A Console by Any Other Name
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 16:09
In 1972, a company named Atari released a game called Pong. It was met with massive success. Thus the era of video games had begun. Arcade games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Galaga followed. Now days those early games seem like ancient technology when compared to the games of today.
Today, the battle of King of the Hill between Sony and Microsoft began in 2001. Sony had released its PlayStation 2 the prior year and had already established its fan-base with the original PlayStation. Xbox gained significant ground with the debut of the Xbox-exclusive game “Halo: Combat Evolved.” The race stayed close until 2006 when each company released its newer system. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gained an upper hand over Sony’s PlayStation 3 with improvements to Xbox LIVE. A $150-$250 price for the 360 compared to the $299 PlayStation also benefited Microsoft.
This holiday season marks a turning point as Microsoft and Sony have announced the release of their new next-generation consoles. The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One are scheduled to debut this November. This raises the question among gamers everywhere: Which system do I choose?
There are very strong emotions involved when it comes to this question. Many people have certain brand loyalties, while others simply value exclusive games or series. I myself have owned both an Xbox 360 and a PlayStation 3, so what I looked for was if each company presentations at E3. For those not familiar with E3, it is an annual electronic entertainment conference in which companies show off new games they are releasing. This year had the next-gen consoles.
Personally, I am looking forward to the PlayStation 4. I am open to possibly getting an Xbox One, but the performance Sony gave at E3 stood out far greater than its competitor.
Many of the major games’ franchises and new games such as “Call of Duty,” “Assassin’s Creed,” “Battlefield 4” and “Destiny” will all be multi-platform games. It will be interesting to see what each company does to try and gain advantage over the other.
The preview of Sony’s PlayStation 4 was met with high praise as the company implemented many new exciting features and game titles. Sony had mimicked traits from Xbox LIVE (Microsoft’s online server) incorporating a more personable interface while still keeping it free to the users. They made many enhancements to the dual-shock controller as well. The system is priced at $399.
While on the other side, Microsoft dealt with a heavy deal of criticism. First, the Xbox One was set a hundred dollars more expensive at $499. This is due to Microsoft trying to develop an “all-in-one” system allowing streaming and TV to be played from it as well as games, hence Xbox “One.” Secondly, the creators intended to steer the Xbox One toward the digital age. Originally, the system required users to connect to Xbox LIVE every 24 hours, and the system would have to be connected to the internet even while playing games offline. Lastly, there were going to be restrictions to the buying, lending and selling of used games. The news infuriated many of Xbox’s patron’s.
For months PlayStation 4 pre-order sales outnumber the Xbox One, 4-to-1. Just recently Microsoft announced that it will remove the requirement for Xbox One users to always remain online and check in. They also removed the red tape involving buying, selling and borrowing used games. The process will remain the way it is currently.
So whether you are set on the PS4 or the Xbox One, or you are somewhere in the middle, it doesn’t really matter. After owning both previous systems I can say both have pros and cons. At the end of the day, just have some fun, either alone or with friends. After all, that is the name of the game.
Caleb is a sophomore majoring in English.