So why oh why did I do it?
For those of you that know, over the past year I’ve almost made it my life’s work to show how much Mircosoft really sucks. I didn’t START there, and I tried to look at everything objectively without bias back when the consoles were first shown off to the world (pre-E3). From everything that I saw back then, nothing really wow’d me…..well except for Titanfall and even the possible potential that Project Spark brought to the table. Still, I waited and listened, and I tried to keep an open mind. After the Microsoft press conference was over, and after all that they had to say, I immediately said “well, oooook”, and that was that. The other “good stuff” that they had to say came in the weeks/months following the February unveiling.
Back around the time of E3, they were trying to implement new policies and procedures that had the gaming community in an uproar. The always online functionality, the no-trade in policy, the digital only libraries; they just kept giving people reasons to not want one (which was contrary to Sony as at the end of their unveiling when they said how they weren’t going to change anything regarding trades/sharing/etc; you would have thought they showed off the new uncharted or something). After some gamers voiced their concerns and their opinions about some things, Microsoft responded, but NOT with what they should have said. When asked about not having the console always online and if there were any alternatives, Don Mattrick’s response was “We have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity; it’s called Xbox 360.” EXCUSE ME?!?! What the hell is that bullshit statement?!?!
Shortly after that, within less than a month, Mattrick released a statement along the lines of “An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games” and “trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today”. WELL THAT WAS FAST. This also went against some of the features that were heavily promoted including Family Game Sharing, Digital loaning, and sale of games/disk-less play. Essentially, the people spoke…..well Sony basically said “HAHA, we got you!” and Microsoft HAD to listen. This wasn’t a reaction to consumer want, but the company needing to keep pace with the competition. (note: on July 1st 2013, shortly after the flipflopping, Mattrick left Microsoft to join the company Zynga as new CEO; interesting…..)
So far Sony ahead, MS behind right? Well I kept looking for the most important things to me: THE GAMES. What do they have that I want to play? Sony showed a few titles that had me intrigued: killzone, infamous, the order (which I now know a bit more about). Microsoft had: titanfall, forza, dead rising 3. The BIG one in there was titanfall, and I hadn’t even played it yet, but I knew that looked sick (to me anyways; to each his own). The other games were mostly TBD or Q1-4, so nothing really specific (and yes I am leaving out a few titles, for both sides). I decided to look at the other multiplatform games, but late last year I noticed a pattern shortly after the consoles launched: almost each game that I was interested in seemed to perform better on a ps4. Whether it was resolution, HD, 1080 vs 720; it was like the MS counterpart couldn’t quite keep up with Sony. The internal specs gave Sony a bit of a boost too as they “technically” have the more powerful gaming machine (Microsoft had/has the philosophy of the best “home entertainment system”).
I could keep going. There were other statements made by execs/CEOs like “resolution doesn’t matter” or that “ryse is the best looking console game, period”. They almost like shooting themselves in the foot with this stuff. There was also talk from developers about how they preferred Sony compared to Microsoft stating: they were easier to work with, their system is so powerful and open to develop on, they didn’t have the stupid policies Microsoft did (look for this stuff if you want, it’s out there). But something strange happened. Not in the gaming world, but for me personally, so let me get into this a bit here.
WAY back before I even got a ps3, I had to make a choice: which one do I go with? Money was tighter, one console was more expensive (ps3), one had been on the market for a year (360), and I had to make an informed decision about which one I wanted. I ended up shelling out like 600 bucks for a ps3, game, oh and tax. Yeah, that fucker was expensive (and back then, I mainly got it for Resistance and the lineup that followed shortly after that). And THEN, for almost an entire console generation, I felt like and acted like a “sony guy” and I took SOOOOOO MUCH SHIT. The 360 was the console that a lot of my friends had gotten, so I couldn’t play with them. Whenever a game came out, it performed better on the 360 and not my ps3. Whenever they demoed or premiered a new game, I had to sit and watch them play it on a 360. Microsoft almost completely dominated the console market last generation (it took Sony almost 7 years to catch up). Turn after turn, despite sony’s wins (see uncharted), it still felt like I couldn’t have it all. I missed out on the Gears of Wars series (which was AWESOME playing with my little bro, who had a 360), I missed out on the left for dead series (also fun at a friend’s place), and I missed out on halo. LONG AGO, yes I owned an original xbox. And yeah, I loved it (even that fat controller). I fell in love with halo back then, but somewhere along the line fell out of it as the playstation stuff was more engrained in my head. But this sort of hatred grew as the last console generation went along. The MS people and Sony people just didn’t seem to mix. You hated one and loved the other, and I got that mentality as well.
Wellllll, I’ve spent the better part of this last year TRYING to convince others which is the BEST gaming console to be on. And you know what? There was one friend of mine that stuck to his guns and went with x1. When I asked him why, it was because of several things: his Gamerscore (built upon for 7-8 years), his friends (also probably going with x1), and the console exclusives. He loves the games he plays; while he might get a ps4 at some point he couldn’t not get an xbox one. I respect the HELL out of him for making the choice for him and knowing what HE loves. In speaking at length with this friend, it made me think of the games I want to play too. We also have been writing some articles together (site coming soon 😉 and I value his opinion. He showed me his new toy, got to try it for myself, and while I was not hugely impressed, I still liked what I saw. The system is very unique in its own right, voice commands and navigation are neat, and as a starting point for a nextgen console the possibilities are VERY intriguing. And yeah, I’ll say it here: I WANT TO PLAY TITANFALL. I do, can’t lie. It fucking blows that my ps4 can’t play it, but that’s not really any particular person’s fault. Money talks, and these things happen. BUT, I also thought about the other games later this year. I STILL miss Gears of War, I wouldn’t mind jumping back into Master Chief’s suit again, and there are a few other projects on the horizon that have me interested as well.
In the end though, I made some progress paying off some long standing debts this year (and I did it early too, WOOO!!!). I had the extra money, knew what I wanted, and I went for it. YES, I gave in because there are games that I want to play. This is very, very, VERY contradictory to what I’ve said over the last few months, but I believe with the right minded gamers and someone that is WILLING to have a more open mind and view on things, opinions can change. I am eating my own words right now, but you know what? I’m looking forward to trying something new. Yeah, they’re behind in sales. Yes, their console is more expensive. But hey, maybe history could repeat itself. I sure as hell don’t know, but for the first time in a long time the words “console exclusivity” don’t mean shit to me. And that makes me a happy gamer 🙂