Some thoughts on this console generation, as the new one is about to launch.
Reasons why I prefer XB360 to PS3:
1 - Generally superior versions of multi-platform games (relative to PS3 / Wii)
2 - Controller is much more comfortable for me
3 - XBL easier to play games online with friends than PSN
4 - Better catalog of games on XBLA compared to PSN, though this has eroded some over time. Some of my favorite game experiences this generation are from XBLA games
5 - Earlier release of Bethesda add-ons (or, in the case of Skyrim, versions that function, period)
6 - Exclusive FPS and 3rd-person shooters like Halo and Gears
7 - Original Perfect Dark on XBLA!
8 - Both of my broken consoles being replaced for free with reasonably good customer service experience
That said, I give the nod to PS3 here:
1 - Netflix at 1080p
2 - Blu-ray including 3D
3 - Strong exclusives outside of shooters (Metal Gear Solid 4, Little Big Planet 1 & 2, Uncharted 2, etc)
4 - Console doesn’t have a death wish or suicide pact or whatever was wrong with the original XB360s
5 - Much quieter than 360 and no giant power brick from 1962
6 - PS Plus is pretty sweet and really makes the current XB Live model look badly dated
This irked me about the XB360:
1 - Kinect was fun for a few weeks, then boring, like almost all peripherals
2 - I don’t like waving my arms or talking to devices, it makes me really concerned about schizophrenia, so this is not a selling point (also led to me ignoring the Wii despite getting one at launch)
3 - No Netflix at 1080p - Y U NO LIKE 1080p?
4 - First console dying within 6 months
5 - Second console dying after 2 years
6 - Selling 20GB hard drives way after it was just embarassing
7 - Forcing me to buy a ridiculous transfer cable to move content from one system to another (before the Cloud)
8 - Ridiculous management of profiles prior to last year’s update (allowing Cloud saves and downloading profiles on other consoles)
9 - MS Points. Seriously?
1 - Controller just isn’t comfortable to me, which alone was enough to get me to spend most of my time on 360
2 - Playstation Store, while improving over the past 6-12 months, is annoying to navigate and just doesn’t feel “integrated” the way XBLA does
3 - UI on the PS3 is atrocious, I’ve owned the system for 3 years and I still can’t find basic functions without looking for them through numerous menus
4 - PS3 decided not to work on one of my TVs after it was plugged into a different set, which is probably the TV’s issue, but it didn’t have that problem with XB360 (just saying - and yes I did eventually work through the problem after a couple hours of experimentation)
5 - Ports seemed to be worse on PS3 than 360 and often had later DLC or other issues
6 - Area of strength on PS3, like JRPGs, are not genres that matter to me
7 - Putting in new games and having to wait while 1, 2, or even 5GB of data was installed, and THEN waiting approximately forever for additional updates when you want to turn it on, or use the PS store, or play a game, or look at it wrong…
8 - Controllers seem to die way to quickly; not helped by the fact that they don’t seem to shut off as XB360 does
For fun, what I liked about the Wii:
1 - It is small.
2 - Bowling is still kinda fun to this day.
And, what irked me:
1 - Everything else, basically.
2 - Bad Mario Party games. Seriously, not even one good one.
3 - I don’t want to wave my arms around
4 - I don’t like JRPGs
5 - I don’t like Carnival Games or other games that I can play in real life
6 - I like graphics that aren’t out-muscled by my Kindle Fire
7 - Online store had the best potential for a retro catalog and squandered it in ways too numerous to list
8 - Call me crazy, but I like high definition
9 - I like my console to have real games released by major companies for more than 2-3 years
All that said, this XBox One release does worry me a little bit. I don’t really want or need my console to be the center of everything, though I guess it is fine if it is. Some things are neat - booting back up instantly and resuming content - others seem ridiculous. I’m not going to Skype while I play a game and watch a movie trailer at the same time. If you have that level of ADD, they sell pills you can take.
I’m not going to talk to my console, because inevitably I know I’ll end up arguing with it, and that’s one step closer to owning 60 cats and living by the abandoned railroad.
Similarly, I am not in the movie Minority Report and still feel more comfortable navigating with a controller.
Always online or mostly online or whatever is irrelevant to me. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t play Xbox with Live connected. Every time I try, the console reminds me I’m not logged in and I just log int.
Used Games are irrelevant to me for the most part. I’ve sold a few random games on Ebay here and there but haven’t bought a used game this console generation and haven’t been in a Gamestop since I bought the Wii (I needed an extra controller and they were sold out everywhere). I know I’m lucky to be well enough off at this point, or just old enough really, that I don’t have to churn my game library, but the reality is I could care less about used being a thing or not.
Anyway, I really just want a console with a good UI that has great games, a nice mix of retail and online games, solid matchmaking and communication options for social online gaming, a comfortable controller, and playing Blu Ray and streaming Netflix / Amazon / HBO Go in HD (preferably 1080p) is the extent of my media integration.
I suppose access to my Amazon Cloud music library is also a plus.
So, my worry is that this launch is way too much about stuff I don’t care about (live TV, using lots of apps at once, talking and gesturing to my device, etc) and not enough about games. I have to say the early lead goes to PS4.
But that controller looks weird and will probably be uncomfortable, and at the first sign that Fallout 4 is better and/or DLC releases earlier, it’ll be another Xbox generation for me.