Both Microsoft and Sony have presented their next-gen consoles. Now that the dust has settled after the E3 conference, one question remains. Which company did it better? The typical answer, “Depends on who you ask,” doesn’t say much. But when it comes to gaming, it really does depend on who you ask.
The typical company rep (gaming or otherwise) will say that both Sony and Microsoft have developed well-built machines, and they’ll point to the Xbox One’s ability to completely take over the living room or the PS4’s amazing specs. If you were to ask the average gamer immediately after E3, you’d probably hear that the PlayStation 4 is for gamers and the Xbox One is for everyone else.
But that may not be true anymore. Microsoft’s policy changes last week were aimed squarely at gamers who dismissed the Xbox One as just another family entertainment device. The company plans to undo the console’s online connectivity requirement and used games restrictions with a Day One software update. All of Microsoft’s consumer research was undone by the loud outcry from the gaming community.
We no longer have to fear the days when we accidentally buy groceries before paying the Internet bill, but money is still at the center of the battle. The PS4’s $100 price advantage will be extremely important to many gamers. The next-generation Xbox already has a great game lineup, but will Xbox-exclusive games and a home entertainment focus be enough to convince gamers to shell out the extra C-note?
Gamers are notoriously hard to please—we don’t like it when things aren’t right the first time around. That’s why our money is on the PS4 pulling ahead in pre-sales. The Xbox One can come back, but Microsoft will have to avoid missteps like the ones it made during E3.