With many of the details of both consoles being well known now, we asked our staff writers which of the two they were favoring for their gaming console choice later this year...
Steve McPherson: Based only on what I saw from the Xbox One reveal and what I know about the Xbox 360 (and the PS3 and PS4), I'm leaning towards the Xbox One, primarily for reasons related to the TV watching, which is maybe weird.
Right now, I use my Xbox 360 more than my PS3 for non-game entertainment options because of the Xbox having HBO GO, ESPN and NBA GameTime. If Xbox One is adding the ability to simply watch cable channels like TNT and NBA TV in real time via the console, then I think it might be my future one-stop shop for games and everything else.
Ben Vollmer: It's not exactly a surprise that in today's Xbox One reveal, Microsoft talked almost exclusively about the things that were unique to its console. In a way, it's as if they wanted to let the audience assume that everything game related on Sony's PS4 would also be available on the Xbox One. Frankly, I'm not sold on that just yet.
Microsoft showed off a lot of new interesting tech, but it was clear that their focus was never on games. Whether it was their intention or not, they have to be aware that everyone who is watching this kind of reveal is watching for one reason and one reason only: video games. Which makes the decision to dominate the reveal with talk of a new kind of interactive television all the more baffling. Why not cater to your audience? Sony showed off a plethora of new games, and even when they weren't talking about those games, they were talking about how the system's interface would impact the player's gaming experience. Certainly, it's an interesting tactic on Microsoft's part, but I'm guessing they did it for a reason. The true winner won't be known for another couple of weeks at E3, but for now Sony holds a substantial lead in terms of my interest.
Matthew Coe: My initial reaction is that Xbox One did a good job of selling the "uniqueness" of the system. They showed off the new ways to interact with your TV, sports and movies. There were a few game reveals, but nothing earth shattering; no real footage.
At this point I still feel like the Playstation 4 is more of a "games machine" while the XBox One is admittedly trying to be your all-in-one entertainment device. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I was a Playstation One and Playstation 2 guy until switching midstream to the original XBox and then going with XBox 360. After today's reveal, I'm still on the fence; it didn't do a whole lot to get my blood pumping. I'd call round one a draw.
Robert Kollars: I was completely set on the PS4 at launch, and Xbox One becoming a purchase down the line. After watching the Microsoft presentation, I feel like it will be the launch day purchase now, and the PS4 will be come into play later. There is no denying that I was impressed with what I saw, but I still feel like it will come down to how many friends jump on each system, and right now the majority seem to be favoring the "One." (Can I cheat and say I am actually probably getting both at launch?)
If we are being honest here, I still need more information and I may change my mind eight times before each system drops. I love the tech side of what Microsoft introduced today, and if (and that's a big if) it works as seamlessly as they showed on screen, that's a pretty big selling point. E3 will play a huge factor though, but I am not ashamed to say that both consoles look really good so far, and I feel like the gamer is the big winner.
Glenn Wigmore: When you get down to it, the initial reveal of the Xbox One was to convince a wide swath of people that this is an all-encompassing entertainment device. If you're into connected experiences, multitasking and enhanced TV watching, Microsoft has you covered.
At the same time, MS has offloaded a lot of their games talk to E3. Sony has already planted its flag in the "games" camp, and Microsoft seems to be relying on key demographics to brute force the games side of the equation (EA exclusive deals, Call of Duty exclusive content, Halo, Forza). Microsoft said they had 15 first-party games coming in the first year for the system, including eight new franchises, but its easy to say something like that without showing it.
What's telling is that the games MS showed were heavily guarded and safe. Sony didn't exactly blow the doors off with their games, but they showed more varied content, and the promise of unique games and game experiences seemed more evident. Personally, I think the system features of the Xbox One sound really impressive, but the lack of promise on the games front, compared to the PS4, is very troubling.
Bishop Tart: Although it is still way too early for me to predict, I'll go ahead and say I will be getting both. But if I had to choose one, it would be the Xbox One purely because that is where all of my friends are going. Now if that was not an issue, the PlayStation 4 would be my choice because Sony seems to care about the games more than Microsoft. Now come E3, Microsoft could win me back over, so that's why I say it's way too early.
When it comes down to it, I am a sucker for new hardware. Heck, I even own a Wii U. Both will be in house once they release and I am just really excited for the next six months to see what these two systems can really do.
Caley Roark: This is a tough one for me. I really liked what Microsoft showed off, from an entertainment stand point. The TV integration is very interesting, especially since it seems (from various articles) that it may work with satellite packages, not just Comcast and FIOS. I really like the idea of not having to switch between various components connected to my TV.
I'm also curious about the new Kinect, and whether or not it will live up to the hype that surrounded the first one. I've had some good experiences with the Kinect, but I can't say it was the revolutionary product Microsoft was hoping for. In fact, long term, if this new version isn't functional, I'd guess the entire movement-based gaming may be deemed a failure.
However, the sticking point lies around the game of baseball. We know that the PS4 will offer an improved MLB: The Show, hopefully one that builds on the legacy of success already established by the franchise. At this point, though, I'm not sure the Xbox One will even have a baseball game year one. If it does, it will most likely be either a new developer or another iteration of MLB 2K. Either way, I'm not filled with confidence.
Is one game enough to sell a franchise? For me -- unless Xbox One really wows me with more gameplay stuff -- the answer is yes.
What do you all think? Which console is looking most interesting to you at this point?