This is actually a really good article. Keep it in the middle of the road.
As part of my ongoing Xbox One vs. PS4 series, I wrote recently that console games arenít really about high-end graphics and that if thatís your priority you should just fork over the cash for a gaming rig. Not because I dislike consoles, mind you, or because I donít care about graphics. I was simply making a statement about priorities.This resulted in two broad reactions from critics: I am either a Microsoft shill or a member of the PC Master Race. Or maybe both!
Personally, I donít get that logicóit smacks of desperation and insecurity to meóbut then again, I think modern culture is struggling with fandom in all forms. Video games are just one area where it clouds our judgment and makes otherwise reasonable people go crazy.
The other reaction was slightly more puzzling. Forbes Games itself (and not just yours truly) is a just den of Microsoft fanboysóor so the story goes.
The fact is, we each have pretty different opinions on games and preferred gaming systems.
Paul Tassi is pretty focused on console stuff but most of his reviews are PS3-centric. Jason Evangelho is a PC aficionado. Alex Knapp and Daniel Tack both cover primarily PC games as well. Dave Thier often reviews on consoles, though heís said flat-out that some of his favorite games are mobile. Andy Robertson focuses primarily on consoles as well, but as our resident family gamer, much of his work has centered around Nintendo.
I tend to be all over the mapóas likely to sit down with my Vita to play Persona 4 Golden as I am to fire up the 360 and play Dark Souls or the PS3 to play Demonís Souls or the PC to play XCOM: Enemy Unknown or the Wii U to play Skylanders. Iíve been playing a pretty fun iOS game called Combat Monsters on my phone lately, too.
Regardless, the notion that we are either for or against Microsoft in some fundamental way is sheer nonsense that canít be backed up by anything more than feigned outrage. I hope the Xbox One is awesome, but that doesnít mean I donít have my concerns.
Besides, when it comes to next-gen consoles Iím leaning toward Sony at this point, for a handful of reasons (though graphics remain low on the list.)
1. The PS4 is cheaper.
This is a really, really important feature for Sonyís next-gen system for anyone on a budget.
The PlayStation 4 is $399 vs. the Xbox Oneís $499 price-tag. Neither is particularly expensive when compared to other modern techópeople often spring $200 for a phone theyíre likely to dump in two yearsóbut being able to save $100 on a machine means you have a little bit left over for games.
Given that youíll likely own this for the next five years or more, $100 breaks down over time to pretty insignificant numbers, but as an upfront purchase it matters. For me, it matters most because Iím not sold on the reasons why the Xbox One costs more.
2. Iím still not sold on Kinect.
The $100 gap can largely be chalked up to the inclusion of the Kinect 2 in each Xbox One package. The Kinect is a motion-and-voice sensor that allows you to control your Xbox via voice commands and interact with games through voice and motion controls. My experience with the original Kinect has been disappointing, but many are saying this second iteration is vastly improved.
Even so, I remain uncertain that the added features will be enough to justify the cost. I hope Iím proved wrong, of course, but until I have an Xbox One in hand and can actually try the Kinect features out, I hold firm to my skepticism.
3. The PS4 is probably a bit more powerful.
Everyone is still in rampant speculation mode when it comes to which console is more powerful, but most of the signs point to PS4 being the stronger system. Rumors over various game resolutions on both machines are swirling, and games like Battlefield 4 have been confirmed to run at a native 720p on Xbox One while the PS4 sports 900p. Both systems upscale to 1080p.
Iíve watched the comparison videos and to be quite honest, I donít see a big enough difference to really care and certainly not a big enough difference to expect it to really affect sales. (Really, watching a game like Battefield 4 on either next-gen system just makes me realize how relatively crappy it looks on my Xbox 360. Paul Tassi says much the same thing about the PS3 version in his review.)
The next-gen consoles promise much better looking games than current systems, and from what Iíve seen it should be sufficient. For others, maybe this is a bigger priority. For me, not so much. For the average console gamer? Probably also not a deciding factor. Certainly historically itís never been.
Not that it hurts to get the more powerful system. If youíre already leaning toward PS4 for other reasons, having the graphical edge is a nice bonus.
4. The games.
This is the most important factor for me, and itís the one reason I remain near, if not quite perched on, the fence.
While PS4 is getting Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFamous Second Son,and a number of other exclusives (including stuff we havenít heard about yet) the Xbox One is getting Titanfall (a game only coming to 360, One, and PCforever) as well as some really interesting stuff like Project Spark, and the nextHalo.
As I always say, time and time again, when discussing this issue, the choice of your next-gen console really should come down to two factors: 1) The games you enjoy playing; and 2) Wherever your friends are going to be playing. If you prefer one systemís exclusives over the other, price and power wonít matter. If all your friends play on Xbox One and you have PS4, that might be a problem as well.
Ultimately, Iím pretty torn on the games. Thereís a great deal I donít know yet.
In the endÖ
Iím leaning toward the PS4 for all the reasons listed aboveóif I had to choose.
But as a video game writer and lover of games in general, Iíll be getting both machines just as I have both current-gen systems and the Wii U, the Vita and the 3DS, as well as a gaming PC (and an iPhone.)
Each of these systems has something valuable to offer as a gaming device, and while I can offer up reasons to buy one over the other (or vice versa) I canít honestly say which system I like best. I like them all! There are things about each that annoy meÖ.
For the average consumerópotentially undecided swing voters who canít justify the expense of both machinesómy reasons above sketch a broad outline of my own priorities and why those align better with PS4 than Xbox One. But everyone is going to have different tastes and different priorities. Assessing those is important.
Better to be a smart consumer than someone blinded by fandom.
On that note, for many potential purchasers, you may want to hold out until actual, in-depth reviews of these consoles and their games come out. It never hurts to be informed. Reading a broad array of reviews and technical discussions (such as those on offer from the excellent Digital Foundry) can help make an informed choice.
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Xbox One Vs. PS4: Which Is The Fairest Console Of Them All?
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Jesus, I read through it, and I thought I had written it lol.
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It's a good and fair article. It does come down to the games and if MS's portfolio interests you then it doesn't matter if the machine doesn't perform as well as PS4, people will still get that relaxation and entertainment value from it. Playing a game in 720p doesn't diminish its fun factor one bit.
I would also add:
5. The consumer friendly proposition
Things like the 15 mins game recording, media apps, XGC are not behind a paywall and F2P games won't require PS+ to play and if you do get PS+ you will more than make that money back via access to instant games collection for 3 systems. Whether you choose to sub or not, PS4 offers both parties an excellent service.
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