Obligitory E3 ‘Console Wars’ Post
Ahh, the console wars. Such fun watching multi-million dollar companies battle it out for my hard-earned cash. Well, no, not really. I’ve really never given a shit to be honest. That is until this year when Microsoft began to introduce a slew of anti-consumer plans such as always on DRM, shady used and borrowed game policies they have been less than transparent on, and a focus on a gaming console that seems to have only 50% dedication to games. Since their unveiling last month everyone has been saying wait until E3 for the games and they will make the XB1 interesting. Well, E3 is here and it seems, bar a couple of games, I am really not changing my stance to not support Xbox any more. They continue to be shady and unclear and when it comes to exclusives, I really don’t go crazy for shooters and racing sims. The only exclusive they have my attention with is the upcoming Remedy game Quantic Dream. I loved Alan Wake and Max Payne and am a bit let down that I won’t be playing the next game they release. Their other big exclusive is Titanfall, but that one is also going to be released for PC, so it’s hardly something that will sway me. Also, $500 (or €500) for the console?!
Edit: That Project Sharp ‘game making game’ looks really cool and is a much needed point on MS side. I really hope it doesn’t turn out to be a tech demo game. It could pave the way for some really interesting stuff in the near future.
PS4 didn’t really blow me away on the games side of things. Both consoles will be now getting Playstation’s system seller Metal Gear Solid 5 so that can’t really be used as ammunition to make me want to purchase one. None of the other exclusives they mentioned really got me excited. And for both Sony and MS, timed exclusive is not a fucking exclusive, it’s retarded. I’m a patient man, I’ll wait till something is released on my preferred platform.
However, where Sony ‘won’ the console war was on their self-awareness, listening to gamers, and clearly and with utmost transparency stated that the PS4 will be DRM free, not require online to play games, yadda yadda yadda. Basically, things will keep on how they are now with the exception that in order to play online with the PS4 you will need to subscribe to PS+ at $35 a year (which also nets you a bunch of interesting features, discounts, and a monthly free game). They basically stomped on an already injured MS’s nards repeatedly in their press conference, and the gamers applauded them for it. Really, MS really needed to be put in their place for their show of hubris and thinly veiled contempt for gamers. Sony treated us like they listen to us, MS, well…. Also, a big bullet point for me, PS4 will be region free, which is great for me as a bargain hunter and one who likes to import games as well as $400 (€400).
But I regress. As much as Sony basically humiliating the well deserved Microsoft, I will not be purchasing either one at or close to launch. I never do. I’ll wait for the inevitable price drop, the inevitable hardware update that works out a couple of bugs (I learned my lesson with the 360), and most importantly, a strong catalog of games for me to choose from is built. As of now, I’m happy with my PC, which will probably need an upgrade when the new wave of AAA games gets released, but oh well it will cost less than and last longer than the consoles, plus great software prices. And it’s about time I got myself that Wii U I wanted, need my Zelda and Mario rehash fix.
Oh, and since I’m quite big on indie games, PS4 and Wii U gets my vote for their strong support of them. While MS is looking to work with indie devs, their refusal to change their current getting on XBLA system really needs work if I will ever speak good about them. And as always, the PC will be the best place to go for the strongest indie scene.
So, what’s your take on the ‘console wars’?