I'll preface tonight's remarks by saying that I've been a Microsoft
gamer for a long time. Microsoft introduced me to one of my favorite games of all time, "Morrowind: The Elder Scrolls 3." But now that Sony has brought out more information on the PlayStation 4, I can't help but think maybe the time has come to give Sony another shot.
I was a PlayStation 2 gamer, recently. Before that, a PlayStation gamer. I left Nintendo
after the GameCube emerged, mostly because the GameCube had precious little in the way of games, as far as I was concerned, and PlayStation had a lot more to offer. Then the Xbox 360 came out and, again, games won out. Well, that and the decreased expense of the 360 over its Sony rival at the time, but still.
Now with a new generation comes what is for many gamers that new choice: Sony or Microsoft? Nintendo sometimes factors in, sometimes doesn't, but the big choice seems to be those two when it comes to console gaming. And Sony is offering up a downright impressive slate of, well, everything.
First, the PlayStation 4 is $100 cheaper than the Xbox One. That's a big consideration for a lot of folks as wallets are a bit strained in the face of a bad economy like the kind that's been going on for some time now.
Second, Sony made a lot of hay out of its claim that used games will work, and no online connection will be required, on the PlayStation 4, and that's likely giving plenty of gamers pause. Microsoft's complex trading scheme doubtless left many gamers puzzled, and puzzled customers don't buy in as often as customers with a clear idea of what they want.
Third, there was the issue of games. While Microsoft had an excellent showing on this front, bringing in the "Dead Rising 3" exclusive--which was a coup, no two ways about it--Sony doesn't look to have much trouble on that front, between games like the next "Final Fantasy" installment, "Killzone: Shadow Fall," "DriveClub," and a host of others. The addition of Warner Interactive's "Mad Max
" title as well as a real game-changer--so to speak--from Zenimax in an exclusive console port of "The Elder Scrolls Online" certainly throws a bit of extra punch into an already impressive lineup. Sony at last report expects better than 100 games released in the first year of the PlayStation 4, and that's before the issue of Gaikai access to PlayStation 3 games gets involved. While that won't be running immediately, it's certainly a reason to look at it all over again.
It's that last that has me the most on edge. If Zenimax is offering exclusives to Sony, then where will the next round of "Elder Scrolls" hit? If the online version is already staying there, who's to say the next one won't be an exclusive either? And what of the next "Fallout" installment?
That's a lot of reasons to take a close look at Sony in terms of the next few years of gaming. Sure, Microsoft is making a good case for itself as well, a case that largely starts with "Dead Rising 3" and works its way outward from there, but that may be the kind of thing to come later. Checking out some of the comments sections on the various gaming blogs out there certainly suggests that public opinion is on Sony's side on this one. Sony has the clear need to win; it desperately needs a chain of hits to make up for protracted losses sufficient to at least look like they prompted the sale of entire office buildings.
Either way, this is going to be a positively epic round of console wars, and Microsoft looks like it will be starting from a very bad position.