News Article

Talking Point: Could the Current Xbox Rumours Work in the PS4's Favour?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Speculation wars

You probably shouldn’t believe everything that you read online. We’re in what’s commonly referred to in other industries as the ‘silly season’ right now, an exciting period of speculation where even the most ridiculous rumours take on heightened meanings. With new next generation platforms looming, everyone wants a piece of the pie; that undeniably leads to a barrage of misinformation, speculation, and overreactions. But could the latest round of conjecture surrounding Microsoft’s impending machine help the PlayStation 4, regardless of whether it turns out to be true or false?

Much of the speculation pointed at Sony’s incoming system has painted a predominantly positive picture thus far. A recent Digital Foundry report – based on leaked specifications – concluded that the PS4 is “tighter, more powerful, [and] more games-focused” than its immediate counterpart, an insinuation that’s also been backed by typically rock solid sources such as EDGE. The console is supposedly much less complex than the infamously clunky PlayStation 3, with development sources informing the aforementioned British publication that the system is “very simple to work with”.

Those that have followed this generation closely will be well aware that the CELL processor has been something of a poisoned chalice for the PS3. While the complicated architecture has prompted the production of some of the best looking first-party exclusives arguably ever conceived, it’s also led to its fair share of humdrum hand-me-down ports, too. If the PlayStation brand is to recapture its former glory, it will need to do so with high-quality third-party releases in its library, and rumours suggest that the platform holder may have that all-important advantage in its stable this term.

Such positive speculation – fabricated or not – is having an impact on the anticipation for Sony’s incoming machine. Stumble into any major gaming forum, and you may find the pendulum swinging in PS4’s favour. Perhaps that’s because the system is just over a week away from being announced – but could the slew of abhorrent rumours surrounding Microsoft’s in-development console also be playing a part?

According to EDGE’s development sources, the next Xbox will “require an online connection in order to function, ruling out the second-hand game market for the platform”. Discs will supposedly ship with activation codes, rendering them useless beyond the initial owner. Considering the backlash to current generation practices such as the online pass, it’s hard to imagine the market being particularly accommodating of such an anti-consumer practice. The same rumour has been attributed to the PS4, of course, but that was merely based upon a patent registration. There’s been no indication that Sony’s console will actually block used games, which could give the system a huge advantage if Microsoft swings the other way.

However, that’s not necessarily the least of Xbox’s woes. A recent article posted by Kotaku – citing prolific leaker SuperDAE – claimed that the console will require mandatory game installations and will only operate when a Kinect sensor is plugged into the machine. It’s thought that by enforcing the divisive peripheral – which is likely to be bundled with the system – developers will be able to put the device to better use. However, the reaction to the report has been overwhelmingly negative in hardcore gaming circles, with the mere notion of the motion camera being mandatory pushing consumers away. The PS4 console is rumoured to ship with an updated PlayStation Eye camera, but there’s no word on it being a compulsory component at the moment.

Of course, the criticisms remain conjecture until Microsoft confirms otherwise, but with the Xbox manufacturer unwilling to even acknowledge the existence of its next generation platform, it gives Sony an opportunity to capitalise on the ambiguity surrounding its competitor’s machine. If the platform holder can effectively demonstrate on 20th February that it has built a compelling, technologically impressive and, importantly, consumer-friendly piece of hardware, then it has an outstanding amount of goodwill to gain. And that puts the manufacturer in the driver’s seat for the time being.

Are rumours affecting your excitement for the PS4 and next Xbox? What are your biggest concerns regarding the next generation? Let us know in the comments section below.

User Comments (13)



charlesnarles said:

I can't see either company successfully thwarting their "used games = less $" problem by making you pair discs to your machine. I'd be much happier with an evolution of the Uplay passport and the like as incentive to buy new. I also really like the idea of a camera being standard for the next g (tons of implementations there) but it better be "free" and also not record when the systems are off (lol Microsoft).



Gamer83 said:

Even before the rumors I've been leaning more towards going with PS4 and avoiding both the Wii U and next Xbox. I actually have nothing against Nintendo, I hope, and believe, the Wii U will find its footing and go on to be a big success. Nintendo has been the backbone of this industry for years and a company like them, which offers quite a difference experience from the competition, is needed. Unfortunately, for some reason I'm just not into Nintendo's franchises like I used to be, but maybe sometime down the road when it's much cheaper I'll buy a Wii U just to play the latest 3D Mario platformers. As far as Xbox, while Halo is my favorite series in gaming, MS doesn't offer much outside of that, you have to pay to play online (and don't get any extra benefits for being a 'Gold' subscriber) and clearly it's more focused on apps and trashy Kinect games and I don't see a new console changing that. In the end, I think at least for 'core' gaming the PS4 will offer the best experience (just like the PS3 has been doing since 2009). It'll have the major third party releases and on top of that you have Sony's diverse catalog of first and second party exclusives. If Vita is anything to go by, there will also be plenty of interesting apps. All Sony has to do to convince me to jump on day one is price PS4 right. I'm willing to go $400 for a good base sku (I'm guessing there will be a more expensive 'premium' bundle), that's probably around where MS will end up at as well, then it's just about the games and frankly, it's not even close in that category anymore. Factor in the rapidly improving PSN with the Plus program and the Playstation brand blows the Xbox brand away.



Gamer83 said:


At least in the NA market I don't see the FPS craze going away. People over here can't get enough of blowing stuff up. Gotta admit, I do like a good FPS now and then myself, Halo and Killzone are awesome. I'm not at all into the war-based ones though.



Jaz007 said:

One of my concerns is T gaming dissapearing. I don't play M games so the lack of non-Nintendo (for the record I love a lot Nintendo games) and action games that aren't M is really dissapointing to me. I don't have one good FPS for my PS3 that didn't originate on Wii (Goldenye) and there haven't even been any open-world games like Skyrim or Far Cry 3 that are rated T this gen.



Zombie_Barioth said:

I really think that to succeed these new consoles need to either become an entertainment hub (like MS has been advertising Xbox 360 as) or be the definitive gaming devices.

The "always online" and "activation codes" just sound like the CD-keys and DRM PCs have been doing to me, makes sense coming from Microsoft were as Sony seems to just be looking into what would work best for a console.

Less emphasis on graphics engines and stories and more on everything else would be nice. I really hope that as diminishing returns become more apparent developers will be forced to rely on other things to improve their games.



Jaz007 said:

I think that an improved PS eye that ships with the PS4 could be a nice enhancement to gaming if its used sublty in games. A good example of what I'm talking about would be the motion controll for grenade throwing in Uncharted. It made grenade throwing much more natural and was a great use for the dualshock 3's motion controll.



rjejr said:

I thought the "always on" Xbox rumor was weird as America just doesn't have enough widespread broadband support. But then I remembered MS makes it's money via "Gold", so maybe they just don't want to sell money losing consoles to people who don't want to pay for "gold". The current $99 Xbox ads w/ $15 monthly gold are everywhere now. So maybe they do go this route.

I've been calling the next Xbox console KineXbox (working on the spelling) for about a year now so requiring 1 doesn't seem odd to me. The Wii sold with a sensor bar in every box. What's the difference?

MS may require online registration- ie no used games - b/c MS doesn't sell many games anyway. Sony fanboys have been promoting digital DL for a couple of years now. How much resale/ trade-in value do those have? You can't go on the PS blog and complain when a game doesn't have a day 1 DL and then complain you can't resell your disc or buy a used one. It's too hypocritical.

I think MS might just be ready to go ALL DL. Hence the always online and game registration. Now they need to sell the KinexBox with a 1TB HDD.

i know this is a Sony site, but sorry I got nothing, waiting until next week.



Azikira said:

I hope microsoft's console dies in a dumpster fire so Halo will be forced to move multi-platform.



FullbringIchigo said:

i think it could as long a sony don't block used games or have a always on internet connection i can see many people not getting the next xbox in fact i have friends who have the 360 who have said that they wont get the next one if those rumours are true

on a another note i wont be getting the next xbox anyway i have a 360 as well as a PS3 and i hardly touch it plus i don't like the idea of having to pay to use the online when i also pay for my internet and that fact that if you don't pay you can not use applications that you can for free everywhere else

yeah just the PS4 and Wii U for me next gen i think (i already have the Wii U)



rastamadeus said:

@Azikira No way would I ever want Halo on anything other than Xbox. Terrible series.

I just can't get my head around the PS4/720. It really is the wrong time for new consoles with the way the world is. If they get released this year then I can't see many big must have exclusive games for either coming out until 2015 at earliest. Look at the Wii U and Vita struggling becaus people can't justify spending that much money on a new console.



Scrible said:

All rumors, man why is everybody so worried about unconfirmed reports, this is the internet



Scrible said:

Rjejr, the difference is that you don't have to have the sensor bar plugged in to make the Wii work, as is rumored with the nextbox



Trikeboy said:

I have nothing against either of the 3 formats but that no used game thing is such a turn off. The best way to protest that is to not buy the new machine.

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