Xbox One or PlayStation 4? Whichever You Choose, You Win
Back in May Microsoft’s Xbox One was unveiled at a special media event, bringing with it a number of ill-favoured key policies, such as enforced Digital Rights Management (DRM), a compulsory Kinect camera and a £429 price tag (the latter of which was announced at E3). As a result of these unpopular decisions Sony’s PlayStation 4 quickly became the leading ‘next-gen’ choice in many gamers minds.
However, a lot has changed since then, with us now arriving at a point where things are a lot more even. So, with the playing field levelling out, does it really matter which ‘side’ you pick?
In mid-June Microsoft responded to mounting impassioned criticism, removing DRM restrictions and doing away with 24-hour online check-ins — the first of several changes announced via an open letter to fans from former Interactive Entertainment Business President, Don Mattrick. These changes opened up the ability to trade Xbox One games and physically loan your discs to friends once again, something Sony chose to poke fun at earlier. While some saw this about-face as a sign of weakness and a lack of commitment to Microsoft’s vision, in the end it’s a clear win for consumers, allowing the valuable second hand market to continue.
Further alterations came, with the Kinect camera no longer being crucial to the operation of the Xbox One console, meaning it can be unplugged — a must for those paranoid amongst us. While there is still no chance of an Xbox One bundle without the Kinect camera (one area Microsoft is clearly sticking to its vision), removing the requirement for it to be plugged-in is just another tick against the list of gamers complaints.
In a further attempt to bridge the £80 price-gap between the Xbox One and the PS4 Microsoft sweetened the deal with a free digital copy of FIFA 14 bundled with every pre-ordered console in Europe. While not everyone may be a fan of the football series there’s a lot of people who are.
Sony hasn’t had the need to change any of their policies or their message, something Andrew House was keen to point out at the end of Sony’s Gamescom conference, yet scoffing aside, it’s clear that Microsoft have done the necessary catch-up to make their next console just as appealing.
There are still plenty of futile points that gamers will inevitably argue over, but these are nowhere near as deal breaking as was the case following E3.
With feature parity between the two consoles evenly matched, its safe to say you shouldn’t have an strikingly inferior experience from one console to the other.
It all comes down to the games, and personal preference. Xbox One or PlayStation 4? Whichever you choose, you win.