Has the PS4 already beaten the Xbox One?

Feature Aaron Birch 14 Jun 2013 - 06:09

Is the Xbox One already doomed? Has Sony already won the next gen console battle with the PlayStation 4? Here are some thoughts...

Now that E3 has been and gone, one thing has become seemingly apparent – Sony has landed several blows on Microsoft, and many in the gaming community seem to think that the PlayStation 4 has already defeated the Xbox One.

The furore surrounding the Xbox One and its policies on used games and connectivity was growing day by day even before E3 and Sony's big reveal. Now that the PS4 is a known quantity, things have ramped up to a Spinal Tap-style 11, and Microsoft, rather than admit mistakes, appears to be digging a bigger hole. But what's the big deal here, and what are people unhappy about? Let's take a look.

The One And Only?

To put it simply, and taking individual system specifications, price and gaming/media focus out of the picture, the furore boils down to two major things, and that's game ownership rights and online connectivity.

Since its launch, the Xbox One has seemingly been a device with a single goal: to annoy gamers and previously loyal Xbox fans in the world. Plus, there's the small mater of directly attacking companies that make a good deal of their living in pre-owned or rental games (although that's been a bugbear for many big publishers for some time).

The Xbox One's policies prevent users from trading in, lending or selling their old games, other than a strict one-time option of giving, or 'gifting' a game to a friend (who's been in your friend list for over 30 days). Even if you buy a disc-based copy of the game in a shop, once it's installed and registered on your Xbox One, it's yours, and no one else’s. The authentication is a one time only thing, and you can't trade it in, or sell it.

Now, if you're the kind of person who rarely trades in games, and prefers to keep them to play again at a later date, this may be fine. But what if that game you thought would be great turns out to be dross? What if you beat it in a couple of days, and there's little replay value? And, what if you’re like many players who, unlike fat cat execs, have a limited budget? And thus you can only afford games when they drop in price via pre-owned offers, or with the aid of trade-ins? The short answer is, you're in trouble. On paper, it looks as if you'll be buying fewer games per year with an Xbox One.

It should be noted, however, that these policies appear to reflect first-party games, and it's believed that third-party publishers will be able to set up their own policies and terms, coming up with deals with various retailers. Still, it's hardly clear, and most would prefer to stick with current rules.

Even when you do buy a game, you've then got the online connection demand to worry about. The Xbox One has to connect to the Internet every 24 hours to check in with Microsoft's servers. If you have no connection, you can't carry on playing games, even if you're playing single player offline titles. And, if you're making use of the cloud to play games on a friend's console, something that Microsoft is pushing with gusto, you're penalised even more, and have to check in every hour. Any gamer reading this knows that an hour of gaming can seem like 10 minutes, and isn't long at all.

This is usually when the argument of “what's the big deal, I have broadband, and my consoles are connected all the time anyway?” comes in. And to be fair, it's a valid point for many. But not for all. It may be 2013, but there's still a ton of gamers out there who don't have Internet connections, and many that do, have unreliable services or restrictive data caps. Because of this, a forced requirement for online authentication feels simply reprehensible. Basically, it feels as if Microsoft is saying to users with no Internet, “tough, no next gen for you.”

And before you condemn that last statement as hyperbole, consider the fact that Don Mattrick himself talking to GameTrailers blatantly said “Fortunately, we have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity, It's called Xbox 360.” Well, damn. Thanks for the loyal customer love there, Don!

Indeed, the Xbox One is rapidly becoming a much-loathed device in many corners, and although the E3 showing was admittedly very impressive, with a slew of excellent games making an appearance, and technically the unit is top notch, there's no escaping the stigma the console is building for itself.

Sony And The PlayStation 4

Now, this is all bad enough for Microsoft, but Sony's E3 presence certainly didn't help matters and made no excuses, grabbing a veritable vat of petrol and pouring it all over the Xbox One's flame war. In a PR sense at the very least.

The PS4 reveal contained what was an unashamed, but controlled attack on the Xbox One, showing that Sony is not only listening to its own fans, but also Microsoft's in an attempt to scalp some of the latter's following.

The reveal of the PS4 was impressive taken on its own merits. It's a good looking system, has a great controller, impressive gaming-centric features and a rock-solid array of games. However, and as evident from the loud and extended cheers, there were certain features that pleased the crowd the most.

The loudest cheers didn't come from showings of Killzone or Infamous interestingly enough. They didn't come from demonstrations of the seamless online communication or ability to download titles as you play. They came from the announcements made by SCEA CEO, Jack Tretton, that the PS4 will impose no restrictions on used games (although third parties can decide their own policies - something that's being overlooked in some quarters) and will require no mandatory online authentication.

It was clearly evident during Sony's press conference that the company is going directly for the Xbox One's jugular, and the PS4 has key distinctions from Microsoft's platform. In fact, a cynical mind would look at the slides Sony used in the presentation and think that they were hastily put together for the sole reason of attacking Microsoft and claiming some of its fans. And of course, this was the clear goal, and Sony can't really deny it. This thing is, regardless of your brand loyalty, you have to admit Sony has a very strong advantage to play, and it'd be foolish not to.

That said, Sony isn't whiter-than-white either. Although it was quickly skipped over in the presentation, PSN on the PS4 will require a Plus subscription if you're going to play online, much like Xbox Live. The PS3 didn't have this requirement, and Plus was optional, so some fans will be disappointed about this. How this will affect other services, such as PlayStation Home (if it continues) remains to be seen. Still, even with the new subscription requirement, the lean is still seemingly heavily towards the PS4.

A quick, cursory glance at gaming websites and forums online reveals a huge, and constantly growing disdain for the Xbox One, with Xbox fans all over the world stating that they're going to make the move the the PS4. In fact, I've not seen such fallout for a very long time, not since Sega's epic downfall with the Saturn and assorted Megadrive add-ons. This begs the question, will the Xbox take Microsoft in the same direction as the previously titanic gaming icon?

The answer to this is, probably not. Microsoft has very deep pockets, and it'll plough more and more money into the Xbox One to make it a success, but is there any chance for a dramatic U-turn? Now that Microsoft isn't simply combating people unhappy with the console, and has the added threat of the PS4 and losing customers to Sony, will the company bite the bullet and make any changes?

Again, the answer to this is most likely, probably not. At least not yet. There's no doubting that the ditching of the hated policies pertaining to used games and online connectivity would only help matters, even if the PR damage may have already been done, but these policies have also been put in place for a reason, and that's to make more money. No matter how Microsoft may dress it up, restricting used games, lending or trading is all about increasing sales. More new games sold means more money for the hardware vendor, and if you can't lend a game to a friend, they'll have no choice but to buy their own copy. As long as the promise of more money is there, the policy will surely remain. Let's not forget that the Xbox project has stilll not made Microsoft, all added up, much of a return.

The online connectivity is a little more difficult to understand. Part DRM, part data-gathering, it's a tactic that could grant Microsoft more information about your console usage habits so it can tailor services to reap more money from you down the line, and at the most basic it could simply be a check to make sure you're not playing dodgy games.

Then again, it could also be innocently designed to keep your console and games up to date, and required for many of the more interesting social and communication services. If this is the case, though, why not give users the option? Surely it's my choice to update when I like, and if I don't plan on using the online services why should I, after paying over £400, be forced to use the system in a certain way?

There's a lot to be said for customer rights and freedom, and many would argue that Microsoft is stepping all over these rights. And that's even if you lucky enough to live in a region where you can actually use the console.

It's surfaced that, on launch, the console won't even work in all regions, with people in Asia being left out of the loop. You can see the official country support list here. Granted, the Xbox has never really been a big-hitter in Asia, which is dominated by Nintendo and Sony, but it's a huge market to miss out on, and a rather surprising decision by Microsoft.

All of that said, only time will tell how the Xbox One and PS4 fare, and if Microsoft does something to address the issues people have with its new console. If a U-turn is performed, then the battle of the platforms may be more balanced, but I suspect if Microsoft doesn't budge, the Xbox One will witness a exodus of hardened fans, leaving Sony smiling all the way to the bank. That said, will the broader market care, or even notice, until the time comes to go online and check in? That may be the big testing point as to Microsoft's gamble. At the moment, while the technicals of both the Xbox One and PS4 are impressive though, there's little doubt that Microsoft is taking a pummelling in the PR war. The PS4 clearly hasn't already beaten the Xbox One, but it's landed some very heavy early punches. And that's before any of us have played on either...

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This is a very long article when all you really needed to say was "Yes."

So it's basically a 'yes' then.

Now, with regard to the online connection demand, may I also offer another scenario you don't seem to have considered? I don't have any connectivity problems at all, but I still find the daily connection demand as an unnecessary hassle. I work office hours, so I go home relatively late and only play on days I'm not too tired coming in - or have other matters to attend to, which I often do - or during the weekend. So, realistically speaking, I can't accept a console that won't work unless I use it everyday. It would probably get blocked within the first two weeks (and that's being generous).

Everyone on my fb well nearly everyone has switched to the PS4 XD
It's amazing what a company does when they're loyal to the customers. Nothing to really complain about paying for playing online on the PS4 and besides that you still get to use Netflix and other services free of charge. And with PS+ you get all those discounted/free games and other things so cheaper and better service than what XBL has to offer.

this is similar to Apple's launch of FCP X two years ago. they hurt a huge very loyal support and Adobe cleaned up with it's Premiere software. In saying that Adobe has now caused a furore of their own by moving all it's licences to the cloud. You think XBox is bad, try paying £45 a month every month for software that you can't use if you stop paying with no box option anymore.

So is that true? Will it literally not work if you don't sign in for a certain amount of time? I assumed it would just be 'If you don't log in today you won't be able to play it' not that 'if you don't log in we're gonna block you out'? I'm not disagreeing, I just don't know the answer.

I've always been an Xbox gamer since day one, and never bought a PS. But for the first time I'm seriously considering the PS4 now. But not just due to the online/ Pre owned thing, but also because a number if MMO's look to be heading there too, including the new EverQuest game.

Not only is Asia left out, but also a lot of European countries (more than half of the EU actually and even some big counries like Poland and Portugal).

I'm pretty sure that Micorosft will change its policies rather sooner than later. They have deep pockets, but not deep enough.

Answer: The machine as a 'games console' will not work until it gets a chance to connect to the internet. As soon as that's done, it'll work.

So ... internet goes down, or you have a data cap, or you have no broadband, or you move home (and must wait for reconnection), or you wish to take your XB1 to somewhere that has no internet (military base, oil rig, hotel/motel, Grandma's, etc), the XB1 will NOT function as a games machine.

*Pats my PC lovingly*

Microsoft are morons if they think they're doing this for the money. Trying to monetize used games isn't going to turn them any profits if people refuse to buy their product because of it.

MS is about to learn the hard way that you can't force consumers to pay more than they want to.

But It won't block you out if you don't log in for a while, will it?

Microsoft's huge mistake was trying to make the Xbox One an 'all-in-one' entertainment system that appeals to everyone, not just gamers, but I don't think they realised that non-gamers will see anything titled Xbox as a gaming console above all other features. By taking additional features and bringing them to the forefront all they've done is ignore the needs and wants of actual gamers, alienating almost all of their loyal customers (as far as I can tell, I have 20 friends with 360's who all have Live and they are all switching to PS4 when they get a new console). What are MS going to do in a year or two when a company brings out a system that does pretty much everything the One does, without any gaming aspect, for a much lower price? Although as far as I can tell, there isn't even that much demand for a system that links up many of your other entertainment systems, sure the concept of one device to cover all entertainment is great, and would certainly free up space in most homes, the One isn't that, all it's doing is taking away the need for a separate Blu-Ray player. I know you can connect your TV service to it but you'll still need an actual cable box if you want more than 5 channels, so all that's doing is eliminating the need to press the AV source button, and no one is going to pay over £400 just so they don't have to press a button.

If you want to play games, then, yes, it will. Completely.

Without internet (once every 24 hours on your machine, or once an hour on someone elses), it is nothing but an expensive Blu-Ray player.

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A couple of pertinent points that DoG missed:

1. The Kinect - they say you can turn it off, but it MUST be connected in order for the XBone to be usable (which seems bizarre and pointless if you can truly turn it off) and it's probably the reason for the price tag being $100 more.

2. The 'once every 24hr connection' thing - it's bad enough that people with no or at best limited broadband connection but what if the authentication servers are hacked? Some MS defenders are desperately trying to say that won't happen and MS would be prepared for this; but the reality is nothing online is secure and MS has just painted a huge target on its back because of the DRM policy.

Oh and of course the precedent for such a situation was set last year when Sony's PSN went down for nearly a whole month! At least people could still play their single player games during that period, but won't be able to if the same thing happens on the XBone.

MS and EA both got some good press the other month for saying they were doing away with Xbox live subscription and online passes for games. It seems that this was only because they planned to enforce these stupid ideas of single use games and online checking up on their customers.

Sony have done the smart thing, looked at the vitriol MS have had for these issues and gone "we're not doing that"

Guess I'm going PS4.

I have a Wii U, which is the first non-computer device I have had that has things like Netflix. Also a lot of fun online bonuses to games. My internet connection is OK, but has had very iffy with these features (I never used online on my PS3 for similar reasons, as I would be booted out of games mid-play). This is very frustrating as I love the features, but at least I can play the games without a problem in any context. I can only imagine the nightmare I would have if I could do nothing without the internet working up to scratch!

The games themselves aside, I don't see how anyone can defend what Microsoft can do here, or worse, not have moral objections to taking away certain consumer rights, putting a device in your living room which, ultimately, is controlled by a company like that. How one can support a company going as far as filing patents for a means of scanning your living room for the number of people watching a movie with you is beyond me. It's all very 1984 and I for one will not support that with my money.

Does it really matter if it blocks you? I mean, no offense, but isn't it bad enough already?

Yes. Every year I go on holiday with my family to the back of beyond. We used to play Wii games, just like the happy families in the adverts, then bought a Kinnect specially. But the XBone will be no use to us there, so we'll have to go back to the Wii. Idiots.

Also it is quite entertaining to see Don Mattrick try and do himself out of a job.

Nah, they're just making some very true and valid points here (also against Sony).

Thank you for gracing us dirty console peasants with your comment, O exhalted member of the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race.

I used to own an Xbox 360, as well as the Previous Xbox. Then bought a PS3. The thing that gets me is that I can pay 40 quid for a year of PS Plus, which gives me about 60 or so games a year (free to keep as long as I'm a subscriber) or a membership to Xbox live, which means that I can use services such as Netflix etc, which are also free on Playstation network.
I'm not really bothered that a plus subscription is required for the PS4, as I had no intention of not renewing mine anyway. So as far as I'm concerned it's not really an issue.
In my personal opinion is that MS seem to be saying "look, we'll happily take your money and publish games, but we don't trust you. So we're going to install a camera in your living room and spy on you once a day to make sure you toe the line. Here's some sports though, so it's alright really". That's if you can even use it (broadband and the whims of the MS gods permitting).

It comes down to this lack of trust that MS aren't getting a penny from me, it feels like an insult to me, and if it doesn't to you then I'm sure the next gen after this one is going to be great fun. You know, what with the ads and the surveillance and the mandatory install of a 14 year old American in your living room with a list of insults regarding your mother.

MS have totally messed up and Ralph Plug Yeah, I'd say it's worse because if they block you, what is the process of being unblocked? And I haven't turned on my xbox for a few days now: would I have to go through a lengthly rigmarole to sort it out?!

I don't think it puts a permanent block on if you don't log in within 24 hours. That would be daft. It will block until a connection is established, then it'll work again.

Still a stupid policy....

What I meant was: isn't this already enough to put you off purchasing one? ;) But yeah, blocking would even be worse.

Ooooooh thank you Evilbear, at least you know your place compared to some of your uppity brethren!

Mwhahahahahaha ....... ;)

Has the PS4 already beaten the Xbox One ? ABSOLUTELY !!

Who are Micro$oft to tell me what I can and cannot do with my games ! They'll need to revert their policies or it'll be another 'Zune' failure.

I was impressed with Microsofts lineup of exclusives but its not going to sway me towards the Xbox One. All I really really wanted on the PS4 was party chat and I got it so I'm more than happy and we know how Sony are the king of quality exclusives, just wait till later on when we get Uncharted 4 and maybe God of War 4 and new IPs and awesome Indie games like the hit Journey.

Unfortunately gamers have shown time and time again that they'll put up with anything after they've had enough time to get used to it. I predict the Xbox One will do much worse than the PS4 at launch (although not as badly as some think), but will probably start catching up a couple years down the line.

The Kinect can't be turned off while playing games, it's required. It's so that developers can know that every user has it so they're more likely to use it.

As to the point about PSN - this is the One reason you shouldn't buy an Xbox One.

This is why I love DoG, anywhere else on the internet and this would be a flame war by now.

with you brother!

you say that like console havent been looking down their noses at PC gamers for years lol - I do both but have been for the last decade been pushed more and more towards PC only!

I think the process for unblocking is literally connecting again, there won't be a form to fill out or anything. You raise a valid point though, if you leave the console off for a couple days, come home and your internet's down, you can't play. You don't get 24 hours from when you turn the console on to reconnect, in that situation you'd get nothing.

It'll feel weird having a PS and not an XBOX but MS really will have only themselves to blame...

This article has some factual errors in it.
I think it it the responsibility of any jounalist to get their facts straight.

"The Xbox One's policies prevent users from trading in, lending or selling their old games, other than a strict one-time option of giving, or 'gifting' a game to a friend (who's been in your friend list for over 30 days). Even if you buy a disc-based copy of the game in a shop, once it's installed and registered on your Xbox One, it's yours, and no one else’s. The authentication is a one time only thing, and you can't trade it in, or sell it...... It should be noted, however, that these policies appear to reflect first-party games, and it's believed that third-party publishers will be able to set up their own policies and terms......"

This is not true. The XBOne does actually allow selling and buying used games. It is upto the publishers to decide whether to charge for it or not, it is purely speculative how much this charge will be - it could be full price or a small one off fee - who knows that is upto the publisher, i'd imagine something similar to the current on-line pass shemes. Games published by MGS will be transferable with no additional fee. They will also allow lending and renting at some point in the future, just not straight away. It's also worth note that XBOne allows you to share your entire game collection with upto 10 people on any console at any location, allowing yourself and one other to play at the same time. No other console allows that.

Also the authentication uses a small packet of information so shouldn't be an issue for data limits. This could be done over mobile or local wi-fi.

These issues are getting blown out of proportion and articles like this don't help matters.

This man speaks the truth...!

Yeah, other than the initial startup cost and the occasional overrated console-exclusive game, there is literally no reason to chose console over a PC. I write this on my gaming PC as I look at my PS3 gathering dust in the corner after having sold my 360 a year ago due to zero usage.

Don't forget that a lot of single player games are relying on servers, so if they go down or are shut down, your game is useless.

Microsoft have said that whilst you can share your games with up to 10 other people, you can't both play the same game at the same time

I would hesitate to write it off right now, look at the Wii (still an *awful* name), an under-powered console with very limited range of good games arriving late to the battle and relying on a gimmicky and not very good controller that is not suitable for a vast majority of the most popular games.

It had failure written all over it, how did it finish up?

The bad press over second hand games will die down once we get some concrete information of exactly how much it costs, people will grumble but just get used to the system just like Steam, everybody hated that when it first launched but now it along with U-play and Origin is an accepted part of PC gaming. I like the fact that Kinect is bundled with every console and may become an integral part of the game, I like the multitasking, I like Smartglass, I like the controller, I like the cloud being a large part of the gaming experience.

All that being said, the answer is still probably Yes.

I think this is how it works rather than an actual 'blocking', though I'm not sure how the hour-or-day issue comes in then. But still, the fact remains that internet connectivity is not the most reliable thing in the world, and hacking will always be a possibility. At least when PSN went down for a while ofline games would still work, but what's the point if the same won't be true when XboX One's servers aren't available? What's a gaming console if I can't actually play games on it when I want to?

I don't like being told that i have to use the lame and invasive Kinect. I have zero interest in playing games without a controller, and i definitely do not want a camera watching me and a microphone listening to me in the living room of my home 24 hours a day, no matter what Microsoft says they can or can't or won't do with that information (i.e. i don't trust them). I love my 360 and it's controller, and i *was* going to buy the new XBox on day one, but i WILL NOT buy one as long as it requires the use of Kinect. And that is not just empty rhetoric, it is fact.

I'm not sure the all-in-one aspect is a mistake. It may have taken lots of the spotlight at the reveal, but the gaming focus is still strong with the One as shown at E3. The all-in-one is something that you can use if you want it.

I believe the huge mistake was the used games restrictions and online requirement. Full stop. While I fall into the category of "have internet and disposable income, so I don't care", I know that many don't and even if they do are going to go Sony as a way of voting with their wallets.

I bought the 360 at launch and I was dead set on the One, restrictions be damned. But the more I read articles like this and the more I hear of all the people who won't be getting one... I don't want to be the only guy with a One and have nobody to game with. The PS4 is looking more appealing.

Dammit Microsoft, what are you thinking?? Quit f***ing-up your next great console!

I just installed Steam on my video editing workstation. Who knew it was such an awesome gaming machine? It's awesome! Did I mention awesome? It is.

But it won't really fit with my entertainment system in the living room...dammit.

Yup. My (fully legal) copies of CS5 software will be staying with me as long as possible. Go to hell, Adobe!

Which is how it works now, minus the sharing. My friend can't play my copy of Dishonored unless I lend it to him which would make it impossible for ME to play it.

That's why I posted it, I trust you lot to be smart enough to get the joke!

I mostly agree with you but was thinking about this earlier:

"and i definitely do not want a camera watching me and a microphone listening to me"

Don't we kind of allow that anyway with our mobile phones? My S2 has a back and front facing camera plus a microphone that in theory could be activated willy-nilly by people/someone with the right resources; most of us probably share the habit of keeping the phone close, seems no different.

I've still got my Spectrum - it's better than the lot of these new fangled modern game things. And the Commodore 64.

It's debatable whether the Wii or Wii U for that matter are failures. On pure sales figures then yes the Wii is a success but as a gaming console, I would say they are failures. The uptake of games for Wii is very low compared to Xbox or PS3, a lot of people bought the console for the novelty maybe buying one or two games for it, then it got pushed aside to gather dust. The console certainly made for a nice present for a girlfriend (which is probably were most of the sales came from) but as far as gaming goes, the only games that are worth buying were Nintendo exclusives. With Wii U even this is an issue as Nintendo don't seem to release games for it. As far as games sales and proper gaming goes the 2 Wii consoles are failures. They fit into a niche quite well and make good companion pieces to the other consoles but most people play Xbox360 or PS3.

It's not so much that i think Microsoft will be watching and recording everything i do, i just do not like the idea that my gaming machine will be monitoring my living room while i'm playing games or watching movies or tv. Even if you can turn it off, which still hasn't been fully explained (i've heard that it "must" be on while gaming), what if you forget?

I have had zero interest in using Kinect on my 360, and i refuse to be required to use Kinect on my next console. I do not want to have to stand or flail about or yell at my tv to play my single player campaigns on my 1st/3rd person shooter/adventure games, which is pretty much all i play. I want to simply sit quietly and comfortably and relax (with the occasional outburst of frustrated rage of course), just like i do when i read a book or watch a movie.

Microsoft are simply overplaying their hand with XBox One, and i have a feeling that they will be paying a heavy price for their pompous overconfidence.

given the Wii sold a third more units than either the other 2 i'm sure Nintendo will consider it a success. I do agree with you that many many Wii's sit there completely unused, the last time I played on mine it was the first time it had been switched on for over 6 months.

The Wii-U is another matter, that is at the moment a failure. My point is that something can get an awful lot of flack and lots of bad press and still be a success.

Another example was the Kinect - personally I like many people could not see the point of it and thought it was far too overpriced but it turned out to be the fasted selling techno gadget of all time so I heard.

Why do people like the god of war games so much, it's exactly like all the other hack n slash games out there and everyone of them looks exactly the same. Sony has Uncharted fair enough. But even the mighty Gran Turismo isn't as good as Forza and Metal Gear Solid isn't exclusive anymore. What else does PlayStation have? There is Killzone I guess, they games are pretty good. The rest are just indie games really. Most big sellers are multi-format nowadays.

Sony may have won this round by default but it isn't over.
You can do whatever you want with the games, Microsofts games will have no charges for reselling or trading them, the license is totally transferable. It is the 3rd party publishers that will say what you have to do with their games. The only thing is the 24hr authentication which isn't as big a deal as people are making it out to be. This could easily be solved with a cheap 3g PAYG dongle or data tethering.

The Kinect camera and microphone can currently be turned off on the Xbox, I see no reason why the XBone will be any different. I think it's law in most country that devices like this have to tell you if it is broadcasting/recording. Do people honestly believe that Microsoft is going to be recording everyone 24hrs a day? Do they have the resources to process all this information?

Yeah the Kinect is a waste of time in my opinion. I have zero interest in this in the next console. Unless games start using it in decent ways. Voice control is pointless when I have a controller.

What surveillance? Have Microsoft said they will be recording you and keeping the data, I haven't heard this. It's just speculation on the internet. Guess what almost every modern mobile device have cameras and microphones build in, do record you at all times.

Not sure if it's beaten it just yet but it's definitely pinned it to the floor and farted in its face

Just because Sony shut down their servers for months doesn't mean that every company does the same. This was a failure on Sonys part not Microsofts. Is it not possible that Microsoft could leave some servers on to deal with online authentication? For when maintenance is required or if some servers crashed.

Wait, it's Sony's fault now that they shut down the service before any more personal data could have been compromised? Are you serious?

The exact same thing can happen to Microsoft. Or would you keep the servers up when they are breached by an organisation such as Anonymous, if those exact servers are hit?

Exactly Ralph,

Seriously kevgallacher you're being pretty naive, they're going to get hit and get hit bad. If multiple security companies, banks, ISP's, gaming companies ....... even the FBI and CIA for crying out loud can get hit, MS most certainly will! And when they do it means very simply that people will not be able to play on their XBones.

Well unless they love recording the inside of my pocket. Actually there is probably a niche website for that kinda thing!

I currently play xbox360, but I'll be switching to Playstation for the nextgen. I've no interest in having the internet on my gaming consoles and I do sometimes buy used games.

You're acting as if this is guaranteed thing. It never happened to Microsoft on current gen, why would it happen next gen?
There is small possibility that this could happen but I wouldn't think it's something to worry too much about. Routine maintenance is inevitable but I assume Microsoft has plans for how to deal with that.

Trust me, it's a guaranteed thing. Why would it happen? Because it's the internet, because it can and because it will. Because it has happened before with Microsoft. Because this years' (next gen eh?) SimCity launch went so spectacularly well.

Especially after the crap people like Don Mattrick has been spouting, you can bet on this happening. Groups like Anon are already sharpening their knives, just as a reaction. Not that I condone it, but assuming it's not going to happening it taking naivety to a whole new level.

The answer to this is no. If the "console wars" of the past have taught me anything it's that what people on the internet say is bullcrap and it's the masses (and parents) who decide. Time will tell.

Personally, I'd like to see the PS4 suceed more than the XBone because the latter sets a bad presidence for losing control of what we buy.

I doubt the PC I had seven years ago would still be capable of playing the latest games though. And it cost me over £800.

One thing I know for sure is that before the One's reveal, I had every intention of buying it at launch. After the reveal, and now the E3 and following furore, I'm going to at least hold onto my cash until the new year. Microsoft have all but convinced me to convert to Sony (I've been an Xbox man since 2001), which is disappointing, but its their own hand rather than Sony's savvy that has turned me. I'm still giving them a chance, but I think a hell a lot of damage has been done to their platform, and it's self-inflicted. Sony couldn't have hoped for any better.

Well have you played God of War? The same also goes for Xbox, theres nothing except for Forza that I like on my Xbox 360 but on my PS3 I have Uncharted, inFamous, God of War, Journey and The Last of Us but ironically I spend most of my time with multiplatform games on the Xbox due to the pad and party chat.

Maybe, maybe not. My mobile stays in my pocket or looking at the ceiling most of the time. The Kinect doesn't.
Do you like the idea of having to jump through hoops to lend games to people? Maybe so, but I'm sure most of us don't. I'm trying to remain impartial on this but try as I might, MS keep on piling more and more restriction on gamers. If you don't agree then fair enough.

Are Sony perfect? Nope. Are Sony going to charge me to play a first party, preowned game in single player? Nope. therefore Sony get my money.

Bang on, Winston. Bang on.

Who the hell is Winston, mr. Deathray? (Now there's something I haven't said in a while.)

Oh come on, it's the future, man. Flailing and shouting at your tv to get it to work.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and science fiction just became laughably stupid. I can picture old people doing this. "On! On, you damn thing!" and then waving at the screen with their walking sticks. Things were never this way in the clickies.

I'm one of those left out in the cold by XBox One. I live in the Caribbean and so it won't work here - as confirmed by Xbox Support. There's really little reason for me to give a cheer to a company that wants to insist on regional locks that leave me frozen out.

Protagonist of 1984, if the question was legit (and if it wasn't my apologies for being whooshed).

In before Anonymous sinks the Microsoft authentication servers on launch day.

And in before someone yet again refers to Anonymous as an organised group of people (i.e. an organisation or group), rather than a meme originating from the auto-use of the name 'anonymous' if you don't enter a name on 4-chan, with an Anon-HQ website where folks sometimes post suggested targets and then random folks decide whether to join in, and if enough talented folk, or simply an overwhelming number of script-kiddies, take it up, then it's an attack by 'Anonymous' - the only organisation which simultaneously has no members, whilst also having as a member every person who posts as a guest on a forum without entering a name.

I hadn't planned on getting either of these (my hard core gaming days ending in the '80s having escaped the Goblins Dungeon, defeated the Alien Kong Beast and snatched the Ice Crown) but that Star Wars Battlefront trailer could have persuaded me otherwise...

A few observations:

1. There doesn't seem to be much between the two on the fundamental specs nor proposed comtent unless one has an alligence to a particular series.

2. I struggle belive that anybody bringing either of these machines into their home does not have a broadband connection reliable enough to connect once a day, so whilst that may be an irritant of the XBone, I don't see that as a deal breaker.

3. Just don't get all this home entertainment hub fluff. I don't know how the structure is in the core US market, but certainly here I get TV through my Virgin Tivo box and that works just fine thank you.

4. The games swapping situation is the real killer here. I grew up with swapping games in the playground (I'll ignore the piracy issue) and this would be a deal braker for me. Games today are a massive investment...the publ

Agree with you there but I do have to comment on number 2. That may be ok for the UK (and even saying that, I know of people in outer London that get barely 1meg up or down!).

The main issue I think most have with the 24 hour check in thing is that MS really have not come up with a solid as to why its required. If they do, I think many people would be ok with it.

Excuse finishing point 4 separately...disqus and iPad don't go well together!

4. The games swapping situation is the real killer here. I grew up with swapping in the playground (I'll ignore the privacy issue) and this would be a deal breaker for me. Games today are a massive investment not only for the publishers (who love to tell you that) but for the buyer. The new Tomb Raider boasted 6 - 16 hours playing time...well f@@@ me, but 30 years later I still haven't completed Jetset Willy. So after 6 hours your £60 game is valueless and that is ok? Big mistake by MS

5. Kinect - another red herring. So it has to be plugged in...what is the problem with that? If you don't like it watching you, presumably you could pretend it is a drunken pull and stick a bag over it?

Looks like Betamax vs VHS all over again and we know how that went for Sony !

Good point well made sir.

Hehe, it wasn't. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to be stupid, sorry for that :)

I have done and still do get a lot of fun out my 360, but I hold not loyalty to Microsoft. If the PS4 is superior and offers more freedom to play games I will switch without loosing sleep.

A lot of information released by Microsoft has annoyed me, but they can't force me to buy there product, I'll just take my money elsewhere. You have choice to by an Xbox One or not. Microsoft are just making that choice a lot easier for most people.

"At least when PSN went down for a while ofline games would still work,
but what's the point if the same won't be true when XboX One's servers
aren't available? What's a gaming console if I can't actually play games
on it when I want to?"

Mph (shaed head). Microsoft is unbelievable.

As someone with both XBox 360 and PS3 (I don't like the Wii as I'm too lazy to thrash about), I don't suffer with the affliction known as Brand Loyalty - if I want a game, I'll buy it. Now, however, it looks that I'll only be investing in the next Sony console for a few very good reasons, at least to my mind:

I have never played, nor do I have any interest in playing online.

I buy a lot of used games. I spend hundreds of pounds a year on new titles but used games mean I can try games I wouldn't normally consider.

I share games with friends on a fairly regular basis.

I WILL NOT BE DICTATED TO.

The last point is, to me, the most important of all.

I would have liked to have bought both next-gen consoles, but Microsoft have, in one stupid move, taken away any attraction the XBox One had for me.

I'm not partisan in any way as it's all to do with me as a gamer - not which is the better company or console - and that's what's matters most to me as a consumer.

Surely it is Sony fault they were vulnerable to being hacked in the first place?

The reason it is required is so that you could not for instance you could not buy the game, install it to the HD, sell it the next day and play it from the HD, getting round the game being removed from the XB1 by just unplugging it from the internet until you had finished with the game.

I played God of War 3 and it seemed to be an 80s throwback, just button mashing, little different in style from Ninja Gaiden. The 360 has plenty of quality exclusives, the Halo games, the Fable games, The Gears of War series, Left4Dead 1&2, Minecraft, Project Gotham plus the 360 had Xbox Live Arcade long before PSN started producing games in any volume, did Trails HD ever come out on PS3? Geometry Wars? Super Meat Boy? Shadow Complex? 'Splosian Man? FEZ?

The XB1 launch may have been a disaster so far but the 360 has been a strong quality console with plenty on great games.

It's every companies fault if they get hacked, but at the same time it is nigh on impossible to avoid being hacked by someone determined enough. The only secure system is on that is not connected to the net.

Again, I think people are comfortable with the turning off thing, but it does seem bizarre that if you can turn it off it still needs to be connected to make the system work. Also one of the big reasons for it being $100 more is because of the Kinect, and it's MS' insistence that you have it brings out the paranoid brigade.

Luke,

That's again where some of the decisions MS has made are bizarre. If they want you to install EVERY game to the HDD, if you are a heavy gamer and use it as a media center, 500GB is going to run out very fast.

Also, what is wrong with the Steam model (the same model most PC gamers have been using for years)? A once and done registration. If you then sell it, the next person registers the game and deactivates the previous access automatically. Of course PC gamers haven't had a second hand market for years, but then it is generally much cheaper to buy games anyway.

MS appear to want people to happily buy their games, but then dictate to them how and when they play them. Sorry but that should be purely up to the Publisher to dictate that.

But you've got to have it and it's gotta be plugged in (even if you don't have to have it switched on).

Seriously, I have no idea what the MS Board are smoking, but it sure is strong stuff.

As long as you are actually in a decent 3G area of course .............. which vast swathes of the UK don't have, unless you in the big metro areas but even then it can be very spotty.

Thankfully i'm all growed up now so I don't live with my mum, but if I did, I would be getting no 3G connection and my broadband would be at best 1.5meg down, 500k up!!! And she lives 3 miles north of Chichester, the county town of West Sussex - one of the most affluent areas of the UK. Thankfully the BDUK cash has been sorted so she might actually get some half decent coverage in oooooh 3 years!

3 is a strange reason not to buy the console, as it is just an extra that they have added in. PS4 will have tv, films and music on it too.
I still don't see why 4. Is an issue because as far as we know XBOne allows the reselling, trading of games. The only difference is that there is another step involved with transferring the license which is free in the case of Microsoft games.. No one is sure quite how this works. But I don't see it as a deal breaker. If any 3rd party title does not allow the transfer of the title then it is their decision and it is up to the consumer to decide if that company is being fair, most likely culprits will be Activision and Ubisoft, EA has discontinued their online pass so can't see them continuing it on next gen. The XBOne also allows you to share all your games with upto 10 people, which is more than enough for kids to share with their best mates. To be this actually seems Ike a selling point over the PS4.

Yes I have played God of War and it feels like every other hack n slash game, there was another exclusive Heavenly Sword that is basically the same. Both consoles have their share of quality titles, people have different preferences. But the biggest games are multi-format now.

You can say all you want but hack n slash doesnt get more epic than the God of War series. Im not saying anything bad about it I have both consoles but imo the exclusives on the ps3 are far superior obviously people will think otherwise they have different tastes.

You're comparing Heavenly Sword to God of War that shows all you know about GoW and hack n slash in general.

Looking to the future, have Sony won or, if things are as DoG suspect, is this actually a masterstroke from Microsoft?

Sony with its allowance of trading and second hand sales is all very well, but will it reduce revenue stream when compared to Microsofts policy of limited lending and no re-sale.

If publishers start to see that they get a better sale ratio or profit on a title that is released on the Xbox, will they be tempted into more exclusives with the Microsoft unit?

In turn if this is the case, it may even mean that the per unit price of games on Microsoft comes down when compared to the Sony equivalent.

Could it be that this state of affairs while garnering short term positive press for Sony will actually give a longer term advantage to their competitors?

Of course it won't be blocked, you don't have to switch it on for it to connect to validate the games, both current gen consoles do this already. Even if you are one of those weirdos that insist on switching something off at the plug as soon as you switch on the XB1 the first thing is will do is log into live, validate all your games and you will be good to go before you can even switch on your TV.

I think its mostly a matter of microsoft has landed several blows on microsoft.

ms has been severely garbage ever since vista.

I'd go even farther back and say ever since the first xbox,
but people seemed to like that one.

We'll see how many fools there are for ms to fleece ever last penny out of.

You may be right,
it may be a brilliant move.

I was surprised that anyone bought the first xbox.

I never understood why anyone with any brains would have brand loyalty to microsoft.

Paid shills and 13 year olds with no sense in their heads, sure.

But out of all the things in the world to become obsessed over,
microsoft?

That sounds to me the same as if you told me that you were a michael bay superfan.

(Huh?!)

"On paper, it looks as if you'll be buying fewer games per year with an Xbox One."

But you can watch tv.

And microsoft can watch you watching tv.

I think you are misinformed about steam, from the Steam website:

"Does Steam Trading mean I can sell my used games?

No, only games that have been bought as a gift, and thus have never been played, can be traded. Once the Steam Gift is opened and added to your game library, you won’t be able to trade it again."

You certainly cant do that on U-play either, I bought a second hand copy of Assassins Creed 2 which I will have to throw away, it has been registered already on U-play and cannot be transferred under any circumstances.

If anything the XB1 system is slightly better than Steam - it is still enough of a deal breaker for me at the moment for me not to buy the system when the the PS4 seems - and that can change - to have a slight advantage. Personally I will wait for any RROD or YLOD problems to come out and for the prices to come down to even think about either console.

As for the size of the HD say you have 450gb usable size then that is 9 games installed but I would have thought that most games will not be that big - looking at the installed games on my PS3 Dead or Alive 5 is only 6 gb, Motorstorm Apolypse is only 6gb, LBP2 is only 8gb. Skyrim on the 360 was barely 4gb and 6gb on PC. On Steam I have over 70 games that take up barely 200gb.

Wait, so if you need the internet to play EVERY game, doesn't that mean that Xbox LIVE is mandatory? Doesn't that mean I have to pay $60 bucks every year to play these games, because they all need internet connectivity?

OK i was going to read this entire article until i realised that it's just yet another "Speculation Station". For example:

"The Xbox One's policies prevent users from trading in, lending or selling their old games" - wrong.

Direct from Microsoft: "Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games."

I'm not an XBOX fanboi, or a playstation hater. I have both consoles and am planning on having both the new ones too. I'm just sick of people trying to moan about the "drawbacks" of these new systems. If the "Must be on line once in 24 hours" thing really does affect you, then fine, i feel for you for not having this available. But let's face it, most of us have our system connected to the net, our current systems are, our future systems will be. Agreed they're isolating their new system from these few who can't be connected 24/7. But is this user base really that big? I'm genuinely intrigued.

No, you can connect without a gold live account.

You say limited lending but they allow sharing with up to 10 people, something you cant do with a disk. Also Microsoft does allow resale with no additional charge, they only difference is you need to transfer the license. We don't know the full details of which. 3rd parties can limit the resale of their games but that doesn't mean they will.

The Sony issue wasn't to do with maintenance, it was from a hack which Microsoft are not immune to. Either way, you've not given a reason as to why a consumer should have to put up with it, even if the chances are low that it would happen?

Why as a consumer should you have to put up with it?

"We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers" - So if I want to sell a game I bought to a friend I have to go out to a store, pay a fee and let them decide the price to sell the game to my friend? I'm sorry but the article isn't speculation, it's what Microsoft have said outright.

There are a hell of a lot of gamers, particularly the younger ones, that trade in their old games so they can buy the latest big release. All of those people, myself included, will just go over to Sony now, because all the game stores will simply not bother buying used Xbox One games (obviously).

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