Great games have been shown during both conferences, but with Sony's disclosure that the PS4 will not require a persistent online connection to play games, that it has a price point of $399 to Microsoft's $499, and will fully support sharing and buying used games, hardcore gamers the world over are already declaring the PS4 as the winner. As much as it kills me to say it, myself included.
The Xbox fanboy in me has died a little over the last couple weeks. I've been playing Xbox since the first day the original Xbox black and green monster released. I've fixed the laser on my Asia version Xbox 360 by myself because it has sentimental value and loads of games I can't play on a U.S. region Xbox.
I have an account on Xbox Live with loads of friends, my wife and I play Xbox Live arcade games with our married friends (we're in our mid 30s, don't judge), and I've been a fan of the exclusives, "Halo," "Bioshock," "Mass Effect," etc.
Yes there are still exclusives on both consoles, but that pool always eventually dilutes down as publishers want to get their games to as many customers as possible. "Metal Gear Solid" and "Devil May Cry" goes to Xbox, "Bioshock" and "Mass Effect" goes to Playstation. Then some of the big new IPs like Bungie's "Destiny" will be multi-platform.
Microsoft requiring console owners to be online all the time with the exception of a 24 hour period is utterly and completely ridiculous. Any Time Warner or Comcast Cable customers out there understand that at any possible moment, their internet can go down for an extended period of time. Those that live in rural areas, like where I grew up, understand that a constant broadband connection isn't always a reality, but a luxury. You people are screwed.
I have very fast broadband today, but the kid in me is crying out that I wouldn't have been able to play the Xbox One longer than 24 hours. That angers me.
Ascetically, both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are beautiful machines.
Xbox One: Sexy.
PlayStation 4: Also sexy.
No point of contention there.
Sharing and buying used games, is a problem though. I enjoy buying used games. Like games that came out years ago that I might have missed. I'll download them from Xbox Live or browse my local game store. I don't buy "recent" used games because they are indeed a ripoff. You save what? $5, $10 dollars to buy a game with no return policy? Not worth it. And if I want to give those games away? Microsoft is telling me somebody isn't a friend unless they're friends with me on Xbox Live for 30 days. In what world does that make sense?
I also don't need a million apps and a TV overlay or Skype video calling functionality. I have a smart TV and blu ray player with a million apps. I have a TV antenna and don't watch much TV, and I do my chatting on my computer. I want to play games on my gaming machine, and Sony's approach to the next generation system is reminding me of that.
Xbox Live is the better online network of the two systems regardless of if it costs $60 a year. The service is solid. Compared to PlayStation Network, I'd take Xbox Live. Sony could step up with the PS4 Network by not getting hacked and going down for weeks.
But I'm not sure Xbox Live and my fanboyism is enough to keep me afloat in the Xbox boat any longer. Ideally, I'd love to have both systems. But with games still coming out for both Xbox 360 and Xbox One, I'm leaning towards sticking with my current 360, buying a PS4 and then picking up an Xbox One down the road.
There's still time until both consoles come out, so things could change. Though at this point Microsoft is going to be playing catchup with hardcore gamers.