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The Final Countdown To A New Generation

The battle for the living room is a cold war no more. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is ready to go thermonuclear, ask hitting UK shelves on November 29th, nurse while the official Xbox One release date is November 22nd 2013. So, site let’s take a look at the PS4 and Xbox One in this side-by-side comparative review!

In the past, price was the key to the early success of a new console like the Xbox 360, or the key factor in the swift and brutal death of consoles such as the Jaguar/Sega CD. The Xbox One will set gamers back €504, while the PS4 will cost €399. However the Xbox One price includes the new Kinect sensor.On paper, the PS4 is the more impressive, with 1152 cores compared to the Xbox One’s 768. That aside, both systems have a 500GB hard drive, 8GBs of RAM, a Blu-ray drive, HDMI, Wi-Fi and USB 3.0 as standard. In other words, both consoles are equal to most current High End gaming PCs. The Xbox One’s controller remains largely the same as previous generations. But the DualShock 4 of the PS4 is quite different to the PS3 controller, inasmuch as it has a trackpad in the middle and an integrated ‘Move’ technology.

The Xbox One has had a bit of a rough ride since its May unveiling, initially landing itself in hot water for a number of unpopular features including a mandated 24-hour online check-in and restrictions on the used games market. However, with those features now removed, it seems to be back on track. Still, the privacy fear remains a grave concern, as Microsoft describes the Xbox One as “the ultimate all in one entertainment system – one system for a new generation” and will feature heavy Kinect integration as standard.The new Kinect camera is a 3D scanner that can identify the various heartbeats, voices and faces of six people at once. Oh, and it needs to be turned on for the system to work. This is the sole reason that I will not be buying an Xbox One. I say this as an ex-Xbox fanboy. Microsoft have attempted to assuage concerns with statements like “it is not always watching or always listening.” They have labelled themselves as “a leader in the world of privacy.” The system does require a complete power down to turn off the camera, therefore you can’t use it. To date, Microsoft have not presented a version of the Xbox One that can or should be turned off. Peter Schaar, Germany’s federal data protection commissioner, told Der Spiegel, “the fact that Microsoft is now spying on my living room is just a twisted nightmare,” as he is unsettled by how the Xbox One “records all sorts of personal information” that would be “processed on an external server”. So yeah, I do not like that idea. No game is worth that price in my opinion.

Now for those who are interested, the Xbox One will feature 15 exclusive games, including Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct and Halo. The PS4 will not require players to sign in online nor will they impose any new restrictions on how owners trade their PS4 game disks. And the camera does not have to be on or even attached to play a game. Some announced games for the PS4 include: Killzone: Shadow Fall  and Infamous: Second Son. While Destiny, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 will be on available on both consoles. Sadly, neither machine allows straightforward backwards compatibility with previous consoles and will probably make titles available digitally. Will this new generation of video gaming be everything promised or will it take some time to catch on? We will have to wait and see. Happy gaming.

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