June 10, 2013

What they did RIGHT!

So I ranted a bit... or a lot, depending on your view, about the next gen at least with regards to the ps4 and next xbox. Now it's time to take a good long look at both and point out what they've actually done right, and what I'm excited to see from them, the stuff that almost makes me consider what it would be like to own one.

Starting with the ps4 I'm glad to see a wider controller for my hands and the various improvements to it overall, I'm excited to see what we can do with the touchpad. I'm also happy to see how the share function was implemented even if I'll likely have little to no use for it. The fact that it won't force me to connect to the net to play games as far as I know is also a really big plus for me especially in stark contrast to xbox. It's not like I have any difficulty with connecting or that I'm in an area with bad net, though I often go up north for a week in the summer or go to a friends without net and other such instances where having to connect could be a problem, and at the same time I've never liked any DRM headache and the ability to borrow a friends game really helps me appreciate how much consideration was put in to making the ps4 a social gaming console. Having the best hardware specs so far is a technical bonus in addition to the fact that their gaikai streaming acquisition will be able to let me play basically anything from the ps4 on a vita from my understanding is a huge plus. Simply put when buying a ps4 I have a pretty solid idea of what I'm buying and what to expect and it's not bad. It's not great, but it's not bad.

When it comes to the xbox one, or as it'll likely be shortened to "the X1" I doubt that the benefits will ever outweigh the drawbacks of ownership but here they are all the same. The inclusion of standardized ddr3 ram rather than the graphics proprietary gddr5 ram can make the console easier to design games for potentially, though how much is uncertain. With amd's GCN architecture the console will be able to share both resources easily also making it better to an extent. To compensate for the pitiful 500gb internal hard drive they're allowing external storage which doesn't mean a whole lot but it's at least considerate and I can give it a slightly positive note for including it. It's hard to say if the inclusion of smart glass is a positive or a draw back but for the time being I'll mark it up as a positive though pointless inclusion as it will be a very under utilized feature. The same could be said of voice commands though they might be of slightly more use. The forced inclusion of the kinect at least means we'll have a camera and area microphone to work with. I'm happy to say this time they're actually including wifi out the door as it took them quite some time to do so last gen, and thankfully unlike ps4 it's actually supposedly going to include the latest standards, though at the time of writing the official announcement is only for a/b/g/n so we'll have to see... if it doesn't actually include the newest standards then just ignore this part. They've finally also gotten the clue to start giving gold members more benefits including two free games a month for gold member subscriptions. Apparently as of right now you can hop on and grab Assassins creed 2, Halo 3, and Fable 3? I don't know if you can only pick two or if you'll be able to pick at all they may just say which titles are available each month, who knows if you'll actually be able to keep them after you let your subscription lapse or even if you can carry them from month to month though that will most likely be the case. It is a new announcement so I don't have all the proper information and I actually haven't logged onto my xbox yet to confirm though from what I'm seeing this appears to be the case. The wording of the announcement was also a little off as it suggests gold members will only get free games in the months leading up to the new xbox and not through or after it's launch which sounds very disappointing if it's just a trial run. I'm equally inclined to rant on the selection as we pretty much all have halo3 still or aren't interested in it anymore, same for assassins creed 2, and fable 3 was such a horrible game that's a complete waste of your life to play, it's a real slap in the face, and I would bet my controller that they don't include any DLC with the games either. Lets also not forget the X1's complete lack of ANY BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY, meaning these will be worthless to anyone that actually buys the new console.

The X1 also now has new twitch tv support? For me with all the amateurs maybe not a plus but at the same time it may help some people that are good that couldn't broadcast before, and either way it's a plus because I'm sure it'll make people happy even if it upsets just as many people or more. Though again betting my controller I would say you probably have to have a gold subscription for such things.

Previously I complained both consoles wouldn't have 4k, turns out that I'm probably wrong as a few reports suggest they will both handle 4k though I highly doubt that this will include the 3d they're going to undoubtedly force on us, as from my understanding on bandwidth of HDMI and it's cables is limited to the point it should in theory be incapable of properly supporting both at the same time. Though the new revision of HDMI 2.0 in the works may be capable it's not yet finished and may not be ready come the promised november ship date.

Given that E3 just started I'll probably have a few more of these posts coming in the next couple days.
For my fellow G4 watchers it's horribly depressing that they as of yet to my knowledge have no E3 coverage forcing us over to Spike which is some BS but I guess it doesn't matter considering I haven't watched much G4 since Kevin left AotS and less since it was cancelled. I hate NBC and their BS especially the person they put in charge to "revamp" the network which has gone on record as planning on changing G4 "from geek to sheik" which I could literally feel something in me die when I heard that. So don't expect anything out of G4 for E3 news just stick with Kotaku and hope for the best. Also don't forget to stop by the PS@Home E3 booth for some cool items and some trailers.

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