Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Console Wars: E3 Poll on Xbox One vs. PS4

With the launch of two gaming console in E3 expo 2013, a fresh console war has begun. It was languishing in the last few weeks and the E3 media presentations by Sony and Microsoft launched gamers back into the brawl.

Microsoft revealed more details and new games for its upcoming Xbox One console on Monday on it XBox One which was unveiled last month, and Sony finally gave gamers a glimpse of its next-generation PlayStation 4 console, which was announced in February 2013. As soon as the PS4 was unveiled, the war rushed as companies traded barbs, reviewers and analysts punched in, game enthusiasts argued online, and the battle will keep on getting hot until the consoles are in market and enthusiasts gets their hands on it.
As both consoles are slated for release in time for the holiday shopping season, the war is head on.

xbox-vs-ps4

Price and specs

The PS4 will retail for $399.99, the console is a black box(two squares piled on each other). It has a 500 GB hard drive, 8 GB of DDR5 RAM and an optical drive that will play Blu-ray and DVD discs. The new DualShock 4 controller has a touchpad, a headphone jack and a built-in speaker. PS4's Eye motion sensor and Move controllers are not included and will be sold separately. The console will be compatible with PlayStation’s handheld console, the PS Vita.

The Xbox One will retail for $499.99, the console is also a black squared box. It has a 500 GB hard drive, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and an optical drive that will play Blu-ray and DVD discs. The new controller adds vibration to the triggers. Unlike PS4, A Kinect motion and voice sensor comes included in every unit, which does justify the $100 price difference to some extent. The Kinect could be a positive if you find voice commands convenient and useful or if you enjoy physical games like “Dance Central” and “Nike+ Kinect Training.” The Kinect could be a negative if the idea of a mandatory machine that is “always listening” makes you think of HAL-9000. The console will be compatible with phones and tablets with the SmartGlass app.

Winner: Tie

Gaming online and offline

With the Xbox One, after you’ve downloaded a game or installed it via disc, you (and up to nine more members of your household) can play your game any time, on any Xbox, no disc required. In order to make that sort of cloud storage possible, Microsoft is requiring that the Xbox One be connected to the Internet at least once every 24 hours if it’s your primary console, or at least once per hour if you’re accessing your game library from a friend’s Xbox One.

The PlayStation 4 allows unlimited offline gaming, no online connectivity required. Sony’s cloud services, which have yet to be detailed, will not be available until 2014.

Winner: PS4

Game sharing and used games

Sony will not restrict the sale of used PlayStation 4 games, nor will it prevent sharing your first-party games. Sony has said it is not enforcing any DRM (digital rights management).

Microsoft will allow you to give an Xbox One game away by transferring its license, but with two restrictions:

1. A game can only be given once, and
2. You can only give to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days.

The ability to loan or rent games will not be available at launch. The ability to sell a used game to a retailer like GameStop will be left entirely up to the publisher of the game.

Winner: PS4

Games lineup

Both the console will have their exclusive popular titles.

The Xbox One lineup will include the next installment in the “Halo” franchise; “Titanfall,” the first game from the “Call of Duty” veterans who head Respawn Entertainment; “Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain” — formerly a PlayStation-exclusive franchise; “Sunset Overdrive,” a cartoonish game in which a soda-sipping protagonist gets to wield a gun that fires vinyl records at monsters; a new port for the popular sandbox game “Minecraft”; as well as “Ryse: Son of Rome,” “Quantum Break,” “Call of Duty,” “Battlefield 4,” “Witcher 3,” “Killer Instinct 3,” “Below” and “Crimson Dragon,” among other titles. Xbox One users will be able to watch movies while chatting with friends.

The PS4 lineup will include the highly anticipated “Final Fantasy 15?; “Destiny,” a first-person shooter that features some massively multiplayer role-playing elements from “Halo” developer Bungie; “Kingdom Hearts 3,” the long-awaited title from Square Enix; “The Order: 1886,” an original title set in Jack the Ripper-era London, in which the protagonists use elements of time travel and magic to face off against supernatural threats; “Mad Max,” which employs vehicular combat against post-apocalyptic bandits; “Rays of the Dead,” a cartoon zombie puzzle game; as well as “Infamous,” “The Witness,” “Transistor,” “Killzone: Shadow Fall,” “DriveClub” and “Infamous: Second Son,” among other titles.

It’s worth noting that neither console is backward compatible. You won’t be able to play your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 games on the next-gen consoles.

Winner: Tie

Non-gaming entertainment

Sony has noted that the PS4 will have increased media services such as Redbox Instant and Flixster, as well as original programming, but has not gone into detail on the latter. Sony has not disclosed whether the PS4 will feature cable and TV integration.

On the other hand, Microsoft aims to make the Xbox One a one-stop entertainment hub that merges TV, music and gaming. Microsoft says the new console will work with your cable box, will feature its own TV guide and will be able to jump among games, Skype, movies, music, television and the Internet seamlessly, using the Kinect’s voice and motion commands. The console will allow you to game and watch a movie simultaneously, or to Skype with friends while you play. Microsoft is also focusing on original content, such as a television series (to be executive produced by Steven Spielberg) based on the popular “Halo” video game franchise.

Winner: Xbox One

Overall Winner: It is to be noted that wherever the companies try to put the limits and restrictions, the products suffers a major setback, let it be inclusion of eye sensor in PS4 or Game sharing in XBox One. Rest is to be seen, as when the console finally comes out, the price tag would be justified and the real winner will emerge.

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