“The Great Debate!” Or “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”
Since the early days of gaming, there has been a bitter, if somewhat playful, rivalry between console makers. Sonic and Mario, Crash Bandicoot and Diddy Kong racing, hell, even Master Chief and Kratos! Well, this gen is no different. Even with all the similarities between the two main competitors, (Xbox and PS4), it all boils down to sheer fan-boyism. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing inherently wrong with loving one console more than the other, or holding a playful grudge. This generation has brought out the ugly though, so in this article, I’m going to go over a few pro’s and con’s to each console and service they offer! This is simply my opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the other guys’ views.
Let’s start with the Xbox One and Xbox Live:
The original Xbox released on November 15th, 2001 in the US, and featured an internal HDD, something that had only been seen in PCs and an add-on peripheral for the PS2 (July 19th, 2001 in Japan) at that point. It was a great feature that really set the tone for consoles in the future. Most people saw the Xbox as sort of a joke system, Microsoft trying to grab some cash if you will. Needless to say, the console blew people away and Halo: Combat Evolved was the reason to own one. With the Xbox 360 release, (November 22, 2005), despite all the hardware problems, there was a significant boom for MS. Xbox One had a lackluster launch with the news of forced DRM and Kinect, but quickly picked up steam in the years to come, and with the X.B.O.X. (Xbox One X) set to launch this fall, (November 7th, 2017), the sky is the limit! Now, on to the pro’s and con’s!
- The Value. With MS backing and experience, the online multiplayer has always been top notch. Dedicated servers, fun bonus events, (1 vs 100), and free games every month, the service is $60 per year well spent!
- The Backward Compatibility! Every month with your XBL Gold subscription, you get access to Xbox One games (2-3) plus Xbox 360 games… FOR FREE!
- The Achievement System. Plain and simple. The Best feature of the Xbox and Windows family is the Achievements, in my humble opinion. I have had so much fun competing with my friends seeing who can get the most points in a month or comparing games to see who got the most out of it!
- The Rocky Launch. This happened with all three of MS’s major systems. The OG Xbox was thought to be a joke, and only Halo really saved it from fading to obscurity. (Not that it isn’t a totally solid console on it’s own, or that it didn’t have completely great games, because it did. But Playstation and Nintendo had the market cornered at that point). The 360 was fraught with hardware failure and the Xbox One had the fore-mentioned problems with the mandatory Kinect and DRM rumors.
- The Points. This one is a small issue that I have with the Achievement system; your points mean NOTHING. That’s right, there is no reward, outside bragging rights, for getting “cheevos”. Back on the 360, you could be awarded items for your avatar based on the “cheevos” you earned. It was a simple way to prove what you had accomplished in the game. Hopefully, with the return of avatars, we will see a resurgence of “Awards”.
Now, on to the Playstation 4 and PS +:
What can I say about the Playstation 4 that isn’t already being said? Exclusives? Yup. Horsepower? Yup. Intuitive touch-pad controller? Yup. The Playstation family has a pretty prestigious name to live up to. Starting in Japan on December 3, 1994 the Playstation or “PSX” really brought disc-based gaming to the mainstream. After many iterations, the “Dualshock” controller is possibly the most well known and popular controller in the world. There are alot of things Playstation did right, and alot they did wrong as well. After 4 home consoles, 2 handheld systems and even a phone, there is waaaay too much to be said in this short article. Let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this thing!
- The Graphics. While generally very similar in specs to the systems it competes with, the Playstation family of systems tends to look just that much better and run just a titch smoother than its competitors. Now, this may be just an opinion piece, but this has been debated over and over again by gamers all over.
- The Controllers. This one is purely opinion, but I LOVE the PS4’s Dualshock 4. It is the most comfortable in my hands, and the touch pad adds so much to the controller’s button scheme. It is criminally underused, in my opinion.
- The Games. This one is based on opinion as well, but Playstation has one of the best “exclusive” line-ups in gaming. With games like the “inFamous” series, “BloodBorne”, the “Kingdom Hearts” series, “The Last of US” and “Horizon: Zero Dawn” under it’s banner, its hard not to love the line-up.
- The Backward Compatibility! This is a big one for a lot of people. Sure, they offer a paid service in “Playstation Now” but it costs a hefty $19.99 per month! No bueno.
- The Crossplay! Oof, what can I say about this? It’s for the good of the children, right? Right?
- The Security. This one hurts the most. How many times has PSN gone down due to hackers and “DoS” attacks? Waaaaay too many. Also, I don’t even trust having a form of payment on my PS4, and that’s sad. This goes hand-in-hand with my previous point.
Well, I hope I made some good points in this article, and I hope nobody thinks I like one system over the other. If so, oh well. I own both, and thoroughly enjoy both systems. The ultimate point of this article was to show that while preferences can, and will be had, both systems offer something great. They both offer the same essential experience and can both offer a metric shit-ton of fun if you just let them. So, why cant we be friends?