Sparx’s Next Gen Review
In this review we’ll be taking a look at the two main next gen consoles (this gen is the largest we’ve seen in a while with Xbox, Playstation, WiiU, Ouya, GameStick and the Steam Box all being involved but we’ll be concentrating on the Xbox and Playstation offerings.
I own both consoles and after spending a considerable amount of time on each platform and their launch exclusives I think I can be unbiased between the consoles and offer a good review based on consumer experience.
word of warning, there will be plus points and minus points for each console, nothing is off limits, if you find anything in here to be disagreeable, please post it in the comments, but keep it respectable, any straight up flaming can and will be deleted.
Now that’s out of the way we can get into the reviews
Console size and shape
Its very small, smaller than the PS3 super slim which I also own. It looks very good and the design works well for a desk as the fans are on the back, meaning a monitor can happily sit on top without damaging the console.
Its also a very good looking console, the matte finish with the gloss removable cover makes for a very nice looking piece of kit.
Onto that removable cover, if you take that off you have access to the hard drive after unscrewing one screw, making it very easy to change out your hard drive.
The angle of the consoles front and back, I feel extends the size unnecessarily, it could have been made a rectangle and lost around 2 inches from the size of the console. Which would have made the consoles size more apparent. However that is a minor fault with how it looks.
The Xbox One
Follows the same stylings as the ps4, a gloss finish matched with a matte finish again makes a very good looking console.
Its really big, slightly larger than the xbox 360 redesign. And without a removable hard drive it makes the storage that little more precious.
The console is also incredibly heavy, weighing in at about 5Kg making it a pretty decent weight and also pretty uncomfortable to carry from a shop to your house (something I did wasn’t a fun time)
Winner purely on the hard drive situation – PS4
Launch Exclusive RETAIL Games
KillZone Shadow fall
For launch exclusives, pretty typical line up from Sony, an FPS and a Platform game both phenomenal games, very fun, both highly recommended.
Dead Rising 3
Ryse: Son Of Rome
A different feel on the game front, 2 action games, one open world, one mission based. Again both incredible games a very different feel for the console than the usual shooter launch.
Very few services available at launch, the basics are available (from an EU standpoint) Netflix, LoveFilm. But very little else in the way of movie/TV. The propriety services, music and video unlimited.
Music unlimited is a service that allows you to stream music while playing your games, however the premise is better than the service, most games the soundtrack is very important to the feel of the game, the only games this service could be good for is racing games.
A large number for a launch, again EU specific, Netflix, Love Film, Demand 5, 4OD. With Sky and other services being made available later in the year. Making the service list within the first year of release the same as the current Xbox 360 list. Which is very impressive.
Winner – Xbox One
The Dualshock 4
The first major redesign since the DS1 back in the PS1 days, and its very welcome. The controller is slightly larger than its ps3 counterpart, and the addition of the touchpad is a clever idea for future use. The larger size and the redesigned handles make the controller feel more ergonomic. And it’s a pleasure to use for long periods of time.
The only major flaw is the battery life, 5 hours which is a long time, but it does mean for very long sessions it could be useful to have a spare around to switch to,
The Xbox one controller
Largely the same as the xbox 360 controller but with the welcome loss of the battery pack, the controller does still run on batteries, so a play and charge kit is still very much a necessity. As the xbox 360 controller fits very nicely in the hands and everything feels easy to use and easy to play.
The controller adds in rumble on the triggers, which sounds like an irrelevant feature but it is very cool and very useful in game, it adds direction to incoming hits that you may not be able to see on screen. Also very useful in racers, push the throttle and you feel the throttle open. Which is a very cool experience.
The XMB is still here but its hidden behind the live screen, which looks a lot like the xbox’s metro screen, its much easier to navigate, much nicer to look at.
The store is largely the same. Not much to talk about in that one.
Exactly the same as the 360 home screen, same easy to navigate interface. Not much to say.
Not included in the console, purchased separately. Can be used to sign in, voice commands, and show your face while streaming, not essential, but can be nice to have.
Used for exactly the same as the PS EYE however with the addition of being used in clever ways through games for example in Ryse you can control your troops. In Dead Rising, you can talk to the special event bosses, certain phrases calm them down so you can hit them or enrage them to make them harder to beat.
Winner – xbox one
So in this review the Xbox comes out slightly ahead but mainly on things that Microsoft pushed from the announcement which is television and services. The addition of the Kinect makes the deal a little sweeter. However using the console without the Kinect doesn’t make the console any less comfortable to use.
On the games front both have fantastic launch exclusives. And with the list of games ever growing, the consoles are both going to become fantastic pieces of equipment with many years of entertainment, if you’re a tech and gadget fanatic, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking both consoles are a lot of fun. But if you’re not too fussed about services and just about the games, PS4 is the console to play on.
If you’re on the fence about the two consoles. Use this piece of advice, buy the one your friends play on. If you only game with your TLN Family then the PS4 is going to have a lot of good times, if you’re like me and you game with your TLN Family and you’re IRL friends who play on the xbox, both consoles will get a lot of use.
Personally me and my fiancé own both consoles. We have 2 ps4’s as we both like the console and the games available, and we have 1 xbox one, which we share, which shows the console we prefer to play on the most. However, I can definitely see in the future we may both own Xbox Ones as well. Purely for ease of playability and the ability for me to stick at my desk instead of us swapping areas to game when I want to play on the xbox.
With so little between these consoles, we have an almost a dead tie, which is exactly what we want in consoles. very little difference in consoles allows for companies to make better games.