Written by Remko Molenaar (Proxzor) OnRPG Journalist
A couple of weeks ago the battle for the next generation consoles began. We had a lot of questions, mainly about why Microsoft forgot their gamers and why Sony didn’t show their console. We knew E3 was around the corner, and even though this is THE convention for all the announcements, people were still a little skeptical about both consoles. Last Monday, we were shown the greatness of the next generation, from new unannounced games, to continuing stories. We also saw the PlayStation 4 for the first time, and man that thing does look sexy.
Over the last couple of weeks, people say that Microsoft has dug their own grave. Needing to have your Xbox online all the time, along with the Kinect, not being able to use already used games scared many people away, along with the fact that their new Xbox ‘One’ looked like a VCR. Today we saw the other console shine, the biggest competitor in the race of being the best. Sure there is still Nintendo on the side, but they aren’t really trying that much to get into the western market. They have their own franchises that are massively popular all around the world, and their conference has shown that. The same games, but then a tad different with better looking graphics. But let’s go back to Sony, who was claimed the winner of the conference battle. Personally, I have to admit that at the first glance, I found it not that special looking. The console itself is not that beautiful, but I don’t find it ugly either. Let’s not dwell too deeply in those thoughts, it’s not about what it looks like, it’s about what it is able to do. Luckily, they noticed the community’s reaction on all the negative sides about the Xbox One. And they really attacked Microsoft on these important matters. As a fan of both companies, it is great to see the battle starting at the beginning of the E3 just like when the current generation was announced. But then, it was Microsoft clearly gaining all the fans.
Times change, and now Sony is this convention favorite. Without a doubt they have won the console wars, leaving both Nintendo and Microsoft far behind. Unfortunately, I was a little cynical about the Sony conference. It was great of them to see attack Microsoft like this, I personally loved it. But when I thought about it, it is actually quite sad that we had to cheer for this. Being able to used games, not having to be online all the time, are we seriously clapping for this in the year 2013? The times have definitely changed. A couple of years ago I never thought we would be clapping for this, it almost felt mandatory. Even though how Watch Dogs put it ‘Everything is connected’, it is almost quite sad that these things are necessary for a working console. Because of this, and the fact that the PlayStation 4 is cheaper than the Xbox One, Sony have won the conference wars.
I mean, let’s be fair here, we have seen an amazing line of exclusive games for both of the consoles. And sure even Sony came ahead in that matter, their console actually lagged on the stage. Sure the trailers in the Microsoft conference didn’t have any sound for a few of them, but it wasn’t too serious with the console itself. But hey, I can completely understand it as well. Sony is a company that cares about this, the only thing they will see is their flaw, which was the freezing of the console. Both Assassins Creed, and Destiny showed us a few hiccups. But that happens, and I am sure that they will fix it. We’re talking about a company that sold the PlayStation before without them actually earning profit from it.
One thing I noticed from all the conferences is that the Open World hype is also switching to the consoles. Many single player games now also are switching to the open world experience that gamers enjoy. As a MMORPG fanatic, an open world game has always intrigued me and it is what kept me playing many MMOs. Unfortunately, as a computer fanboy I fear that the console might change the feature of my favorite genre. The open world games we have seen look absolutely amazing. Both Destiny, the game everyone was waiting for, and the big surprise of this E3 which is Tom Clancy’s The Division. As you might know, I am a big fan of DayZ, and the vibes I got when I first played the game, immediately returned when I saw the gameplay trailer of The Division. Wow, that game looks absolutely gorgeous and the gameplay itself looks like a lot of fun. Playing around in New York after a pandemic event on Black Friday is a unique yet touching story of what might actually happen. Because of these awesome looking games that I seriously want to play right now. I also fear the MMORPG as we know it, might actually change. Destiny and The Division, are currently both games for only the console and the open world they are played in, is different than just a normal MMORPG. I think you can compare it to a room based game combined with an open world, sure you are still playing on Open World game, but I doubt you will be playing on the same map as a thousand other players. I personally am not sure what to think of that. Can seriously switch the outcome of newly created MMORPGs on the market? We already see instanced MMOs taking the market over instead of the one server, one instance type of games. It is good to see console makers starting to recognize the MMO market for people that rather want to sit in front of a TV instead of a computer. But I seriously hope that this will not change the way MMORPGs are currently played on the computer.