Anton shares his thoughts on the imminent release of new Sony and Microsoft consoles, and tries to dredge up the will to give a crap. Find him on Twitter @ajkrasauskas and listen to this music as you ask yourself – out of the two consoles, who will survive?
I’ll be totally honest with you, I haven’t really kept up to date on the hype leading to the launch of the next gen consoles, mainly because it feels a lot like election time and I’m usually fairly sure that both parties are equally good – and also therefore equally terrible and equally frigging pointless. What can I say? I’m an egalitarian like that.
I made an immediate snap judgement on my hypothetical favourite console ages ago and it was only based on the fact that I really, really don’t like the direction that Microsoft are going with in their concepts, their branding, their placement and their stupid, stupid fucking name. But then again, their list of ideas for what to call the OG Xbox was equally bizarre and ridiculous. (Microsoft Action Xperience? Fuck you.)
I have no intention to purchase either of these sleek, black, might-as-well-look-exactly-like-the-obelisk-in-”2001: A Space Odyssey” pieces of hardware in the foreseeable future, but if and when I do it will be probably a PS4. There are many reasons for this but the primary three that stick in my head are:
A ) It’s primarily marketed as a games console instead of trying to appear to be an all-in-one entertainment centre for everyone.
B ) Fable 3 was a big pile of arse. (The Fable series was the main reason I wanted the original Xbox and the 360, and now it’s been ravaged for all its goodness and will join the ranks of other equally flaccid franchises, like the new additions in the Gears of War and Halo series)
C ) Fuck Kinect.
Seriously, that’s pretty much all of my entire reasoning. I’m not saying anything new or exciting here. Microsoft’s angle has seemed to be that they need to show that the console is everything. Skype and Twitter and Facebook and TV with Twitter next to it and ordering a pizza and voice commands and…uhh…oh yeah there’s a few games. To my mind, if they want to broaden their market to such an extent where everyone wants to have this fantastic all-in-one box of stylish wonderful that also plays games, they should have ditched the Xbox name altogether. People who don’t play games equate the name Xbox with the idea of nerds and racial abuse, if they even equate it with anything at all. To try and encompass all the things that these people probably already have on separate devices into one package, the name points to it being a games console. Regardless of how clever the name appears to be, to the untrained observer it is a games console and that’s all. To the gamer it doesn’t appear to be enough of a games console and so they have somehow managed to alienate both target audiences.
There have been a few videos on Facebook complaining of people finding issues with their PS4s on day one (such as no online facility whatsoever, HDMI problems, even The Christian Post was having a pop at Sony.) but there have been virtually no reports on the major gaming sites – nothing useful anyway.
IGN, considered by some to be in cahoots with giants like EA, Sony and Microsoft (mainly by companies who can’t afford to be in cahoots with anyone) don’t appear to be making any real fuss of this news. What they have been making a fuss of is comparison shots of the launch games for both consoles. All over Facebook. For three weeks. Seriously. Who the fuck cares? Anyone who is going to choose on Day One has already chosen. Those with PS4s either also have the Xbox One on pre-order or aren’t going to bother with it, while those who are waiting for Xbox and don’t have a PS4 probably aren’t going to be getting one any time soon. This bullshit comparison of in-game graphics is completely pointless except as bait for trolls. I dare not even go and look at the “articles” in question because I assume that they will be overrun with trash talk and hyperbole and to be completely fair to both parties, completely pointless; adding nothing of worth to my existence.
All in all, the only thing I am looking forward to about this is seeing the numbers. I’m sure that the major gaming press will be jockeying for position to heap praise on the winner and I’m sure that, in the words of Homer Simpson, “the loser will be taunted and booed until my throat is sore.”
I’m going to give it at least a year. That will give them a chance to release some games I actually give a shit about.
Teehee…Cahoots is a funny word.