Wednesday, June 12, 2013

For Love or Consoles

Like everyone else who cares about console gaming, I've been following the news from E3 about the Xbox One and the PS4 with great interest, and a lot of schadenfreude. And it is my responsibility (or some junk) to appraise you, the gaming public (or my tiny fraction thereof) of my thoughts.

The short version: I won't be buying an Xbox One; I will be buying a PS4.

The whys are pretty straightforward: the xbox 360 was a fair success, and I have a lot of money sunk into those games-- both from the xbox store, and in disc form. If they're not supporting that anymore, and all that money becomes so much vapor in the face of the new console? I have no reason to go for the new console. It is likely that anything new I want to play that they could offer will have a Steam version, or a PS4 version, and the listed exclusive games so far? I only kind of care about Project Spark, and if Little Big Planet wasn't enough to get me to buy a PS3, I doubt the same will be true in reverse here. Also, the always-on internet brings up shades of EA and Origins, which rubs me eternally the wrong way. Being published by EA is kind of a strike against any game, to me, unless it's name is "The Sims".

On the other side, the PS4's announcement that they'll still support disc play where you can resell/share said discs with whomever you want is a big moral victory for them. On top of that, the $399 price tag undercuts Xbox One's $499 price tag, although it's still stupid high.

On the tippy top of that, there's the fact that, as I indicated above, I don't have a PS3, and so have no investment in their previous catalogue of games. So for those for whom that's a concern... well, fair enough. They do seem to be invested in making their game backlog available digitally, though it would annoy me to have to re-pay for everything in a format that's going to eat HD space.

Anyway, it amuses me (and I think this was the case in the last console generation switch), that Sony is kind of in a better position precisely because the PS3 was dominated by the Xbox 360. I've already held onto my PS2 this long; it's no skin off me to keep it, and it's not worth enough to trade in anyway. Also, I'm kind of hoping that Microsoft's shitty, uncool business practices and limitations will prove it's monetary downfall in this cycle, that the initial launch of the Xbox One will be a failure (and anything running on a full server model always has the best launch evar amirite?), and they'll have to revamp their strategy based on what folks actually want.

In the meantime, I am still waiting for my damn Ouya to arrive.

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