Console war: 2013

Vastet's picture

Every time a new console war starts brewing, I make predictions on the results. So far I've been remarkably accurate. Lets see how well I do this time.

Nintendo: WiiU.

The only reasons the Wii was successful were its price and its casual friendly set up. I predicted they'd be the leader in sales, but added the drawback that it could never contend with Sony or Microsoft in hardcore games because it was effectively a PS2 with a gimmick controller. It had neither the power nor the support.
The WiiU takes this to a level that shoots itself in the foot.
First problem is it was released too soon. It is competing with PS3 and XBox 360, both of which are cheaper and more powerful. It will never contend with PS4 or XBox 1. It is outclassed in every way. So Nintendo threw away the cheapness advantage it enjoyed last generation in exchange for absolutely nothing.
The new controller gimmick is shit. If I want a hand held console I'll buy one. I'll never want one so big, heavy, clunky, and vulnerable, however.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

The more there is in a

The more there is in a controller, the more can go wrong. Which means you will be replacing them more often.
Couple that with Nintendos refusal to sell new gamepads and you have a piece of trash for a console the moment something inevitably breaks.

This will be N64 all over again. Nintendo fails this generation. Hard.

Microsoft: XBox 1

Because there is so little difference between the XBox and Playstation this generation, there is little point in discussing specs. So I'll cut straight to features.
MS hates you and doesn't want your business. That's really the only way to look at it. You must have a constant online connection to get any use out of your console at all. That connection also requires XBox Live. And you must pay fees to play second hand games. XBox will fail as hard as Nintendo, despite having a much better and more durable system.
Hopefully MS will pull their collective heads out of their collective asses and drop all these anti-consumer features. Otherwise only the upper class can afford it.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

Sony: Playstation 4 It

Sony: Playstation 4

It looks like Sony is the only console worth buying this generation, which is an interesting turn around from last gen, where they made more mistakes than in any generation previously.
They've dropped their proprietary hardware strategy, which has been pissing off developers for more than 15 years and will reduce costs, making for a cheaper console that is just as easy to develop for as the XBox. There won't be any more games that look better on one of the consoles than the other as a result.
PSN will be remaining free, which gives them a hell of a leg up.
They will not be further reducing the value of 2nd hand games as MS will.
They will not require a constant connection to the net.

This generation, unless MS and Nintendo do some hard and fast turnarounds on their strategies, Sony will reclaim the title of the king of consoles. With ease.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving's picture

 Do you think there are

 Do you think there are enough new features to make an upgrade from an Xbox 360 with kinnect to the PS4 worthwhile? I might get one for my niece and nephew for Christmas this year, but don't want to get it if the differences aren't big enough. (they are 14 & 12) I know literally nothing about them.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Vastet's picture

I think it might be worth

I think it might be worth it, mostly because of their age. The kids will almost certainly think it's worth it, though they'll probably have their own preference of console. I can't say whether or not it would line up with my thoughts.

The excess cost for the XBox 1 probably won't matter much to them, though it might. I imagine they are getting a good education on financial matters, so it could very well matter to them. It probably would have to me at that age.

Trick is each console has exclusive titles, so if they love Halo and Fable (for examples), only the XBox or maybe PC will have them.

Buying a console the same year it comes out is generally a bad move in my opinion. There's only been one console in 28 years that had more features on release than later versions included.
New consoles have higher failure rates and they cost a lot more money than if you wait a year or two.

cont

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

New consoles also suffer

New consoles also suffer from a lack of games. It really takes a year to begin seeing a game library of significance.

The new consoles do have more power and features than previous ones, though so far neither Sony nor MS has rolled out everything they'll be putting on the table. Sony's unveiling concentrated on games, and mostly ignored the entertainment features. MS mostly focused on entertainment features and ignored games. It'll be E3 before I can properly contrast them against each other and their predecessors.

I can say that hardware wise, this generation is not going to see the same massive jump in power that every previous generation has seen. It will be improved performance and graphics, but it won't be as significant a boost as NES to SNES to N64, or PS to PS2 to PS3 was. The biggest changes this gen are in the features.

Hopefully that means cheaper launch prices.

cont

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

If you can get them to talk

If you can get them to talk about games a little it should help your choice some. Kids love sharing and love being more knowledgeable in something than adults, so it should be easy to engage them without giving a hint as to your intentions. I would recommend this because they will already have an idea of which console they prefer, and will have reasons for that preference. Few things in life at that age get as intense as the console wars. Fans of one or the other tend to be almost rabid supporters.

But not all gamers are committed to a company. If they aren't committed to a specific console it will let you look at the consoles without worrying that they dislike one or more.

One thing to note is that I'm pretty sure MS has learned its lesson and won't be cutting support for the 360, the way they did for the original XBox, on launch day. The PS3 will certainly be around for another 3-4 years at least. I'm hoping the same is true for the 360.

cont

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

The new gen will have the

The new gen will have the upgraded Kinect/PS Eye included. So far MS's version is an 'always on' and hardwired accessory. Rumours abound that MS could actually watch you at will, if they desired to. I doubt very much they would, but it does raise a few privacy concerns all the same. That said, it's rumour. Almost certainly based on fact, but with half a year until release they still have time to make changes based on feedback.

Both new consoles will include a blu ray drive and have varied connections to social media like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter.

The newest feature that I'm most excited about belongs to PS4, though I'll be very surprised if MS doesn't also get it. That feature is the ability to stream gameplay with your friends. You can literally watch a buddy play a game in real time, and if that buddy needs help with something or even just needs to go to the bathroom, he/she can cede control to a viewer.

cont

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

In the end however, much of

In the end however, much of it depends on the kids. I know if I was facing the choice as a kid it would be simple. Assuming my parents would be willing to get me a console (and they wouldn't have been, lol), that's all they'd have done. If I were to want XBox Live they'd have made me pay for it. So I would have to think hard on whether or not it was worth it to me. Since PSN is free and has pretty well everything XBox Live does, Sony would be the simple choice.

But if all my friends had XBox's then I'd need an XBox to play with them. If all my favourite games were XBox games too, then the XBox would be the simple choice.

In the mid range of this war, Sony's library will be twice the size of MS's at least. Ten times by the time the next gen is being announced. Sony has embraced indie developers and makes it easy to release a game on the PS store. MS so far has not been so interested in indie development. They support it, but not as well as Sony does by a long shot.

cont

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

Really the biggest drawback

Really the biggest drawback to MS is the hidden costs and the always online requirements. If both consoles are released at $400, the PS4 will BE $400, while the XBox 1 will actually cost $700 (minimum) over the course of 5 years, not including the cost of having an internet connection (which you won't NEED to get use out of a PS4). That's pretty significant. And yet, if that cost isn't an issue, both consoles are basically on par with each other from what I've seen so far.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Sapient's picture

 Excellent thread Vastet.

 Excellent thread Vastet.  I have an Xbox 360 and was debating which one to get.  Seems like I'll be eyeing a PS4 after a waiting period to get the kinks out.

 

- Brian Sapient


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Vastet's picture

Thanks. Microsoft has made

Thanks. Smiling

Microsoft has made an announcement, finally, which forces me to ammend my predictions some.

First, on reselling of games: MS will NOT charge a fee to allow you to play 2nd hand games. However, they HAVE set in place a system which allows developers to choose whether or not 2nd hand games will function at all.
You will not be able to rent or even borrow XBox 1 titles at launch. MS is exploring the possibility of allowing it in the future.

Frankly I don't see this as a step in the right direction. I buy a movie or CD or book or almost anything else in the universe and I can sell it at will, unless it happens to be a Microsoft game. Fuck you Microsoft.

MS has confirmed the requirement of online connection. If your system isn't connected to the net for 24 hours, it won't play games anymore. You can still watch movies or tv though. Who cares? Everyone has a dvd player and blu ray players for a fraction of the price of a console are everywhere. And tv's already come with Netflix and the like.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

So if you don't have a

So if you don't have a constant internet connection, the XBox 1 is literally nothing more than a blu ray player with a few tv aps at a ridiculous cost. Whatever that cost may be, it is hundreds of dollars more than it's worth.

MS stresses that you can decide whether or not your Kinect will always be broadcasting your videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more.

TBH, I wouldn't get an XBox 1 if Microsoft paid me for it.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Beyond Saving's picture

Vastet wrote:Thanks.

Vastet wrote:
Thanks. Smiling Microsoft has made an announcement, finally, which forces me to ammend my predictions some. First, on reselling of games: MS will NOT charge a fee to allow you to play 2nd hand games. However, they HAVE set in place a system which allows developers to choose whether or not 2nd hand games will function at all. You will not be able to rent or even borrow XBox 1 titles at launch. MS is exploring the possibility of allowing it in the future. Frankly I don't see this as a step in the right direction. I buy a movie or CD or book or almost anything else in the universe and I can sell it at will, unless it happens to be a Microsoft game. Fuck you Microsoft. MS has confirmed the requirement of online connection. If your system isn't connected to the net for 24 hours, it won't play games anymore. You can still watch movies or tv though. Who cares? Everyone has a dvd player and blu ray players for a fraction of the price of a console are everywhere. And tv's already come with Netflix and the like.

Wow, that seems like an incredibly stupid move on their part. I know my niece and nephew currently use gamefly to rent games and try them out before they buy them. My impression is that such rental and second hand stores are quite popular and this obsession with piracy protection will cause a lot of people to go with PS. It certainly makes me hesitant to purchase one. In the modern era consumers are coming to expect more flexibility with their products and moves like this are worrying about the pennies lost on piracy while losing out on millions in sales.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Vastet's picture

I agree. The same strategy

I agree.

The same strategy is kinda working for the movie industry, but they've reached a consensus between all studios. They've had a century to figure out that working together works. They have no competition left to offer a better deal. They love the renting industry, and they have no problem with resale, far as I know.

The big 3 gaming companies don't agree on much of anything. They have agreed on the ESRB so far, and that's all. Everything is in competition.

I'm really having a hard time believing that MS executives are so blind that they'll keep going with this strategy, but this announcement shows they've put a hefty amount of R&D into doing exactly that. I'm no longer sure they have enough time left to alter their strategy.

This might be the first generation of consoles which has a player who's product I would literally refuse to use. I've been playing games since my dad hooked up a Pong console one day.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

The next console he hooked

The next console he hooked up was a COCO2, which used audio cassettes as media. That was the last console I played at home, but I had friends. One had an Atari. Then the NES came out, which my neighbour had. I never played much on the Sega Master System, but I had fun when I did. Then SNES and Genesis were released. And Saturn and CD and a few other consoles released by Sega which made things confusing. But they were still good consoles.
Then Sony and 3DO entered the market. Both were extremely expensive. You needed a few hundred bucks to rent one, for the security deposit. But we did it and loved it.
Then there was the entry of MS, who bullied and bought their way in. But even they had good consoles with good games and I'd have bought those consoles.
All of these consoles and more were fun. I have and can criticise every gaming company and every console for various reasons, but every console up to now is one I could have fun with, that I supported in some way. Even WiiU.

I can't support the XBox 1 at all.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Sinphanius's picture

Wow Microsoft, Just Wow.

So the Always On Internet Requirement has been confirmed?  Last I checked it was all just unsubstantiated Rumors and one Microsoft Employee being a colossal twat.  That's....Stupid.

Seriously, this is coming right on the heels of EA's Disastrous Sim City launch, killed for also having the same always online requirement even when the game doesn't actually need it, as evidenced by the fact that people have pirated it (and in the process managed to get a Better Product).  Plus there's Diablo III's failure, also entirely the result of their Online Only Policy, and way back when we had One of the Assassin's Creed games, which had such intrusive DRM that paying customers would get kicked out of their game, and even when they weren't they had lag that made it virtually unplayable.  Seriously, if you Pirated the game you got an objectively better version.

If this is true, and continues, then XBox 1 is going to Bomb.  Hard.  Combined with, as you said, the WiiU being largely "Meh" across the board, I don't think you're going to have a Console War.

What we're going to have, is the rebirth of the age old rivalry; Console(PS4) Vs. PC

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...

Vastet's picture

Very good points. The only

Very good points. The only game so far to have the strict drm and not see a massive fail, to my knowledge, is Star Craft 2. And I would say the reason for that is pro gaming. It is the top tier professional game, requiring top tier skills and intellect to be competitive. And a lot of money floats around it. A LOT of money.
Yet, even though Star Craft 2 hasn't been a massive fail, it also hasn't been nearly as successful as it should have been. It should have been #1 on all the sales charts for at least 2 separate months. The anticipation for it was built over nearly a decade. It was the most demanded sequel of any game for most if not all genres during that time period. But it hasn't been bought up the way it would have been if all the drm and anti-consumer bs was left out.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

E3 has begun, and more

E3 has begun, and more details have surfaced.

Sony is mocking the hell out of Microsoft, and undercutting them on almost every single point in the process. This is going to be the most 1 sided competition since the PS2 was dominant.

PS4: $399
XBox 1: $499

lol.

PS Eye not included with PS4. Add $50-60 to buy one.
Kinect included with XBox 1.

PS+ Required to play games online. But you don't need it for anything else. And considering you get 2-5 free games a month plus demo's and beta's, it doesn't hurt too much to spend $60/year. Still I don't like this much.
That said, Sony could have followed MS's lead and instituted drm & always online without much fear, and they didn't.

XBox Live required to play anything. At all. Ever. About the same cost as Sony's PS+.

The only thing MS has over Sony is timed exclusivity on the next COD, and their exclusive IP's (Halo for example). In every single other department, the PS4 is better. And Sony has their own exclusive IP's (Uncharted, for example).

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

I haven't seen a console so

I haven't seen a console so intent on self destruction since Sega's Dreamcast. If not for Windows, I'd predict the XBox 1 will have a 2 year lifespan before it gets dropped completely, by all developers and even Microsoft itself. As they have Windows to keep them afloat, I'm going to say you should expect a new XBox console within 5 years. Maybe as few as 3.

There is literally NO reason to buy an XBox 1. Even their exclusives are available on PC.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Sinphanius's picture

The Xbox is Dead

You know what's even better?  You know that DRM tech that Microsoft is using to disable used/traded games on Xbox One?  Sony Designed and Patented it. If Microsoft is using it, that means that they are licensing the tech or have bought the tech from Sony.

Sony sold Microsoft the Rope it is using to hang itself.

Well Played Sony, Well Played.

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...

Beyond Saving's picture

Sinphanius wrote:Well Played

Sinphanius wrote:

Well Played Sony, Well Played.

Lol, if it was an intentional ploy by Sony the shameless capitalist in me has to give them a tip of the hat. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson

Vastet's picture

Rofl. I'd completely

Rofl. I'd completely forgotten about that. Dunno why, it made headlines when it happened. This is freaking hilarious. I'd bet good money that Microsoft was CERTAIN Sony was going to use the technology, which would explain why they haven't budged. They figured they could get away with it because their only real competition was doing it. But then Sony decided not to, for whatever reason. Oh what I'd give to be the fly on the wall in the board meetings that led to this.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Sinphanius's picture

Good Timing considering the movie just came out

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...

Vastet's picture

So they aren't completely

So they aren't completely insane after all. Awesome.

With this change, Microsoft now has fixed a lot of the damage they've inflicted upon themselves. They're going to hurt a little at first, because bad news spreads much faster than good news, and their console still costs more than Sony's slightly more powerful console; but some of their exclusives and timed exclusives should even the playing field some.

Sony and Microsoft should have fairly equal sales figures for the first year. Neither console has an unbeatable advantage over the other anymore. It's back to the games, the way it should have bern in the first place.

Sony's biggest advantage now is their easy access to indie developers, which if Microsoft doesn't make some changes, will still result in a larger library. But I believe Microsoft will smarten up on that front too.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Vastet's picture

I love being right. Wii U

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Kapkao's picture

fix your first link, first

fix your first link, first

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)

Vastet's picture

Guess it was too long. Broke

Guess it was too long. Broke out the old html skills. Amazing the things you can remember even though you almost never use the memory.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.