I am as big an Xbox 360 fan as you will find. Part of me really wants an Xbox One. While I have certainly stared longingly over at some of the PlayStation exclusives, and I inevitably wish I had a PS3 when the new PlayStation Plus free games get announced every month, I still feel like I made the right choice for me. I think the 360 controller is the best one ever made (I know the d-pad sucks to many, but I find it functional for my needs), most of my friends also play an Xbox 360 and Xbox Live is an excellent, perhaps the best, console online infrastructure. I enjoy my 360, and I imagine that, given Microsoft’s pledge of continuing support, I will continue to play it even after the next-gen consoles hit.
None of this is going to stop me from picking up a PS4 come launch day, though.
It wasn’t an easy decision. Of course it all started with the Xbox One reveal, which didn’t exactly go as planned for Microsoft. Personally, I wasn’t as against their policies as some people were, but clearly consumer feedback was overwhelmingly negative. I don’t think I need to rehash why here, that discussion has been had, I think, and Microsoft has taken a lot of steps to attempt to rectify that. After the disastrous (for Microsoft) E3 and Sony’s stellar conference, it was easy to jump on the bandwagon, even while it became clear that, despite a very vocal sect and some cleverly-placed shots on Sony’s part, the Xbox One still had a lot of fans. And as far as that goes, I’m not not a fan of Microsoft’s new system. Right now, I’m just more a fan of the PS4.
To me, it’s more a case of what Sony did right than what Microsoft did wrong. I understand the reasons behind the backlash of the always online, although I’m not sure I agreed with Microsoft’s decision to reverse it. Yes, always online has a number of issues, but the main problem was with the idea itself. If the biggest problem with always online is that you have to be online, then why was Microsoft surprised at the response? There were a number of cool features announced, and many more possible, that could only be utilized with an always online connection. I’m not going to deny the fact that some of their policies were needlessly restrictive, but clearly Microsoft had a vision. The fact that they didn’t stick to that vision worries me.
Sony, on the other hand, knew exactly what they wanted to do, and did it. The fact that the Xbox One had such a negative reaction was just the icing on the cake for them. Sony focused on a few key things that really resonated with me: a dedication to indie developers and self-publishing, a commitment to providing PlayStation Plus members the highest value for their money and a willingness to give gamers exactly what they want. I don’t mean to imply that Microsoft isn’t doing or is actively against these things, but right now I believe it Sony’s vision for the PS4 more than Microsoft’s vision for the Xbox One….because I’m not sure they have one.
Changing your policies because they are unpopular may or may not be the way to go. The truth is, we may never know if the Xbox One would have been better off had Microsoft said “Look, we know you don’t like it now, but give it a chance.” Instead, they have basically reneged on almost everything that defined the Xbox One in the first place. And again, if you want to pick up an Xbox One, I don’t think you are making a mistake. I’m already jealous that I won’t be able to play Deadrising 3 at launch (although I have a sneaking suspicion that PS4 owners will eventually get a chance to play it). Titanfall obviously looks incredible, and I don’t think Knack will quite make up that gap. But I do get The Witness, so that’s not a bad consolation prize. The $100 I’ll besaving by picking it over the Xbox One doesn’t hurt either.
These are just my reasons, both short and long term, for picking up a PS4 on launch day. If I could afford both, I would get both, but I can’t. I’ve already had to write a gut-wrenching goodbye letter to my Gamerscore, so now all that’s left is to buy my PS4, and start working on my trophies.
Do you share any of these concerns? Is your mind made up one way or the other already? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, so drop a line and let me know what you think.