Let’s face it the last few console launches have not been the greatest. From as recently as the Wii U to all the way back to the PS2. For some reason they just can’t seem to get it right. The lack of games and problems turned our newest $400+ purchase into an expensive dust collector.
With the dreaded “Red Ring of Death” and PS3’s lack of games and original price point ($599), Microsoft and Sony haven’t given us much reason to believe this go around will be any different, but something about this launch makes me think they might just get it right this time. Or maybe it’s just the allure of a new generation starting to cloud my judgment, but here are the five reasons I believe the Xbox One and PS4 launch will be a success.
The biggest killer of any launch has been the lack of software to support the hardware. This was true for the GameCube, 3DS and even the PS2. The lack of games at launches forced gamers to buy games such as Batman: Vengeance and Fantavision just so we could use our brand new console. Some consoles have recovered from this stumble such as the PS2 and 3Ds, but others never fully recovered.
The PS3 and Xbox 360 didn’t escape this problem either. We were forced to buy games like Perfect Dark Zero and Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, but the Xbox One and the PS4 look like they may just escape this problem with some very promising launch titles as well as great games set to launch early in the consoles life.
Both the Xbox One and the PS4 have titles that have been generating a lot of buzz as early as last year. Watchdogs looks like the game that every console owner should own. This is a game that would have been generating high praise and excitement even if it wasn’t a “next gen” title. The game continues to amaze and is easily one of the most anticipated titles of the year and there hasn’t been a launch title this strong in recent memory. This isn’t to say it won’t fall flat on its face, but it is generating a lot of buzz and looks rather promising. Watchdogs isn’t the only launch title that looks promising though.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag looks to continue the success of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and from all accounts looks like it will do just that. Battlefield 4 is a game that would generate buzz no matter when it was launched, but looks gorgeous and the online multiplayer looks fantastic, and the biggest video game franchise is throwing in their name to the launch with Call of Duty: Ghosts. Comparing the launch titles of the PS3 and Xbox 360, albeit hindsight is 20/20, the titles look a lot more promising and the strong titles continue even months after launch.
Xbox One has one of the most anticipated games in recent memory releasing in Q1 of 2014 in Titanfall, and the PS3 has strong titles coming within that same time frame such as inFamous Second Son and The Order: 1886. Obviously all these titles have the chance of being delayed or being terrible, but the launch titles for these two consoles are the strongest in a long time.
As mentioned before both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 had problems on their launch. I believe they will learn from these problems and this will help them succeed in their launch. Sony is already demonstrating that they learned from the PS3 launch, and the Xbox One is looking to take the momentum from this generation and carry it over to the next generation.
I believe the miscues that both Microsoft and Sony encountered in their last launch will result in the knowledge to make this launch a success. Microsoft will do everything in their power to make sure their product isn’t faulty and Sony is doing everything to make sure that the customer knows they come first.
With experience comes wisdom and Sony and Microsoft are showing that. Sony has lowered their price point and demonstrated they are willing to listen to the consumer and Microsoft put vents on almost one entire half of their console. Both these companies are showing that they are making changes and learning from their experience.
Sony had never had as bad a console launch as the PS3, and Microsoft had only one launch under their belt when the Xbox 360 launched. This seems like the perfect situation for both companies, if you will allow me to use a sports analogy, Sony is the all-star player that had a down year and Microsoft is the Rookie of the Year that had a little bit of a sophomore slump and both are looking to redeem themselves.
When the PS3 and Xbox 360 launched online gaming was still in its infancy stage. We had gotten an introduction to online gaming with the PS2 and Xbox, but it was far from perfect. Some games such as Halo 2 and SOCOM were very successful with online gaming during the early stages, but when the Xbox 360 and PS3 launched online gaming was still evolving into the monster it is today. With the launch of the PS4 and the Xbox One online gaming is in full swing and now the norm for multiplayer.
With online multiplayer, games these days tend to have a much longer shelf life. When you finish the campaign for Watchdogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag you will have multiplayer to entertain you, and Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 have built their franchises on online multiplayer. Online gaming has become so successful that developers are starting to drop offline campaigns completely, like Titanfall is doing.
Unlike the PS3 and Xbox 360 launch there are at least two games, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4, that will dominate online gaming. This means that gamers will be entertained for much longer with launch titles then they were with the Xbox 360 and PS3. The launch titles that were released with the Xbox 360 and PS3 had to entertain offline, by having games such as Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 the grace period is increased. Gamers will feel like they have something to play for longer and won’t be screaming for new titles since they will be entertained with playing online against other gamers. This in return will give Microsoft and Sony more time to crank out that next triple A title.
With the thriving Xbox Live Arcade and the PSN Store indie games have never had a better platform to succeed then they do now, and with the changes coming in the next generation they will have an even better platform. Not only will this help indie games thrive, but it will help Microsoft and Sony. There will be at least one indie game released on either the PS4 or the Xbox One that will be successful.
Indie games will help to increase the amount of software on the consoles and will keep gamers happy and content. Indie developers are always looking to prove themselves and there will be no better time to release a great product then at the launch of the Xbox One and PS4.
We have seen so many great games released on both the PSN and the XBLA and I can only see better games being released on the Xbox One and PS4. Having these games will help to alleviate the pressure of getting the next big game out because gamers will continue to feel content with the games that are available.
It has been a long time since there has been this big of a rivalry in the video game console world. Sony and Microsoft are gunning for each other and we as consumers are reaping the benefits. Sony started the battle by taking obvious shots at Microsoft at this year’s E3 by announcing they weren’t forcing always online or banning used games and finally announcing their price $100 below the Xbox One, and Microsoft responded by reversing their unpopular policies.
Competition is what pushes people and products forward, the threat that the other guy has something better or is going to surpass you is what pushes companies to innovate and provide great products. If Microsoft falters in anyway Sony will be right there nipping at their heels and vice versa. Meaning at launch both companies will be closely watching the other to see how they are doing.
Both companies have shown they are willing to react quickly to the others decisions and pounce on any weakness. This means that Microsoft and Sony are both going to be very careful with their launch choices; they are both going to want to be perfect. No launch in recent memory has had this fierce of a rivalry.
With the threat of the other guy looming over their shoulder Microsoft and Sony are going to pull out all the stops to make sure their launch goes as smoothly as possible. Not only are they going to want to stick it to the other company, but they going to make sure they don’t stumble.
We as gamers have had some bad luck with console launches recently, but all signs are pointing to very successful launches by both the PS4 and Xbox One. No matter what your console of choice is one this is certain, this generation is going to start off on the right foot and it’s going to be a lot of fun!