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E3: The Battle of Philosophies

On 06/17/2013 at 09:31 PM by Mike Wall

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This console war has been a battle of ideals not substance. 

Xbox One vs PS 4

The Xbox One and PS 4 are eerily similar (at least form an architectural standpoint).

The differences that we are currently seeing are related far more the philosophies of both companies and their respective services. Personally, I’m not a big media junkie and I can’t really see myself wanting an Xbox One for all the additional features that it will offer.

I did like the minimalistic approach employed by Sony and it seems more align in what I’m looking for, in that it will offer a simple means to play games.

That being said, I think all of this means absolutely NOTHING!

Software sells consoles and it’s far too early to see who will win there. Sony has typically had the advantage in this area, but you can’t forget that Microsoft has recently founded five new studios and any one of those could birth the new must have game.

People who are arguing that this generation is already over are actually siding with Microsoft’s way of thinking. All we’ve seen of these systems is what they represent as a service. The video game industry is likely going to become a service platform soon enough, similar to the ways of the music industry and the current transformation of traditional television. Microsoft is anticipating this shift with the Xbox One, but they may have jumped the gun, as the current state technology and consumer adoption isn’t there yet.

Games sell systems and we simply haven’t seen enough of them to call it either way. 



Travis Hawks Senior Editor

06/17/2013 at 09:34 PM

Plato is for noobs and Socrates is for button mashers. Aristotle or GTFO, amirite?

(I agree it's too early to declare a "winner" in the console war that is just getting started).

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

06/17/2013 at 09:39 PM

Nahh its Descarte or the person who came up with the Flying Spaghetti Monster for sure. 


06/17/2013 at 09:49 PM

It's the anti-consumer policies behind the X1 that bother me so much. I just want a console that can play games without all the DRM and restrictions. The way that my internet is set up makes it rather difficult to get online with my PS3. Their solution is to get a 360 lol. Maybe gaming will be a service one day, and digital will reign supreme... but when that day comes I will probably retire.

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

06/17/2013 at 10:03 PM

I totally get that, and I don't necessarily disagree but we are part of the minority here. There are plenty of people who will note be phased by the X1's DRM policies. 


06/17/2013 at 10:00 PM

I concur,the systems are much alike. But I have to side with the consoles giving me the most consumer friendly rights.

 Besides, Steam & GOG didn't kill cds and blurays. I don't understand why "all digital" is seen as the sole gaming medium in the future. Sure, it "could" be. But only if the consumer masses let it be.

 I am hoping the Xbox one drastically changes. Without all the consumer restrictions,online check ups,DRM, possible NSA spy gadgetry,region locking,indie game publishing fees,loophole allowing MS to change policies at any time, and attempt at select retailer monopolizing it's a great gaming center! (Though as it is now it becomes a plastic paperweight when no longer supported online)

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

06/17/2013 at 10:07 PM

I'm not saying that physical media is going to die, but I do think the industry is going to make a push towards becoming a service, because it seems to be the natural progression of every media platform. It provides a more sustainable means of income for the providers and offers additional conveniences to the consumer. 

Gaming as a hobby won’t die (at least not for awhile), but you will see the idea of offering a service and a unified platform come into play. It’s obvious that Microsoft is aiming for such a strategy, but PlayStation isn’t ignoring this angle either. PlayStation Plus is the perfect example of such a manifestation offering deals and free games for a subscription. 


06/17/2013 at 10:19 PM

But playstation plus is less restrictive and intrusive. (For the time being. lol. Oh Sony, I know you can be so sly!) The only bone I had to pick with the PS4 is needing PS+ to play online multiplayer but considering all the free games and betas offered it's not too much of a sacrifice. (Especially if you're like me and used to paying Xbox-live gold membership anyway. That and I'm not huge into online multi-player in the first place.)

The point is with the PS4 & Wii U I still own my physical copies and can do what I want with them. Yes, some publishers/studios will insist on their own DRM practices but luckily I have the choice of other publishers/studios too.

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

06/17/2013 at 10:31 PM

Well it doesn't have to be intrusive to be a service platform, it just has to offer a service lol. Like I said physical copies dont' necessarily need to go to wayside for these services to exist, but its hard to believe there's a future where digital doesn't become the prodominant means of production. 

Digital isn't all bad though, tears down the gate for indies and removes a lot of the barriers to entry for development. I expect physical copies to stick around (at least this gen), but I also think they are going to be more expensive. 


06/17/2013 at 10:36 PM

Totally agree. I've gotten a lot of joy out of Steam & GOG. I'm hoping MS will "fix" much of what is wrong with their service package because it would be a sweet deal if they didn't try so hard to dick us over at the same time. Tongue Out


06/17/2013 at 10:03 PM

The fact that the two systems are very simular spec wise is not my issue nor is it Microsoft vrs Sony my issue is i think Microsoft has crossed the line with telling its consumers how they can game A. if your not connected to Microsoft Servers for 24 hours your not playing period, B. Microsoft is telling you who can pkay your games and who can borrow them. C. You dont own nor will own any hardware or software unless your connected and the one thing that really urks me is just like on xbox live if you get banned whether or not its your fault or not not only are you banned from xbox live, but your banned from playing your system that you payed $500 dallars for until they say you can play it again so im sorry but thats wrong and unaceptable, and if this is the direction they want gaming to go then they can do it without me.

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

06/17/2013 at 10:11 PM

Well to be honest they were not the first to cross that line. Steam did it way before them. I understand that built in DRM is upsetting and I'm by no means saying that its accpetable. However, do I think this is going to influence the majority of consumers this generation, probably not. Most people won't even know this exists when they buy the console. 

Further down the line when consumers truly do look at games a service something like this should (and proably will ) register more with consumers. But for the time being I'm pretty sure they are most concered with games and what console their friends are going to be playing on. 


06/17/2013 at 10:34 PM

Yea and your right on that unfortunately most people who will be buying these systems have no clue what there getting into, and yes i expect these kinds of action like Steam on the PC but when it comes to home consoles i beleive they crossed the line personally i think its ludacris for example a enlisted man in the navy ask Microsoft why they have to be online that hes on a sub and wants to play on there new system and Microsoft replys get a 360 now thats rediculous we have guys defending our country and risking there life and this is Microsofts answer, i dont know im very concerned where the future of gaming is heading i like consoles on or offline and physical copys of games i buy i dont like buying digital games cause really you dont own the game, and have nothing to show for it and to think last year at this time i was upset cause they stop putting manuals in games lol!!!

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

06/17/2013 at 10:40 PM

Yeah there is no question that there PR on the matter has been horrible. Honsetly don't know what they are doing on that front. I think you raise an important question though, a big kicker for how exceptable Xbox's system will be; is what benefits will gamers recieve? If its nothing, than there's certainly no reason to give up your rights to a phsycial copy. However, there could be some benefits similar to steam with aggressive sales and more varied pricing models. 

One of the things I think people are forgeting with this is that Microsoft doesn't even know how this thing is going to work yet. Its obivious they don't or they would have addressed it alread, because the speculation fo what it could be is likely far worse than what the end result will be. That being said I don't think people should simply give MS the benefit of the doubt. It's great to question these companies and make sure they provide you the best service possible. 

Just think its too early to make a definitive statement one way or another. 


06/17/2013 at 10:52 PM

Yea it is to early because with all the negative feedback Microsoft is receiving they may restructure this whole online only debacle and go an entirely new route ( well one could hope anyway) cause being a 360 gamer for 4 years it really breaks my heart to see Microsoft go this route, cause although i like Sonys third party game companies better i do like Microsofts online gaming and services better.

Super Step Contributing Writer

06/17/2013 at 10:06 PM

Well, it matters to me. Xbox One has more exclusives I want at launch, and a controller I am quite fond of. It absolutely does not matter to me if they come out with a million more killer apps, I refuse to buy one for its "philosophy" (re: anti-consumer policies that treat me like a pirate). 

If they dial back those policies in a way that I deem satisfactory, and can release a version without Kinect for the same price as PS4, I will hands down say they're the better choice. Looks like that's not happening, though.

PC (still supporting Microsoft in all likelihood, their OS are most common for gaming needs), Wii U, PS4, and whatever else you may think of are legitimate choices. Even with better software, the One is not, to this consumer.

But being one nerd on the internet, and one who skipped last generation altogether at that (in college, saving money from '08 to '12; didn't see enough of a leap from previous gen at their launches to make me want the then-new systems), I don't decide who wins. But I do think consumers will recognize the same things I do, and will support PS4 more than One, so I definitely see the PS4 upselling it; however, the One will do fine, as there are plenty of people willing to put up with that crap for the next Halo. I'm just not one of them, and I think Microsoft is overestimating their number a tad.

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

06/17/2013 at 10:14 PM

I understand that, I just think we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg at the moment. We really haven’t seen these games fleshed out, heck most of the stuff there didn’t even offer playable demos and when they did it was highly scripted. What we are looking at right now are concepts, a lot of them have promise but neither Sony nor Microsoft has shown a full-fledged game ready for launch.  

Our Take

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

06/17/2013 at 10:18 PM

Note: I'm not justifying the use of built-in DRM, I simply don't believe that it is going to resonate with the general consumer like it does with us. 

Travis Hawks Senior Editor

06/17/2013 at 10:25 PM

I think you're probably right... although I heard one of my 9 year old son's friends complaining to no end about the weird game sharing and trading policies of the Xbox One. He was probably parroting what his older brothers said, but I was still shocked to hear it coming out of a kid.

Mike Wall Staff Alumnus

06/17/2013 at 10:27 PM

Yeah, Gamers certainly influence the general populace to a degree. I mean I think we've all been asked about our opinions on games and systems, and our recomendations do carry weight, just not sure if its enough to drastically alter world wide market share. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

06/17/2013 at 10:37 PM

I realize internet pitchforks and torches are a poor barometer of public opinion at large, but honestly, I think that is due to a lack of information Joe Blow cares to recieve at this point. Joe Blow is not a hardcore gamer, so I think he'll notice the pricetag, the inevitable holiday consumer reports that will pretty much have to mention the One's policies, and that the consoles both have a lot of the same games.

Of course, it comes down to marketing. Microsoft's strategy should be to pump out a ton of "only for the One" commercials of all their exclusives, and Sony should continue doing and advertising everywhere they can, videos like the one about trading games to mock the One, just with more info, so Joe Blow can be filled in on what the nerds knew months ago.


06/17/2013 at 10:43 PM

And after looking on FaceBook for a while theres still people asking if the Xbone is backwards compatible lol, these people really have no clue, and we all know exactly whats going on and Mike i think you are right about people going out and buying this system without any ckue what there buying lol!!! But i still dont think it will be eniugh to pull Microsoft out of a downward faceplant in the end.

Joaquim Mira Media Manager

06/17/2013 at 10:49 PM

I have nothing useful to add to this blog, as I had already decided well before the reveals of the PS4 or X1 that I would stick with one console for this generation. The Wii U. If the PS4/X1 are going to do well I can't say, but I agree with you Mike that games sell systems... to a degree. It isn't such a simple matter of just games. Marketting, word of mouth, and possibly other factors are a part of the whole view.


06/17/2013 at 11:54 PM

I'm already tired of this console war and of the internet, and it's barely even started. I was one of the people that agreed with Julian in that I wanted to see this one be a bloodbath and be highly competitive. On all fronts it's certainly panning out that way, but the part about console wars that I hate is hearing gamers talk about them lol. It's been so long, I forgot that I hated that part. During the Sony press conference I was one of the people happily and joyously being hyperbolic and praising Sony and spelling doom for Microsoft. But I knew I was joking around and by the next day I had come back down to reality after the fun was over and we had to go back to the real world.

Most of the net including a lot of the community here is still in that mode and this console war has turned into a presidential election of the video game variety as console wars tend to end up. It's like 2012 all over again with people yelling at each other and pointing fingers at whomever will destroy the middle class the most. Anytime now I bet somebody will claim that Xbox One is anti-America and anti-democracy. The legitimate concerns people have are drowned out by "LOLs", hyperbole, and hastily written rage blogs.

I'm already not buying an Xbox One, but I can't stand to be around the hate for the remainder of the hype cycle so I'll probably have to stay away from the communities console war talk here until things start to pan out, we get better knowledge of the consoles, bugs, games, and eventually people find more substantive and concrete stuff to talk about. The more I read about the console war the less I gain from it at this point because nobody has anything to say. We don't know very much about either system other than some rhetoric and slideshows. People who are praising one side, condemning the other, and prancing out into pre-order-land are actually buying ideas and stories at this point, not consoles. It's a long time till launch day for both systems and things are free to change plenty.

My plan right now is to buy a PS3 and play all the games I missed, and then I'm going to wait a year or two to see how the PS4 shakes out and I will probably get one after all the early adopters have bitten the bullet, dealt with all the bugs, and taken the fall for me so that the PS4 2.0 will be the one I'll get. I'll have plenty of PS3 games to catch up on until the PS4 shakes out. Until then for me personally it's miserable to hear people go about the to-be-expected console war rhetoric, bashing, praising, and hyperbole all over the net. I wanted a bloodbath console war and we are getting one, and now I'm tuning out until it's all over lol. I'll see you sporadically, internet!

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