Things Will Quiet Down While We Wait for the Next Generation To Begin

If you were waiting to hear definitively which next generation console will be more powerful, you may as well give up.
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The last few weeks in the video game industry have been pretty crazy. We’ve had release dates announced for consoles, new titles unveiled for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation, and the gaming convention season is winding down. In fact, we seem to be sitting at a point now where we’re left thinking, “What’s next?”

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It’s hard to say for sure what the next couple of months will bring us, but as the world awaits the beginning of the next generation of console gaming, we’re likely in for a whole lot of nothing. And by “nothing,” I don’t mean Sony and Microsoft will be quiet. Quite the contrary, actually. In fact, I expect them to spend the next 10 weeks or so shoving advertisements for their consoles and various games down our throats. The problem is they won’t really be telling us anything we don’t already know.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Again)

By now, pretty much everyone who cares knows what system they’re going to buy at launch (or shortly thereafter). There are likely a few fence-sitters still, so Microsoft and Sony are going to be targeting them, though not with any new bullets. Instead, what we’ll be hearing are the companies rehashing what they think makes them so great. They’ll be telling us why one camera is better than the other, why one games marketplace is better than the other, and why your life will be dramatically improved if you buy one system over the other. It’s all rubbish of course, because it’s my understanding (as a completely uneducated tech-noob), that the two systems are essentially similar in terms of what they’ll be able to do. Watch Dogs will likely look just as good on Xbox One as it will on PlayStation 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts will look nearly identical on both systems, and both Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport 5 and Sony’s Driveclub will likely be beautiful, deep, racing games. 

So if you were waiting to hear definitively which next generation console is going to be more powerful, you may as well give up. They’re basically the same. Additionally, by now we are pretty sure we know the final launch list of games for both systems. Sure, a couple more may pop up here and there, but if they were anything of real consequence, we would probably have known about them before pre-orders were made available. Indeed, what we will likely see from now until mid-November is a bunch of advertisements pumping up how unbelievable Titanfall will be, how niche and unique Killzone: Shadow Fall is, and both companies will assume we think their version of the future living room is the one the world wants. 

What I’m trying to say here is that we’re going to see a lot of advertisements, but not a lot of anything new. Microsoft and Sony are all-in at this point, and if they’d wanted to wow us with anything else, they should have already done it. If you’re on the fence and you can’t decide which system to get—and if cost is not an issue for you—then the answer is really pretty simple.

It’s All About the Games

Exclusive titles are what will make the difference for these two consoles. If you want what is being called a “true next-gen experience” in Titanfall, perhaps the definitive racing game is Forza 5, or if you are really excited about motion gaming, then Xbox One is for you. If you know what Killzone is and have enjoyed their previous iterations, you’ve probably already pre-ordered the PS4. However, some other gems include a unique spin on the racing genre that focuses on team-based driving in Driveclub, an arcadey and addictive twin stick shooter in Resogun, or the launch window title Infamous: Second Son, which looks to be the next generation’s first open-world action epic.

It will all come down to your personal preference, and to be honest, I don’t think you can go wrong. Don’t listen to the naysayers or the negative press on either side, as both consoles are going to be fantastic. You’ll lose hours of sleep due to being sucked into some amazing games, and you’ll never regret a second of it. So go ahead, pick a console and pre-order it. The next generation of console gaming is going to be a wild ride, and it’s a ride you’re not going to want to miss.

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Brian Armstrong
Proud gamer parent and freelance journalist (and fundraiser). I cover anything and everything that's interesting about the gaming industry, and even some stuff that isn't so interesting.