What Next Gen System to Buy? – Holiday Shopper’s Guide to Video Game Consoles

It’s two weeks until the release of the PS4, and, although, I don’t want to feed into the next gen hype machine too much, it seems silly to continue on as if it were business as usual. So here we are with next gen upon us, and we’re moving into the holiday rush, which is usually frantic enough for our industry without the launch of totally new hardware. While many people on the internet would have you believe differently, you can’t really go wrong with either the Xbox One, the Playstation 4, or the Wii U. They all offer, or are set to offer, great experiences. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a difference between them, and you, as a prospective buyer, want to be aware of them so you can pick the console best for you. There are many info charts and graphs explaining the various inertia of each console, but in the end, what matters most is what games do the systems play. No amount of extra features can make up for a system without good games. Therefore, I want to take you through what games to expect to be able to pick up at the launch of each console, and then what games you can expect to come out early next year/in the future. That way you aren’t stuck with great launch games, and nothing else, or bad launch games, desperately waiting for something decent to come out.

You can have them in any colour – as long as it’s black.
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1. The Xbox One

The Xbox One has come a long way since its PR nightmare reveal. At this point, it’s a powerful machine, though slightly less so than the PS4, which does not require a persistent online connection. It retails at $499 US and Canadian dollars, which is $100 more than the PS4. This is because the Xbox One comes with Kinect, which is a motion sensor, while the PS4’s equivalent is sold separately.

Launches November 22nd.
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a. The Launch Lineup

The Xbox One has the strongest launch lineup of the next gen consoles. Fans of zombie games will love Dead Rising 3. Roman God of War title Ryse, while simplistic-looking could end up being a solid game. And Forza exists for the racing fans. The digital front doesn’t look as good with the poor-looking Crimson Dragon and Killer Instinct filling the queue. This is all on top of multiplatform games such as Call of Duty Ghosts, Battlefield 4, and Assassin’s Creed Black Flag. Altogether, if you buy the Xbox One, you should not lack for games to play at launch.

Dead Rising 3 is a silly game.
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b. Future Prospects

The future looks fair for Microsoft’s new console, though it is a little shooter-heavy. Sunset Overdrive, Halo 5, and the impressive Titanfall will grace the system, though Titanfall will be available to PCs and Xbox 360s. Multiplatform for both consoles is heaven with games such as The Witcher 3, Final Fantasy XV, and Destiny coming to both the Xbox One and the PS4. The only issue with the Xbox One, is that, outside of its few hard-hitting exclusives, most of which are launch titles, we don’t know very much what to expect. If it follows the same trajectory as the Xbox 360, I wouldn’t not expect much in the vein of niche genre exclusives.

No gameplay shown yet, but, more than Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive is an Xbox One exclusive worth keeping an eye on.
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2. The Playstation 4

The Playstation 4 is the power juggernaut of the next generation, boasting more power than the Xbox One, and selling at a full $100 cheaper than Microsoft’s console, retailing at $399 US or Canadian dollars. While it does not come with the Sony Camera (Kinect equivalent), motion controls are fairly useless to most gamers, and it might be better to not be forced to pay the premium.

Launches November 15.
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a. The Launch Lineup

The Playstation 4 has a weaker launch lineup than the Xbox One. Killzone Shadowfall and Knack are its two retail exclusives. Both look good and target different demographics, although, I can’t help but wonder if Killzone will get lost in the releases of Call of Duty Ghosts and Battlefield 4. Knack should appeal to younger gamers, a demographic not really represented on Microsoft’s console. On the digital front all PS+ users (Which will be everyone due to the free trial) will get the awesome-looking Resogun and equally intriguing Contrast for free. These games look like they’d be worth picking up otherwise, so that’s a bonus. As with the Xbox One, there are plenty of multiplatform games on the PS4, and, as all reports have indicated so far, all multiplatform games actually look better on the PS4 as opposed to the Xbox One.

As the only next gen exclusive shooter, Killzone Shadow Fall is likely to be the prettiest of the bunch.
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b. Future Prospects

The three big exclusives we know of for the PS4 coming early-mid next year are Drive Club, InFamous Second Sun, and The Order 1886. This lineup is more diverse than the One’s. Aside from that, if the PS3 is to be any gauge, the PS4 is likely to be the sole home of a mind-boggling array of niche JRPGs. If you’re interested in this genre, then the PS4 is probably the console for you. On top of that, several of Sony’s biggest studios have yet to reveal what games they are working on for the PS4, notably Naughty Dog (Uncharted, Last of Us), and Media Molecule (Little Big Planet). Aside from the retail games, Sony is set to get a massive number of exclusive, or timed exclusive indie games, which should retail cheap and keep everyone playing. As such, I would say the future looks a lot more certain for Sony’s machine than Microsoft’s, though that could change with a slew of announcements.

InFamous Second Son is scheduled for February so PS4 purchasers won’t have to wait long for this gem.
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3. The Wii U

Yes, the Wii U is next gen, despite running on current gen hardware. It is the cheapest option, retailing at $299 US or Canadian dollars. While weaker than either other system, the Wii U’s unique controller, and total backwards compatibility with the Wii and its accessories, make the Wii U a good pick for families and hardcore gamers alike.

Launches like a year ago, people!
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a. Games

The Wii U currently has a meagre lineup considering it’s been out for a year, but compared to the other systems which are just coming out, it looks much better. With New Super Mario Bros U, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Super Mario 3D World, Zombie U, The Wonderful 101, Zelda Windwaker HD, as well as a host of downloadable games such as Mutant Mudds, the Wii U is the machine to buy this holiday season if you want the system with the sheerest quantity of good games. From a multiplatform perspective, the Wii U doesn’t get much. When games do get released on the system, it’s a flip of the coin whether the Wii U gets the definitive version such as with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, or the weakest such as with Arkham City.

It’s cartoony and familiar, but it’s also likely to be one of the best games released this holiday season. Don’t ever count Mario out.
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b. Future Prospects

The Wii U looks amazingly strong as it winds into its second year. With major 1st party games coming out such as Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros, as well as strong 3rd/2nd party exclusives such as Bayonetta 2, Monolith Soft’s X, and Fire Emblem x SMT, Nintendo has a much more bankable future exclusive lineup than either other console. However, for the other consoles, the bulk of their excellent games will be multiplatform, something that the Wii U will fall behind on almost immediately. Therefore, if you buy the Wii U, you’re buying it for its amazing exclusives and not the huge variety of multiplatform games.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Monolith Soft’s X looks better than anything Microsoft and Sony has thrown at us for their new consoles.
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In the end, you can’t really make a bad decision. Microsoft has the best launch lineup, Sony has the best price and upcoming games, and Nintendo has by far the best exclusives. Fanboys and girls have already picked a side and demonized the other. There’s no need to do this because every system is providing a great experience. For the casual, or just not insane, it is best to look at what games you will want to play. If you want JRPGs, you probably should stick to Sony or Nintendo. A launch zombie game that you can play for years? Then Microsoft is your man. Forget about the little details such as sharing, remote play, MP3 playback and the like. In the end, these are all video game consoles, and what matters most is the games.

– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer

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3 thoughts on “What Next Gen System to Buy? – Holiday Shopper’s Guide to Video Game Consoles

  1. This is FaygoMayhem, one of the users that faithfully reads this blog taking a moment to address the issue you are probably having regarding comments and feedback. I love this blog, and constantly want to leave comments showing my appreciation for you taking time out of your hectic schedule to continue in spite of your small fan-base. However, I believe small fan base is not the issue; the problem lies in the comment system. To leave a comment, you are forced to sign in to Google+. This should not be that much of an issue, however if you don't have an account and you try to sign up after typing the comment it DELETES the entire thing so you are forced to re-type, leave a crap two word comment, or just not comment at all; the option I have unfortunately had to take many times because I simply do not have the time to re-type a comment I spent the past hour writing. When I finally broke down and made an account for the sole purpose of commenting on this blog, I still could not get in because if you try to sign in on a mobile device, which I often do because I have limited time for the computer, it refreshes the page endlessly and does not let you type your information. If you sign in on a computer, it does not re-direct you to the blog page, forcing you to go back to before you signed in or use their search engine, again deleting anything you previously typed. For example, I spent a full HOUR chugging through the snail pace mobile text entry so I could comment anonymously to bring this to your attention, but in the process of trying to copy the text so I could save it in case the comment was deleted because I was not signed in, I mis-clicked a button on my phone which navigated me away from the page and erased the entire thing, forcing me to get out of bed at 4am and boot my computer to type it again before I forgot. As you may have heard, this problem has now been implemented on YouTube where users are forced to sign in to Google+ in order to leave a comment, disconnecting content providers from their fans and potentially endangering the careers of THOUSANDS. I beg you to help address these problems by either contacting Google with the issue, or simply moving to another domain (I would suggest Webs, IGN,…..hell even DeviantArt works). I love this blog, and do not want to see it die along with all my favorite YouTube channels because Google is trying to pull a Microsoft and force restrictions on their users. Please consider these recommendations. Your loyal fan, FaygoMayhem

  2. To put this into perspective, this comment was flagged as spam and not posted until I searched the spam folder and found it.Because of this problem, I am looking into transferring the blog from blogger to wordpress, which should make things easier. I will let everyone know what is happening when I do.

  3. Liking the new change, and I didn’t like commenting on the old one because of the interface, despite being your most loyal and dearest fan.

    Oh, and sod the other consoles, I just want my Bayonetta 2.

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