Which one of these console powerhouses will end up on Santa’s naughty list this year?
What a difference a year makes! Last holiday season was certainly an exciting time. Fresh off the next-gen console launches of both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 (with Wii U already on the market), Christmas of 2013 was both a glorious time for gamers and no doubt a nightmare for parents! Even then it was clear the PS4 was beginning its rise to the top of the heap. All three systems seemingly had a bright and vibrant future. Little did any of us know that within six months, the landscape would breakdown into pretty clear black and white terms.
So exactly what do I mean by “black and white” you ask?
Simple. Pre-E3, PlayStation 4 was THE clear choice of gamers in 2014 (with Xbox falling to the number two spot by default). As for Nintendo, they were little more than an afterthought (after being checked into the wall and left in the dust). It would appear the start of year two in this next chapter of the console war was destined to be much more uneventful. However, following a few quick stutter steps and several rabbits pulled out of various hats, both Microsoft and Nintendo have actually made strides to pose a serious comeback. In a recent interview, Reggie Fils-Aime (who’s exec at Nintendo of America) touted the Wii U is every bit the competitor it’s always been, pointing to the experience they provide being unlike anything available on the PlayStation or Xbox systems. “It's all about content. For us, if you look back at what we were able to do during the Wii generation. What we're able to do with DS. What we're doing now with 3DS. It's about content. It's about content that widens the footprint for the platform. It's about content that drives the install base. And as we do that, guess what? People buy hardware…That's what we're looking to do with both 3DS and Wii U…” says Fils-Aime.
In the end, when it comes time for gamers to part ways with their precious gaming dollars, choices have to be made. Sometimes, VERY hard choices. Not everyone has the luxury of owning multiple consoles, so picking the right investment can make or break your next few years of gaming. Each system will roll into this holiday season, bringing with them their own unique qualities to the table. But which one has the edge, and will they be able to sway gamers to their particular brands?
Let’s take a quick look at each company’s ace in the hole this Christmas…
Sony’s PlayStation 4:
Sony possesses the well-earned advantage of planning their holiday season virtually unopposed. While the Xbox One is still a formidable presence, some have already written it off. Many see PlayStation as offering the most value, with a better selection of free monthly titles and the upcoming PlayStation TV. However, the single biggest positive that could sway consumers is the streaming PlayStation Now service. Not only is this a great way to access a huge library of PS games, we could be looking at the future of the industry!
Microsoft’s Xbox One:
There is one reason and one reason only Microsoft has a chance of posting strong sales figures by the end of the year. You already know what I’m going to say right? It’s the price drop. Period. Redesigning the system and unbundling the Kinect was an absolute necessity, one the company decided to pull the trigger on leading into this year’s E3. When it comes time for consumers to make their choice at the register, the decision is now more difficult (with Microsoft finally competing on an even playing field financially). A much needed bump in units sold is expected as a result. Question is, what took them so long?
Nintendo’s Wii U:
To be honest, it’s hard to pin down one single thing that Nintendo will do to salvage its struggling system. As of late, they seem to be throwing anything and everything they can think of against the wall in hopes that something will stick. From the new Amiibos line to launching sequels in their tried and true franchises (like Zelda for example) Nintendo should feel lucky they’re participating on any level at this point. With them posting such terrible sales figures last March, some wondered if the console would even make it ‘till the end of 2014. Let’s see how the lay of the land shakes out in the New Year, as the hardware’s future may very well depend on it.
While I could go on and on with facts and figures explaining why this system is destined to succeed and that system is not, I’d rather garner an outside opinion on the matter. Arguing the merits of one’s views is always a healthy exercise, so why not let us hear from you?
Which system do you think will dominate this holiday season? Can anyone topple the PS4 juggernaut, and if so, how? Fill up the comments section with your speculations…it’s free after all!