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The “next generation” of gaming, two years on

Posted by Nathan Mills on 23rd February 2016

It’s been over two years now since the ‘next generation’ of gaming was released on the world, with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One having had their fair share of ups and downs in that time. As Wildfire’s new gaming expert I wanted to take a look at how have things changed since their initial reveal back in 2013.

The past

The big news at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2013, the event at which both of the big players in console gaming announced their next gen machines, was Microsoft announcing you would not be able to play pre-owned games on the Xbox One. Sony quickly saw the opportunity and shared a video showing how easily friends can share games with each other on the PS4.

Sony had gamers hooked when its entire conference focused on the games. Announcing that it had an excellent line up of titles from triple-A developers, as well as indie developers, lined up for the PS4, Sony won fans over. On the other hand, Microsoft didn’t do quite so well, demonstrating just six titles during its own event, leaving fans confused with questions like “Is Microsoft focusing on a media system this time round?” and “Why aren’t there more games lined up?” floating around the net.  In place of a broad array of games, we saw some of the Xbox One’s media features, the ability to run content picture in picture, and the Kinect 3.0. The latter feature pushing the launch price of the console significantly higher than the PS4.

The present

In 2016, just over two years since the launch of both consoles, how have the consoles influenced the current gaming audience?

Microsoft has changed a lot of since its E3 2013 announcements. After the negative feedback, the Kinect 3.0 became completely optional, the price of the console dropped in-line with the PlayStation 4, and pre-owned games became playable with ease.

On top of Microsoft’s changes, there were some great exclusives at the end of 2015, with the console launching Halo 5, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and Forza 6. And that wasn’t all. To top it off, the announcement came in November that backwards compatibility would now be possible on the Xbox One. No subscription, no fees, all you need are the original discs to play your Xbox 360 titles.

Sony has also had a successful two years. Riding on the hype of its original reveal, the PS4 sales have stayed strong since its launch. Having said that, the Christmas 2015 line-up didn’t have strong exclusive titles, with fan favourite Uncharted 4 pushed back until 2016. However, with exclusive rights to many popular titles, Sony has been able to secure its place with a variety of titles from the likes of Activision and Ubisoft.

The future

2016 has much to offer us in terms of gaming with a variety of exciting new content to be revealed by both Sony and Microsoft in the next 12 months. With much to look forward to and a number of exciting titles expected to grace our consoles, coupled with the upcoming release of PlayStation VR, it’s a great time to join the next generation of gaming!

Nathan Mills