Xbox One is About to Win the Console War
What System Did You Buy First?
In the Beginning
When the new consoles first came out it was very obvious that Sony's PS4 was going to take a huge lead over Microsoft's Xbox One. The price of Sony's PS4 was $399 while Microsoft's Xbox One was $499. The Xbox One came with a device called the Kinect. The Kinect was a sensor that could detect your voice and movements. With the Kinect you could play a handful of motion detection games like Kinect Sports Rivals, Shape Up, Just Dance, and Fighter Within. The problem is none of these games are particularly great and it is just not worth an extra $100 to be able to talk to your game console. I bought the console with the Kinect and I have the thing unplugged because of the auto recognize and voice features. Most consumers saw the $100 cheaper system and decided with their wallets which console they were going to buy. The PS4 was also said to be graphically superior to the Xbox One in side by side comparisons done on various game sites like IGN and GameSpot. All this and the PS4 was winning by a landslide. According to Extreme Tech the PS4 sold 4.2 million consoles in 2013 while the Xbox One sold 3 million consoles. When you take into consideration that the PS4 is selling games for 1.2 million more consoles then the Xbox One that is a huge number. Eventually they started selling the Xbox One without the Kinect for $399, but unfortunately for Microsoft the damage had already been done.
So Microsoft announces that they will be releasing Windows 10 and it will be available for free for any one with Windows 7 and up. To people who only play console games this wouldn't matter and they may not even care, but Microsoft had a blockbuster announcement. You would be able to stream your Xbox One to your computer using Windows 10 and be able to use your Xbox one controller to play as well. They also announced on some games you would be able to play online with PC and Xbox One together. In my house the TV goes through my Xbox One since my Xbox One has my Netflix, Vudu, WWE Network, and Plex. It makes it simple to switch back and forth between different apps to watch my movies and shows. When I am playing my PS4 then the kids would have to physically move the Xbox One into their room to play Xbox One games. Now when they release Windows 10 they can just go into the computer room where I have a 32 inch HDTV as a monitor and stream Xbox One games without having to move the system. It is a genius idea from Microsoft that gives them an edge in the console gaming war. I also like the fact that friends that have a PC instead of an Xbox One can now play online with me. Windows 10 is releasing on July 29.
Xbox One E3
Every year they hold a gaming expo in California called The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3. The three big console makers Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all hold a large presentation to show off new features and games that will be coming out in the near future. Nintendo had a good showing with new games like Star Fox and Mario Maker coming out, but no mention of Legend of Zelda or the new console Nintendo is developing. Sony had a good showing as well showcasing games such as Uncharted 4, The Last Guardian, and Final Fantasy VII remake. Still no blockbuster announcements. Microsoft started by showcasing Halo 5 and Gears of War. Both games are highly anticipated but Gears of War won't come out until late next year. Then Microsoft drops a bomb on the crowd and the console world. They would be offering backward compatibility on the Xbox One in the fall of this year. Any game that you already bought that is not disc based will be available to you free. Not only will you be able to get Xbox 360 games but they will stream to your Xbox One. This is something that should have been done to begin with on both systems. The PS4 has the Playstation Now service that allows you to stream PS3 games for a monthly fee or a one time rental fee depending on the number of days you want to rent the game. The problem with this is I am still paying for games that I already owned on the PS3. Sony has said that they have no plans for backwards comparability even after Microsoft's game changing announcement.
What You can Do I can Do Better
When Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One came out they both had 500 GB hard drives to store digital games, apps, music, video, and game saves. The issue with this is when you buy a disc based game it loads part of the game on the hard drive. Then when the developer updates the game the files can be very large. The Elder Scrolls Online first update was 15 GB. That takes up a ton of space considering the game loads an almost 50 GB file on your hard drive. I find myself deleting games so I can play other games which is annoying because I end up not playing some games because I don't want to have wait to download them again. I did some research and found out that with the Xbox One you can add more hard drive space by plugging a USB 3.0 compatible external hard drive. The instructions are very simple and easy to understand. The PS4 on the other hand is a whole different story. You have to purchase a laptop hard drive and replace the hard drive that in currently in the system. That means you have to download everything all over again plus physically swap out the hard drive. This is a major pain in the butt and frankly poor engineering on Sony's part. This may not seem like a huge deal to some people, but with all these games and updates being so large the easier option will be the Xbox One because it is basically plug and play to add space. Other then PS4 exclusives I have already made a habit of purchasing all my multi platform games on the Xbox One since I have a 3 TB external hard drive. With the Xbox One being able to stream to a Windows 10 PC, backwards compatibility, and being able to add an external hard drive easily the Xbox One is in the perfect position to win this generations console war.