The grass is always greener on the other side. Early on in a new generation of consoles, you usually have to pick between two big rivals. It’s been like that throughout all of my formative gaming years. Sega vs. Nintendo. Nintendo Vs Sony. Sony Vs Microsoft. Whatever side you choose though, chances are your console is going to have a slow start during the first 18 months, especially with development time of the big Triple A titles getting longer and longer.
As a PS4 gamer I’ve had plenty of games to enjoy since launch from exclusives like Infamous and Killzone to the compelling third-party efforts like Assassin’s Creed IV, Wolfenstein the Lego games and more recently Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition. After E3 and Gamescom though, I have to admit I’ve been getting itchy feet and the feeling that I’m missing out by not having an Xbox One, like I said, the grass is always greener and all that.
Sony has kept many of their exclusives under tight wraps, with nothing solid to show yet for Uncharted and The Last Guardian. The constant delays and changing messages of DriveClub haven’t been encouraging and The Order: 1886 is still lacking that special something. And don’t even get me started on the complete silence on the future of the God of War series.
Yet I look over at the Xbox One lineup and I see my beloved Insomniac bringing all the fun to the table with Sunset Overdrive (which I’ve managed to convince myself will be boring after half an hour) when gaming is crying out for a new-gen platformer in the ilk of Ratchet & Clank.
Of course, it is mainly the exclusives that have me checking out the competition. Quantum Break is looking fantastic. As a fan of Max Payne and Alan Wake, this is so my kinda jam. I’m still not sure (or that bothered) about how it ties in with the included TV episodes, but as far as experiences to show off a new console’s grunt go, this is certainly one to watch.
Titanfall has had its highs and lows since launch, but it seems to be getting its act together now and after my brief hands-on pre-launch last year, I’ve been dying to see a multi-platform sequel announced ever since.
The EA Access subscription that has become an XO exclusive looks like a fantastic deal to me. One price for EA’s sporting lineup and Battlefield is fantastic value and Sony’s snub of the deal can only be realistically explained as them not wanting competition for their own PS Plus service, which we’d need to play these games online in the first place, just like MS are charging on top of EA’s fee. You do have to wonder when this year’s games may appear on the service though.
Microsoft has been making some great moves since Phil Spencer took over too. We’ve seen a price-drop with the Titanfall bundle and a sans Kinect bundle gave gamers the choice they should have had from the start. They’ve even found a use for my dusty Xbox 360 again as a Netflix-box now I no longer require a Gold sub to use the film streaming service. I really don’t want to be one of those people forced into buying an XO for Rise of the Tomb Raider either, but if I have the console already by then…
So does this all mean I’m trading in my PS4? Of course not, I’m still psyched for loads of big exclusives on Sony’s console (come on DriveClub, don’t be rubbish!), I prefer the DualShock 4 and I don’t want to be peeking back over the fence from the XO side and writing this article again next year. Plus as a gaming journo, it’s all sorts of handy to have more consoles. And tax deductable.
Some mightily tempting deals have started to appear of late though. For some reason I can’t quite explain, I really like the look of the white console that’s been announced for Sunset Overdrive at a cool £350. While some PS4 owners I know are planning on buying an XO in time for the Halo: Master Chief Collection, I’m not a big enough fan of that Spartan to buy a console for him. Kratos will always be my number one Spartan I’m afraid.
At the end of the day, it makes little financial sense for me to buy an Xbox One this year and it probably does for you too if you already own a PS4. But considering before the console launched it looked like a console for fools with horrendous ideas like pre-owned DRM and always online requirements, it’s been one hell of a turn-around to making it look like I need both a PS4 and Xbox One in my life. I don’t envy the impending decision for those of you that haven’t bought either yet.
I can see me breaking soon though, and working for Dealspwn means I’ll always be kept abreast of the best console bundle deals around, so I reckon when that white console gets bundled with a game I really want for a bit closer to £300 I’ll be diving in. That or when a new Gears of War arrives.
Or maybe PopCap have just dropped a deciding bomb. Peggle 2 has just been announced for PS4 on October 14th. Looks like Microsoft are going to have to wait that little bit longer after all.