State Of Play: It’s Xbox One For Me

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Xbox One and PS4 are mere weeks away. As both consoles look set to be around for at least the next 5 years, with many tantalising and exciting games and innovations on both machines, you can expect many a gamer to pick up both of them during that time. One has to come first, though. Dave Green explains why, at launch at least, he’s plumping for the Xbox One…Ryse2

Since May of this year, I’ve had a PS4 and Xbox One pre-ordered at my local games emporium, with the full intention of picking both up on their prospective launch days. I love gaming. Although a (lapsed) Nintendo fan-boy at heart, I don’t want to put a limit on my experiences; since being able to afford and buy my own hardware and games, I’ve bought them all – N64, Playstation, DreamCast… you name it, I’ve had one. However, as the launch date for the next-generation approaches, I’ve decided to give away my PS4 pre-order. Its launch, and Sony’s short to mid-term vision for the console, just isn’t doing it for me. The Xbox One very much is.

You see, so far the PS4 is looking very much like an Xbox 360 mark II – from its familiar games line-up, to its UI and online infastructure and trophies; it’s safe. Which is fine but I already HAVE a 360 and I’ve no desire for the same thing with prettier graphics again. I generally buy a console for its exclusive games, the main reason I remained loyal to Nintendo for so long in fact, and with Killzone and Knack the PS4 launch line-up is weak sauce. Indie titles? It has them in spades for launch. I love indie – but I want something that will test and utilise new hardware, not something that will run just as well on a PS Vita; many of them will be fine games indeed, but I want something like the Xbox One exclusives Below and D4; games that utilise every capability the console has – fresh and new, that’s what Indie titles are about (as an aside, I also appreciate how the new Live Marketplace doesn’t segregate Indie from “Mainstream” – they’re just GAMES, like it should be). Microsoft have a defined vision with the Xbox One – it’s trying new things with the platform and that, as well as exciting and boundary pushing games, is what I’m looking for.

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Both consoles have had backtracks and neither will be the console that was initially revealed. I must admit, I was disappointed when Microsoft pulled the initial u-turn in terms of the Xbox One being almost fully digital. That excited me. I’m always connected to the internet. I like what Valve have done with Steam – I wanted that in a home console too. I still think that’s the future Microsoft are moving towards and it’ll happen sooner or later. I completely understand, though, that the intital Xbox One alienated people and would have left behind a huge number of gamers, and what we have now is a much more balanced and enticing prospect to a wider audience. Crucially, Microsoft have stood by their vision – the much maligned Kinect camera is back and central to the Xbox One experience.

Over the last few days, Microsoft have started to show the benefits of this – from speedy code scanning to navigating the impressive and forward-thinking UI with voice, gesture and more. It remains to be seen if any games will use the device in a meaningful way, but Kinect Sports Rivals and Indie title D4, from the master of mental Swery (of Low Fat Gaming favourite Deadly Premonition fame) are leading the way in this regard – at preview stage, both games have highlighted the vast improvements of this new Kinect camera. Sony, on the other hand, have sidelined theirs – despite evidence of the machine being built with it in mind. Word around the industry is that Sony ditched bundling their camera in the box to get the PS4 out cheaper than the Xbox One – good for the short-term but not promising for their long-term vision – with the potential install base for their camera now split, what are the incentives for a developer to create something exciting for it? It’s not a problem for Xbox One – everyone will have one, like it or not, which is why we’re already seeing games like the previously mentioned Below and D4.

KinectSportsRivalsWhich brings me to the price of the consoles – and price is an important factor. And the Xbox One IS more expensive. For me, it represents more value day one than the PS4. Let me explain; for my hard-earned Euros I’ll be getting the console, Kinect, a headset, a free copy of FIFA 14 OR Forza 5, Killer Instinct (a free to play title) and Kinect Sports Rivals pre-season. That’s great value. What represents even greater value is the one of the main reason I buy a console – platform exclusive games. The Xbox One, simply put, has a better line-up for this year and, with the massively hyped Titanfall to come in March, first quarter of 2014.

Day one you’ve got the choice of the astonishing Forza 5, the swords-and-sandles epic Ryse: Son of Rome, the zombie-filled open world apocalypse of Dead Rising 3, retro-fun with Crimson Dragon as well as curios such as Powerstar Golf, Zoo Tycoon, Fighter Within and, from the creators of the indie hit ‘Splosion Man, Lococycle – as well as the plethora of 3rd party games that will be available for both consoles. What the Xbox One DOESN’T have, but the PS4 does, is an exclusive FPS – but Microsoft’s platform does have exclusive DLC for Battlefield 4 and CoD: Ghosts. As well as dedicated servers. Don’t underestimate this; dedicated servers for every online game is a big deal – no more host advantage on the likes of Battlefield, FIFA, CoD and the inevitable Halo. This is something the PS4 can’t offer.

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But what about the resolution of the games I hear you cry? Let me clear that up for you. Yes, some launch games will run in a higher resolution on PS4. Some. This is because Microsoft were behind in delivering software tools to various companies – basically, some developers have had PS4 dev kits for longer, so naturally, at launch, you’d expect certain titles to be a little more developed. This is only an issue at launch. It’s not like the Xbox One can’t display games at native 1080p, running at 60fps – arguably the best looking game across both consoles at launch is Forza 5. It’s 1080p, 60fps. Resolution is not all important anyway; Ryse: Son of Rome – which looks staggering in motion, by the way – was originally unveiled at 1080p but Crytek took the decision to change the resolution to 900p because, get this, it better suited the techniques and art direction of the game. That’s what’s important. Battlefield 4 on PS4 runs at 900p. Will this stop you from playing it? It really shouldn’t. If resolution is the most important thing to you in gaming, then you’re doing it wrong my friend.

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Ultimately, it comes down to taste and judgement. You might read this and agree. You may read this and, rationally, disagree with every point. That’s fine. For me, Microsoft’s vision of a cloud-based, digital future, with its slick UI, unparalleled online capabilities, robust games line-up and integration excites me. That’s not to say the PS4 doesn’t. In fact, I’ll be laying down my cash for one as soon the excellent looking Infamous: Second Son and intriguing The Order hit the shelves. I’m also a JRPG fan, and Sony’s platforms have always been a rich home for these. I’ll get one, and that’s the trick; there will be enough good stuff on both consoles to warrant a purchase – but not at launch. In my eyes, the Xbox One is currently a more enticing proposition. One things for sure though, which ever console you decide to pick up this Christmas, you’ll have fun with it and I genuinely hope you do, dear reader. For me though, the (immediate) future is green. Jump In.

- Dave Green. @davidpgreen83

Follow us on Twitter @lowfatgaming and let us know your next-gen plans. You can also like us on Facebook and see what our community are up to. Agree/disagree with the article? Sound off in the comments below!

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54 comments on “State Of Play: It’s Xbox One For Me

  1. You’ve managed to sum up exactly what I was thinking. I don’t hate the PS4 as many people think I do. I just think the Xbox One is offering more than just better graphics. That innovation and those options right out of the box are what prompted me to go Xbox One this year.

    I wish more people would have been vocal about switching to digital and Microsoft’s original Xbox One plan. To be 100% honest, my brother and I were at our local Gamestop within 10 minutes of Microsoft’s E3 presser. We both pre-ordered with the intention of going almost completely digital this generation. Since I’ve had every console connected to the internet since 2001 (Dreamcast), the online once a day thing never bothered me at all.

    I think the only argument against the Xbox One is the slightly higher price point, but you’re getting a very power, very fun camera included. That camera being included with every console is going to mean developers will take full advantage of it. Battlefield 4 for example will use it. And even though you CAN buy a camera for the PS4, I haven’t heard of a single third party developer using it.

    This is a great, well thought out article and I think it’s actually kind of brave to post it because I feel like some of these hardcore Sony fans are starting to intimidate certain sites into hating on the Xbox One. Great read and I agree 100%, you put the words on the internet that are in my head, almost verbatim.

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  2. Pingback: Interesting article

  3. You’ve managed to sum up exactly what I was thinking. I don’t hate the PS4 as many people think I do. I just think the Xbox One is offering more than just better graphics. That innovation and those options right out of the box are what prompted me to go Xbox One this year.

    I wish more people would have been vocal about switching to digital and Microsoft’s original Xbox One plan. To be 100% honest, my brother and I were at our local Gamestop within 10 minutes of Microsoft’s E3 presser. We both pre-ordered with the intention of going almost completely digital this generation. Since I’ve had every console connected to the internet since 2001 (Dreamcast), the online once a day thing never bothered me at all.

    I think the only argument against the Xbox One is the slightly higher price point, but you’re getting a very power, very fun camera included. That camera being included with every console is going to mean developers will take full advantage of it. Battlefield 4 for example will use it. And even though you CAN buy a camera for the PS4, I haven’t heard of a single third party developer using it.

    This is a great, well thought out article and I think it’s actually kind of brave to post it because I feel like some of these hardcore Sony fans are starting to intimidate certain sites into hating on the Xbox One. Great read and I agree 100%, you put the words on the internet that are in my head, almost verbatim.

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    • Thanks so much for the feedback -and very articulate feedback too!

      You’re right that the Xbox One is getting skewed press from some quarters and it hasn’t sat right with me, and other writers on this site, for a while. I thought I’d put my 2 cents, as it were, out there.

      Thanks again – Dave

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  4. Finally someone gets it. I like how you mentioned the fact that some companies had PS4 dev kits before the X1, often people forget this. I’d also like to add that this time X1 is more difficult to code for but PS3 had the same problem. I’d also like to point out that it appears that X1 games appear to have better lighting, shading, and shininess.

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    • There are a lot of tricks developers are just learning with the kits – they’ve only really just got them! – but the guys at Microsoft are smart. They’ve had a shaky start in terms of being behind the curve but there will be greater parity next year, no doubt.

      Thing that excites me is; if we’re seeing games with the fidelity and scope of Forza 5, Ryse and Kinect Sports Rivals (which is jaw-droppingly staggering to witness) now – imagine what these guys will be doing with the machines in 3,4 years time? – Dave

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      • I can’t wait to see what Halo 5 looks like, and what Epic games bring to the table!

        P.s staggering article fully agree with everything you said, all the reason i am getting the XBox are in this article..apart from the controller :3

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  5. What does it for me with the xbox one besides everything it does is the simple fact that what ive read anyway is the ps4 cant play cds or mp3s..such a little thing like that makes a big difference

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  6. When xbox1 was announced, my son asked me if I was gonna sell his xbox. I said no. Then he asked me if I was gonna sell my xbox in my bedroom. I said no. I told him I’m getting the new xbox 1 for my 60″ in the living room. That’s right 3 xbox’s. Now all tv’s will be happy. Bring IT !

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  7. What a well written article. I think you’ve summed up very well what a lot of people are feeling. Both machines are looking amazing but they definitely have different visions. I think as time goes by and sales are more influenced by consumer experience than marketing hype, the Xbox One will certainly hold it’s own.

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  8. Let me give you guys a little scenario. Lets just say Uncharted 3 ps4 edition is gonna be released and its gonna utilize next-gen tech. The game runs at 1080p 60 fps. Now when people play the game they realize that beyond resolution and frame their is nothing done to improve the game. No environmental detail, no better enemy ai, no background processing, no nothing. Is that 1080p 60 alone fps gonna be people’s deciding factor that if the game is next-gen?

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    • Not at all. Resolution is currently just a number that people can use and set in their minds. Once people get their hands on the controllers, most won’t care. When every 3rd party title is exactly the same, people will care less. It comes down to what the consoles offer in terms of games, media and content at the end of the day. – Dave

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  9. “As well as dedicated servers. Don’t underestimate this; dedicated servers for every online game is a big deal – no more host advantage on the likes of Battlefield, FIFA, CoD and the inevitable Halo. This is something the PS4 can’t offer.”

    What a silly statement. PS4 has dedicated servers for CoD, Battlefield, Killzone and can offer them on any game Microsoft does. PCs have had dedicated servers for decades it isn’t something new or fresh that Microsoft has an exclusive on.

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    • They actually don’t offer dedicated servers for every game. It supports it, but the developers themselves have to provide it. On the Xbox One, Microsoft are providing them for every developer that wants to use them. That’s a big difference. – Dave

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      • Until a game actually makes use of dedicated servers on Xbox One and not PS4 it seems strange to make a big deal out of the possibility of while downplaying current and future performance differences on multiplatform titles.

        As it stands every PS4 game that could realistically make use of dedicated servers uses them and until that changes I don’t see Microsoft’s hypothetical advantage as a big plus.

        This is beauty of choice and why these opinion articles are so fun to read. Things you prioritize don’t really appeal to me, and things that are important to me you seem less concerned with (although I’ve yet to meet a person who plays on larger than a 60 inch tv that thinks resolution doesn’t matter).

        Either way Hope you enjoy the Xbox and I’ll see on XBL when it has a few more exclusives I’m interested in.

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      • Honestly, who wouldn’t use them if they are provided? The save the developers ALOT of work and money. THQ (a well known company) used their own servers on many of their games, and they were crappy servers all around. Crashing 95% of the time, and unavailable 5% of the time. I think the majority of developers will use them.

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  10. “And even though you CAN buy a camera for the PS4, I haven’t heard of a single third party developer using it.

    Just Dance 2014. Now you have heard of a single third party developer using it.

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  11. First off, well-written and articulated article. However, at some points you do force on your opinion as the “end-all, be-all”, and that anything that’s different, must be wrong. No, it’s just different. Be sure to keep YOUR focus, and let others keep their mind to agree, or disagree.

    [The following is coming from someone who was a former owner of a PS3 and Xbox 360, that only has a PS4 pre-ordered as far as the "go-to" launch system to start with]

    I was pretty excited for the Xbox One announcement, but the price, the involvement of Kinect, the restrictions (at the time), were a huge turn-off for me. And by the end of the day Sony, had won me over with the Playstation 4 with the price and freedom, as well as (what was) a solid launch line-up.

    Fast forward to today, I feel the Xbox One is strong both as a console and with the launch titles. I’m a huge fan of Forza and Dead Rising, and it saddens me I won’t be able to experience the game. And I do agree that the PS4′s launch titles are weak, no doubt. It’s a disappointment. Two of the three games I’m buying at launch are multiplatform (AC4 and NFS Rivals).

    But to say that the PS4 is an X360 Mark II is a bit abrasive. The Xbox One could be considered as a Xbox 360 Mark II based on all the reasons you said the PS4 was:

    1) The UI is essentially the same as it is currently is on Xbox 360, only refined, faster, and enhanced with Kinect. But aesthetically and functionally, is the same.
    2) All their exclusive launch titles are sequels to games that appeared on the last console, with the exception of Ryse.
    3) Your indie games argument folds in on itself. You say you want games to test the hardware, then praise Indie games like Below that are exclusive to the console.

    The PS4 is giving you 30-days of PlayStation Plus and a $10 credit to the PSN Store. Not to mention that what Xbox is currently providing for “Games with Gold”, doesn’t hold a candle to the free games for being a PS+ member. That’s value. Not having F2P games available at launch. PlayStation 4 has many more digital games coming Day 1 over first-party titles. And some are exclusive to the system.

    Resolution is important, and while it’s early in the lifecycle, it shouldn’t be too demanding to ask for 1080p and 60fps. And while Crytek has said that 900p is best for the art design, then why can I run (not the same game, but Crytek made) Crysis 3 on 1080p, or higher and it not impact the art? I think that the most important thing is frames per second, a smooth framerate. I will accept games running at 30fps to be 1080p, and games that run at 60fps to be 720p if not 1080p. This is “next-generation”, the quality and caliber of games should be a lot higher than what we get now.

    You also speak of the short-term, mid-term, and long-term. And all you’re seeing is the proposed visions. No one knows what will be the result of those visions, what may change, and if they’ll be any good. To just bet on that being a solid statement seems a bit silly.

    Will I be happy with my PlayStation 4? I hope so. But I don’t know for sure. And no one really knows for the Xbox One, but they hope so. But what I do know, is that I don’t like the Kinect, or will find a proper use for it. I also know that I could spent that extra $100 in buying the Xbox One, for more PS4 games.

    In the end, comes down to taste, how much money you’re willing to spend, and what matters to you. You’ve said what matters to you. But not everyone will share that opinion, and it is there choice to make, whether it turns out to be right or wrong.

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    • Thanks for the feedback and the reading of the article. My opinion isn’t the be all and end all. It’s just my opinion. Like I said in the bottom paragraph, it is down to taste and judgement. I also said anyone may agree or disagree with it ;)

      I’m sure whichever console gamers pick first they’ll have a lot of fun with. I genuinely believe, though, in the long-term most gamers will buy both.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and reply in such an articulate way though, I appreciated the read :) – Dave

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  12. Couldn’t agree more with your views. This is the exact reason I have decided on an Xbox One at launch and possibly for this generation. If anyone ever wants to play online on the new console hit me up at gamertag: Ashes2Ashes

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      • I was nearly put off buying a console by all the hate filled comments that where flying around the Internet and mostly aimed at the Xbox one. My choice is green again because I agree with what is written in this article and basically I can’t tell the difference between 720p and 1080p by looking at it and I really don’t care. It’s all about game play. l look forward to seeing you online. My tag is Jamo ygc

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  13. Great article man! Few things I’d like to add (as a former PS4 now XB1′er):

    A huge oversight about resolution is the fact that 720p can outshine 1080p if devs focus on quality per pixel over pushing pixels to max. That’s what I like about the xb1 is that MS hasn’t landlocked developers into making their games 1080p like Sony and wants developers to create the best game experience they can because of this.

    Defining a game’s experience by how many pixels it has and @ what frame rate it can push is stupid. Let developers decide what their game should be ran at for the best experience.

    One thing that really bothers me is Sony’s 1080p mandate for all ps4 games – Look at CoD… its engine wasn’t built to run 1080p whatsoever and now look at how much it has suffered because of it.

    Next – Sony promised a much better looking Killzone than what is going to be offered. Even KZ’s devs said the game was originally going to be over 100GB to keep up with earlier promises. On top of that the amount of fog they’ve had to add into the game and the reduced draw distances is ridiculous. All just so they wouldn’t have to load more textures/details and so that they wouldn’t overwork the PS4 hardware.

    Would highly recommend you check out http://misterxmedia.livejournal.com/ if you haven’t already….think you’ll find talk from actual industry insiders to be quite refreshing. Less PR/fanboy talk and more hardware/tech talk.

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    • Are you kidding me? misterxmedia has been wrong since the start of the year.

      He said Durango would be more powerful than Orbis. He was wrong. He said Xbone would get 4 more gigabytes of RAM in August. He was wrong. He said MS would reveal a hidden dGPU on September 20th. Nothing happened. Then September 23rd. Nothing happened. Then October 1st. Nothing happened. Then before the end of the year…

      The guy’s a delusional con man. His “insiders” are the voices in his head. I strongly urge you to avoid him before you get hit with even more disappointment.

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      • Indeed, misterxmedia is widely known as a bit of a loon.

        Great article Dave, fairly accurately reflects my position too. Sony’s release just doesn’t excite me, even though the PS4 is the more powerful console. Power is a bit of a joke when it comes to consoles anyway – I have a PC for that.

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  14. its all about the pad for me… ps4 pad dont much different from the crap pad they had on ps3, hand cramp and thumbs slipping off the anlouge sticks … so xbox 1 for i think ;)

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  15. Pingback: State Of Play: It’s Xbox One For Me | The XBOX Live MAFIA

  16. Great write up. I’ve been banned from a certain website trying to articulate what you said here. I feel the Xbox One offers something new and exciting. Also, as an older guy in his mid thirties, I don’t game as much as I used to and absolutely LOVE the TV and NFL integration. I always thought the Kinect was fun (worth the price just for the bowling and goofy videos for me) and can’t wait to try the new one with the family. I too wish MS kept the “always online” and digital. I’m trying to get away from physical media as it is. Steam, Kindle, and the iPad/iTunes have prepared my family and I on not being tied to discs.

    It seems a bit strange to me that console gamers are the only ones who want to hold on to their physical media. I think the cries of “IT’S NOT LIKE STEAM!!” when it came to discussing Xbox One’s digital future was very shortsighted. No one knew what the future held. Hopefully MS will bring it back as it sounded very exciting.

    PS4 to me is just more of the same. A new box with better graphics. There’s nothing wrong with that but I don’t see the appeal. I will end up buying one when MLB the Show comes out. I HAVE to have that game as it is one of the best sports games made and is worth 400 bucks.

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  17. I found this article and this website by mere chance, but I really enjoyed reading this. I love it when an adult talks about gaming in an adult way, which is something that doesn’t occur that often on the digital playground called the internet. I’m looking forward to what Microsoft has to offer regarding the Xbox One and I’m really looking forward to experience it for myself. I’m one of those unfortunate souls who’ll have to wait until next year for the Xbox One release, but that doesn’t stop me to have one on the Day One release (going to import one).

    I could care less about a game performing slightly better on one console than the other, let alone the resolution differences. In this day and age, we have to undergo a side-by-side comparison in order to find out which platform performs better than the other. If that’s the only way to find out which platform gives the best performance, I can’t regard it as something significant. A game that doesn’t have a 1080p resolution, won’t take a chunk away from my gaming experience. However, it will when it doesn’t run silk and smoothy.

    For now, the Xbox One does attract me more because it seems to give something refreshing and new. That doesn’t mean that the PS4 has lost all of my interest. The biggest reason why I pick a specific console, is because of its franchises. This is what I’ve always done and eventually, when both my bankaccount and my girlfriend are allowing me to do so, I end up getting both.

    I’ll be reading more from you in the future. Consider this page bookmarked!
    All the best from the Netherlands.

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  18. Pingback: PlayStation 4 gegen Xbox One: Jetzt geht's richtig los! - Xbox One - Seite 8

  19. Like many before me said already, thanks for the great article.
    It really reflects how I made my choice. I work in a gameshop in the Netherlands, pre-ordered both consoles, but as the release date approaches, decided to go for Xbox One, for exactly the same reason, the games.

    I’m also not a PS4 hater, have all consoles from al companies. But the PS4 luanch just doesn’t do it for me.

    Later on I will certainly buy one, but for now I’ll stick with the Xbox One.
    (I only have to import it, because the Xbox One is delayed in the Netherlands, ah well.)

    Thanks – Bas Bouwman

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  20. Good article, I have a couple of differences in opinion though, I’m not sure you can claim that Microsoft have stood by their vision, otherwise we would still be facing DRM, always on Kinect etc. The other point I’d like to make is choice. Sure, it’s your choice to buy an Xbox as it is anyone to buy whichever they want. But I feel there are things that Microsoft have tried to force onto the consumer, in some cases they’ve had to withdraw due to poor pre sales. I don’t want a camera bundled, that is my choice, I think choice is important to a consumer, and I feel Microsoft have forgotten that. The last point is a little more suggestive, but has some truth, my opinion of Microsoft is that they use aggressive tactics to buy out the competition, now I understand this is the case in business, but as a matter of morals, I dislike their “throw money at it, approach” not everyone will agree with me on it but it’s my impression of the company. I don’t know, maybe I have a soft spot for the underdog! If you can call a big company like Sony an underdog! I just see Sony as less money grabbing than Microsoft.

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  21. This is a great article, and as others have said, sums up how I’m thinking pretty well. I feel the PS4 is being a little too ‘safe’ if that makes sense, I like a lot of what Microsoft’s trying to do and feel that when the systems launch the general public will get a better idea of this.

    Great website you’ve got here, too. Keep up the good work!

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  22. Brilliant piece! Finally someone who can put across exactly how I feel in a calm and well written manner. I initially pre ordered the X1 as I was pulled in by all the “share games with your friends” perks. But when people on the internet complained so much that they dont have internet, making MS pull the features I was unsure of what to buy because I didnt see a huge difference.

    A few months on I’m sticking with X1 since they have a better lineup, and there are mumerings that they will soon bring in all the original ideas.

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