Five reasons to stick with the PS4
Sony and Microsoft have made no effort to refrain from one-upping each other over the years. With the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, it was clear from the start that Sony had the edge, what with its impressive exclusives, loads of niche titles, and rad original properties. Then the Xbox 360 managed to trump the PlayStation 3, offering a more seamless online component, a head start on the current generation of gameplay experiences, and the vastly superior version of Bayonetta (yes, it was important enough to list as a console merit).
As we prepare for a whole new wave of video game consoles, however, which platform should you choose? Honestly, you could really go with either, but if your main focus is good old-fashioned gaming, the PlayStation 4 may just have the edge this time around. Here are five bullet points in favor of Sony's next-gen outing.
Unequivocal indie support
Sure, Microsoft has lifted its ludicrous publisher requirement for independent game studios, but even then, Sony still has a much more robust list of anticipated games. Revered favorites including Fez, The Binding of Isaac, and Rogue Legacy are all being ported or remade for the PlayStation 4. Additionally, new and hotly anticipated titles like Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Volume, and Wasteland Kings are being touted as “console exclusive” launches on the system. If you're looking for a platform that you can play both loads of triple-A and indie titles on, the PlayStation 4 seems largely ideal.
During the Vita's first year, I was among many who criticized the handheld for its lack of games. Since then, however, it's managed to build a stronger following thanks to its dedication to downloadable software and Cross-Buy/Cross-Play functionality. Simply put, today's Vita is not the same Vita we got at launch, and the fact that Sony plans to support it as something of a cohesive unit with the PlayStation 4 is definitely exciting.
First off, let's go back to the indie games. Already stellar titles like Guacamelee! and Thomas Was Alone can be enjoyed on either the PlayStation 3 or Vita and subsequently transferred between the two systems. This makes for a great transition that allows you to get into a game while in the comfort of your own home or take said game with you on the go. It's practical and convenient, and it pushes the idea of having your PlayStation experience literally in the palm of your hand.
It would be foolish to ignore the triple-A spectrum as that's also what will help power the PlayStation 4. Sony has previously stated that the Vita will be like a handheld PlayStation 4 “in your pocket.” With continued plans to create games that are playable on both a larger and smaller screen, it's obvious that Sony wants to promote the hell out of its major console and portable device. Taking smaller independent experiences like Hotline Miami with you anywhere you go is already a total blast — it would certainly be equally awesome taking something like a new Sly Cooper or Uncharted with you when you're away from your TV.
Long list of exclusives
InFamous: Second Son looks pretty cool, doesn't it? As you're already aware, though, you'll never get to play it on the Xbox One. That's just one of many exclusive IPs owned by Sony that make the PlayStation 4 worth being stoked about. Need more? Of course you do! Well, how about Killzone: Shadow Fall? Then there's the long list of Sony-branded properties including Uncharted, God of War, LittleBigPlanet, and Sly Cooper, as well as studios the likes of Quantic Dream, who've pretty much expressed loyalty to the PlayStation brand. Yes, Microsoft has exclusives, but Sony has them, too, and you could argue that Sony's list is both more robust and more impressive.
Of course, it's impossible to discuss studios without mentioning Sony's major in-house players. Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch, Sony Santa Monica, Ready at Dawn, and Team Ico have all managed to deliver some of the best gaming experiences over the past two generations. It's certainly exciting to think what these teams could do next. Naughty Dog is especially noteworthy as the dev was able to deliver the wildly successful Uncharted series before venturing into new territory with the critically acclaimed The Last of Us.
Stream gameplay for free
If you want to record and share your gameplay sessions with the world on the Xbox One, prepare to shell out your monies for an Xbox Live membership. If you're a more cash-conscious consumer, however, (or if you're drowning in that thick poverty sauce like the rest of us,) sticking with the PlayStation 4 will ensure that you don't have to pay a dime for this feature. It's cool to know that you'll be able to share your gameplay videos with others without having to pay anything extra. And yes, while we all know that most Xbox One buyers will gladly pay for online functionality, it's great that not all PlayStation 4 adopters will be required to sign up for PlayStation Plus, in the process saving a few bucks along the way.
Oh, hey, it's also $100 cheaper than the Xbox One
There are undoubtedly countless people willing to pay $500 for the Xbox One, but for folks who want a straight-up gaming machine that also sports some cool new features, $400 for the PlayStation 4 is a much more attractive price point. Those 100 clams can go to some games, a Plus subscription, or 100 McChicken sandwiches. Hey, it's not all about nickels and dimes, except when it's about 2,000 nickels or 1,000 dimes (that's 100 bucks; I checked on Google).
What are your five reasons?
Plan on getting the PlayStation 4? List your reasons in the comments section! I swear I'll be as open-minded as I know you'll all be!
Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.