There was something different in the air at this year’s E3, aside from the usual waves of day-old Axe deodorant. Mud went flying between Microsoft and Sony, each trying to 1-up each other in an attempt to compete for the bigger install-base when their respective consoles, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, launch this holiday.
Monday morning, Microsoft left behind the TV and Fantasy Football talk to present their lineup of heavy-hitters, games including Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Below, Titanfall, and Forza Motorsport 5. The company also confirmed a $499 MSRP holiday 2013 release, with the new mandatory Kinect One audio/video sensor included.
Later that night, Sony took the spotlight, as fans were eager to learn more about the new PS4 console, and to finally see the hardware design. With a sleek and modern build and familiar controller design of the DualShock 4, Sony confirmed the console will launch this holiday for $399. The newest PlayStation Camera (replacing the under-utilized PS Eye from the previous generation) would not be included with the console, sold at $59 — the console price also does not include Sony’s PS Move motion controller. Exclusive PS4 games will include Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Order: 1886, Infamous: Second Son, and Knack.
I spent a good amount of time checking out the new hardware at the expo, and a few of the new games slated to debut with these next-gen platforms. I think each console will find a spot in the marketplace, though Microsoft needs to really sell just how great HDMI-pass through is, instead of beating the dead horse that is “SPORTS-SPORTS-SPORTS!” The graphics are stunning, though I’m still skeptical the mainstream casual gamer will be able to tell a stark difference between the current and the next-gen consoles. One thing is for sure, however: The Xbox One controller and DualShock 4 controller are both remarkably better than the previous generation. They don’t stray too far from their former iterations, but both feature tighter analog control, better button feel, and no squishy triggers. The DualShock 4 is comfortable and light in weight, while the Xbox One controller features vastly improved directional pads.
The next-gen market has become so split, where fanboys pledge their allegiance to their favorite consoles before they’ve even played a single game, and I totally get that. For the rest out there, it will come down to the software exclusives, and the extra features associated with each console. If you’re on the fence about which way to go, or you would like a side-by-side refresher course, take a look at this extensive chart below the break. Created by Deviantart user Yamamoto114, the chart gives a detailed look at differences and similarities between the Xbox One and PS4. Then sound off in the comments and let us know which way you’re going to go come this holiday.