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Impressions of the Consoles of E3: Or, A Year of Living Safely

June 16, 2013

The One Ring T-Shirt

Much of what might be a “Next Generation” hardware discussion has already been done in our Games thread. It was actually a discussion that I wanted to avoid because it so easily degenerates into a fanboy yelling match. We don’t do much of that here, but it was still something I didn’t want to risk. On the other hand, one of the great things about discussing issues is that it forces a person to examine their arguments and motives for taking a particular stance on something. Mine all became crystal clear to me over the course of the past 3 weeks and I have summarized them at the bottom of this post. They are there for those who haven’t read them, and so that those who have, don’t have to read them again.

Just last week, Penny arcade, with whom I have almost always been in complete agreement since their Halo “review” in 2001, blasted MS and the Xbox One in their comic and blog. Also, it would appear that developers for “Indies” like DayZ, not just Indies like Awesomenauts or FEZ, are apparently considering the PS4 but not the One as a platform on which to hawk their wares.

I know that Zos and Grymmie have already pre-ordered their Xbox One. For the rest of us, however, the next gen hardware purchase (and preceding decision) is not just months, but perhaps even over a year away. This means that we get a chance to sit back and watch the companies follow-through on, or break, their promises, and then finally purchase when there is a game we just have to have (e.g., The Division – which, by the way will not scratch the itch for DayZ as the PvP happens only in the Dark Zones).

So, I am taking a step back.

Currently, the party chat system, the controller, and the UI are much better on the 360 than on the PS3, and those are reasons I would want to stick with Microsoft. Yet, while I don’t trust Sony, a year after launch these three concerns will either be addressed, or they won’t. I won’t have to trust that Sony will deliver on these issues, or worse, that they will at some time in the future turn 180 degrees on policies they have established (as they did with their Linux support for the PS3).

While basically all the things for which people say the PS4 is beating the Bone are irrelevant to me, Kinect, pricing, and region locking are not. Region locking has become an even greater barrier for me now than it was a couple of years ago. I can no longer transfer points to my secondary accounts, and things like the Gears 1 maps and the free Fable 3 during E3 are completely locked out, even from the website work around. Furthermore, there is every indication that MS will increase the intensity of the region blocking and it may very well be that I can’t even play The Division on the Xbox One with y’all anyway. I mean, let’s be just speak frankly here. If it weren’t for the things that Microsoft is doing well (like Party Chat etc.), there would be no denying that they stand in direct opposition to everything that is free and not evil. This past month they made public policies that just three years ago would have had them laughed and scorned out of E3 with flying tomatoes and eggs pelting them in the back as they ran away. Without the soft and shiny fur coat of Party Chat and a comfortable controller, Microsoft is frickin’ Sauron, Blofled, Cruella De Vil.

I am not saying Sony is any better, but I am going to take a step back and watch these two fight it out a bit before I choose sides.

As an aside, one of the ironies is that the publishers have been bitching and moaning for YEARS about used games, and now when MS decides to do everything in their Sauron-ic power to eliminate used games sales, the publishers speak out against them! (via same PA blog post) LMAO

My criteria for the next hardware purchase:

I need to play sitting in comfort with a comfortable controller, have instant, seamless, effortless voice access to my gang of friends regardless of what I or they are playing, and have access to the games I want to play, (regardless of how awesome any other given platform’s library might be).

  1. June 17, 2013 12:47 am

    rED, I am curious, what games are coming to the Xbox One that aren’t to the PS4?

  2. June 17, 2013 1:41 am

    Good write up. Well put. And in my arguments, Ill reiterate what I said, I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. I heart you guys. But I think MS’s policies are harmful to consumers and simply out of greed. They have to establish a lot of credibility (which they simply don’t have) in my mind to show that this path, is in fact, beneficial to gamers.

  3. June 18, 2013 8:18 am

    The one policy from MS that I really don’t like is “The renting and loaning of games won’t be avaliable at launch”… So what about my online rental plan? I rent nearly all my games first then ift I like that particular game I’ll buy it from the rental site for a lower price.
    Me i’m just gonna sit back till sometime next year, weigh in games and features and ONLY then I’ll choose (morethan likely be both). Most of the games I’m waiting for will be avalible for both the 360 and PS4 which I both own.

  4. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    June 18, 2013 5:43 pm

    If the gameplay is the same and it’s essentially a graphical upgrade with some side features I would happily wait for a year or two until the true next generation of games arrives.

    and then I can decide with facts which is the best purchase for me.

    The best thing about this time around as opposed to 2005, is that there will be plenty of coverage, plenty of websites dissecting and analyzing those facts. It will not take long to find deal breakers on each console, as well as the true value of each.

    Plus I highly doubt that if they do sellout, they will take long to replenish, so there should be plenty of chances after fall to buy one if they do indeed become the ultimate gaming machines.

    $500 = 8 “day 1″priced games.

    That’s pretty much being able to buy all the games I am interested in that will be available for the 360 next year.

  5. June 19, 2013 9:22 am

    Interesting… maybe Microsoft will follow?

    • rEDChief55 permalink*
      June 19, 2013 1:35 pm

      Pretty sure they already have. I’m curious as to how one can manage 10 people to NOT play the same game at the same time. Will they allow 2 simultaneous plays? Or will they just send a message like steam that says GTFO

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