The 'Next Generation'
(disclaimer : I'm not trying to start an argument, these are merely my opinions.)
This will be the 1st system launch I've ever taken place in. In previous generation I usually waited a year or so before jumping in. In the last two generations I actually purchased a Nintendo system 1st. I bought a GameCube before I bought a Xbox Original and a Wii before I bought an Xbox 360. For the record, I was going to get a PlayStation 2 originally but I then heard Super Smash Bros Melee was coming to GameCube. I regret nothing. So what's different, why am I eager to hop on this train early in spite of the obvious caveats of potential hardware issues, smaller library, and network kinks that will surely need to be worked out? This may be the first time I can say it's not just the "game looking better" that has my attention.
THE 'ONE' TO RULE THEM ALL
The Xbox One will be my choice for Next-gen. To me it represents the greatest change and most forward looking machine of the choices. While the internet had many issues with the initial proposal of the system I honestly believe that Microsoft's biggest problem was a classic Microsoft problem, messaging. "Why" has always been one if their most difficult question to answer. Sharing a clear massage of their vision. There were many feature of the original Xbox that I was looking forward to. When the reversals took place, I was upset slightly. I felt as if many of the forward looking features, has been washed away by gun-jumping, an un-clear message and rumors. That being said it was still the more obvious choice for My next entertainment hub.
In my opinion "Next-gen' is not making gamers better looking. In my opinion, it not just a resolution bump. In my opinion it's technology coming together to create experiences that weren't previously possible while allowing things that we may have not even thought of yet. To me the Xbox is the best representation of this. The Voice Command, the instant switching, the power of the system itself, the one guides inclusion of applications and services, it's drive to provide original content other than just gaming, and hopefully the constant yearly evolution of the software will allow The Xbox to change as much as the last Xbox if not more. The fact that the games are bigger, better, and more aesthetically pleasing is an added bonus. I love playing games. I've been playing since I was 5, but I'm excited now as someone who loves technology as well as gaming. Who likes the idea of one device trying to intergrade with everything
Pure Gaming Machine
The PS4 in my opinion stands as a 75% generational leap. Don't get me wrong, I've given Sony plenty of my money. I've owned a PSP and PS VITA on several occasions. I even have a PSN account, The biggest problem I have when the PS4 is not what it doesn't do, but what it aim seems to be. To me, the PS4 is an Xbox 360 killer. Let me explain what I mean. In 2005, everything was different. The Xbox 360 was the 1st big console out, it was $200 less the PS3 had seem to be on par graphically and back then was all that mattered (Xbox Live aside). The PS3 was seen as "expensive for no reason", people were questioning not only the Cell processors superiority, and but it's ease of development. Sony sort of stumbled out of the gate. PSN was seen as second rate to Xbox Live, and many multiplatform games seemed to run better on the 360 then the PS3. Fast forward, the two system are about even but it seems Sony seems to not want to relive the past.
Step in the PS4. It's sleek, it's has seemingly slightly better internals than its biggest rival, it has revamped it's controller, it has ditched it's camera accessory to keep the price down, and has proclaimed itself the 'gamers machine'. It seems to want to be the Xbox 360 of this generation especially in the U.S.(evidenced by the fact that it won't launch in it's native country until next year). That's where my problem lies, it is a powerful machine dedicated to shaming it's rival in gaming. It's perfectly poised to be the system Sony wished it had launched in 2006. However, it is no longer 2006. Microsoft's play was never to make the best gaming machine. Microsoft aim was to "own the living room". Microsoft seems to understand that people's tastes evolve. Their expectations grow. Sony seems fixated on spec bumps and numbers. Can it play many game in 1080p, yes. That's great, but even that is not enough to be forward looking IMO. It seems to be haunted by it's older siblings launch. It seems to stop just short of trying anything interesting. It seems to be a phone's whose biggest selling point is "we have the clearest voice quality of any phone". Is that a good thing, without a doubt. However I want something that is looking to grow with me and bring in experiences I couldn't conceive of before. When I see the PS4 I see Kill Zone in 1080p and a camera that is an afterthought pushed away simply for a bullet point. When I see the Xbox I see myself watching T.V. while chatting with friends over Xbox live, only to find the match I was waiting on is ready. Sony's biggest selling point is beautiful games. In 2005, that was enough for me, now it isn't. And it feels like it doesn't care if it isn't much more than that. Will it evolve too, yes. Sony won't leave it's users high and dry. However I feel like Microsoft is really reaching for something different, new, and innovative while Sony is just giving me a 'really powerful game console".
The Wii Underdog
I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Nintendo. As I've said, My previous two generations I've owned Nintendo systems 1st. Why didn't I get a Wii U last year, because the games weren't there yet. I do actually plan on getting a Wii U. Despite the obvious graphical disparity between the (X)ne, PS4, and Wii U, I find this system to be trying to do something as well. If there is one thing I could never say about Nintendo is that they are afraid to take risks. Some of my fondest gaming experiences wasn't on the system with the best graphics. At a time when people were 'oooh' over "Gears of War", I was floored by Metroid Prime 3. To this day I'll put Retro's art style, level/puzzle design, pacing and storytelling against anyone.
The Wii U is a hard sell for many. Mainly because most are probably so focused on the aforementioned consoles. I however feel like It could be a good contender in the console race and frankly wouldn't want to see Nintendo go anywhere. Nintendo's problem is software. They need compelling software in order to move units. For all the Smart Glass, and Sony's "buy a vita to play off screen", I feel like the Wii U is probably the best system for it. I feel like Nintendo is actually trying to create a different experience. Yes they did up the graphic fidelity compared to the Wii, but the Gamepad especially could be the ultimate compromise device when one wants to play game while the other wants to watch T.V. And yes frankly, the idea of playing a new Zelda or Metroid with that gamepad entices me.
Altogether, all 3 have there pros and cons. The Xbox may not have the most Raw power from the outset, The PS4 has Power but seems to be satisfied with just having more power, and the Wii U seems to be waiting for the right software to showcase what was Nintendo's vision. They all have next gen qualities to them. To my eye though, The Xbox is the most forward looking. I even hear some of the cooler thing that got axed when the reversals happened may come back sooner or later. Between the games, Xbox Live, the software, the apps, the One Guide, The T.V. features, Skype, the Kinect camera (which I won't be using for motion but will be using or voice....frequently) and the fact that Microsoft is going all 'Netflix' and creating original television content for the (X)ne, I couldn't be more excited about my purchase. I don't expect one system to be a solution for everyone but it definitely fits what I want.
(X)ne is a Next-Generation Hub, and it's going to own my living room.
Not bad for an "underpowered console....".