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  • Blog, Featured, Gaming, Industry - Written by on Friday, November 22, 2013 17:17 - 15 Comments

    Xbox One goes off with a bang … but will the PS4 launch eclipse it?


    blog if you were out and about in old Sydneytown last night, you could hardly have missed the fact that Microsoft was launching a new Xbox console. There was the huge party at Lunar Park, huge launch events at retailers like EBGames, fireworks displays and even a huge Xbox One logo plastered all over Centrepoint Tower. In short, marketing gone wild. According to Gizmodo (we recommend you click here for the full article), it was the biggest launch in Australian video games history:

    “No numbers have been released thus far but, according to Debra McGrath, EB Games National Brand, Event and Engagement Manager, the growth in the games industry ensured that last night’s midnight launches were the biggest ever.”

    From a certain point of view, the fact that this launch was so big makes a lot of sense. After all, the percentage of Australians who are gamers is only increasing as the first gaming generations grow older. I’m now 32 years of age, I own an Xbox 360, a PlayStation 3, a Wii and a high-end gaming PC, and I’ve been gaming for 20 years. Of course a new console launch is going to attract a lot of attention and sales, and the Xbox 360′s successor is no small deal.

    On the other hand, polls have consistently shown Australians are much more excited about the PlayStation 4 than the Xbox 360. You have to wonder how much of last night’s hype was just that — hype — and how much represented actual buying intention on the part of the Australian public. Personally I’m much more excited by the PS4 than the Xbox One. It doesn’t hurt that much of the Xbox One’s much-vaunted TV functionality was neutered for Australia (see an update on that here) and that the PS4 is a tad cheaper.

    Which console launch are you most excited about, and why? Am I right that the PlayStation 4 has most of the momentum at this point? Or is underdog Microsoft making a comeback with the Xbox One?

    Image credit: Microsoft

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    1. Posted 22/11/2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink |

      To tell you the truth neither impresses me at the moment. Yes they are both ‘next-gen” with great graphics (on a par with PC’s at the moment) but realistically the games that are available are also currently available mostly on the older gen consoles as well.
      Case in point is Assassins Creed 4… The game play is EXACTLY the same on next/old gen consoles only the graphics have changed and slightly at that.

      Both newer consoles cannot play movies from external devices, the PS4 cannot play mp3′s even (WTF!!!!!) and with the Australian current Broadband situation the downloading of 12 to 36goigabyte digital downloads (even bigger soon) is an exercise in futility for most customers [buy the physical copy or don't bother]

      The only two games I would of bought the next gen straight away for is Watch Dogs and Battlefield 4. Watch Dogs got stopped and is being released next year sometime now, and Battlefield 4 though 64players and 60fps (on par with what PC always has been) has MAJOR problems. So I’ll wait for at least 6 months to purchase one for personal usage whislt still keeping the PS3 at home as a personal media device playing GTA5, Last of US, BF3 (and 4) , AC4 (Awesome pirates) and awaiting Metal Gear Solid 5.

      Oh and for all those Xbone or Sony Fanboys the new consoles are so similar technically its not funny, and my recommendation for anyone who wants to buy a next gen is firstly wait a while.. and secondly purchase what your friends have.

      • Posted 22/11/2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink |

        Oh and Renai, if you have pre-ordered a PS4 do yourself a HUGE favour and purchase a 1T or bigger hard drive to instantly swap out the 500GB with.

        Oh and unless you have a camera DO NOT watch “The Playroom” Demo with kids in the room, or anyone who goes Awwwww at cute aliens inside a PS4 controller [The Playroom comes included with the PS4 but needs the Camera to actually function]

        • Posted 22/11/2013 at 11:11 pm | Permalink |

          I haven’t bought a PS4 yet — I only recently bought a PS3 and still playing through the PS3 game library!! I was an early Xbox 360 owner (due to Gears of War etc), so have mainly played through the Xbox stuff. Just finished Infamous 2 tonight, for example. I think it cost me $20 ;)

          I will wait to buy a PS4 (or Xbox One) until there is a game I need to play on it.

      • Harimau
        Posted 22/11/2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink |

        “firstly wait a while.. and secondly purchase what your friends have.”

        Best advice there is. I don’t think any of my friends will be getting the Xbox One though. Even so, PS4 is only a “maybe”, because personally I’m an elitist PC gaming snob. Actually, I’m more likely to buy a second-hand PS3 to play some of the Sony/Console-only titles from the PS2/PS3 generations (assuming I find a model with backwards compatibility).

        • Simon Reidy
          Posted 24/11/2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink |

          personally I’m an elitist PC gaming snob

          haha, likewise. If I end up with a console of any sort it will probably be some kind of SteamBox, but even that’s unlikely until Linux game development is in any way close to Steam’s massive game catalogue on Windows.

          That’s not to say that I’m unimpressed by the PS4 and XBox One. Both consoles have obvious strengths and weaknesses, but until there are some better games available, there’s nothing much to tempt me away from my PC.

        • Non Puto
          Posted 25/11/2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

          “because personally I’m an elitist PC gaming snob.”

          If’s it not good enough for a PC it’s not worth playing.

          Why buy a hobbled PC that has graphics less than what is possible on PC today, that cannot be upgraded and will persist for the next 5-10 years?

          I remember playing Atari, and NES?Super NES so i’m a bit long int he gaming tooth and remember the issues with playing games on DOS et all, but since then the PC architecture has leapfrogged consoles and the only thing that they have in their favour is screen size, but who wants to play multiplayer with a split screen?

          • Harimau
            Posted 25/11/2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink |

            Well I disagree on one thing only: Multiplayer.

            The *only* advantage that consoles have over a PC (with a mouse, keyboard, and USB controller), other than Exclusives, is shared-physical-space gaming, whether that’s party games, co-operative games, competitive multiplayer split-screen, whatever.

            A bigger screen is not really an advantage that a console has. You could just as well set up your PC and link it to your big fat 60″ TV, and lay on the couch playing games with your USB controller, and of course it would be vastly superior to the console experience. The Steam Machine hopes to be just that: a set of standardised PCs with a controller hooked up to your TV.

            But with PC games you still can’t play with your family or friends in the same room on the same screen. Having said that, as I wrote in a comment below, I think that this one advantage that consoles have over PCs is one that they have slowly given up, and hopefully with the advent of the Steam Machine we will get PC games that do have shared-physical-space gaming, to completely defeat the console as we know it. Maybe Nintendo will hang on, as they have developed a niche and a lot of loyal followers of their franchises.

            But my ardent wish is the death of the Exclusive.

    2. Spud
      Posted 22/11/2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink |

      Meh. After making the switch to consoles with the PS2 and original Xbox – and then subsequently the Wii, 360 and PS3 – three months ago I went and bought myself a gaming PC, wireless mouse& keyboard and hooked it up to my TV. With the odd exception they all play fine from the sofa and give me free reign to play games purchased wherever they’re cheapest (plus a massive back catalogue of old favourites), play my music in whatever format I chose, and watch whatever I want from wherever I want. Why willingly lock yourself into a DRM-riddled ecosystem with built-in geo-blocking and zero upgradeability?

      My only complaint? My list of unplayed games is now so large it’s actually depressing. :-)

    3. Harimau
      Posted 22/11/2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink |

      Sony’s easily won the first battle of this new generation of consoles, simply due to the debacle that was the Xbox One announcement. Where in the world is Xbox a big thing? Not here in Australia, really. But then we’re a tiny market anyway. Certainly not in the Japanese market (due to the subscription fees of Xbox Live and no subscription fees for PSN – although that has since levelled, it should be noted). Does it have stronger market share in the US? Europe? I doubt it’s stronger anywhere in Asia. Sony probably has more exclusives, and more popular exclusives.

      But honestly I don’t game that much anymore, and where I do game is usually with a keyboard and mouse, in the privacy of my room rather than the shared space (with shared TV) that is the lounge.

      Which brings me to something else. There are very few quality group or lounge or party games lately. It’s the only area that PC gaming simply does not succeed: cooperative or competitive gaming in a shared physical space. PC gaming is superior in every other respect (assuming you have a mouse and keyboard, as well as a USB gamepad). And yet, console gaming has largely, I think, let that strength go. Anything you can do with a console, you can do better with a PC.

      Personally I’m looking forward to trying the Steam Controller, and probably building my own Steam Machine (well, a media centre PC with SteamOS). I hope the Steam Machine more generally is a success, if only to shake up the console wars.

    4. neilmc
      Posted 23/11/2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink |

      The 360 and PS3 had a real wow factor when they launched. The One and PS4 look OK, but I’m in no rush as they seem to have caught up with my desktop PC. My current thing is racing sims. Can either of the new consoles support 3 displays for wrap around peripheral vision experience of current racing sims? If not, I could care less…. :)

    5. Hubi
      Posted 24/11/2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink |

      When a well known Sony PS fanboi admits the Xbox One is the better console then you have your answer


      • Stephen
        Posted 25/11/2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink |

        Opposites day where you live then? Kyle has been long known as an Xbox fan, he’s been hugely taken to task for the unjustifiable bias shown in his recent anti-PS4 articles.

        Weird that you’d try and position black as white.

        Personally I think the PS4 is going to be far more dominant with the lower price and highly superior spec but I won’t be rushing out to buy one. Probably wait until the first price drop before I change generations. And wait for the DLNA/MP3,AAC,etc functionality to be incorporated. I shan’t get a PS4 without that.

    6. Rory
      Posted 25/11/2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink |

      PC Master race reporting in :)
      Hard to say which one I would get, since I own both the original and xbox 360 I’m used to that controller, but that was before I got my PC. The only thing I’ve used my xbox for recently is guitar hero and GTA5. They would need to come out with the amazing exclusives for me to buy either

    7. PeterA
      Posted 25/11/2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink |

      I’m getting a PS4, because you don’t have to pay to use its internet features (iView, netflix or whatever).

      You DO have to pay to play online games; but everything else isn’t locked behind a PSN subscription.

      Also; I hear a few Free to play Sony MMO’s are going to launch on PS4 next year, which is a very interesting concept to me.

      Games wise, the xbox has a better launch lineup IMO, – Played some DR3 on my friends Xbone and enjoyed it, played some Forza 5 and enjoyed it. DR3 looked much better, forza just looked 1080 (the previous entries were already pretty good looking games).

      The PS4 actual game library isn’t super exciting me; with AC4 being quite possibly the only thing I *might* get (teetering on PC purchase).

      I love the controller for ps4, the headphone socket is genius (or should I say braindead obvious non-cashin), and bluetooth means PC and android compatibility (if not at launch in future), and thus has some excellent alternative uses.

      But; if I were advising a gamer? Unless they really want to play Dead Rising 3 or Forza 5, or Resogun and.. err. ? I would say wait.

      • Harimau
        Posted 25/11/2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink |

        Hang on a second. Free to play Sony MMO’s on PS4 – but you need a PSN subscription to play games online…

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