No matter where you live in the world, you’ve probably heard of the next generation of video game consoles—the WiiU, the PS4, and the Xbox One. Now that E3 is over there’s a mess of information on these consoles, so let’s sort through it one by one.
Let’s start with the one that’s actually out, the WiiU. I critiqued the WiiU in an earlier blog (bitterly), they tend to release new consoles with only enough games to keep a toddler busy for five minutes. Two years later, though, the WiiU’s game list is massive—Pikmin 3, Wind Waker HD, Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros. 4, and so much (much!) more. Nintendo has always been like this, what they lack in 3rd party they make up for in 1st party.
So let’s talk about the two big competitors: the PS4 and the Xbox One. First, Sony announced the PS4. Everyone was mostly happy about it. It plays games like the PS3 before it, but now it’s more powerful. It’s even Indie-friendly. Not much controversy there.
But then…Microsoft announced the Xbox One. And that’s when it hit the fan. We were all waiting for this incredible game list, but all we heard was blah, blah, blah about TV. (You can watch TV on the Xbox One. Whoo-hoo.)
Another reason gamers hate Microsoft right now is because of all these used games shenanigans. First they said used games wouldn’t work at all on the Xbox One. Then they said your used games will work if you’re willing to pay a “fee.” (Five dollars? Your firstborn?) But having succumbed to the mountain of backlash, they now say the Xbox One will play your used games just like the previous consoles did. (But do we believe them?)
If that isn’t bad enough, Microsoft was initially planning to spy on our game use by making sure we were always online. Paranoid about hackers, Microsoft had this grand plan to force gamers to only play online. But what about people who don’t have a stable internet connection or internet at all? Well, then Microsoft said they would only check every 12 hours to see if you’re online. (See previous question.) Then Microsoft finally surrendered, amid a flurry of internet rage. “We’re sorry. Just buy our console. We don’t want to go bankrupt.” (But again, do we really believe them?)
(Personally, I’m a bit torn about the whole thing. On one hand, used games is, in some ways, the heart and soul of the gaming community. We share, we gift, we trade, we “borrow.” On the other hand, I can understand the economics. They aren’t making any money on used games.)
In short, Nintendo is finally starting to get their act together with the WiiU. Microsoft has no idea what to do with the Xbox One. And Sony is doing great like it always has. I’m sure the debates will continue. What are your thoughts? Post your comments here, or join me, live, June 28th at 6pm, during my 24-hour stream: twitch.tv/fireboy116