So, I poked my head out the door and saw that there were riots on the streets, cars were turned over and on fire, and religious fanatics were wandering the streets, whipping themselves savagely and declaring these to be the Endtimes. And people were a bit upset over the introduction of the new generation Xbox.
If you didn’t notice, the new console, titled XBOX ONE, for apparently having all your entertainment in one, has caused some measure of butthurt among gamers, and proving that Microsoft has somewhat completely lost the plot in trying to find its place in the new entertainment market. In fact what the new gaming console seems not to be, is in fact a gaming console. All the extraneous shit that Microsoft has so far been pushing, such as the Kinect, online television, browsing, facebook and endless goddamn sports, which I think have never been greeted with any great measure of enthusiasm, and have never really caught on, are back with a vengeance. In fact, this seems not so much as a new gen Xbox, merely seems to be XBOX 360.1, as it relies on the same business strategies and home entertainment integration as the original, in a time when that ship has lifted anchors and set sail for exciting new places, and has no place for those features anymore.
Apple, unfortunately for Microsoft, while eating everyone’s money supplying pretty, disposable gadgets has been changing the entertainment market for good, bringing (along with the Samsung, HTC, and Blueberry) all the features that the new Xbox is pushing, and doing it better. Nobody is going to start up their Xbox to log into facebook, watch Futurama or, dear fucking god, go and browse Internet Explorer. They have other, faster, handier things for that. Phones, tablets, laptops, and even smart-televisions.
Just to remind everyone, the other nails in this coffin include constant online requirements, which everyone knows means a big fuck you to everyone poor and underprivileged enough not to have a reliable, super-fast connection, as well as force-selling the Kinect in the package, and what I think proves Microsoft’s long-standing and deepening grudge towards reality most, attacking the second-hand market by demanding that games be installed on the hard-drive, or alternatively, a license purchased for them from Microsoft, before allowing any bastard to play them. To be honest, since my PC upgrade the only reason my Xbox 360 hasn’t been gathering dust and served to hold up mugs of tea has been the local used games shop. Xbox games are too fucking expensive. They are 60 euros a piece new. The same game is 40 or 50 on Steam. In the game shop maybe 30 or 40 used. Six months after release.
Further, on the issue of backwards compatibility, what the fuck Microsoft? I have an awesome library of games that is going to be good for absolutely fuck all as soon as I upgrade my console. Oh sorry, I can have the old games on the new system? For a fee? So they are backwards compatible? And you just want to squeeze a little more money from me for the privilege of playing games, I already fucking well own? Ok, as long as we are cool about that. You monster.
So, in the end I have to say something good for the PS4. At least it’s not XBOX1. That’s it. They both offer the exact same shitty deal, with lack of backwards compatibility, recurring charges, extraneous bullshit services no one wants, online requirements and pretty much have as strong specs as the other, while at least PS4 lets you play online without monthly charges. So I’m actually surprised to say this, but maybe the Wii U offers the strongest (this is a euphemism, by the way, for the least shit) deal for the consumer.
However, there is the option to opt out. Fuck the console war, opt out and save up for a decent gaming PC. I think I am going to run my XBOX 360 for as long as the poor bugger lasts, but I would say the best option for future releases is the PC market, and particularly Steam service.
No console really offers anything that a PC can’t also provide, while you can also bloody work on it. The games are cheaper, support is available much more readily, it is much easier to keep up with updates and the hardware is relatively easy to upgrade. Further, there are much better online shops and the option for game modification. As far as I can see, the only downsides are the steeper initial price, which does balance out in running costs of cheaper games, and some console exclusive titles, but really, they’re probably shit anyway.