In this generation of consoles, I’ve always been a bit more of an Xbox fan, but I have to say, my heart is pretty much set on the PS4 this time around. I don’t think I feel as strongly about this issue as a lot of people (I really wouldn’t consider myself a fangirl of either company really) and I have nothing against Microsoft at all, but it’s their policies that really got to me in the end. I think a lot of Xbox One’s unpopularity at the moment comes down to a failure of strategy/marketing their product and of Sony really stepping up the game and really listening to what their fans want. I accept that at least a large part of Sony’s success at E3 and in the console war so far is that they’re much better at PR. There’s no denying now that they know how to throw a kick ass conference that’s full of noise and colour and pretty images. If that were all it came down to, I probably would have picked the Xbox One, however that’s not the case. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the Xbox One as a gaming console. In fact, in terms of hardware, it’s pretty similar to the PS4 and when I first learned what the Xbox One’s capabilities were I was somewhat intrigued, even if I didn’t really care all the much about the social functions (I’m not a particularly social gamer) or about their focus on entertainment. I thought those were still interesting features and would be nice additions to a gaming console. Watching the conference, although I did cringe at how oblivious the people at Microsoft were at how they were coming across, there were quite a few exclusives that I really wanted to check out.
However, what tipped it for me in the end was Microsoft’s DRM policies, the always-on requirement and the price point. I won’t go on about it, because you’ve probably read about this everywhere else and because that’s not really what I want to focus on in this article, but suffice it to say that I am not paying £429 at launch for a console with that many restrictions. Ease of playing without all the added difficulty is really important for me in a console. Borrowing and lending games between friends is a crucial part of the gaming experience for me. Also, I just really don’t like the idea of owning a licence to a game that I buy rather really ‘owning’ it. Maybe it’s just my lawyerly days coming back to haunt me, but that just doesn’t fly with me. I’m not paying the ridiculous prices that games cost now and not truly ‘own’ them. More importantly, as a mostly singleplayer fan, I really don’t like the idea of having to check-in every 24 hours or buying a console that has to be always online to work. I realise this might not affect a lot of people, but I’ve had many problems with my internet connection in my past and I live in LONDON, so I can’t imagine the problems others might have in more remote places. What it all comes down to in the end though, is the price. It’s too much for me to want to get it at launch, especially when the PS4’s price at £349 is so much more affordable for me. If it weren’t for the price I might have to think a little harder, although I’d probably still get a PS4 in the end, but I can’t justify spending that much more on a console that will restrict me in those ways. As I said though, even at a lowered price, I think I would still support Sony just because I don’t like a lot of Microsoft’s policies regarding DRM or used games or their lack of focus on their core consumers – the gamers, the ones who are most likely to buy the console at launch. No one who wants an entertainment system is going to fork out that kind of cash so that they can turn on their TV or switch channels more easily. It’s the gamers who will be lining up to buy your brand spanking new console before anyone else.
Of course, I do realise that Microsoft hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with how these policies will actually work in practice, so it’s not like I’ve written them off yet on that front. I’m definitely still waiting for more info. Also, I may well get an Xbox One at a later date, when the price has dropped a bit – their policies don’t annoy me so much that I would boycott them. I don’t despise Microsoft or think the Xbox One is a terrible system at all. There are just a few things that added together tips it towards the PS4 for me, so perhaps saying it ‘won my heart’ is a bit of an exaggeration. In the circumstances, the PS4 is just the console that I somewhat prefer at this point.
Now, to the fun bit of this article – a very quick rundown on the upcoming games for both the Xbox One and PS4 that I’m most looking forward to! There are a lot, but I’ll narrow it down to a few. You might notice that there are no Nintendo games on this list. It’s because much as I’ve always loved Nintendo, I think it’s pretty undeniable that they don’t have the most exciting line-up in the near future. Sure, there are games I’ll enjoy playing, but there isn’t anything in their list of games that I feel like I really have to get my hands on and SOON, unlike all the games on this list.
The hype surrounding this game has been incredible and I’m really excited to see if Bungie (the studio that brought us Halo can hit another home run with this game. First of all, with a sci-fi post-apocalyptic setting and aliens, I’m pretty much sold already, but it’s the fact that it’s a story-centric online game that really drew me in. Watching the live demo at E3, I was really intrigued by the fact that it genuinely did look like a singeplayer experience, but in a multiplayer game. You may or may not know this, but I’m not a huge multiplayer fan and one the main reasons is that I like my games to have really strong stories and not a lot of multiplayer games have that. Destiny seems to challenge that pre-conception. The world looks amazing, the story sounds interesting and it looks like a hell of a lot of fun to play with people. The huge Public Events that we got a glimpse of in the demo that you can join in or ignore,in particular, seemed like a crazy amount of fun. Check it out:
2.The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
I don’t have much to say about this other than YAY WITCHER 3! I’m still playing through 2 right now, but 3 looks like it’s got all the things I’m loving about 2 and more. The fantasy world created by CD Project Red looks just as incredible and fleshed out as ever and it seems to be story-focused than ever before. In fact, it seems to be even more personal a story than it is now, which will be a good change I believe. The only part of what we heard about this game that caused me some concern was the announcement that there was going to be an unprecedented (to this series) level of open world exploration As you know from THIS post, I’m not a fan of making games increasingly more open world, unless there’s a good reason for it. I enjoyed the limited exploration available in 2, but at points I felt like there was too much of that going on for me already. The amount of sidequests available and areas to explore is actually pretty overwhelming, at least that’s what I found. Who know though, they may well pull it off. I’m looking forward to seeing what this titan of a franchise is going to do with its last installment. I’m fulling expecting another stellar RPG out of CD Projekt!
Speaking of titans, Respawn’s Titanfall looks set to blow our collective socks off. This one’s an Xbox One exclusive (so yes, believe me, if I for some reason could manage to get both consoles at launch, I would not be adverse to that idea). It’s another sci-fi shooter, so yup, straight up my alley again! It’s another multiplayer game, which looks set to become a major game-changer in the industry. All I really need to say about this game is MECHS. Yes, you get to climb into these giant suits and blow the crap out of stuff and they’re not your usual slow tanks lumbering around either, they’re agile as mech cats. It also looks AMAZING. If you’re not already looking forward to this game, why not? Check out the trailer here:
4. Infamous : Second Son
I haven’t played any of these games before, but Second Son really interested me. I admit, it was probably all those superhero-looking powers more than anything else. Also, I like the young cocky lead character. It was a nice change from many of the polished, strong and confident soldiers I’ve been playing a lot these days. It also looks great and has an interesting story and world. I’ve heard that it doesn’t look like this game is going to be that different to the previous Infamous games, but obviously since I haven’t played them I can’t really comment on that. All I know is that this looks like a game that I’ll enjoy sinking my teeth into and might be a fun ride.
5. Killzone: Shadow Fall
Again, I haven’t played any of the other games in this franchise, but it’s undeniable that this is an awesome-looking sci-fi first person shooter. The graphics and gameplay blew me away and I was completely captivated in the first few seconds. The colours were vivid, the animation was well done and the effects were impressive. The weapons looked badass and the whole look and feel reminded me a bit of Mass Effect (which can’t be a bad thing in my books). I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more about this PS4 exclusive by Guerrilla Games. Check out the trailer below:
That’s just my personal list of games I’m looking forward to. What about you guys? Are there any games that you can’t wait to play?