This is not really a review but my experiences with the two new consoles. I also look back at the end and try to decide if I only had money for one which would I choose. This is only my opinion and you tastes may differ so please don’t troll. Also this is not a game, graphics comparison as they both have great graphics and games.
· Two controllers
· Battlefield 4, Forza 5, Dead Rising 3, Ryse, Powerstar Golf
· Two controllers, Camera
· Killzone, COD Ghosts, Need For Speed Rivals (Digital), Knack
I had one extra week with the PS4 compared to the Xbox One. The console and the controller do feel and look next gen. The interface though still needs some work getting to next gen. I am sure there will be patches that address this and both consoles have their rough edges on software where you can tell they got t functional enough and plan to fix later. On the PS4 the long list of games and apps that appear horizontal is the main area of concern for me. It has just launched and I find myself scrolling farther than I think I should to find an item. This can only get worse with time. I would predict Sony will be created categories and maybe 2 or 3 rows instead of just one row. Also maybe a pin action so you can keep some items at the front no matter how long ago you used it. I do like that the games all have links to online manuals just by exploring the other details when you have a game selected. Switching between the console interface and a game is great but there are some apps that you can’t leave open and switch between. You get a prompt to close the previous app before the app you want can be opened. With my attention span I like watching a little bit of a Netflix movie then gaming and hoping back between the two every hour or so. I did take both consoles with me during the Thanksgiving holiday for a week visit and Need For Speed Rivals was the game of choice for the family. My 6 year old niece even tried to drive a little and managed not to miss a single sign or wall. My mom even took the 700 horse power car and took it to a top speed of 20mph. The next big hit was filling the room with tiny robots using the PS4 camera. The kids had a blast for a full 2.34 minutes and then it got old. I tried using the voice commands and they do work well if the TV volume or other noises are not too loud. Unfortunately they are very limited to how far you can navigate. Another feature I could see them improving with a patch. I am in no way unhappy with my PS4 purchase and see where the potential to enjoy many late nights gaming. On the other hand it is not the device I will use for Netflix or Amazon Prime even though it does have the capability. Read the Xbox One Experience for more information on why that is.
After using my PS4 for a week solid before the Xbox One I felt I had the next gen hype out of my system and would not enjoy the Xbox One as much as the PS4, well I was wrong. The one thing that gave me the next gen feel was how well the voice controls worked. Even with the TV blaring and allot of background noise my Xbox One was about 95%+ accurate with me. I do not this will not be the case for everyone especially with heavy accents but I guess I got lucky. I find myself getting ready to go out and while putting my clothes on I am using the Xbox one to check the weather or get a Netflix kids movie geared up for my niece and nephew all with the voice. I have also found myself perform a few operations and then start a game forgetting I have not turned my controller on for the first few minutes of Xbox One use. As far as using the video of Kinect I am not a fan. I tried the wave runner demo and although it worked not holding anything while playing and having to get my lazy butt off the couch made me not want to play. The hand gestures also felt weird and sitting down my knee kept getting confused as a hand causing a few issues. The interface is nice. Not great but nice especially if you are already used to the Tile look of Windows 8. What makes the interface nice if the simplistic design. You have a home screen with the main window and currently open apps and recent apps. You move to the left and all items you wanted to pin are there. You move to the right and find the store. All other options are buried in an app or like setting a button press (multiple ways to get to settings). Like the PS4 though I still hope they will be adding a way to group the items better. Such as games, indie games, apps, junk… With the pin page though this helps the problem a little as only the items I care about will get a place on that page so there is no reason to really every go to the large wall of tiles to find what I need. Heck with the voice controls I don’t even need to go to the pin page. My favorite feature of the Xbox One is the ability to switch between applications with ease. Now I can play a couple of round of multiplayer Battlefield then jump over to Netflix and watch an episode and then back and forth with ease. Even during the middle of a show I can say “Xbox Pause, Xbox Goto Battlefield 4” and then return back to Netfix by saying “Xbox Goto Netflix, Xbox Play” and have not seen the app/game load or a menu during the entire process. The kids during the holiday though never played any games other than Powerstar Golf though. This is mainly due to my games not being for kids and Forza is not arcade like enough to hold their attention. It was the console of choice for watching Netflix though. With the kids in the house the darn TV remote kept getting lost so the voice command “Volume Up / Volume Down” got used allot. I hate to beat a dead horse but for me the next gen was the voice control. From across the room in another room I was able to turn on the Xbox One and get Netflix started to my nephew could browse the shows.
On both consoles I found myself using Twitch far more than I ever had. Yes you could do all that on a PC but it just felt more tangible and easy to use watching someone play a game you might be interested in for a few minutes here and there. For example of was on the fence about even picking up Battlefield 4 but after watching a few award ribbons popping up on someone’s twitch feed it made me need to get those ribbons and a trip to the store was made. On the other hand I thought about getting Zoo Tycoon for my niece/nephew but could just see the boredom by watching someone else play and knowing the attention span of these little ones would be a waste of money. The control battery life for the PS4 was not that great and found myself having to charge them constantly. The Xbox One controller batteries lasted for the entire holiday week. I think this is due to the Kinect either turning off the controller faster when not in use and putting in a lower power mode since it can see if you are holding the controller or not. Some see having removable batteries as a negative but I see it as a choice that the PS4 controller does not give me. I have rechargeable batteries and just like the PS4 controller I can plug the Xbox One controller in also but I also have the ability to pop in charged ones and continue going wireless while the others are charging. I am not being biased when comparing the consoles but showing how in my life why I prefer one design choice over the other where I feel the internet on the other hand will bullet point the cons but never the pros on a design choice.
If you have the money I would say get them both. The exclusive games to me are the main reasons I purchased both consoles. I am not rich but I also have enough where I can afford both without changing my diet so instead of waiting to get something I knew I would get eventually I decided to get months worth of enjoyment now instead of missing out and still paying the same price down the road. If I had to choose though and could only get one I would have to lean towards the Xbox One. Yes I am a gamer in heart but I also enjoy the entertainment side and the real world use of future technologies that I did not find in the PS4. I also had a PS3 and Xbox 360 and was an avid PS3 user for 95% of my console use while my Xbox 360 collected dust. If I were to believe the hype and if I felt that $100 was large pile of money like the internet bandwagon then I should of chosen the PS4 but I did not. Remember this is my opinion and I will 100% wrong to some people and that is ok because as I said before they both are great consoles. Also if we put the prices into perspective then everyone wins. When the Xbox 360 launched 8 years ago it had a retail price of around $399 and the PS3 7 years ago with a price around $599 I would think that a future console with inflation would be around $700+ so I feel lucky that console prices are not on the same inflation scale as milk and gas. We may never know the truth but I think Sony played the game very smart this year by letting Microsoft take the lead with release date and price. For example the PS4 may have had a secret price of $499 and Sony expected the Xbox One to release at $599 and whatever the announcement they would win the price war. Then comes the release date. You will notice Sony waited a little longer on this one. The price was an easy undercut but the logistics to see if they could hit a street date took a little longer to get a green light on but they did it and bravo to them for a game well played. Microsoft could of easily ate some of the cost but someone had to go first. If Sony would of gone first with price and release date I bet it would of turned out different for the Xbox One.
Well thanks for reading my disorganized ramblings of my next gen launch experience. If you don’t have a console I hoped this helped in some way and if you do go game already.
Someone in a post mentioned AD Block so I joking around mentioned I wish there was a CryBot for the forum. Well I am happy to report I have created one for Giant Bomb only. This only functions in the Chrome browser and only works for the GB forums. What it does is replace the key words listed below with red text [Replaced by CryBot]. The list of terms is very short right now but with your help will grow.
I took my Wii U to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving for the week where I played a little solo and attempted some party games with the family. Below is my review and experiences with the system with a little mix of pros and cons.
Nintendo Land was probably the game most played with the family. The party games were fun but not as addictive as Wii sports (bowling) on the last Wii launch. One of the main reasons for playing this game more is the other games other than Scribblenauts Unlimited were too bloody for the kids watching. This is something I would never expect with a Nintendo console , games too adult for the kids! Once the kids went to sleep then I brought out ZombiU and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. One of my favorite features for Black Ops 2 is the 2 player action where one player gets the TV and the other the game pad. This works great when you are on the same team but 1x1 it is so hard for the player with the game pad not to cheat by looking at the TV. The other thing about gaming on the Wii is the ability for many of the games to be played without the TV at all. I know it is not optimal to not be playing on the big screen TV but when someone in the family wants to watch TV you can game on.
PRO GAME CONTROLLER:
I was hoping to be able to use this on most of the games but in my collection Black Ops II was the only one it worked on. For some reason I played better on the game pad then I did with this controller. I may need to change the controls around a little and try again.
DOWNLOADING FROM WII U STORE:
I wanted to see what the experience would be to download a full game from the store. I chose to purchase Assassin's Creed III. The first 12 hour download never gave me and install option when it was complete. I downloaded it again and after another 12 hours it took an additional 2 hours to install. I know the speed was not due to the internet connection as other non Wii U store downloads were very quick and streaming video services on the Wii U were also almost instant. I hope the download speeds are just because of the amount of people at launch and will get better with time but 2 hours to install???
I have Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime accounts and all 3 services did great. Hulu was a little odd in how it handled split screen and the virtual keyboard. To enter the username they gave you the old school keyboard A-Z in order and you must navigate using the controller, but then you go to enter the password and it is a QWERTY keyboard that uses the touch screen. Looks like they rushed the interface. You could navigate Netflix without the TV but Hulu and Amazon required the TV to navigate. Video and sound quality were great.
The Wii U has infrared and allows you to control the TV and set top cable or satellite box. The setup is a breeze. You can even navigate the guide on the set top box. Feature lacking is a recall button. I tend to watch another show during commercials and it makes it hard to switch back and forth without a recall button. Also for DVR you do not have the options to navigate the other menus on the set top box. I also hope they add a DVD/Blu-Ray player control feature.
I found it interesting I could not delete a Wii U message from a friend. I guess the drawn pictures of boobs he sent me will always be there. The Wii U menu is easy to navigate but slow transitions. The video chat works amazingly. My niece pushed the eject button while playing Mario. We inserted the disc back in and the game played without a problem exactly where we were in mid air.
I feel I am going to like the video streaming services the best, especially once TVii comes out. As far as games it will be hit and miss. I will probably not buy too many ports on this system unless they offer some ability with the game pad that makes it worth it. Games like ZombiU though I will buy as the game pad makes sense and other consoles currently cannot offer the same experience.
So with any COD game the negative posts will have a ratio of 1000000:1 for the positive. This is one of those rare posts.
My COD Background:
Own both a 360 and PS3 and have played almost every COD on each platform. For PS3 MW3 I got up to #4 (world ranking for PS3) for hip-firing and average around 1.5 – 2 KD. I would say I am above average without going into autistic mode (aka: uber gamer).
Improvements I enjoy about CODBO2:
· Instead of kill streak they changed it to points. For me this may not reduce the camping or people not doing the objective but it sure doesn’t help those people. So if someone is chasing a Score Streak they will hopefully go for the big point items as kills in objective games are worth smaller points.
· Ghost is now unlocked at level 55 and if a player is sitting still the UAV will show them on the map. One of the biggest complaints in any COD with ghost in it is ghost campers. Still again you can never fully get rid of camping but this one change alone will make it so much harder to be a good camper. You know some campers will not read that small detail and think they are safe in their corner and bam have a tasty grenade.
· The 10 point custom class feature. In all COD games there have been the 2-3 classes that everyone runs. Now you can customize how you like to play the game. For example I created a hip firing class with 1 primary sub machine gun with 3 attachments (quick fire, extended mag, laser sight for hip firing), no secondary, and doubled up on both my tier 1 and tier 3 perks for speed and agility. I of course have more defensive/offensive classes created for objective games but in team death match or free for all this is my play style.
· Knifing seems much more balanced. In most COD games one knife swipe within a 5 ft radius was enough for any easy kill. Now you can knife (non throwing) someones face and they will usually live. A knife to the back is still an instant kill and should be. I have already encountered a few knife classes running around and if I see them before they have a change to back stab me I end up winning most of the time now.
· More vertical objects. The last few COD game had their few stairs going into a building or truck you can climb on. It feels that they took this to the extreme. Almost every little area of the map has 2-3 objects they you can climb on or over. This of course does lend itself to more places for floating head shooters. Never understood how your gun behind an object and you with your head just over the object could still shoot but that is a big technical challenge with all shooters so I can live with it.
· The helicopter sounds like it is farting when shooting. My character died by laughter not bullets.
New to the site and have no clue why I have not found it before. I consider myself a hardcore gamer or a buy everything gamer. A friend introduced me to the site. On a daily basis I visit a number of gaming related site for review articles/videos, and just game gibber gabber.
I just wanted to say thanks to the staff and community of this site. This site compared to the other feels fresh. The wiki alone could is an amazing resource and they give it up for free with the API tools. I like how everything on the site can have its own forum and with blogging like this it allows the community for feel like the site is partly owned by the user. The quest structure is also amazing and has reduced my productivity at work.
The quick look videos have to be my favorite though. The casual feel of the video like you got your buddies in a room to play, make fun of, enjoy, and just be silly is great entertainment. I never expect these video to be a review or guide to the game. If someone in the video as an opinion about the game then I respect it as an opinion of the person and not the site. There are plenty of other places on this site and others to get more professional about the details of a game but the quick looks IMO (<<<) should be non-scripted as they are. For me I get more information about how a game plays than a review or especially a trailer.
Hope to be here for a long time and stay active/productive while I am here.
So I heard Black Ops II will have a 3D TV mode. I like 3D movies but do hate movies that are in 3D that try too hard to show off 3D. I have never tried a FPS in 3D but wonder if it will be an advantage or disadvantage. For me I think it would be a disadvantage as I am a pixel watcher. Meaning I like to watch for shadows or a player’s foot under a wall to try and get a drop on them. With 3D I feel the anti-aliasing is rendered a little different that makes these types of pixel watching not impossible but much harder. Can you think of any advantages or disadvantages to 3D in a FPS?
Was hoping to see some videos of Little Big Karting on the site. Got to say the editor will have people running away compared to Mod Nation and I was good with the LBP editor. Also the weapons/AI feel like you are cheated many times but can also cause you to place with only a few seconds to spare. I would say it is worth a purchase but only after a price drop or 2.