The console wars: The One 4 U
On Nov. 18, 2012, Nintendo started the next generation of gaming with its successor of the Wii, titled the Wii U.
Although this console had many innovative features, including a second screen gamepad, the Wii U was not considered a specifically next generation console due to the fact that the online capabilities and the graphics were as robust as the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.
Also, due to Nintendo’s relations with third party developers like Ubisoft and EA, former third party exclusives like “Rayman Legends” were moved to multiplatform and the Nintendo exclusives became mostly a priority of Nintendo itself.
On Feb. 20, 2013, Sony held a press conference to announce the PlayStation 4, its entry into the next generation race.
Here, Sony showcased both gaming capabilities with three first party exclusive games and social media with a gaming DVR that allows users to live stream their games or post clips of their recent gameplay.
After three months, Microsoft came out less than three weeks into the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) with the Xbox One, the successor to the Xbox 360.
In the hour-long conference, they showcased the TV connectivity and how the Xbox One and its camera, the Kinect, can be used for television and computer-like activities, such as watching the NFL with a fantasy league sidebar automatically updating.
In the time between Microsoft’s conference and E3, criticisms about the Xbox One came around, as the messaging after the conference became mixed.
There were many different statements regarding the rumor that the console must always be connected to the Internet.
Because Microsoft had a requirement to be connected to the Internet every 24 hours and that all games were to be purchased new, people stated that they would not purchase the console.
At E3, both Microsoft and Sony held press conferences regarding their new consoles.
Microsoft focused on their games, as they had promised earlier, and the ways the new Smartglass technology interacts with the Xbox One.
Sony’s press conference focused on independent games and their social media connectivity.
However, in direct response to Microsoft’s policies, Sony announced that Sony supports offline play and used games, even releasing a satirical video on how to share a game with the PlayStation 4.
After the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 opened up for pre-orders at $499 and $399, respectively, results almost immediately showed that the PlayStation 4 was outselling the Xbox One.
After several weeks, Microsoft reversed their policies regarding the continuous Internet connection, instead only being connected on the first day.
As time passed, Microsoft changed several of their restrictions from early on to compete with the PlayStation 4.
These lifted restrictions mean that independent developers will have the ability to self-publish games and the Kinect sensor can be unplugged from the console.
At Gamecom 2013 in Germany, both consoles released their launch plans.
Sony announced that their release date to be Nov. 15, 2013 in North America and Nov. 29 in Europe and other select territories, with the console releasing in Asia in Feb. 22, 2014.
The Xbox One was later announced to release in North America and Europe simultaneously on Nov. 22, 2013, eight years after the Xbox 360 release.
As late November approaches and the consoles continue to seem similar, the spotlight will shift to the exclusive games on either console, from “Killer Instinct” and “Ryse” on the Xbox One, to “Knack” or “Killzone: Shadow Fall” on the PS4, to even the already released “Pikmin 3” and upcoming “Super Smash Brothers” on the Wii U.
By the time December comes and all consoles are out, the numbers will come in to see who won the first battle in the console war.