E3 2013 aftermath analysis

Guns_LotsOfGuns

Moderator/Games Reviewer
As the war for consumer hearts, minds and pre-orders rages, the AVForums games team sit down to discuss and give their opinions in the aftermath of the many revelations presented during this year's E3.

The team are as follows: Mark Botwright (MB), Manny Brown (EB), Stephen Carter (SC), Ben Ingber (BI), Steve Hill (SH) & Leon Matthews (LM).

Now that the dust has settled on E3 and all the revelations afterwards, the big question is are you buying a next generation system at launch?

EB: I try to kid myself that I'll do the right thing and wait to see how things pan out over the initial 5-6 months with every new bit of gaming tech, but then I inevitably cave when the hype train pulls into town and a friend or two eagerly jumps on-board. For that rather inauspicious reason I'll say I'm likely to end up with both, either at launch or within a month or so. The Wii U has been the only exception to that rule since adulthood. I am a tool.

Looking at E3 however, it was difficult not to come away far more impressed with Sony's messaging than the catastrophic performance of the Microsoft executives. There were great games shown on both systems, but with Titanfall also coming out on PC, I'd say the PlayStation 4 definitely edges it in terms of exclusives. Forza 5 would be the only title I'd be annoyed to miss out on. I won't however, because I am a tool.

BI: I can't see myself buying anything day one. For a start, I'm just not sure I trust the hardware at release these days. Not to mention the fact that as Leon pointed out on a recent podcast, the launch line-up of every console ever has been a little bit disappointing. I can see myself with a PS4 within six months of launch, and an Xbox at some point a year or two on. Having said all that, I'm an absolute sucker for 'new and shiny' so could well end up in line at midnight despite my intentions!

SC: The answer has to be the PS4. I have owned both consoles in this generation, however I cannot justify the decisions MS initially made upon the announcement of the One at E3; their policies just seemed completely illogical and did nothing for those customers who have been loyal to them for the past few years. Despite their turnaround on the used games policy and online check-ins, the PS4 still does it for me in terms of the titles available and the support for indie releases which, in truth, is the future of the games industry.

It'll take something special for me to buy a One, a PS4 is pretty much a guarantee and a new PC is also on the cards at some point to make up my next generation gaming collection.

SH: I think this has been easily the biggest E3 ever but for all the wrong reasons. Will I buy one or both of the new consoles!? Difficult for me to answer right now. Personally I am feeling less and less compelled by the day. No doubt I will be swept up in the hype machine nearer the time and buy two of each! But while I have my sensible head on, I really don't see a massive pull to either platform.

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MB: I understand the general sense of "was that it?" amongst many gamers, but I think E3 has just become a hard place to display anything but grand scale, buzz word-friendly behemoths ("power of the cloud!"). That's why I was impressed by Sony's decision to apportion a good slot in their show to indie developers. The launch line ups currently look little more than safe, but has there ever been a truly stellar set of launch games?

SH: The term "launch game" just doesn't seem relevant to me anymore. It's not like a there is suddenly a new wealth of technology available to developers, instead I'd argue that developers can no longer claim to be held back!

EB: I'd estimate I spent 90% of my console time in this generation playing my 360, and - provided it wasn't blinking red at me - for the majority of that time it was a brilliant, brilliant system and home to many of my favourite AAA titles and indie gems that I'd never play anywhere else. I desperately want that to be true of both systems this time round. Microsoft have a huge hill to climb though; and it's one of their own making. It's hard to see anybody but Sony coming out on top over that first 12 months, and if the early reports of disparity in hardware performance are to be believed, the Xbox may well face an even greater struggle over the long term. I have them both on pre-order. I am a tool.

LM: I have my Xbox One on pre-order, I secured it the day after the "180" but I was actually going to pre-order before they back-pedalled, I just hadn't got round to it. For me all the policy posturing got in the way of why we all wait for E3: the games. Personally I discovered a lot of reasons to look forward to next gen, Watchdogs, Titanfall, Dead Rising and more have me genuinely excited. Although they have been living a perpetual PR nightmare since the One reveal I actually think in terms of games MS have a better offering at the moment, Titanfall alone ensured the next Xbox had a place under my TV.

BI: The reasons Mark and Steve give are a big part of why I'm going to hold off. Despite the Xbox u-turn, I'm still favouring the PS4 - mostly because of inFamous, to be honest - but I don't see what's to be gained by rushing out and buying it. I think PC will still be my first choice anyway, and I'm glad to be out of the console's generational cycle. I can pick up a PS4 at my leisure and play all the big exclusives secondhand (and therefore reasonably priced).

With Kinect, PlayStation Camera, Wii U and Oculus Rift, the peripheral still seems to be the direction the industry is looking to for innovation, is this what revitalises the next generation or are these add ons detracting from the core experience?

SH: The new Kinect could be amazing and those who got to see it in the flesh at E3 seemed impressed. Microsoft did themselves no favours by shamelessly releasing the first Kinect when it was clearly not ready for the world. People rushed out and spent good money on a substandard product and it left a bad taste. We know that this improved version will be bundled with all Xbox One consoles so in theory any Xbox exclusives should really utilize it to its fullest. We all want to see brilliant innovation in this next gen and the Kinect must surely be a big part of that.

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SC: Is it just me though, or is anyone really that bothered about Kinect? Don't get me wrong, the technology behind it is fantastic, but I can't help but feel the money could be better spent somewhere else.

What games can we expect to see on it? Head tracking in Forza again? Fitness evolved and Just Dance again? Hardly innovative or enthralling.

MB: The problem is the Kinect will surely only be of use to exclusives, and properly used by only a sliver of them. The overwhelming majority of titles will be multi-platform and without the PS Camera being bundled with the PS4 developers can't build around the concept of camera/motion/voice control when a significant portion of their market will not have the peripheral.

I think anyone expecting true, integral Kinect innovation will be disappointed. If it was that important, where were the games utilising it in a decent fashion at E3 and pushing a potentially major selling point? I foresee a few voice commands no one'll use and some dance games. Are you into Zumba Steve?

SH: Mark you know I am a keen pursuer of all things dance and rhythm related

Well that's where MS Studios need to step in and take the bull by the horns. If they are going to force this peripheral on the world then they should be showing off what it really can do.

LM: I think voice commands will be the feature that warms people to Kinect, I - like many others - have little desire, to arm wave and generally move for little reward, but I have grown up watching every sci-fi catoon/tv show/movie having voice controlled technology. A really excited part of me cant wait to get the Xbox One home and say "Xbox On" and watch it boot; sad but true.

EB: I have to be honest, it's not worth the price of admission for me. I bought a Kinect and had my fun with Dance Central and Kinect Sports for a month or two, and then relegated it to the trade-in pile as soon as it realised full novelty potential. For the new one to be mandatory is annoying, and for them to bump the price by $99 just to include Kinect is pushing me further away from that system.

I agree on the remote control and voice-activation being key features to market that thing around, but on a personal level they don't represent a compelling way to use the system.

MB: I've got some sympathy for Microsoft's Kinect stance. They've plumbed R&D money into it, and know that unless it's bundled it'll never be more than a novelty with a limited user base. To integrate it was a ballsy move, but i still can't see past the fact that genuine innovation is hard to come by in gaming terms.

Does anyone seriously hold out much hope for developers utilising a peripheral - with a reputation akin to dog dirt amongst the core audience - to find a path to something genuinely new?

If so, can i interest you in a Wii U?

LM: Expanding on your comment Mark of "genuine innovation is hard to come by in gaming terms", do we really think gamers want innovation? Almost everything which has been introduced to change and/or possibly improve our gaming experience is usually met with staunch opposition, Move, Kinect, SmartGlass, Wii U, always online connectivity, no one seems willing to give any of them a chance. Are we, by pushing back on every new element introduced, stifling the innovation we claim to crave?

MB: I think the problem is those of us who've routinely and over optimistically (I can't believe I paid full price for Kinect) bought into the whole "this peripheral will change everything" hype do so to attempt to recreate that feeling of genuine wonder we once felt, when gaming seemed to be a limitless medium, capable of offering new experiences at every turn. The leaps in technology promised so much, but the genre tropes have become so established and the markets so clearly defined that jumping on a peripheral fad seems acceptable to me. I hold out high hopes for the Oculus Rift.

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EB: The brief time I had with Oculus Rift was the most impressive experience I've had with new tech in years, it's absolutely fantastic.

As soon as 1080p becomes standard on the dev kit I'm picking one up.

BI: Like Manny, my experience with the Oculus Rift was so much more than I expected it to be. I don't know if it'll hit the big time in terms of the home entertainment, but the novelty was fantastic. Overall though, I'd say yes - the Kinect and the Playstation Eye are detracting from the core experience and I'd love it if they disappeared without a trace.

Back to the games, the E3 awards have been presented, what titles in particular got you excited for the next gen?

EB: Watch_Dogs appears to be pitched precisely in the centre of the venn diagram that makes up my thematic and gameplay tastes. I want to play that more than any other game this year.

The one I'm left wanting to know the most about is Beyond: Two Souls. David Cage games are nothing if not divisive (and I'd argue occasionally brilliant) experiences. The latest trailer is a total u-turn in terms of tone, and I have to know what they have planned. It'll be weird, whatever it is.

LM: I'm surprising no one when I hand Titanfall my crown for Game of E3. I'm a huge shooter fan and since Respawn Entertainment split off from Infinity Ward i've been patiently waiting for them to capture my attention with a shooter like they did with Call of Duty 4 back in 2007. Titanfall looks like it could do just that.

BI: I'm sure Titanfall will be great, but at heart I'm a single-player kind of guy, and so I can't see myself getting into it long term. Personally, I'm really looking forward to the new inFamous. It's a console shifter for me. Mirror's Edge 2 and Watch_Dogs will be brilliant too, I'm sure - but I'm still holding out for something genre-busting to grab my attention.

MB: Transistor and Below both intrigue me, but for all my talk of wanting originality, I can't help but also be drawn back to Battlefield 4 as it's a very base desire to see what the shiniest thing will be on a new console.

The Division is the one that ultimately stole my attention though. It felt like the fluid multiplayer wasn't just an additional buzz word friendly ruse, but actually at the core of the game. Even the drag factor of a cliché ridden dystopian setting couldn't dampen my enthusiasm.

SC: I'd have to say that Watch_Dogs is probably the thing I'm most excited for upon launch, and then further down the line it'll have to be Kingdom Hearts 3. Watch_Dogs looked amazing to me and a real shake-up for the open world sandbox genre. That and the new inFamous it must be said, and I could probably say that WD was the game of the show for me. Based on that running demo, I'm sold already!

SH: In a weird way I was left feeling nostalgic! Can Titanfall be the online multiplayer game that keeps me coming back night after night!? I have made good friends through playing Infinity Ward games online and if I can recapture half of that online magic it will be amazing

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Well those are the team's thoughts, but where do you stand? Have you placed a pre-order? Did E3 get you excited for the next generation? Let us know in the comments and keep your browser locked to AVF for more opinions, reviews and ridiculous pictures of Ben wearing the Oculus Rift!
 

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Pistachio

Active Member
I am still undecided - PS4 probably has the edge at the moment, but whichever platform you choose there are a couple if exclusive games you miss (don't have the finances for both). I am considering a PC build, but at the moment not sure how a reasonable rig compares price wise. Which ever way you look at it, there are some great looking games coming out soon.
 

paul1979

Distinguished Member
For me it about time. I have a Wii u and though was going to sell it I think it offers an alternative gaming experience. As for two big next gen, though I want both in truth, I know it would be money wasted as I only games around 5 hours per week!

I think the line up of games for the x1 is looking best with project spark, dr3, forza, ryes, titan fall, killer instinct, and kinect sport all game really like the look off... then you know there is going to be gears game, and halo and no doubt some more. I prefer the look of it oddly it seems (nice straight lines and simple) and then there is the remote which I can see adding with the triggers i.e. forza when going on grass etc? Though not sure if 3rd party would use it?

I have favoured 360 dashboard and avatar and want to keep this and have it implemented on x1. The media side also appeals a little though I would not hook it up to my sky.

Where x1 fails is I don't like the kinect, I don't like the price, and I don't like the inconstancy and feeling that MS are a little adrift and not really sure what to do? Though the always one "sky net" surveillance mythology does not bother me as such i would rather it was not there. Add to that lack of indie support (which can bring some great games) and reported media adverts all over I don't like.

I can see a price reduction sooner than later

For me the ps4 though nice is not as nice and the psn though simple is not as inviting with my customizable avatar. Games at lunch are not as good (drive club could looks ok but I will end up with the "sound just like a golf"; wanting to be what its not and not really being close by what I have seen.

KZ is the only game I can say is exclusive I am looking forward to, though historically games (exclusives have been better on Sony). It's a shame as I really want infamous and the order (no date on that yet). They have a great support from indie devs though and some games like rays the dead look fun.

If they implement vita (can't see it myself as mandatory unless exclusive) then I would really want a ps4 I think as I could game more and actually stand a chance of finishing some.

The controller looks ok little bigger which I like not that the other one was bad though I did prefer 360 layout.

For me I want to see more i.e. gamescom so I am hoping that ps4 delivers more launch games. I can't see it though. I read it was going to be about the vita more this time.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
SH: Mark you know I am a keen pursuer of all things dance and rhythm related

*shudders* So that's why you enjoy my dancing so much. :D

Good discussion lads. I currently have both preordered with Shopto, and will cancel one closer to release. At the moment I am heavily inclined to Xbox One as it has far more of the games I prefer, but with both Sony and MS having loads to reveal in the months to come, I may yet swing the other way. I went from PS1 and 2 to 360 after Sony's disastrous PS3 launch, so platform loyalty is irrelevant to me, but so too is all the focus on peripherals and non-gaming related stuff that seems to be dominating discussion on these forums. The one I want more will be the one I prefer the games for, it's as simple as that really.

I would have been interested to hear the panel's thoughts on MS's 180 - a necessary step or a step back from an opportunity to drive digital gaming forward? For me the answer in either case is how costs would have panned out - if MS's vision ended up driving down the cost of games as Steam has done on the PC, it could have been a real opportunity to bring console gaming into the 21st century. However there can be no arguing that the way they handled it was poor and they only have themselves to blame for the way things ended up.
 

TimeLord

Active Member
well i got a ps4 on order, the whole kinect thing leaves me disillusioned :(, unwanted and unnecessary in my eyes and i dont like it being forced upon me.
so im gonna buy my first sony. I was looking at the destiny trailer today and it looks pretty hot Official Destiny Gameplay Reveal Video - YouTube.

I think the only thing ill miss from xbox is forza 5.

thx for the article btw, i enjoyed the read :smashin:
 

Rawschach

Distinguished Member
Good article

I have a ps3 and a 360, the ps3 just does blu ray as I prefer playing online and xbox is far better online (and all my friends have xbox)

I will probably end up buying the xbox1, I don't buy this extra power thing as the ps3 had better spec and the games are the same (last of us the exception)

Hopefully both machines will be amazing
 

IvorB

Active Member
Good article

I have a ps3 and a 360, the ps3 just does blu ray as I prefer playing online and xbox is far better online (and all my friends have xbox)

I will probably end up buying the xbox1, I don't buy this extra power thing as the ps3 had better spec and the games are the same (last of us the exception)

Hopefully both machines will be amazing

The power difference between PS3 and Xbox 360 was more nebulous because they both had very different architectures. In this case the machines are very similar and it is much easier to say that the PS4 is easily and quantifiably more powerful than Xbox One. What difference that will make to multiplatform development remains to be seen.

I'm curious why you would choose an Xbox One which is less powerful, more expensive and comes with unwanted peripherals. Is it just because there happens to be one game announced so far that you like. I'm not sure that's a sensible way to make this selection to be honest.
 

MWP1985

Well-known Member
I've pre-ordered both but I'm looking forward to Xbox One more. I think the launch line-up is better and at least Microsoft are attempting to try something different.

I actually find the PS4 to be the least inspiring console of the new generation. It's the only console of the three that's just a typical bells-and-whistle generational leap with little that is new being put on the table. It's simply the usual tarted-up graphics, a slightly modified controller, yet another half-baked implementation of the Eye which will ultimately render it useless and an OS facelift that should have made its way onto the PS3 years ago. There's nothing radical about it. It's the sort of console launch that gets brand-loyalists excited but there's not much to intrigue the uninitiated or more discerning gamer.

If it wasn't for the initial PR failure, I think the Xbox One would be getting all the attention because it seems to me like it has the potential to drag gaming into the 21st century. At least, it did before the turnaround.

The whole situation reminds me a little bit of the PS2's release whereby its more interesting and daring rival - the Dreamcast - was shouted down amid comically nonsensical talk about the 'superior power of the Emotion Engine'. The dull launch line-up - amongst the worst of any console ever - and initial lack of online gaming barely got a mention.

There'll be quality games for sure but I think the PS4's fanboy-fuelled hype will gradually fade unless Sony actually evolve their console throughout its lifespan this time instead of keeping the same old OS and tacking things on as they have with the PS3.
 
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IvorB

Active Member
I've pre-ordered both but I'm looking forward to Xbox One more. I think the launch line-up is better and at least Microsoft are attempting to try something different.

I actually find the PS4 to be the least inspiring console of the new generation. It's the only console of the three that's just a typical bells-and-whistle generational leap with little that is new being put on the table. It's simply the usual tarted-up graphics, a slightly modified controller, yet another half-baked implementation of the Eye which will ultimately render it useless and an OS facelift that should have made its way onto the PS3 years ago. There's nothing radical about it. It's the sort of console launch that gets brand-loyalists excited but there's not much to intrigue the uninitiated or more discerning gamer.

If it wasn't for the initial PR failure, I think the Xbox One would be getting all the attention because it seems to me like it has the potential to drag gaming into the 21st century. At least, it did before the turnaround.

The whole situation reminds me a little bit of the PS2's release whereby its more interesting and daring rival - the Dreamcast - was shouted down amid comically nonsensical talk about the 'superior power of the Emotion Engine'. The dull launch line-up - amongst the worst of any console ever - and initial lack of online gaming barely got a mention.

There'll be quality games for sure but I think the PS4's fanboy-fuelled hype will gradually fade unless Sony actually evolve their console throughout its lifespan this time instead of keeping the same old OS and tacking things on as they have with the PS3.

What is it about the Xbone that is so new and fresh? What are these different things MS is trying? Do you mean Kinect and "the Cloud"?
 

MWP1985

Well-known Member
What is it about the Xbone that is so new and fresh? What are these different things MS is trying? Do you mean Kinect and "the Cloud"?

It's more the things that they took away after the internet outrage. For example, the family sharing feature is an excellent idea which I believe Valve is now looking at introducing to Steam. Of course, they could still implement it and have read recent reports suggesting that it may happen. The idea of being able to easily let friends play games linked to your account would have revolutionised sharing and have been popular with publishers as a different spin on 'try before you buy'.

I do think the inclusion of Kinect with every console will benefit the Xbox One in the long run too. Developers can at least be assured that everyone with the console owns one so we'll likely see fewer titles designed purely to exploit it to boost peripheral sales and more which use it in subtle and potentially interesting ways. Away from gaming, let's not forget that Google and Apple are highly likely to move into the TV market with very similar motion and voice recognition technology in the next few years. It may sound gimmicky at present but all sorts of as yet unheard of applications for the technology could emerge over the next decade beyond the usual changing channel/volume stuff - especially as the quality of voice recognition software improves.

I see Microsoft's decision to include it as a forward-thinking move which could eventually attract a new audience to the console who may ultimately see it as a cheaper way of getting this sort of tech on their TV.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
I've pre-ordered both but I'm looking forward to Xbox One more. I think the launch line-up is better and at least Microsoft are attempting to try something different.

I actually find the PS4 to be the least inspiring console of the new generation. It's the only console of the three that's just a typical bells-and-whistle generational leap with little that is new being put on the table. It's simply the usual tarted-up graphics, a slightly modified controller, yet another half-baked implementation of the Eye which will ultimately render it useless and an OS facelift that should have made its way onto the PS3 years ago. There's nothing radical about it. It's the sort of console launch that gets brand-loyalists excited but there's not much to intrigue the uninitiated or more discerning gamer.

If it wasn't for the initial PR failure, I think the Xbox One would be getting all the attention because it seems to me like it has the potential to drag gaming into the 21st century. At least, it did before the turnaround.

The whole situation reminds me a little bit of the PS2's release whereby its more interesting and daring rival - the Dreamcast - was shouted down amid comically nonsensical talk about the 'superior power of the Emotion Engine'. The dull launch line-up - amongst the worst of any console ever - and initial lack of online gaming barely got a mention.

There'll be quality games for sure but I think the PS4's fanboy-fuelled hype will gradually fade unless Sony actually evolve their console throughout its lifespan this time instead of keeping the same old OS and tacking things on as they have with the PS3.

Good post. That's an excellent comparison regarding the PS2 and Dreamcast, and sadly goes to show that good PR has far more to do with success than the quality of a product.

Oh, and prepare to be shot down for expressing that opinion. ;)
 

IvorB

Active Member
It's more the things that they took away after the internet outrage. For example, the family sharing feature is an excellent idea which I believe Valve is now looking at introducing to Steam. Of course, they could still implement it and have read recent reports suggesting that it may happen. The idea of being able to easily let friends play games linked to your account would have revolutionised sharing and have been popular with publishers as a different spin on 'try before you buy'.

I do think the inclusion of Kinect with every console will benefit the Xbox One in the long run too. Developers can at least be assured that everyone with the console owns one so we'll likely see fewer titles designed purely to exploit it to boost peripheral sales and more which use it in subtle and potentially interesting ways. Away from gaming, let's not forget that Google and Apple are highly likely to move into the TV market with very similar motion and voice recognition technology in the next few years. It may sound gimmicky at present but all sorts of as yet unheard of applications for the technology could emerge over the next decade beyond the usual changing channel/volume stuff - especially as the quality of voice recognition software improves.

I see Microsoft's decision to include it as a forward-thinking move which could eventually attract a new audience to the console who may ultimately see it as a cheaper way of getting this sort of tech on their TV.

Well this whole family sharing thing that's coming up now is extremely nebulous. I mean, Microsoft never said at any point how it would work exactly. From what they said it allows up to ten people access to all your games. Hmmm... does it seem reasonable to assume that a company that tried its best to kill secondhand game sales would allow you to share EVERY game in your entire library with upto ten people? So every game they sell is automatically cancelling around ten sales of that game. Do we really think this is what MS had in mind, and what publishers would be okay with?

So there is no reason why that can't be implemented and they are talking about doing it so if it is genuinely a part of Microsoft's vision for console gaming we should see the feature rolled out soon. I wouldn't hold my breath for it though. And I really don't think it's going to be what people think it is but we'll see. Regardless though this is a nice-to-have feature and hardly anything game changing or amazing. Also Sony has announced similar features to it's all moot.

So Kinect, yeah I agree they are trying something new and unique and that should be applauded so I agree with you there. The problem is that new and unique is no good for anyone if it just doesn't work (see the WiiU). Just trying something new doesn't automatically make it awesome or even useful. Also we've already had a few years of Kinect and nothing good to show for it so what are developers going to magically pull out of the hat to wow everyone now? Also which devs are going to do that? MS has hardly any first-party capability to speak of so they won't. Do we think multiplatform devs are going to take the time to dream up new and imaginative uses for Kinect? Yeah right. Head tracking and voice commands, mate.

We've had the Wii, the WiiU and Kinect all trying to bring some new thing to the table and from where I am standing they are all utter sh*te. Nothing but a bunch of gimmicks that no gamers really want so what's the point? For all that crap I still just enjoy sitting in front of my TV with a controller playing my games.

Yes, Sony have played it extremely safe. There's no exotic blu-ray or CellBE in this console. Yet at the same time I think they are putting out what gamers need which is a well-designed box to play software. The innovation that gamers want needs to come from software and services not a bunch of stupid hardware gimmicks, because people have been trying those for years and they have ALL struck out. Maybe it's time to just accept that gaming is done with a controller and work to refine that, as Sony have done.

MS may have a unique vision for gaming but that vision is broken. They came with Kinect, live broadcast TV, "The Cloud" and hardcore DRM. Seriously, I'll take a playing-it-safe, straight-down-the-line console over that lot any day.:D
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
No brainer PS4 for me. I had both 360 and PS3 at launch but because I don't play a ton of multiplayer, I stopped paying for Live and therefore couldn't use netflix etc. Plus I think MS haven't been supporting the 360 as well as sony have the PS3

so while the Xbox arguably had the better launch titles, I have much more confidence that Sony will continue to deliver good strong titles throughout PS4's life.

Add to that the DRM debacle, MS not being able to deliver a coherent message from any one of it's execs, and the seemingly clear power advantage and I can't see any reason not to choose a PS4, unless you absolutely have to have Halo or Forza. And after Halo 4 I can live without it.
 

MWP1985

Well-known Member
Well this whole family sharing thing that's coming up now is extremely nebulous. I mean, Microsoft never said at any point how it would work exactly. From what they said it allows up to ten people access to all your games. Hmmm... does it seem reasonable to assume that a company that tried its best to kill secondhand game sales would allow you to share EVERY game in your entire library with upto ten people? So every game they sell is automatically cancelling around ten sales of that game. Do we really think this is what MS had in mind, and what publishers would be okay with?

So there is no reason why that can't be implemented and they are talking about doing it so if it is genuinely a part of Microsoft's vision for console gaming we should see the feature rolled out soon. I wouldn't hold my breath for it though. And I really don't think it's going to be what people think it is but we'll see. Regardless though this is a nice-to-have feature and hardly anything game changing or amazing. Also Sony has announced similar features to it's all moot.

So Kinect, yeah I agree they are trying something new and unique and that should be applauded so I agree with you there. The problem is that new and unique is no good for anyone if it just doesn't work (see the WiiU). Just trying something new doesn't automatically make it awesome or even useful. Also we've already had a few years of Kinect and nothing good to show for it so what are developers going to magically pull out of the hat to wow everyone now? Also which devs are going to do that? MS has hardly any first-party capability to speak of so they won't. Do we think multiplatform devs are going to take the time to dream up new and imaginative uses for Kinect? Yeah right. Head tracking and voice commands, mate.

We've had the Wii, the WiiU and Kinect all trying to bring some new thing to the table and from where I am standing they are all utter sh*te. Nothing but a bunch of gimmicks that no gamers really want so what's the point? For all that crap I still just enjoy sitting in front of my TV with a controller playing my games.

Yes, Sony have played it extremely safe. There's no exotic blu-ray or CellBE in this console. Yet at the same time I think they are putting out what gamers need which is a well-designed box to play software. The innovation that gamers want needs to come from software and services not a bunch of stupid hardware gimmicks, because people have been trying those for years and they have ALL struck out. Maybe it's time to just accept that gaming is done with a controller and work to refine that, as Sony have done.

MS may have a unique vision for gaming but that vision is broken. They came with Kinect, live broadcast TV, "The Cloud" and hardcore DRM. Seriously, I'll take a playing-it-safe, straight-down-the-line console over that lot any day.:D

Of course, the average hardcore gamer is going to be happy with a regular controller in front of the TV but, long term, will that really be enough to win over the mass market? There is absolutely no doubt that this generation is going to be very, very different from any other. What I expect to see is a similar change of landscape to that we've seen in the mobile sector where dedicated games devices are increasingly playing second fiddle to phones and tablets. By 2020, it's virtually a guarantee that there will be no place in the market for a home console that just plays games and the odd film. People will want more just as they do now from a handheld device.

As I mentioned, there are now strong hints that Apple are moving into the TV industry with a voice and motion enabled set. Should that prove a success, devs will be lining up to knock out apps for it which would put the Xbox One in a very strong position to offer a cheaper way of owning the same tech. They would therefore also have the advantage of a high user base to take a big share of the market. It's easy to say it's just a gimmick but people said the same thing about tablets. Who knows what applications people will come up with for that sort of tech in the future, especially with the Apple brand behind it. MS have gambled for sure but it could prove a very shrewd move.

Sony may have won the PR battle but it'd be foolish to write off the Xbox One. This war will likely be much closer than many think.

One thing's for sure - with larger storage devices and faster connections DRM enabled digital downloads will be the norm by the end of this generation. I wouldn't hold out much hope of the second hand market surviving beyond that.
 

IvorB

Active Member
Of course, the average hardcore gamer is going to be happy with a regular controller in front of the TV but, long term, will that really be enough to win over the mass market? There is absolutely no doubt that this generation is going to be very, very different from any other. What I expect to see is a similar change of landscape to that we've seen in the mobile sector where dedicated games devices are increasingly playing second fiddle to phones and tablets. By 2020, it's virtually a guarantee that there will be no place in the market for a home console that just plays games and the odd film. People will want more just as they do now from a handheld device.

As I mentioned, there are now strong hints that Apple are moving into the TV industry with a voice and motion enabled set. Should that prove a success, devs will be lining up to knock out apps for it which would put the Xbox One in a very strong position to offer a cheaper way of owning the same tech. They would therefore also have the advantage of a high user base to take a big share of the market. It's easy to say it's just a gimmick but people said the same thing about tablets. Who knows what applications people will come up with for that sort of tech in the future, especially with the Apple brand behind it. MS have gambled for sure but it could prove a very shrewd move.

Sony may have won the PR battle but it'd be foolish to write off the Xbox One. This war will likely be much closer than many think.

One thing's for sure - with larger storage devices and faster connections DRM enabled digital downloads will be the norm by the end of this generation. I wouldn't hold out much hope of the second hand market surviving beyond that.

Well I guess that is what MS is banking on. Whether this happens or not remains to be seen. I guess the question is: can a console exist and prosper as just a games console? Does it need some kind of mass market hook? I like to believe there are enough genuine, hardcore gamers out there to sustain a console and make it a successful ecosystem without the need to lure in the mass market with various features like TV or motion control.

I'm not sure we can draw too many conclusions from the mobile sector. Handhelds and consoles are very different markets. Many gamers happily exist without a mobile game device but things are very different with a home console. Anyway the 3DS is doing very well and it does absolutely nothing besides gaming.

So no, I don't think it's a given at all that home consoles will disappear as much as some people seem to desperately want this.

No one is writing off MS. They are in almost exactly the same position that Sony was at the start of this gen. It's a bit uncanny actually. Sony came back and so can MS. We can only watch and wait.
 

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