Back to the here and now OR Times they are a changin’

So after dragging myself out of the 90s, I’ve been back playing the PS4, XBox One and Vita.

I also realised that before yesterday, I’d not posted ‘this gen’.

We’ll start with my thoughts on the PS4 and Xbox One I guess. Just my views as a gaming fan but inevitably anything negative about one or the other could be construed as fanboyism. I also guess it’s not worth explaining that it’s not, that’s what anyone accused of fanboyism would say is it not? I just call it as I see it having been gaming for the best part of 30 years.

History (not in chronological order) below:

360elite amiga500 computer_vic20_01 dreamcast gameboy gamecube gamegear gbsp lynx1 mastersystem nintendo_ds_lite Nintendo-NES_360 PlayStation 4-580-90 ps_vita_system ps1 ps2 ps3 psp_011 Saturn-system sega-megadrive Sinclair_Spectrum+2_System_s1 SNES wii xbox_web2 xboxonePC_Specialist_Vanquish_XT680

And still there are so many I wanted to own but never did…..

But, back to what I was saying (typing?)

When the Master System launched I found myself fully in the SEGA camp. I loved those consoles right up to the Dreamcast which was an excellent bit of kit. Many hours, days, weeks and months were spent playing Sonic, Alex Kidd, Bass Fishing, Phantasy Star etc. Then, when the original Xbox was launched, I found myself to be a big fan of the Microsoft systems. This continued with the 360. I could never really put my finger on what it was, but everything felt right, controllers, menus, build quality, exclusives. All of it. I soon found most of my time being spent on only 1 console with the others staying around for the odd exclusive I couldn’t be without. With some eagerness, I pre-ordered both the Xbox One and the PS4.

And oh how things have changed.

I think that currently I split my gaming time between the PS4 (70%) and Vita (20%) with the Xbox going on occasionally for the odd exclusive. With the 360, I would always choose my multi-format releases on the Xbox first but not now. Not by a long shot.

When my One was delivered to work, I was really impressed by how the whole thing was packaged. The additional controller was sat up in it’s box, no blister packs or cardboard inserts. Once home, it was easy to set up and I played with real enjoyment until the PS4 arrived. Then slowly but surely, the Xbox One began to grate on me. And where it continued to fall down, the PS4 didn’t. Not once.

I’ve been disappointed with the systems updates, exclusives (yes Sunset Overdrive, I’m glaring at you) and functionality.

Now obviously not all of all of the above. Some of the exclusives are great (Forza 5 and Horizon 2, Titanfall) and the Kinect is really smart. But those updates…….. There’s no having a quick game of anything on the One (although this has been better lately). Updates are HUGE! Download 1.92GB before you can use it? Fine, but I’ll whack on the PS4 and have a quick game of something in the meantime. The most……dumb thing is that it seems MS have set the console to dump you out of games when an update becomes available. A few weeks ago I was happily playing Forza Horizon 2 for some time when the system update message appeared, pushing me out of the game, downloading and restarting the console! I don’t know any other device that does this. My PC waits until I’m idle to do this. The Vita the same. Background updates for the PS4 are almost seamless. Now if this was a security thing, maybe it was the correct thing to do, but I doubt it was. It hasn’t happened since but then I’m not spending a huge amount of time on it. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has had this happen on more than one occasion……

Running TV through the Xbox One seems laggy. Granted, I never expected to use the One for this but I tried it and didn’t like it. Might be sorted now but felt broken.

Love the QR Code code entry. Really smart and much better than the 25 character entry required otherwise.

Voice recognition and facial recognition are both slick.

Love the “Xbox, record that” function.

Overall the PS4 just feels slicker, more intuitive, more a gaming console than the One which wants to be everything (or so it seems). Even the Trophy pops aren’t as disruptive as the Achievement pops. All certainly isn’t lost though. Although I did have a wobble a few weeks ago and was considering selling the One, the updates should get less frequent and hopefully smaller. If you were looking to buy one of the other at this moment, I’d heartily recommend the PS4 over the One. At this time, the Xbox feels off the pace.

A couple of things I specifically like about the PS4:- The wireless 2.0 headset is a cracking piece of kit and the use of the Vita for remote play is a brilliant idea and well executed.

Maybe I’ll rediscover that old Xbox love, but with the PS4 so irritation free, I’ve no real need to.

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