Next Gen - My experience (XB1/PS4)

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.

Purchased:

Xbox One:

  • · Two controllers
  • · Battlefield 4, Forza 5, Dead Rising 3, Ryse, Powerstar Golf

PS4:

  • · Two controllers, Camera
  • · Killzone, COD Ghosts, Need For Speed Rivals (Digital), Knack

PS4 Experience:

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.

Xbox One Experience:

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.

Other Experiences:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

2 Comments
2 Comments
Posted by Hippie_Genocide

Your experience is a very specialized one considering by my account you spent roughly $1,620 + tax on next gen stuffs. You're the 1 percent. Occupy Blastroid. Seriously though, I don't think you can go wrong with either one, but I can't recommend both at this point for the average Joe (i.e. someone that playing games isn't their livelihood). Not until the exclusive lineup improves. Most likely people are going to go with whatever console they played more of this past gen. If you have lots of friends on XBL, you're probably going to stick with that and vice versa.

Also, not to be a dick but your tl;dr is kinda tl;dr...

Posted by sarahsdad

@blastroid: Thanks for the writeup. I've been curious about the playroom app on the PS4, but had the fear that the tiny robots wouldn't be entertaining for more than a few minutes.