Greetings! I thought I would try something new on the site, and write opinions on events or news stories that are relevant to me or my interests in addition to posting music. I’ll post the latest songs on the site soon, but for now, I’d like to talk a bit about the console war. The new next-generation consoles just dropped – Sony’s PlayStation 4, and Microsoft’s Xbox One. I’ll say this upfront — I chose the PlayStation 4. In the last generation, I chose the Xbox360 to be my first HD console. Lost Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed blew my mind, and made it totally worth it for me. And still, I got the Xbox360 Elite pretty late around September 2009. So why did I choose to get the PlayStation 4 this time around instead of the ol’ Xbone?
I’ll tell you straight up — Microsoft’s DRM choices was the killing blow. The fact that the PS4 was a whole $100 cheaper was also very enticing. Those two aspects almost single-handedly formed my decision. And sure, Microsoft changed their DRM policies after backlash, but they had those plans in place to begin with. You know they are going to reintroduce those aspects at some point, and that mindset is still very much part of their stream of consciousness. Buying a console, or even a game on Steam, is risky because you never truly own the games — as soon as they decide to change something, you’re stuck. At least with Sony I feel a little more comfortable, even though they probably had similar DRM plans and just changed them after Microsoft’s disastrous reveal.
Being forced to use Kinect and have it plugged in probably wouldn’t be too huge of a deal. Just toss a T-Shirt over it before going commando! Sure, it’s a hassle.. but I guess it’s a hassle that over 1 million people decided was worth dealing with at launch. I suppose the Xbone had a pretty solid launch, considering I haven’t seen any outrage on reddit. You know everyone was blowing up over PS4 issues and those were limited to something like 0.4% of all consoles. I did see some videos and articles about faulty disc drives that grinded, but weren’t those blu-ray disc drives licensed by Sony? Oh snap!
As for the PlayStation 4, it’s quite an odd looking rectangle. It doesn’t sit perfectly flat, instead wobbling slightly on its hobbled little stubs. I’ve got to admit, though… it’s a pretty beautiful device, and seeing the orange glow of it in standby mode fills me with joy. I don’t even know why. Most of the features that would work through Standby mode aren’t even integrated yet. I booted it up and still had to install updates.. gasp. The user interface is so much easier, and quicker, than the PS3’s interface. The controller is so much more classy than the PS3 controller. It makes the PS3 controller look like a savage by comparison, so bulky.
Classy is really the best adjective I can think of to describe the Dualshock redesign. While the glowing light on the back of the controller is a silly gimmick, I don’t really notice it. Not unless I see the glare of it on the TV while playing in the dark. I still don’t understand why MSoft and Sony didn’t just copy the Wiimote concept and detach both sides, similar to the Wiimote and Nunchuk. I’d rather have my arms apart than cramped together. I get arm fatigue something mad, even with the PS4 controller. Come on guys, have each side be wireless and link with bluetooth or something. It’s not rocket science!
Now, the games… Knack got trashed by “game journalists”, but I found it to be a very fun, beautiful, and challenging game. I got everything I expected out of it, as someone who enjoyed Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, et al on the original PS1 as a kid. When I saw the trailers, I thought Knack’s voice actor was ridiculously unfitting, but now that I’ve actually played the game, and experienced it, everything seems like such a perfect choice. It all seems so refined and well-made, the “reviews” putting it down were really unjustified, in my opinion.
Killzone: Shadow Fall is the first Killzone game I’ve played since the first one on the PS2. It’s also really challenging, even on Normal difficulty. It blows Call of Duty’s Veteran difficulty out of the water. There’s so much more to it, between using the grappling hook to move around, and telling your flying Owl to attack enemies. Plus, Killzone did zero gravity space aspects better than any game I’ve played so far. The atmosphere in the game is fantastic. The missions are long so finishing them feels pretty rewarding.
I don’t want to talk too long on the games, so I’ll speed it up. Contrast was a game I was really looking forward to, but slightly fell short of my expectations. The atmosphere and music was great, but the animations and controls in general seemed lacking. It really felt past-gen and unfitting on a new, powerful console — regardless of which you choose. Something like that would have felt dated on the Xbone too. Resogun on the other hand is a beautiful example of next-gen gaming. It’s not the most mind-blowingly advanced graphics, but they are used well, and are super smooth. The game is like Defender (showing my age, eh?) for the modern generation. Saving humans is annoying and pointless, but blasting enemies while upgrading your ship is a blast. The powers you can use are great.
The promise of games to come on the PS4 has me ridonkulously excited.
In the end, I am bummed that Dead Rising 3 is an Xbone exclusive, but I will hold out the hopes that it hits PC someday. If not, we’ve always got Dead Rising 4. I think the only thing that would really break my heart is if Mistwalker makes Lost Odyssey 2, or other RPGs, for Xbone exclusively. Playing Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon on the Xbox360 was an incredible experience, and reason enough to own the console, for me.
In the end, regardless of which console you chose to get and for what reason, this is a really great time for gaming. I think about how far we’ve come and I am amazed. When I was born, Mega Man came out (1987) and I remember playing those old NES games all the time, and for those years, they were amazing. If we knew back then what we would have now, we’d probably poop ourselves. So that’s all for now! My opinion is that you should definitely grab a PlayStation 4, but what do I know? I’ve just been gaming my ENTIRE LIFE. And… hey…. I’m not being paid to write this. So take from this what you will. :)