So where do I stand on the forthcoming releases of the XBOX ONE and the PlayStation 4?
Over the last few days I have been studying both consoles, their good and bad points, their gimmicks and their capabilities. I have discovered over the last few years that I like using my XBOX 360 as more than just a gaming device … I enjoy watching Sky, Netflix, Youtube on it, and sometimes can go long stretches without even playing a game. So multimedia capability would be a benefit to me. Both consoles offer this, but Microsoft’s machine seems to deliver it in a more innovative package. Looking at both operating systems, the XBOX ONE has the inclusion of the Kinnect sensor, which enables the user to control the device not only with hand gestures but also your voice … something I have long thought was a bit silly – but watching videos of it in action … I am coming around to the idea. See the video below for a full detail of this and other functionality of the console:
In comparison, Sony’s machine is seemingly focused on the gamer, a good thing I am sure but not exactly forward thinking. It has much of the gimmicks as detailed in the video above, but with Sony’s Eye Toy camera sold separately, so therefore not something every user will have a go with – but this cuts down the price, making Sony’s machine £70 cheaper than it’s rival. They have also designed a nicer looking console, more futuristic and sexy than the black box of Microsoft’s machine. See more details on Sony’s machine below:
Both consoles have similar specifications of which I wont bore you with here, and both seem to like the idea of involving social media into your gaming, such as the ability to record and upload game footage. Sony’s integration of using its troubled Vita console as a second screen however seems pointless considering it’s never really been a massive hit. On launch, both systems will see several games released on it, including third party titles such as Assassins Creed 4, Battlefield 4 and Call Of Duty Ghosts … but for me it is the exclusives that will sell each system, what you can’t get on the other machine and vice versa. Some major highlights from day one include:
Sony PlayStation 4 Exclusives
Microsoft XBOX ONE Exclusives
Dead Rising 3
Forza Motorsport 5
Ryse: Son Of Rome
Both consoles also offer a wealth of arcade titles exclusive to each machine, but for me these aren’t a reason to jump to the next gen and offer nothing we can’t currently find on 360 or PS3, regardless of what both company’s are saying.
In the future, and not for a while yet I will be getting a next-gen console. Which one? I have been an XBOX fan-boy for a long time and always found much of PlayStation’s titles left me wanting … and I greatly prefer the controller on the 360. Sony’s new machine does offer up the much improved Dualshock 4, and sexier looks. But it will most likely come down to price, games I personally want to play … and just how well each machine is doing sales-wise. I am currently leaning towards the XBOX as you can probably tell, because I think it’s just a more fully-rounded experience – but I haven’t fully made my mind up at this stage. Over the comings months both systems will see big titles released that have just missed the launch window, such as the much anticipated Watchdogs and the next Metal Gear Solid, but early adopters I think will still have a fine piece of kit, whichever side of the fence they land on.
- PS4 and Xbox One ready for battle (bbc.co.uk)
- Altered landscape for Sony, Microsoft consoles (news.yahoo.com)
- Huge crowds as Sony PlayStation 4 launches in the US (telegraph.co.uk)
A small update from me. Not a great deal going on here, but I did pick up a new computer recently. I am currently getting my head around Windows 8. Now I have read (some) of the negative feedback of the Microsoft operating system, but honestly – I like it. It’s very stylish, so makes your computer look very nice and colourful. Also the start screen is pretty cool, even if I am using the standard desktop more – yes, old habits die hard. Yet I am enjoying finding my feet and just exploring – it’s actually fun not knowing the way things work straight away, and having to actually learn – it feels refreshing, and probably the boot up the ass Windows has needed for a long time.
Other than the above I have been playing two games, namely the acclaimed PlayStation 3 exclusive The Last Of Us, which is proving very impressive … and also the hotly anticipated Grand Theft Auto 5. This is easily proving the best in the long running series, with superb graphics and total fun gameplay, with the evolution of having three characters to swap between proving very well implemented and giving the series a deserved face lift – without losing any of it’s risqué image or attitude.
I have a few movies on the horizon also, including Iron Man 3 and Elijah Wood serial killer thriller / remake Maniac, so expect reviews soon.
How does one stand out in a crowded genre? With the first game in this acclaimed series, developer Monolith Studios successfully combined the gun blazing fun of Call Of Duty with the slow-motion cool of Max Payne then sprinkled on some eerie horror inspired by Japanese horror Ring. This winning formula spawned an equally successful sequel, but now with original developer Monolith jumping ship to make way for Day One Studios, can the same magic still remain intact?
On the surface the answer to that question is a resounding yes. I was at first worried due to this game’s complex ranking system and wealth of multi-player modes, meaning I expected the single-player campaign to be a brief and unfulfilling diversion. Thankfully the single-player is a fully fleshed out continuation of the story, with you as series hero Point Man breaking out of Prison with your undead serial killer brother Paxton Fettal. Now it has to be said, the plot of these games has never been the series’ strong point, and I admit to being totally clueless to what is going on. But none the less the action is solid, filled with some great atmosphere and decent level design taking you through shopping malls, suburban neighbourhoods and city streets to name but a few. The game feels a little more out in the open than the corridor based action of its brethren, but no less fun. Perhaps a change of developer means the gameplay is a touch less refined and at times b****** hard, but the weapons are fun and overall I’m enjoying it.
I haven’t explored the multiplayer modes, as I’m not a big fan of playing games online (normally because I get my ass handed to me), but the inclusion of being able to control your brother on a second play through and have the ability to possess other characters in the game, is very intriguing.
For now though, if you liked F.E.A.R. 1 & 2, this is a must.
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Launches F.e.a.r. 3 (1337spktme.wordpress.com)
- F.E.A.R. 3 (Review) (popmatters.com)
- F.E.A.R. 3 Review (godisageek.com)