5 Reasons the Xbox One has the Edge Over the PS4
As slinging matches go, the fight of the Xbox One vs PS4 has so far been a war of words, but, with newly announced features the Xbox One could now be winning.
Turn back the ticking clocks of your mind back to May 21st, when Microsoft took to the stage at their very own dedicated press conference to announce that their brand spanking new next generation console, the Xbox One, would be making its way to the space under our tellyboxes by ‘Holiday 2013’. A momentous occasion undoubtedly, but then it all went a bit pear shaped, or rather, the shape of the entire contents of the fruit bowl, as some announced features just didn’t sit right with consumers. But, as critics poke holes in the Xbox One’s attempt to reclaim its position as the top dog vs the PS4, after its startling fall from public favour, several features show how Microsoft’s new console does have the edge over Sony’s after all.
1. Xbox One Apps
Apps are a wonderful thing, with their tiny square icons and inviting, happy logos and these days we’re a hivemind of using services that would have required entirely separate discs or peripherals in yesteryear. Microsoft are ahead of the application game with this one, however, as while Sony announce PS4 apps allowing third parties to piggyback onto the box (something which is of course limited to how interested they are in being involved with the PS4), Microsoft are hard at work finding first party solutions (with all important first party support) to the Xbox One. Recently announced is the Xbox Fitness app, giving you more of a reason to get healthy and get your rump in gear outside of ‘playing Just Dance 4’. Microsoft have even recruited some star power in the form of The Biggest Loser’s hard as her-rock-solid-abs trainer Jillian Michaels and P90X man Tony Horton. The Xbox Fitness app was rumoured for a while but we don’t expect this to be the last of app-based incentives for Xbox One users
2. Xbox One TV Shows
In addition to the oh-so-intriguing reveal that a Halo TV show would be making its way towards Xbox Live some time in the near feature, Microsoft have also let it slip that they are working on not one, or two new programmes but over 100 new television series to bring us something even meatier than juicy, interactive gaming to sink our hungry teeth into. While a complete list of shows has yet to be announced by the company, we do know that some of these will be dedicated to international sports, so whether that be some kind of recap or highlights show or maybe even a presenter-led talk show, the fact that it ties in to Microsoft’s work with ESPN on bringing televised sports stream to their gaming box certainly bodes well for Xbox One’s multimedia success. What it also means is that PS4 users will be disappointed at being restricted to video apps such as Netflix to get their console-based television fix.
3 Xbox One Developer Console
One surprising announcement that has come about in the run up to the Xbox One’s release is that each retail version of the console will double as a dev kit. Usually, a console’s technological innards differ slightly between the boxed versions available for consumers on shelves and those given to devs for game development, with the latter being sold to them at quite a high price. However, this is the perfect defence against Sony’s heralding of indies, as, while people criticise Microsoft for not doing enough for the indie dev movement on Xbox One, it could now be easier than ever for bedroom developers and big dev teams alike to get their games onto a Microsoft branded console.
4. Xbox One Servers
All the way back in 2011, Sony’s PlayStation Network was hacked, compromising over 25 million accounts. While some put it down to just poor security on Sony’s part or the ingenuity of some very talented hackers, plenty began to point a finger at the holes in Sony’s gaming infrastructure. For a free service, PSN is very good, but, outages due to maintenance are seemingly far regular than that of Xbox Live and plenty more chalk that down to the fact that PSN is free whereas Xbox Live costs money. Next time around, Microsoft say they’ll be launching the Xbox One and ramping up to around 500,000 dedicate servers for their Xbox Live service after launch. These will make Microsoft almost guaranteed to withstand the weight of all that next-gen online gaming while Sony’s (newly mandatory) paid service will still be shaking off doubts that another devastating hack could happen again. And, with years of experience in the paid online maintenance game, Microsoft could have the edge over the PS4 once again here.
5. Xbox One Connected Controllers
Finally, this way in which Microsoft has boarded up the windows and bolted down the hatches, to prepare for the onslaught of gamers who want just about every technological marvel featured on their next-gen gaming consoles, the Xbox One will feature 16 added peripheral support. Got a smartphone or tablet with 15 friends who have them too? Brilliant. Using Microsoft SmartGlass, extra screen features (such as aerial support in Ubisoft’s MMO/party shooter The Division, or added tactical support in their cyber warfare sandbox game Watch Dogs) 16 of these touchscreen controllers can be utilised to improve the gaming experience. While it’s important to state that PS4 will feature some second screen support, in the way of smartphones and the PS Vita, the extremes of this have not been announced, leaving doubt as to whether Sony can match the whopping great amount of smart-gadget controller support on the Xbox One.
In reality, both consoles have some very good features but the Xbox One arguably has some of the best out there in terms of what gamers really want, but will it pay off for Microsoft? Until the Xbox One is released on November 22nd, we won’t know for sure, but we’ll keep you posted once we know more about the console.