Every so few years, ‘The Next Gen” consoles roll out. Be it back in the classic Nintendo era of the NES, and SNES, Next Gen consoles have come time and time again, only to eventually run their course, and now the next generation of consoles looms before us, bringing both hope and dismay along with them. This next conflict of consoles is a rather interesting one, arguably the Xbox 360, PS3 and the Wii were the first consoles to really hit mainstream markets, and gradually over time it would show that these consoles grew from catering to their usual brew of gamers, to this new, fresh crowd of faces. The PS2, Xbox and Gamecube era of consoles were still largely catering to the old crowd of gamers, those that’ve ate up gaming since they were old enough to wiggle their thumbs in a productive manner. But now, now we have consoles that are completely aware of the larger mainstream market that has adequately dulled gaming in some aspects. This is largely proven by the launch titles the consoles offer.
Xbox One: Launch Titles
Let’s start with Xbox One’s launch titles in particular. Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Fifa, NBA and Madden. The sports titles cater to a crowd that mainly games just for sports games, which would explain why said genre of game is made year in and year out. Assassins Creed has proven to be a success, and really only hit its peak after the second game in the series. But, no matter how the quality has dipped since then, it sells, it sells well. Call of Duty and Battlefield are both adequate choices to launch your system with, as gaming seems to be more or less about shooting things in a perspective of the first person. These are all obvious picks for launch titles, and they’re not horrible, more or less they’re financially stable choices that will undoubtedly sell plenty of consoles to those who only game for competitive FPS outings.
There’s a plethora of Kinect-based games coming with the Xbox One, or sold separately, I’d assume it would be wise to include a free Kinect game or two with the console, to try and encourage customers to at least try out their always on camera that looms in the distance. A couple racers help to diversify the collection, as well a couple fighters, Killer Instinct being the more advertised of the two. Dead Rising 3 also stands in this collection, which seems more or less to retain the spirit of the game, albeit much more brown and realistic than normal. But hey, realism is great, that’s why we play games. Ryse seems to be the game most heavily toted by Microsoft, for some reason, as the game aspect of it is questionable at best. But gamers have been heftily dumbed down, or perhaps games have been dumbed down so that the less capable can actually beat them. All-in-all, the Xbox one does have a diverse launch library, which is obviously missing any semblances of RPG’s, but hey, RPG’s are a thing of the past. Not enough explosions or bullets, or boobies. Well, okay, RPG’s do have boobies, JRPG’s especially.
The biggest.. concern about all these launch titles, is that, well. This is the next generation, not one really seems to scream next generation. Even the lackluster titles of last gen still had a significant difference in graphics to the consoles that preceded them, this time around? The differences are barely noticeable, and worse yet, games such as Call of Duty had to reduce their resolutions just to make the game playable on the consoles. Let’s just hope that isn’t a sign of things to come, and let’s hope the Xbox One hasn’t already been tapped out in terms of its potential.
Playstaion 4: Launch Titles
The PS4 generally has a very similar lineup to the Xbox One, with some exceptions, which is a bit concerning, the differences between these consoles seems to be turning gray, it’s tough to really spot the differences unless you’re looking very closely. Knack and DC Universe Online are two launch titles in particular the Xbox One does not have, as well Blacklight: Retribution and Killzone Shadow Fall seem to be not only exclusive to the console, but are to be available at launch. This gives the PS4 a distinctive edge when it comes to those gamers who only fancy competitive shooters. But, of course, Titanfall is indeed a titan in this genre, and the PS4 will be lacking that.
It would seem, to much dismay that the PS4 is also lacking any RPG’s, aside from DC Universe Online. Perhaps RPG’s are merely becoming an extinct breed, what with Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy Versus becoming action games now, as apposed to true blue RPG’s, sometimes it’s hard not to be spiteful of the run and gun gamers that are causing a lack in certain genre’s of gaming. Gaming shouldn’t be a one-sided ordeal, gaming IS a medium that allows for any sort of adventure, any sort of experience. If things continue as is, gaming will just exist for pointing your gun at things, and riddling them with holes. That is not a preferable result.
Now, as far as the specs go for these two consoles. They’re very similar, and each have their ups and downs. Xbox One, however is taking a gamble on Cloud processing for some of their games, and is giving quite a chunk of their system’s overall power to their dashboard alone. Gambles can either pay off or not, and time will tell whether or not this gamble in particular will. But if Grand Theft Auto online is any indication of what to expect, what with their month long series of errors, server crashes and data deletions, then it is understandable if one is just a tad weary of Xbox One’s decision to utilize the cloud.
The Xbox One has a slightly more powerful CPU than the PS4, in terms of the CPU Frequency, which is about .15 higher than the PS4. The GPU roughly meanders more in the PS4’s favor though, with Xbox One’s clock speed being slightly higher. However, the PS4’s GPU has almost double the amount of shader’s than the Xbox One’s, as well the Memory Bandwidth in the PS4’s GPU is just about three times as powerful as the Xbox One’s.
Unto Ram, the PS4 and Xbox One have about even amounts of RAM, however the PS4’s ram is nearly twice as fast as the Xbox One’s, but the Xbox One dedicates a bit more of its ram to its games than the PS4 does. Really though, it seems to be fairly even between the two in this portion, though PS4’s superior GPU could certainly ensure that in the long run, it could produce more technically and graphically impressive titles. Considering the PS4 is cheaper than the Xbox One by about a hundred dollars, and arguably more powerful, it certainly does have the edge to the informed, though the uninformed might think the lower price means the console is inferior in quality.
Xbox One: Exclusives
- Crimson Dragon
- Dead Rising 3
- Fable Legends
- The Fighter Within
- Forza Motorsport 3
- Killer Instinct
- Kinect Sport Rivals
- Powerstar Golf
- Quantum Break
- Ryse: Son of Rome
- Sunset Overdrive
Below is your run of the mill ‘artistic’ 2D Indie game, but said types of games have ended being rather impressive at times, otherwise we wouldn’t be seeing them as often as we do. Crimson Dragon is essentially Panzer Dragoon, as it’s an on rails shooter, featuring a dragon, and it’s also made by Yukio Futatsugi, creator of Panzer Dragoon and, well, of course, PHANTOM DUST. So, I’ll admit, I’m rather hoping it sells amazingly, so that perhaps maybe I could get a sequel to a game I certainly hold with high praise.
Forza is solid, I doubt it’s going to be technically inferior to the other outings, racing isn’t exactly my forte, but I do enjoy Forza very passively. Now, D4 is interesting, it’s a murder mystery game, which I’m assuming is a big fan of The Walking Dead, as it shares a similar look, is episodic-based, and I’m guessing it’s very dialog and choice heavy. But, if it’s anywhere near as good as the mentioned game, I’m all game for it.
Dead Rising 3, is Dead Rising 3. Honestly I think any gamer knows what to expect from it, it’s going to be a guilty pleasure, run around in a dress, mowing zombies down, it’ll be incredibly enjoyable for a period of time, and then, well, like the previous two games, gamers will end up tiring of that particular zombie outing.
The fighter within, Kinect sport rivals and Ryse are all Kinect-based games. Kinect had a very poor showing on the Xbox 360, and not really one game worked perfectly with the motion system, aside from Dance Central of course, but even that had its hitches. I, and I’m sure many expect nothing but trouble from Kinect-Based games. But this rides entirely on Microsoft’s improvements on the Kinect system itself.
Quantum break.. well.. uh.. I don’t honestly think I’ll be able to get over the soap opera real life cut-scenes the game features. It just seems very awkward in this day and age of gaming. These types of video were utilized way back in the early days of CD-based games, why now, in this generation are we falling back to that medium, I have no clue. But hey, you never know, stranger things have happened and maybe Quantum Break will end up the next Metal Gear Solid or some other prominent franchise.
Sunset overdrive, now, this game does ooze style, but really not much is known of it. Certainly one of the more interesting titles the Xbox One has to offer, seemingly a co-op based shooter, most likely of a third-person perspective. It could really go either way with this one, time will tell, certainly.
Playstation 4: Exclusives
- Deep Down
- Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
- Galak-Z: The Dimensional
- Infamous Second Son
- Killzone Shadow Fall
- The Order: 1886
- The Playroom
- Shadow of the Beast
Deep down is certainly the most interesting exclusive on either platform in my opinion. An Action RPG, in the same vein as Dark Souls. Featuring Co-op play, randomized dungeons and perhaps even a bit of a Sci-Fi sprinkling to its rather medieval looking surface. Capcom has proven they know how to make a good Action RPG with Dragon’s Dogma, and I personally will be rather giddy if Deep Downs ends up being some bastard child of Dark Souls and Dragon’s Dogma.
Everybody goes to the Rapture, is a game made by the same people who made Dear Esther, which was a rather boring, slow, short game, which seems odd that it would merit a legitimate next gen title. If Dear Esther is any indication of Everybody goes to the Rapture’s experience, it’s going to involve a lot of walking, narration and a very linear path from point A to point B.
Killzone, and Infamous are both new installments of said series, Infamous now featuring a flame-based super hero/villain, which should certainly change things up on a gameplay perspective of things, Killzone, is Killzone, both games should be rather solid entries, as their previous installments were rather solid themselves. Killzone has a tendency of bleeding out a lot of graphical potential from consoles, be it the PS2, PS3 and hopefully the PS4. It’ll be interesting to see if Killzone really pushes some boundaries on a graphical level.
The Order, 1886, seems to really have an interesting concept to it. The Knights of the Round, who use guns and swords and futuristic weaponry, are to battle Chimera, half-breeds of species. It’s a third person shooter, but hey, the concept alone is enough to garner interest. It will all inevitably come down to its gameplay, though, as it is a third person shooter.
The last game that seemed to interest me as far as exclusives go, is Shadow of the Beast, which is a remake of the 1989 Amiga game, called, well, Shadow of the Beast. Not much is known currently, but one does find it interesting they’d decide upon a rather obscure retro title to remake.
All in All
This Next Generation should be an interesting one. Though, considering both the PS4 and Xbox One were planning on putting DRM on their games, it’s not unwise to be rather weary of both Microsoft and Sony, but, the DRM practices have been temporarily nulled, with Microsoft receiving a massive amount of backlash for it, Sony receiving praise. There is no doubt we’ll all have to keep our eyes open for unfair business practices in this generation of gaming, unlike the last, where on-disk DLC and DRM were sort of scattered events, it’s to be expected that they’ll be much more common nowadays.
As of currently, Next Gen has yet to truly show that it’s certainly a next generation experience. But this is mostly due to an overabundance of ‘more of the same’, Racers, Sports games, FPS’s, you name it. Graphically, it’s not as huge of a leap as it was with the NES vs SNES, or PS1 vs PS2, or, even the Xbox vs Xbox 360. But it takes time to unlock the potential of a console, the question that looms is how much potential really exists in these two consoles.
Gameplay, certainly is more important than graphics. Even if there is no huge leap in visuals, one has to ride hope on there being substantial advances in gameplay on a technical level. Currently, Final Fantasy Versus has really shown to be one of the biggest gameplay advancements we’ve seen in this new generation, but a question still looms as to if that gameplay will stand to be as strong as it looks.
Time will tell, this next generation still has plenty left.
– Florida Gamers