Once the upcoming holiday season concludes, only one will lay claim to the title of victor come January.
You’ve heard a lot recently regarding insane deals, price cuts and special bundles that look to pull your attention to one side of the next-gen fence or the other. Sony has several interesting bundles worth a glance (one that nets you a brand spankin’ new copy of the remastered GTV V for free), while Microsoft is slashing this and couponing that. Hell, wait long enough and you might just be able to pick up an Xbox One for $10 by the time they’re done! Although, as appealing as saving a buck can be, there are others key things to consider.
Once the shopping rush has settled down, the fog of money will lift and consumers will be left to take a along hard look at their choices. After all, many gamers don’t have the luxury (or the desire) to own more than one system, so choosing just the right one can prove vital. This decision is going to impact the next seven or eight years of your gaming life, so it’s probably a good idea to think beyond just the financial side of the console, and dig a little deeper into the real value of the hardware. No I’m not talking about online features, peripherals or anything of that nature. As you know, the real bread and butter of any good system is its games line-up. Always has been, always will be. Of course gamers aren’t faced with the same tough decision as they once were in the days of say SNES vs. Genesis, as the practice of third-party exclusives has thankfully dropped significantly. Today you can usually get the same game on all platformers, and if not, it’s probably due to it being an in-house license like a Master Chief for example.
But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t important differences. Yes the core libraries are comparable, however, there’s no denying the appeal of certain key franchises. As of today, if I had to rank the next-gen from most-to-least desirable (based purely on gaming content), I’d probably have to set my old friend Microsoft right at the top (yes I just said that Sony fanboys). Xbox has carved out a nice little piece of real-estate on the green wall at GameStop since its launch. Titanfall may not be the most well reviewed game, but it’s certainly a mech-lovers delight. A new Gears of War is on the horizon, while Sunset Overdrive is a quirky and fun rail shooter that has a charm all its own. Speaking of shooters, one can’t overlook the drop of one of the most epic Halo releases ever, collecting the entire series under one roof (which also brings the iconic multiplayer of Halo 2 back to the forefront). At a close second comes not the PS4 as you might expect, but the Nintendo Wii U. Now I know that might seem like madness, but hey, the Wii U has some innovative gameplay you simply can’t get anywhere else. That fact can’t be ignored and goes a long way at the register (not to mention the influences of Mario, Zelda and other familiar faces).
So by default, I guess Team Sony slides into the number three spot. Man, I wish I could see your faces right now! We’ll don’t get too bent out of shape, as before I end I’m sure to reaffirm your belief I’m nothing but a Sony-shill. Yes the PlayStation has a nice handful of exclusives in its own right, but the truth is, game consoles aren’t just for games anymore. In this day and age, you do have to account for other x-factors like services, hardware, market strategy and more. In that regard, PS Plus, PlayStation Now and the Morpheus Project should be huge tipping points for smart consumers moving forward. Sony has a lock on innovation and base-expansion, no doubt about it.
So you see, the consequence of your shopping habits this Christmas echo beyond just December. You’re laying the foundation for the next several years, so consider all these things carefully when camping out on Black Friday.