I remember when the Xbox 360 was announced. I was blown away. Here was this machine that promised the most amazing graphics we had ever seen in our lounge rooms, and after viewing that Madden trailer, I was convinced it was the future.
That illusion lasted about three seconds after I opened up the box.
Yet this generation of consoles did offer some considerable moments of innovation. The Wii brought gaming to the masses, it provided motion controls, which for better or for worse, changed the way we game forever. I don’t care what anyone says, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a great example of how motion control can enhance a game, it’s just a shame it came too late.
Kinect was an impressive piece of kit, but Microsoft have failed to utilise it in a way that makes sense right now. PS Move was a better version of the Wii’s control scheme, yet once again Sony didn’t know how to use it.
But now the new generation of consoles are upon us, and I’m not excited at all. In fact, if I wasn’t a games journalist, I wouldn’t even bother picking up an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4.
“But why not Heller? It’s got x86 architecture, it’s got 1.1 gigawatts of DDR5 RAM. It will be glorious”.
My PC has been doing all of this for years, and I’ll argue, has more exclusives than Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo combined.
From a technical standpoint, the new Sony and Microsoft consoles are PC’s in a box. They run on the same architecture, and they are simply kitted out with their customised operating systems respectively. I’ve already got my PC connected to the TV in my room, with no fancy wires, most decent graphics cards or even laptops have a native HDMI port these days.
“But what about installation of programs? Isn’t that confusing?”
With Steam Big Picture widely available, full support for gamepads on many games, and the fact I simply click and install, much the same as purchasing something from XBLA or the PSN Store, Steam has removed the barrier of entry for those who aren’t “tech savvy”.
What I find interesting is the fact that the PS4 and Xbox One are so similar when it comes down to raw specs. Considering both are running on the same architecture this time around, this generation is going to come down to one thing pure and simple – exclusive games.
Now the cross-platform era is going to be exactly the same between the two consoles, Microsoft really need some killer exclusives, games that can compete with Nathan Drake, games that can be better than The Last of Us.
Yet PC gamers have some of the best exclusives going around right now. Check out SpyParty, DayZ, Sanctum 2 or how about Element4l.
Sure, a lot of them are indie games, but considering that this time all Xbox One games will require a publisher behind them, Microsoft has essentially shut the door on the fledgling indie studios that Sony are trying to embrace.
The shiny new consoles may be appealing for some, but for me, I’ve been enjoying this kind of freedom on PC for years. This isn’t a PC elitist article claiming how much better the platform is, this is an article pointing out that PC is finally on par with the console race this generation.