ken Kutaragi, who told people to get a second job in order to buy their system. And with the restrictions that Microsoft are adding to their system – especially the “you only licence the games, you don’t own the games” – it makes it even more difficult to justify buying the Xbox One.
So while the Xbox One currently has a bigger first year game library, and more exclusives, for the first time in my life that simply doesn’t give me the justification to go out and buy the Xbox One. At the moment, if I was asked to buy the PS4 or the Xbox One, my money is going on the PS4. And I think many people will be the same.