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PS4 and Xbox One at E3 2013: The battle for next-gen supremacy

With Sony and Microsoft both revealing their next generation consoles and the biggest gaming event of the year starting next week, we take a look at the Sony PS4 at the Microsoft Xbox One consoles and share our opinions on the consoles and what the future may hold for next gen gaming.

Sony and Microsoft have now had their respective console reveals, with Sony going down the route of delivering lots in the way of specifications and details and showing its gaming power and Microsoft showing the console and its focus on social and entertainment.

Next-gen consoles

Sony, since the PS4 reveal in February, has been quietly meandering along in Microsoft’s wake and even making light jibes against its competitor.  Sony chose to focus on providing an overview of the technology behind the PS4 and the games that will be coming out at launch, although there won’t be any backwards compatibility with PS3 games nor will you be able to currently transfer PSN content,which is something Microsoft confirmed it would do with the Xbox One and Xbox LIVE at its launch..

Sony still haven’t shown the PS4 to the world. All we’ve had are blurry shots and zoomed images so we’re hoping they might cause a stir at E3 by bringing it out and allowing hands on time with the peripherals. We’d love to give more of an overview but frankly they’ve been pretty tight lipped since and we can but hope they’ll release more information soon.

Microsoft, on the other hand, caused a furore within the gaming community and still shows no sign of abating, especially after confirmation today of various features. Members of the gaming community have privacy concerns with Kinect 2.0 ‘always watching and listening for you’ but Microsoft has since come out and said that there will be various settings you can amend to allow you to use it the good old fashioned way, including use of the on/off button rather than saying ‘Xbox On’.

Ol’ beady eye

Second hand gaming is another big issue for gamers to consider; will we be able to buy and play second hand games? Sony hasn’t said much on the topic and when pressed, Microsoft has given an answer of sorts. Well, it looks like you will be able to but both companies are being somewhat ambiguous with their answers and no doubt there will be a fee to pay to somewhere along the line if you want long-term ownership of a pre-owned game.Wwhat will the cost be to the consumer and the retail industry? We aren’t lucky enough to have an answer to that yet. The Xbox One, much the same as the PS4, is also not backwards compatible and will have to be connected to the internet at least once every 24 hours which could be a deal breaker for some that still aren’t online – two points which raise the same question for early adopters:  Should gamers really be given this sort of obstacle in this day and age and who feels like they should have to play a single player game? One other point I’d like to make is that Microsoft went all out at their reveal to focus on TV connectivity and playback of content but how will it fit in outside of the US of A at launch? The focus was very much on US-centric sports, shows and services and I can’t help but wonder if it could end up being an unused feature for those with subscription TVs in the UK and Europe.

What kind of people would we be if we didn’t mention Nintendo? The Wii U has been out for some time now and it’s split opinion with iffy sales, but there’s a raft of exclusives coming up and maybe to help matters they should think about relaxing their exclusivity and launch software for Microsoft and Sony… think about it… Zelda and Mario on your favourite consoles!

Next-gen games

The main pull for gamers to stump up hard earned cash will be the games themselves. Sure, you’ll have the families that buy it based on the Kinect/Move based play alongs and the slew of entertainment gimmicks, but the majority of us are clamouring for the latest and greatest gaming titles and franchises.

Sony will be lining up their normal exclusives such as Gran Turismo, Driving Club, Final Fantasy, Killzone and Uncharted whilst Microsoft will no doubt go with Forza Motorsport, Halo, Gears of War and so on.

The list will also be endless for cross platform titles such as Call of Duty (looking at you Xbox One!), EA’s sports titles, Rockstar’s GTA V – although it’s uncertain if this will even appear on the next gen consoles now -, Ubisoft’s Watchdogs and Bungie’s Destiny, which will all live long as classics on the next-gen consoles but let’s face it; a lot of them are going to be released for the current gen consoles as well so there’s plenty of life left in them yet and maybe enough gaming hours to warrant waiting for the prices to drop.

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What is obvious now and has been in previous next generation console battles is that manufacturers play off of each other, with Sony taking the plunge first and Microsoft following suit a couple of months down the line. No doubt Sony will use the bad press against the One to garner more support from undecided consumers and they may well turn around and allow second hand game playback as we know and love, along with no online connectivity needed for offline gaming. Oh, by the way, do you really think EA did this out of the kindness of their hearts? I think not, as they’ll no doubt introduce an unlock fee for second hand games on the next-gen consoles.

It’s likely that everything will settle down in the coming months with many answers coming at E3 but I suspect many people will stick with their current consoles and see how things develop once the Xbox One and PS4 are released later this year.

E3 will be the game changer for most, so will Microsoft get people talking about the squared off box in a positive light and will Sony literally pull it out of the bag (the console that is) for us to gawp at? Let’s hope it’s good news all round!

Any thoughts on the upcoming console war? If so, leave your comments below!

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