Not had time to catch up with all the goings on at E3? Have no fear, we have, and we’re here to tell you about the next generation of consoles that are coming soon (or in the case of one, already here)…
So, in price order, here are the details of the console that we know so far:
The Xbox One
Released Date: November 2013
Backwards Compatible with Xbox 360? No
Specs: 8 core CPU, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Blu-Ray Drive, Kinect Camera
The follow up to the wildly popular Xbox 360 will be with us in November, and is significantly more beefy than its predecessor despite having a lower number after it’s name (shouldn’t the older console be 360 times better?) It’s had a rough few weeks with a lot of questions over pre-owned games, and online connectivity required, but the games shown at E3 looked really promising, including the new exclusives Killer Instinct, Dead rising 3 and Titanfall as well as follow-ups to the likes of Halo, Minecraft, Forza and Metal Gear.
It’s the most expensive of the lot, but comes with a Kinect sensor in every box (want it or not), as well as some impressive extra TV functions (again, whether you want it or not). If you have a lot of achievement points invested (like us), you may find yourself drawn to it like a moth to a 60 watt lightbulb.
+ Achievements carry over from 360
+ Great multimedia functionality
+ Some promising looking exclusive games
+ Incredibly powerful
- Needs to be connected to the net every 24 hours
- Kinect built in to every model
- Confusing pre-owned policy
- The most expensive console
- No backwards compatibility with Xbox 360
The PlayStation 4
Release Date: ‘Holiday 2013′ (So probably the same as the Xbox One, we’d bet)
Backwards Compatible with PS3? Limited
Specs: 8 core CPU, 8GB RAM, Blu-Ray Drive
Sony had been suspiciously quiet about their own DRM and internet policies, leading loads of people to think that maybe they would be similar to the Xbox One. Not true, it turns out, and pre-owned games will be freely re-sellable as they were with the PS3, and no internet connection will be required. While the crowd cheered, Sony quietly slipped in the fact that multiplayer would now require a PlayStation Plus subscription, but considering Xbox Live Gold has been a paid for feature since the dawn of Xbox, they probably thought they could get away with it.
Other than that, specs are pretty similar, although subjectively there were less games we saw on display that excited us. But then Sony also informed us that 140 games for PS4 are currently in development, so we guess they just didn’t have room in the show. They still found time to namecheck new games in the Killzone, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls series, mind. Not to mention PC favourite Diablo 3.
+ Incredibly powerful
+ Region Free
+ PlayStation Plus subscription gives free games
+ Vita game streaming
+ Cheaper than the Xbox One…
- …but still pretty expensive!
- PlayStation Plus subscription now required for multiplayer
- Dependency on social features
The Wii U
Price: £199-£299 (but already heavily discounted)
Release Date: November 2012 (out now!)
Backwards compatible with Wii? Yes
Specs: Multi-core Power PC CPU, 2GB RAM, 8GB-32GB HDD (flash memory), tablet controller
It’s out right now! It’s cheap (the RRP is usually ignored, and the price has been as low as £150 for the basic model recently), and it’s home to Nintendo exclusive games like Mario, Pikmin and Zelda. The trouble is, at the moment, not too many of them. Nintendo are promising more, but given it’s a lot less powerful than both the Xbox One and PS4, they’ll have to deliver because porting the other platforms’ games across will be difficult without a fair few sacrifices, we’d imagine (graphically, not human sacrifices or anything like that you understand).
+ Backwards compatible with The Wii
+ Wii Remotes usable
+ The only place to play Nintendo games
+ Significantly cheaper than its rivals
- …but considerably less powerful.
- Questionable developer support
- A lot less storage
- Will struggle to run Xbox One/PS4 ports due to speed
For more detailed analysis of the technical battle between the Xbox One and Playstation 4, check out the detailed comparison done by our friends at TrustedReviews: http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/xbox-one-vs-sony-ps4