Sunday 3 November 2013

Xbox One On Launch, Why Bother?

War is among us. We are so close to the next console war.   

With the WiiU already getting its feet in the market we have the PS4 and the Xbox One arriving after a mass of pre-orders. I'd heard that there were more pre-orders quicker for the Xbox One than for the PS4. Though at this point, so close to release, all pre-order options for both consoles are all drained up.

The Xbox One and the PS4 have very similar hardware yet the Xbox is a hundred dollars more than the PS4. This is probably because the Xbox One is a bundle with their new Kinect camera. This machine had a lot of controversy with what it can detect and the privacy it would invade. Since it's been reported that the machine could monitor even the player's heart rate, one would never really know what might end up in the 'Terms of Service Agreement' most people just click 'OK' on and move along.

Many people have complained that the original Kinect was a nuisance and for the most part didn't work effectively. The truth is that I'm unaware of how the second model will work, but it seems like it can't be anymore than a nuisance by forcing everyone to use that external device to operate the main console.

Another issue with this system is the same issue I have with anyone buying a game system the day it comes out. Or even worse pre-ordering one, which I think is a bad idea. For systems and games themselves. But I digress; it's putting money into a product you hope will grow in a favourable way. The investment makes sense, but what would make even more sense would be a chance to let the library of games the console supports grow. Doing that before saying the games to play are worth their 60 dollar price tags along with the 500 dollar flat fee shouldn't be too hard. Apparently no one can figure it out.

I admit I've paid a lot for all my consoles (except the newest addition to the family, my precious Dreamcast [40 dollars for a limited edition black model]) but to be fair I was quite a bit younger then. I haven't bought a console on launch since the PS3 came out. At that age I was nothing more than a youngling sprouting into my teenage years. The price of the games and console drop once the collection is actually worth having. Did I pay attention to that after I was done my collection focus for the PS2 and moving on to the PS3? No. Not at all.

Call of Duty: Ghosts is said to be only up-scaled to 1080p on the Xbox One while on the PS4 it should run on 1080p natively. With the same sort of hardware one would think they should preform the same but nope. Apparently neither will hold up to the standard that PC users have been a custom to for years.

The PS4 will provide such quality sometimes but the Xbox, not at all. Sure some games will be advertised as 1080p but they will most assuredly be up-scaled from 720p. Infinity Ward seems to be focusing on getting 60FPS for both consoles for a very smooth gaming experience. I had hoped for better frame rate on both consoles but if the quality is still that outdated for the XboxOne? Why bother.

Treyarch is certainly my preferred developer when it comes to CoD (Call of Duty) games but in reality I can't find much enjoyment out of the same game over and over. The Treyarch CoD games are always a bit more silly. They understand the wacky nonsense that the CoD fanbase is into and they play to that well with things such as the zombie mode which is loved by so many.

Infinity Ward is supposed to be working on a odd little alien version of the same idea with a hoard mode that makes you constantly shoot zombies, err, I mean aliens. Don't worry though it totally different. And that might be serious since this isn't Treyarch anymore, Infinity Ward is having a crack at this type of addition to their games. The Infinity Ward CoD games have always been about realism and forced emotional reactions instead of the sort of wack gameplay that CoD players talk about for years to come.

Treyarch is responsible for the WiiU version so I maybe most likely to play that of all of them. Though it is most likely the same redundant game that I've experienced a few dozen times at local multiplayer get-togethers for the last however many years.

Pardon my ramblings about CoD. This was a post about Xbox One. But my previous paragraph makes an important point. If I were to get any of the modern consoles it would probably be the WiiU. It has the biggest library and because I have a decent PC the only reason to get a console would be to play some local multiplayer and that's best offered for the WiiU. Games like Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Luigi's Ghost Mansion. All pretty one sided in terms of franchise, but the multiplayer aspects are great for all these games. Sure there are exclusives for each system but I can't think of any titles announced yet that would warrant getting a 500 dollar machine to play them on.

Ratchet & Clank has been one of my favourite franchises for a long time. I will be a little upset with not getting the next one but it certainly isn't coming out on the launch of the PS4. If I do end up getting a PS4, it might as well be used and later on. That's the beauty of used games, they have a purpose in a consumer friendly market.

If we so blindly pay for games and consoles before we have any knowledge about them (like what games are really supported or the quality of the game purchased) we don't really do a service to the developers who actually took the time to make quality games. Until that happens, until people take the time to be patient and discuss the games that exist, the value they each hold being appreciated fairly is as likely as playing Russian Roulette ending up with a pleasant ending.

Wait to see if there is a point in buying the system later. Of course all the games won't be available on the PC so the notion that PC is always a better choice may not apply to people who really want continuations of those certain series. I do ask that you ask yourself (if you're [like me] not loaded with money) if the games exclusive to Xbox are worth the money or if the thousands of games exclusive to PC are more worth it? I understand some games are just too tempting not to pay up for but I just think for a frugal mind that a PC offers quite a bit more. Especially when we are talking about the launch line up for a console. Buying consoles is fine, but some patience is usually best, especially if you want a bunch of good games to play through.

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