With the next generation of consoles set to arrive in just a couple of months now, the early word is getting an augmentation and some of the new premiums are stepping up to match. Each side is offering a different package, but which one will prove best will depend on just what the individual gamer is looking for.Microsoft
gamers are set to get some exciting benefits with the “Day One” edition, in both a tangible and an intangible sense. First, getting a console at the outset gives access to the “Day One” achievement, which will be offered once the console is activated. As a point of value, well, it's not exactly much—it's just a point of bragging rights, really—but having that “Day One” achievement on the gamer tag will be a slice of credibility to go. Thankfully, Microsoft has something a bit more substantial waiting for the early adopter as well in the form of a new controller.
The controller in question offers fully 40 design improvements, including modified thumb sticks, view and menu buttons, new triggers, new bumpers, haptic feedback
systems in the form of new “impulse triggers” and even a chrome D-pad, which is admittedly rather exciting. Granted, the regular Xbox One controller will still do the job, but this one will likely look better doing it and may well even function better thanks to the design improvements. Even the headset has been tricked out, with three times the sampling rate of the Xbox 360 version and the ability to alter volume without taking hands off the controller. Exciting, in a greater sense, and bodes well for the future of Microsoft development.
has an exciting value proposition as well, leaving aside the clear difference in pricing. Sony reportedly has plans to offer video streaming and capture for all gamers, while Microsoft looks to put that service behind a paywall for premium subscribers. Granted, a Xbox 360 Gold subscription is $10 a month, or $60 for a year, but the end result is still that a service available at no charge on PlayStation 4 will cost for access on Xbox One.
That's going to split some markets further, I'd wager, though the differences may be sufficiently minute to not mean much in the long run. Gamers who want to record and share performances will clearly do better with Sony than with Microsoft, but those gamers who want a potentially impressive new controller—not to mention a bit of bragging rights right out of the box—will likely favor Microsoft. Chances are, though, neither market will be particularly large nor sufficient to clearly sway the sales figures, but it's quite interesting that the companies are picking rather small battles in which to face each other down.
It's almost like a state of anticipation is settling in, as these now clearly matched titans look to start slugging it out in the arena that really matters for a lot of gamers: the games. With Gamescom set to arrive in a little under two weeks, that may well really change the equations for some gamers. But it's clear that each side is looking to bring out just a little more, and the next several weeks may prove very exciting indeed.