A week or two has past since Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One hit the market. Both saw strong sales around the hype of the next-generation consoles finally reaching store shelves after a lengthy life cycle of their predecessors. Both sold over a million units on their launch days, respectively. Both however, are also disappointing.
Neither console was truly ready for retail and both were rushed as to not fall behind the other and to make the important holiday sales time before Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend in the United States. That means consumers are full price at launch – when consoles are their most expensive – for consoles that are simply missing so much.
The promised feature sets of each are not available and the basic features we expected to be included are largely absent as well. Even, dare we say, features that their predecessors (the PS3 and Xbo 360) support readily.
Neither of the consoles for instance, can serve as a media center, play 3D Blu-rays or any sort of file off of a USB drive. Those are basic functions of the aging predecessors. In terms of next-gen features, neither consoles adequately supports video sharing. Both have limitations on how much can be recorded and in what resolution, and neither can perform the most basic of video uploads (read: YouTube).
But these are game consoles, right? Yes, and the best games on both consoles are mostly available on the older consoles and on PC – the latter of which they still perform better on. Call of Duty: Ghosts, the best selling game on the next-gen consoles somehow managed to sell less in total than its predecessor and earned signifcantly lower review scores. The big and beautiful Battlefield 4 is still broken after launch. NBA Live finally returned after years of cancellations and delays, and it’s the worst EA Sports game in recent memory – so bad in fact, that its producer issued an open letter apology immediately after launching.
I won’t even get into the scam operation known as microtransactions in the sports titles, Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome.
Essentially, for gamers, you’re getting better looking games, but you’re not getting great games. Yet. They’re coming, but so are the feature sets that make the consoles earn the “next-gen” moniker. The current functions, along with the awkward and sometimes incompelte interface designs are all going to see redesigns and improvements in the coming months and years, all the while developers master the improved tech to craft worthy games for it. Wait a bit. Let the price drop, the greed simmer down and the promised features get delivered. Then join me in the next-gen community.
Until then, want to know who won the console war launch? PC, Suckers!