Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 Console Releases

This year will see the two biggest Next-Gen consoles released; the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.Scheduled to be released November 15th and December 31st, respectively.  These two new consoles will both include extensive boosts to the technology of their predecessors and hold plenty of new games to play.  The current announced prices are approximately $400 for the PS4 and $500 for the Xbox One.
            The Xbox One is going to operate on the same system of Xbox Live as the 360, and has a large focus on a few aspects of multi-player gaming.  First off, sharing moments in games is going to be made easier with a built-in system for game replays.  Secondly, the consoles will be utilizing cloud-based games.  This will improve the connection quality of most members of the game, decreasing lag time and allow for “persistent games”, in which game elements would remain constant (for example, if an object is destroyed, it stays destroyed even if the person leaves the game and returns later).  One of the most publicized features on the Xbox site is the addition of an improved matchmaking system, which will place players with people with whom they will enjoy a game.  And perhaps the most risky new feature is an advanced Artificial Intelligence that could allegedly act as a “mirror player”, imitating a human player that leaves a game to avoid interruption. 
With few hands-on reviews and the release still a while away, all of these features have yet to pass the public trial, so the Xbox One may fail, but if it works up to the rumors and reports, it will be a truly amazing gaming console.
  One hundred dollars cheaper and released a month earlier, the PS4 already has a distinct advantage.  One of the most notable features of the PS4 is the new controller.  The new controller, like the PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers, will be wireless and fitted for an easy grip.  But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The controller now comes with a touchpad, six-axis sensor, a light bar that games could use for information display (such as mission progress perhaps, or the team of the player), as well as a new and improved rumble pack and even its own built-in speakers and headphone jack.  The major downside of the controllers is that they cost $60.  Much like the Xbox One, the PS4 has few hands-on reviews and has yet to be released, so it still has to stand up to complete testing in public.  However, things look quite good for the new PlayStation, certainly better than the last.
            The two are at a virtual tie in terms of specs, with both featuring 8-core processors and top of the line graphics cards.  So what about the games that could be played on them? After all, a gaming console is fairly useless without a good game.  Both will be continuing the popular Call of Duty franchise, as well as featuring the Bethesda games MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online.  But there are clear differences everywhere else in their titles.  The PS4 will be sporting Assassins Creed Four: Black Flag, as well as numerous PC ported titles, a number of them free to play, and will likely have many hit indie games, such as Transistor (from the creators of Bastion) and Don’t Starve.  The Xbox One is planning mostly to continue producing titles for the Halo, Battlefield, DeadRising, and Forzaseries.  So with PC ports and indie games in addition to big titles, as well as a lower price tag and earlier release date, the PS4 could beat the Xbox One in profits, but with a somewhat larger fan base the Xbox One still has good chance to win out in the long run, as has been seen in the past with the 360.
By: Duncan McLeod

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