Monday, 4 November 2013

Episode 33 Part Three - Comparison between non gaming features of the 8th Gen consoles as at Holiday 2013

        This post is a mini-post under "Episode 33: Which 8th Generation game console should you buy in 2013?". If you want the full story, read that post before this one. I'm comparing the non-gaming features available for the 8th generation of video game consoles as at the holiday season, 2013. Just like phones, over the years, game consoles have had other features added to them besides the main purpose they were created for in the first place.

    Comparing the features and deciding on which console has the best is tricky because the offerings are so different and some people only want to play games and don't care what else the console can do. Also, I might think some some feature is cool and another person might think it's unnecessary (like using the movement of one's eyes to scroll through an ebook on a Galaxy S3 or S4 is unnecessary to me).

      In 2012, I made a blog post detailing all the non-gaming features the Wii-U has. You can read it for details. In summary, the Wii U's main controller has a touch screen alongside the regular controls like analog sticks and buttons, so it has tablet-like functionality and apps. Nintendo TVii allows you to control all your video services (your cable TV, online services like Netflix and YouTube, etc) from one place, your Wii U gamepad. The touchscreen makes things like video chatting and drawing apps available right from the box, no need to download, and you can play your games and surf the web even if someone else is using the TV, because you have a screen in your hands. If you're viewing the desktop version of this site, you should see my full article on the Wii U's features embedded right here in this post. If not, click here.

       In order to do justice to the PS4 and the Xbox One, I would need more time to write full articles on their non-gaming features. Till, then, I'll put the highlights here. Sony owns a lot of entertainment material, such as certain movies, TV shows and music. Playstation Plus subscribers (people who pay a monthly fee) can have access to all of that on their PS4. PS4 has Gaikai, a cloud service, built into it. According to Gaikai, its cloud streaming service will allow players to stream live gampelay from their PS4 to a friend's TV. Players will also be able to take over a friend's game remotely in the case that they need help overcoming a difficult portion of a game. You can even play a demo of a game WHILE THE DEMO IS STILL BEING DOWNLOADED.
Watch someone else's game from your PS4, even without a PS+ subscription
     The Dualshock 4 (the PS4 controller), has a "share" button on it, so you can share footage of your gameplay with friends and there is some social network integration, though I haven't researched the details on that yet. Services like Netflix are also available. Finally, any game on the PS4 can be played on a Playstation Vita (successor to the PSP) via remote play, as long as they're on the same wifi network. Sony says it might still work if you take your Vita out of the house and it still has internet access, but due to authentication issues, it isn't guaranteed to work unless the Vita and the PS4 are both connected to the same wifi network.

     The Xbox One has Microsoft's services such as Skype and Internet Explorer built in, and even the snapping feature found on Windows Devices. This means you can "snap" one app (say, a game) to one half of the screen and another app (say, Skype) to the other half of the screen, and the two apps can run simultaneously. Just like the Wii U, the Xbox One can act as a hub to all your video services, including your cable TV. Then there's Twitch TV, also known as Game DVR, which includes the ability to livestream gameplay footage through a partnership with Twitch TV, allowing users to showcase games to viewers and talk over the top of the footage by using the Kinect.
Twitch TV in Snap view on the right while the gameplay is snapped to the left

      The Xbox One comes with Kinect 2.0, a powerful camera and microphone that can detect multiple people by both sound and looks. The entire Operating System can be controlled through Kinect without ever touching your physical controller. You can go all Tony Stark, switch on your console by saying "Xbox, on!" then navigate to your video service, video game, internet explorer (or any other app) with simple hand gestures. What's more, if you have a smartphone or tablet, you can download the Smartglass app and control your console with that too.
      As soon as your Kinect sees you (and anyone else in the room), it signs you in so each person can access his personal content. If you sign in on someone else's Xbox One, you can still access your content. You can "follow" people and see what they've been playing/watching (if their settings allow you to). You can plug ANY (even that of another game console, like the PS4, here's video proof) HDMI output into the Xbox One before plugging it to your TV. It's called HDMI pass through. So you can have your live TV, DVD Player or another game as one of the windows displaying through your Xbox One. While watching live TV, you can get a notification for an incoming Skype call or to tell you that a certain friend of yours is online and playing a game that you have, in case you want to play online with/against him. I want to keep this short, so if you want to know more, watch this video.
       In my opinion, the Xbox One wins this section. To continue reading the main article, click here. Or any of these to read the comparisons on the prices of the consoles, or the exclusive games available.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the article. Just want to inform all folks who live outside US that Nintendo Wii U is a great media Player. If you want to access Netflix and other streaming stations on your you can use UnoTelly as I do to get around the geo block.


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