The Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3 as it’s commonly known) started off today with major announcements and game reveals from both Sony and Microsoft regarding their latest hardware. With the advent of the next generation of consoles, here’s a quick list of the strengths and weaknesses of both systems in their debut today.
[EDIT: Sony released further spec and camera details late after their conference. This article has been updated to reflect those newly revealed additions]
Xbox One – $499
Specs: 500 GB hard drive, 8GB RAM, 8-core x86 processor, HDMI, blu-ray player, and Kinect included.
Release date: Sometime in November.
Subscription needed: Yes. Xbox Live Gold will still be needed to access streaming apps, multiplayer, and store exclusives.
Noted exclusive games: Minecraft, Quantam Break, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Motorsport 5.
Xbox One got off to a slow start after the PS4 was announced, but has since shown off its console and debuted a slew of incoming games for the console in this upcoming year. At its initial debut in May, the company showed the consoles’ focus on cable TV integration, easily suspended/resumed applications and games, furthered Kinect integration, and partnerships with the NFL, NBA, and other sports associations for season-long programming.
At E3 Microsoft redirected its focus to games as it showed off games such as TitanFall (a third-person mech shooter), Ryse: Son of Rome, Battlefield 4 and Dead Rising 3. The games were mostly trailers than gameplay, but what was shown wasn’t enough to impress the crowds in attendance.
The positives were the company’s changeover from the use of Microsoft points, to real currency, as well as the fact that current Xbox Live Gold subscriptions could be carried over to the Xbox One so there would be no need to re-buy immediately. Microsoft is also rewarding current Gold members with two select free games per month until the new system launches.
Where the Xbox One has struggled is where it stands on used games and the need for internet connections. According to Microsoft, games bought on disc will be downloaded and installed to the Xbox One drive, where anyone can play on that particular console. Games can be gifted digitally to only one other person and said person MUST be on your friends list for at least 30 days before you can give the game to them. As far as disc-based games, the option for third-party publishers to charge a transfer or license resale fee is still available and at their discretion, so the actual price of buying a used game is unknown as of yet.
Oh, and renting games won’t be available at launch either.
Alongside that, the Xbox One requires an internet connection once every 24 hours for the purpose of updating the console. If a user attempts to game offline for longer than 24 hours, they would be effectively locked out of their games until they reconnected to the internet. This applies to all games, single and multiplayer alike.
Playstation 4 – $399
Specs: 500 GB hard drive, 8GB RAM, 8-core x86 processor, HDMI, and blu-ray player.
Release date: Sometime in the 2013 holiday season.
Subscription needed: Yes, Playstation Plus is needed for access to multiplayer in games only.
Noted exclusive games: inFamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Order: 1886.
The Playstation 4 was triggering its guns early this year with their controller reveal and game teasers. At E3 the company revealed the actual console, price, release window, games, and a look into the furthered role of the Playstation Plus service.
Sony showed off PS4 games such as Bungie’s (the makers of Halo) first-person-shooter Destiny, Final Fantasy Versus XIII (with actual gameplay), and trailers for other upcoming titles such as Kingdom Hearts III and DriveClub. Also shown was a slew of indie games such as Octodad, Don’t Starve, Outlast, and Secret Ponchos, which would be featured on the console in its launch year.
The company made a point to delve into its online services, highlighting that there would be no restrictions or fees to the resale or lending (and presumably, renting) of used games.
On the flip side, Sony very sneakily commented that a Playstation Plus subscription would be needed to access multiplayer features of a game. However, the PS4 itself does not require an internet connection to play media, and the Plus subscription would not be needed to play single player campaigns or access online movie and music services (such as Netflix or Crackle).
While it appears Sony has landed a winning punch, it is important to highlight that the company will be selling an additional system camera for $59. While it doesn’t appear that this camera is necessary for game play, it could make the $399 price inflate if you wanted to get the full PS4 experience.
Both systems are in fairly close running as far as specs are concerned, but the biggest divides lie with subscription services, used game policies, and launch lineups. With all this in mind, which console will you buy? Let us know in the comments below!