I’ll be the first to admit it – Microsoft’s PR hasn’t done them any favors over the past few months. From their backpedaling to their too-late clarifications (of things like their used game policies and so on), it’s understandable why the PlayStation 4 got the fantastic reception it did; however, the Xbox One has done some things right. But the majority of gamers don’t seem to agree.
This is not a biased article, nor is it born from ‘fanboyism’, but instead I’m writing this to discuss how the Xbox One hasn’t done everything wrong, and people are unfairly bias against it. I defended the PlayStation 3′s right to their console direction back in 2006, and now I’m defending the Xbox One’s.
Case in point: earlier I was exploring IGN and stumbled across their article on PS4 game pricing. Having already read the Xbox One game pricing article, I was happy to see that there isn’t a jump in pricing across either console, meaning everyone wins. However, if you scroll down to the comments, you’ll think you’re reading a different story altogether.
The comments underneath the PlayStation 4 article read “Sony keeps hitting all the right notes”, followed by various Microsoft-bashing memes. If you head on over to the comments under the Xbox One article, they vary from complaining about the price in Australia (I live there and, as ridiculous as it is, it’s still the same as the PlayStation 4′s game pricing), to hating Microsoft because they supposedly accessed their games from PCs at E3. Regardless of whether the latter is true or not the article isn’t about that, it’s about the price of Xbox One games being the same as Xbox 360 games – something a lot of people doubted would happen.
So why is it that gamers praise Sony for doing the same thing they ridicule Microsoft for?
I could go on about how the Xbox One article appears as better news than its PlayStation 4 counterpart, because Microsoft announced it will sell all “first-party games on Xbox One for $59.99“. While this means that third-party games could be lower or higher, all first-party games will be $59.99. In Sony’s announcement, they stated that “All four [launch/launch window] titles, Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub, Knack, and Infamous: Second Son are all $59.99“. This could also mean a lower or higher price for subsequent releases, but that also means only those four titles will sell for $59.99, an announcement that would absolutely cripple Microsoft, but one that everyone seems to have glossed over for Sony.
Then there’s the games themselves.
Gamers want games out of their consoles, this is a fact I don’t need to state. So when Microsoft spent about half of (maybe more, I could be wrong) their console reveal talking about the console and not its games (which they said they’d do anyway), they understandably felt consumer-backlash from their focus on accessories. To be fair, this was a console reveal, not a games reveal, so many gamers decided to reserve their judgement for E3 and how many exclusives each company would present. This decision was apparently forgotten after Microsoft’s E3 event – which mentioned the console itself, and Xbox Live, a very limited amount of times, instead focusing on presenting game after game – and many gamers still decided to ‘jump ship’.
This table lists all the games presented at E3 for all platforms, and at the bottom of the list it concludes that the Xbox One presented eight exclusives to PlayStation 4′s five.
Further, GameSkinny provided an easier-to-read graph based on the data from this title, which you can view below, that shows the Xbox One has a total of 12 titles (some shared across PC/Xbox 360) that won’t appear on the PS4, compared to the PS4′s 6 (that won’t appear on the Xbox One). And if you look closely at the Xbox One titles, none of them are Kinect exclusives, which a lot of people predicted they would be.
So if we base which console ‘won’ E3 (even though no console truly ‘wins’ anything) off the exclusives they showed, then Xbox One isn’t doing as bad as everyone says. Frankly it has more announced exclusives than the PlayStation 4 does, and if ‘games are all that matter’, as a lot of gamers attest, then it’s shaping up as quite a formidable console.
Both companies still have plenty of time and various conventions to announce more games and policies, but the point is the Xbox One isn’t “the end of gaming”. While both consoles will be fantastic, and both have plenty of social features and extras, the Xbox One still is – and always will be – a gaming console, no matter how it’s marketed.