Is the Xbox One better than PS4?
After Microsoft's rough and questionable release of the Xbox One, many gamers turned their back on the hardware giant in favor of the Sony PS4. Bad PR, insane DRM policies and slightly worse hardware than the competition made the Xbox One's debut a mediocre event.
I was one of many who decided not to purchase the Xbox One straight away and decided to get my hands on the PS4. It wasn't until just 3 months ago that I picked up the Xbox One, and I am sorry I didn't do it sooner.
So, what makes the Xbox One my current gen console of choice? Well, there are a few reasons actually.
EA Access and Game Pricing
The first reason that comes to mind is game pricing. I can not afford to buy AAA titles every other week. Microsoft and EA partnered up to deliver EA Access. EA Access allows me to pay £20 a year to "rent" games. This means I have 5 games (with the promise of more to come) for a yearly fee of just £20. These games include Battlefield, Fifa 14 and Madden 25. The same 5 games would have cost over £150 to buy outright on the PS4.
Sony said they turned down the offer of EA Access on the PS4 as they felt it did not give value to their customer. I really don't understand how this can be justified. Having the choice would have been nice.
Updates that matter
Microsoft have set up a website where consumers can add their own suggestions on how to make the Xbox One better. Every month, Microsoft implement these changes based on feedback gained from the website. So far, the console has been updated to include external hard drive support, easier "snap" features (which allow multiple apps to run on the screen during gameplay), DLNA support and added video codecs to allow a wide range of multimedia to be played on the console.
Meanwhile, my PS4 has been getting nothing but security updates. The next PS4 update promises a YouTube app, something which has been on my Xbox One since day one. I must say though, that apps like this should not sway a gamer to choose a console. Like EA Access though, the choice is there to do a lot more with your console.
Apps and features for all the family
Like I previously mentioned, a gamer should not choose their console based on apps and features. However, a father like myself is more welcoming of these distractions. Netflix, Amazon Video and other streaming apps allow my children to watch all sorts of cartoons. Family movies are also widely available in the form of subscription services (such as netflix) or I can simply stream a movie from my laptop straight to the Xbox One using a wireless connection.
Which console do you prefer?
It can be argued that Xbox One has the best exclusives (although this comes down to personal preference). While the PS4 has Uncharted and Bloodborne to look forward to, the Xbox One has Halo : The Master Chief Collection.
The Master Chief Collection looks like it will be the ultimate fan service remaster, featuring all the maps from past Halo games along with some cool new features. Being a Halo fan, I can not wait for this game.
Other Xbox One exclusives I am looking forward to are Gears of War, Quantum Break and Sunset Overdrive.
Again, exclusives come down to personal preference. There is also an argument to be made that Nintendo's Wii-U has the better exclusives (such as Smash Brothers Brawl and Mario Kart 8).
Xbox Live provides a quality online gaming service on dedicated servers. What's more, Microsoft have been one step ahead with their online services with experience in delivering the product. Basically, you can play online without the fear of being kicked off the game due to server issues. Recently PSN has had some problems, but I fully expect PSN to improve as time goes on.
Announced at E3 and beginning in July 2013, Xbox Live Gold subscribers began receiving a complimentary game twice a month. In June 2014, the program expanded to Xbox One, with Halo : Spartan Assault and Max : Curse of Brotherhood as its first games. The program on Xbox One is different from Xbox 360: instead of being able to get two games per month to download and keep, games are added to a non-revolving library of games to play as long as the player retains his or her Xbox Live Gold subscription.
Console wars are funny things, we have our preferences and we tend to defend our preferences. What is important though is you playing what you enjoy. There are games on the PS4 and Wii-U that have caught my attention and I will be rushing out to buy these games as soon as possible (and as soon as my wallet allows me to). For now, I am happy with Xbox One.
Resolutions, Frame rates and hardware interest some people more than actual gameplay. While the PS4 will remain the king of power in this generation, the Xbox One will be getting more use in my home. The features, affordability and the promise of updates that matter is what keeps me coming back for more.