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Xbox One and PS4: Do We Really Need Them?

Both the Xbox One and PS4 have been announced, which means that the two big boys (Sony, Microsoft) are both out to win that  ‘next generation’ console race. But after seeing the latest Microsoft One conference and looking back on Sony’s, I’m starting to seriously doubt the actual purpose of these new consoles.

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The Xbox One and PS4 both claim to be packing some serious beef behind the covers and ‘rival the power of those high-end PCs’ though most of the games I’ve seen so far on both of these new systems look slightly improved from the PS3 and 360. What I’m saying is, it looks like our current gen consoles could run these babies just fine.

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The new Call of Duty: Ghosts made an appearance today at the Xbox One conference and showed off some of its gameplay and increased ‘textures’ and ‘gun smoothness’ for millions of watchers at home to scratch their heads over. The video teased  increased texture resolution for your first-person hands (the only piece of the main character you can actually look at in COD), and features emphasized for the hands included additional “dirt, cuts and more, um, more hair…” – Not a direct quote.

Both Xbox One and PS4 controllers look almost identical to their predecessors, albeit a with a few more shiny nobs and buttons on them. It seems all the new consoles can really offer in terms of something unique to their predecessors is the fact that they can be more connected and focused on social networking, mimicking the uber-popular Facebook or Twitter.

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Really just a set top box

But I ask you, why I would go onto my Xbox One and post something when I can just as well go onto my phone and do the same thing on Twitter in the fraction of the time?

The problem I think this next generation of consoles is going to have is capturing that core market of gamers who love new and exciting experiences and serious improvements of old. Watching both press conferences, I kept asking myself, do I care about the Playstation 4 or the Xbox One, and is there a reason for me to? The answer still is without a doubt: no.

I’m sure when E3 rolls around both big shots will announce a trickle more games for their system, but to me both these initial conferences have been a massive mistake. Why wait until E3 to blow your entire load? To me, the smart man announces a few massive and exciting games straight off the bat to really rock the boat.

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This is a car, just like the one I drove in Forza 4. You want me to… drive it again for the next-gen?

Imagine at the PS4 event last month, Sony comes straight out and says “This year only on the PS4 will you be able to play Kingdom Hearts III, The Last Guardian  and MGS V.” Something like this to really punch viewers in the face, or even just saying the PS4 will be able to play every previous Sony PS2 and PSX game and can connect to your microwave.

See, I made a joke there because I just don’t know what else they can do. Same with the Xbox One; today the current systems have online support and can update themselves frequently and, honestly, still look good graphically compared to previous generations. The leap between PS2 and PS3  was massive because the PS2 – as good as it was – lacked certain critical features like true online integration with friends and substantial high definition graphics.

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Great, this little bastard is back.

I understand these companies want to up the ante and make as much money as they possibly can. But I feel that right now investment would be better spent on new awesome exclusive games and things that build upon the already solid systems that are the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Previously, these companies released new consoles because yes, they wanted to make money, but also because they genuinely felt significant improvements could be made upon their original products.

Now I’m starting to think the PS4 and One are coming out this year just because they can.



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