Microsoft Xbox 1When it comes to the Xbox, I've never owned one and never really saw what was so great about them, fair do's to Microsoft though, they managed to defeat Sony in the current console war with their Xbox 360 against the Playstation 3 - but in my opinion, at E3 they well and truly screwed up with a high premium price set at just under £500 with the fiasco of paying to play online etc., it has thrown committed Xbox gamers off the new system and converted to the decision of the PS4.
However, at Gamescom from the reviews that I have read, they have turned it around and looked much more appealing with the online restrictions lifted and reduced the price to a similar price and releasing the console a week before the Playstation 4 is released - wise tactics there. Obviously if the back and forth dance Microsoft has been doing since the Xbox One's announcement has left you baffled or cold to the console, I doubt there's anything that happened over the Gamescom conference that altered such a stance, and why should it? For those on the fence, though, or those who were happy to wait and see where the company would finally lay its foundations, the Xbox One is a much more attractive package than it was a few months ago.
The battle lines will continue to be drawn well into November, and ultimately there is no right or wrong choice. Most people's guts will have already told them which console to lean towards and why. In terms of public perception, however, Microsoft have been doing a great job in attempting to winning people back.
Sony Playstation 4After losing to the Xbox 360 previously, Sony had to improve and provide a stand-out, unique product to win over the gamers.
At E3, Sony showed that they had listened to their customers in how they can improve the system and how the next-gen console can win the console war. They provided a first look of their console when the Xbox One wasn't revealed until later in the year, the architecture and sleek look of the Playstation 4 does give it more of an industrial design.
The first impressions of the PS4 showed that there is still plenty that we haven't experienced yet. Sony didn't show us whether the menu interface has changed, how the share button on the controller really works, or what other treats it has in store.
In the battle against Microsoft's Xbox One the feeling on the show floor was that Sony has the upper hand, mainly thanks to the gaming press's hatred of the way that Microsoft was forcing gamers to connect their console to the internet every 24 hours, and that trading and sharing used games will be a lot harder than before on the new Microsoft console, until the criticism kicked in and Microsoft finally changed their mind. Sony is keeping everything simple, including region free support for games (we suspect movies too) and that will appeal to many.
With the list upcoming games that are exclusive to Playstation look really juicey! Destiny looks an amazing prospect from Bungie alongside the makers of the Halo series.
My VerdictThere is plenty more to see from both Microsoft and Sony who will continue to persuade potential customers into investing in their product providing unique features, packages + freebies. In my opinion, I am sticking with Sony and pre-ordering the Playstation 4. Now that I will pre-order it after August 5th, I have no idea what date I will actually get my PS4 now. It has always provided a worthwhile console system for a low price which is worthwhile - from now until the release date more information will be released from both companies and more exclusives & packages available for the customer. I would still stick with Sony and Playstation because I've never had one fail on me.
What I Would RecommendWell, that comes down to what you are looking for. The consoles don’t have quite as big a divide as they once did after Microsoft’s DRM reversal but there are still key differences between the two. It is hard to say one console is objectively better than the other one as they both have their pros and cons and it will be up to you as to what exactly will suit you.
The Xbox One is a console that is well fitted to offering you options in your entire entertainment library. The focus is on the content you consume and being the center piece for all of your media, with extended entertainment capabilities, transforming your TV into a Smart TV and handling much of your viewing content. On top of that the Xbox One is promising a bunch of exciting AAA games, with a larger library and, I would argue, more profitable games.
However, the PlayStation on the other hand has some great benefits also. First off, it a cheaper option for a better piece of technology. That is a massive point in PlayStation’s corner and could well have a lot to say about how well its numbers track at the beginning of the upcoming generation. The console also comes manufactured by a company that are in consumer’s favor at the moment and who they trust to not go back on their promises. The console has less extensive entertainment features and at this time doesn’t have a slew of massive game titles but Sony have some big events left where they will undoubtedly build on that library while also having a pedigree of slowly building up a great library in the long run due to their extensive studio list. That coupled with the massive potential of an open platform where many smaller independent developers will publish new, interesting and exciting games throughout the console’s lifespan, and it means that the PlayStation has a rather vibrant and exciting future.
The next console generation is going to be a fascinating tug of war between Microsoft and Sony. As we saw with the DRM reversal and Don Mattrick leaving Microsoft, still being two months out from release, anything can change. And the likelihood is that it will. There will of course be revisits on this subject as we get closer to the console’s release, but if you were looking to pre-order, I hope I cleared some stuff up for you.