November, 2013. The month of the next generation of console release is finally upon us. There has been much written and even more debate on whether Sony or Microsoft will “win” the console “war” this time around.
Frankly I’m just happy we’re moving forward and that there will be more games and more graphical advancements on the horizon. I imagine there will be some kinks with both systems and those kinks will be worked out as the consoles age. I’m hopeful they both age gracefully and continue to offer competition for each other to drive each system manufacturer to do things better for us – the end user.
Digital delivery is something I was very excited about. Hoarding games on shelves these days, while nice to look at (until they get all dusty), seems too old anymore. With the ease of purchase and play of games on our mobile devices, we’ve really gotten used to being able to simply “buy something and play it immediately.” Why should this be any different with consoles?
Sure the amount of data is way different and download speeds will vary, etc., but with the purported use of the “cloud” by each system, this should be a reality sooner, rather than later. I’m disappointed that Microsoft backed away from their digital systems based on all of the negative comments. I really think they had something special and unfortunately rather than explain it to all of us they decided the better play was to simply remove the feature. I’m not so sure that was such a great idea. Besides, the “always need a connection” idea is something that Sony has admitted is necessary for an update now already. And those of us with a PS3 and an Xbox 360 know that the Sony updates always took WAY longer than the 360 updates. Not sure how that will be the next time around, but I guess we’ll see in a few weeks.
I’m also concerned that Sony appears to have backed away from support for streaming content. The PS3 is currently far better at accessing, displaying, streaming content from my NAS drives and home network than the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 must “load” up my 200+GB of music (not counting the movies, etc.), before it will display anything. The PS3 can simply display the data by folder and let me get right into listening to music or watching home movies or shows. I’m very surprised that they would back away from this and even more concerned that while Xbox One touts itself as allowing this type of streaming, it must be done through the “play anywhere” dealio (something about which I know nothing). I’d much rather just have a device that will stream what I already have on my NAS drives without need for an intermediary computer. Maybe I’ll have to look at picking up a Roku for that purpose alone. But I digress.
I’ve pre-ordered both systems and hope that they will both arrive on day one. I’m excited about having the “latest and greatest” but I’m not as excited as I was for the Xbox 360 and the PS3.
On the Xbox One side of things I’m excited for Titanfall, but that’s not out for another several months and I’m not a huge zombie game player so Dead Rising 3 doesn’t do much for me. Other than that I am very excited about Ryse and hope that will be delivered from Amazon on Day one also so I can enjoy how awesome it will look and sound.
For the PS4 I have purchased and played some of the Killzones, but they haven’t really pulled me in. I do like how Knack looks and might end up with that as a day one purchase. Many have shunned the title because it is like “picking up trash, but cutely” but I like to see something new being done with the new consoles. The title itself looks very different and I’ll be interested in seeing how it all comes together. Kudos for trying something new on this one Sony!
Other than that though, I’m not super excited about the next gen console release and that makes me sad. I remember the days and weeks leading up to the prior console releases and how I couldn’t wait to get the newest console and play Kameo, COD 2 and Condemned on the 360 and Resistance, Fall of Man and later the God of War and Uncharted titles on the PS3.
Perhaps I’m not excited because I’m getting older. Or perhaps I’m not excited because both manufacturers are trying to make a “gaming” console into the living room gateway. While I love my living room and my main home theater area, I’m a gamer and so far these new gaming systems are not making me as excited as I would have hoped. How about you?