And so we’ve finally seen it. The Xbox reveal of its new console going by the Xbox One and Sony’s new Playstation 4. So what are my personal thoughts on each of them? I’ll let you know, but I don’t want to just give you the “main event” of each reveal. I also think its important to weigh down the factors going into them before we jump right in. As people say “You should always make a good first impression” so i think its crucial to also be aware of the feedback before the reveals even happen. Let’s look at the issues surrounding the next-gen consoles before they were officially unveiled. You can see a lot of differences and future expectancy of this sort of thing when you pay attention to it’s beginning. Again though let me stress that this is NOT a review of the systems only of their reveals.
Before the Playstation Reveal:
-News for the Playstation 4 were quite positive. When rumors started of the upcoming reveal most people were excited about it. I think there may had been one rumor about it having to always be online but that rumor was later shut down at the reveal when Sony announced that the Playstation 4 would still be using the disc format. Why was the initial response so positive up into the reveal? Well a big part of it was, quite honestly, that Sony executives werent looking to change their formula, if only make it stronger by laying down a more dedicated game space. Sony people werent going out to tell people that their console may be changing to accomodate a larger market of people. Why? Because Sony never considered changing its fundamental ground in the first place. Thus when Sony execs did say something about the Playstation 4, although little it was, news about it was always positive, swaying the opinions of the masses into thinking that the Playstation 4 was going to be a great next-gen console.
Before the Xbox Reveal
-There was a lot of controversy surrounding its reveal. And when I mean a lot, I mean A LOT. There were rumors shooting left and right over to whether the Xbox will still play discs, If it had to always be online (cutting off a good deal of people who don’t have internet), whether it could play used games, etc. etc. A few of these rumors were from sources from Microsoft itself! So naturally when people heard these rumors going into the Xbox reveal was something of a mixed response. I was one of them. And with all these speculations going on Microsoft remained entirely silent, further adding anxiety to the rumors truthfulness. I wanted to give Microsoft a chance but I have to admit I was a little nervous with all the issues going on around it, and seeing the way it was going with the abysmal E3 conference last year I wondered, Could Microsoft shift its way back into my heart? Into the heart of gaming?
The Playstation 4 Reveal:
Well let’s start with the Playstation reveal since it revealed first back in February. When we got emails and videos from Sony teasing us “the future of gaming” we all knew what it was about. I had however initiated doubt over whether it was the PS4 they were going to be unveiling because of a past interview dealing with Sony saying that they were going to let Microsoft make the first move. However, I was quite overjoyed to see the Playstation 4(though not physically) when it was unveiled. And what did I think of it. It was pretty good. It is quite clear that Sony is a gamer’s console. Sony presented us great strides in order to get in touch with an array of developers in making the PS4 the best console to date. Â Also with options such as sharing and uploading your gameplay to the web it made the gaming community of the Playstation that much more concrete. The reveal started off very well, giving us a detailed account of just what the power was behind the new console and what made it great. Added in with a decent amount of game footage from upcoming exclusive titles and the presentation was set. The game footage I actually was not expecting to see but it was good to see it nonetheless. Although, the games presented really didn’t WOW me though. But I’ll get to that point later. Nevertheless, I believe Sony got the mark down right.
The Xbox One Reveal:
So it was on. We had received word that Microsoft was to be revealing their next console and I became one of the millions who watched it in anticipation of what Microsoft had in store for its new Xbox. So what was the verdict? I think it’s already established by many people that the reveal was not so good. I would in no way say it was horrible but it certainly didn’t change my thoughts from last years E3 conference. It started with a reveal of the console which was nice to see (though design wise it didn’t really impress me. Kind of looked like a bulky Blu-Ray player). But you know all those rumors i had written earlier about it? None of those were answered during the conference! It’s as though Microsoft just decided to ignore all the speculation, all the rumors that had been building up for months, and straight up not answer them! Granted though, these rumors were answered later after the conference to which most of them were true to a certain extent: You can play games offline BUT you the system requires an online connection once a day, You can play games on discs BUT if you want to share games with your friends you can’t play them on his/her console unless you are signed into their Xbox One. These things well, they kind of grind my gears. Besides the reveal of switching seamlessly between TV and game though, it was very much a repeat of last years E3. Sports, more sports, a little Halo (though not an actual game), More sports (go figure) and Call of Duty. Overall I was very unimpressed by the decisions Microsoft made for its next console. The presentation was also severely lacking in the games department (outside of sports). 15 new exclusive titles to be released before the end of the year and only one shown…? For shame Microsoft, for shame.
The conclusion will have to wait for Xbox One vs Playstation 4 but the reveal does not. Both systems look nice but they’re not anything really shocking. A few friends of mine were hoping for something a bit more futuristic. Like a prequel to virtual reality(like an enhanced version of Kinect) and though Kinect 2.0 is very real it hasn’t shown that it can do anything more just yet from the original. In terms of revealing their consoles Sony was the evident winner at least for those who own a gaming console, i dunno, to play games. Sony made it clear during its reveal what it was and what it was going to be doing. The Xbox One’s reveal however was all over the place. Its clear that what Microsoft is trying to do is be that one thing for everything. This in all, isn’t really a bad thing but it becomes bad when you alienate your market from the thing it held on to before Xbox wanted to be the internet, cable, and videogame system. The trouble with Microsoft’s new system is its balance. Based on the presentation given, there doesn’t really seem to be any with much attention being given to television and music, versus actual games which it was known for when the original Xbox was revealed. Note though, that things may very well change in the next few weeks. We probably will see more exclusive titles for the Xbox One and hopefully this presentation at E3 will be more gamer based. I’m not going to rule Microsoft out just yet, but if I have to see Usher gliding across my screen for a second time…I’m through.