Ok, I know that it’s been a while since you have heard anything from me regarding the next generation of consoles coming out this fall, and the reason for that is because I wanted to wait for all of the dust to settle and get all of the details before I made any statements that may not have stayed accurate for long. Now we have release dates for both and final details on their launches. Xbox 1 releases in North America on November 8th and the PS4 comes out one week later on November 15th. The line in the sand has been drawn between these two looming giants, and the strategies that Sony and Microsoft are each taking couldn’t be more different.
Sony played it a little safe when it came to their strategy, which is a little disappointing, but was the smart move when it came to winning over consumers. They took the stance of games belong to the people who buy them and they should be able to do what they want with their games. There is no DRM on the PS4 and consumers can trade games with friends and buy used games if they so choose. Now while that is and has been the norm, I will say that it’s a little disappointing to see Sony not advancing the age of digital downloads.
Microsoft made the big gamble when they announced that the Xbox 1 would need to connect to the internet every 24 hours and that you would only be able to play used games that were gifted to you from people who had been on your Xbox Live friends list for over a month. Now while parts of those requirements rub most people the wrong way, it is hard to deny that this is the direction that gaming is headed. It was a bold and brazen move by Microsoft that ultimately backfired. I think that elements of this plan may be attempted later, but I hope when that time comes, Microsoft tries to ease consumers into the transition instead of just dumping it on them.
Microsoft has also proven that they are not just about controlling your gaming experience by listening to the backlash that they received from fans. They have changed their stance on “Always Online” and used games. They have also changed the way that Kinect affects your gaming experience. It is no longer needed for your console to power on and you don’t have to use it at all if you don’t want to. The Kinect is also not your only option when it comes to communicating with others when you are playing online. Microsoft has decided to ship each console with a headset so that you can have your traditional online smack talking experience.
All in all, I have to give Microsoft major kudos for all of the changes they have made to give their fans the gaming experience that they want. Now while admittedly I am purchasing a PS4 over the XB1, that does not mean that I won’t buy an Xbox in the future and that I won’t recognize Microsoft making the right decision and give them the proper recognition. To me, it all comes down to games that I want to play and the price point. Both systems have features and games that I like and don’t like. I’m interested to hear what all of you out there on the Interwebs have to say about each of the consoles, so leave your thoughts in the comments section below.