Xbox One or PlayStation 4: which has the best offer?

The competition heats up as Bundle extras are announced.

Publicity and marketing are key elements in the success of any new product. As Microsoft and Sony both rush to release their latest gaming consoles it is clear that Microsoft is winning the publicity war in Australia. Sony announced first that PlayStation 4 would be available at midnight on November 29th. Microsoft responded by declaring that the Xbox One would be released also at midnight on November 22nd.

As part of the promotion of these new devices, both companies have put together a special package that consumers will receive if they pre-order. Xbox One ‘The Day One Edition’ features a commerative controller and an exclusive achievement. Also a ‘Day One’ Xbox Live gold membership and the ability to play Killer Instinct Round One with the exclusive Shadow Jago character. Sony is also promoting a PS4 bundle. This includes the 500GB console, the game Killzone Shadowfall, an additional DualShock 4 Controller and the PS4 Eye Camera.

Microsoft has heavily promoted their product in Australia. At the recent EB Games Expo, Microsoft displayed their V8 supercar which raced at the Bathurst 1000. The lack of promotion of the PS4 in Australia by Sony means that Microsoft stands to gain a significant advantage over its rival. The earlier release date of Xbox One combined with a more attractive bundle means that gamers may not want to wait for the PS4.

Retailers have indicated that stocks of the Xbox One are limited. Pre-orders are expected to account for the majority of sales, so it may be difficult to buy one after the initial release date. While in Wollongong I talked with Rhys, an enthusiastic gamer who said “I can’t wait for November 22nd. it’s gonna be great I just want to start playing it now”. It won’t be clear until the New Year which company has sold more units. However the competition is fierce and gamers will be quick to determine which one is the best.

For more information about pre-order bundles check the link below.

Xbox One or PlayStation 4: discovering the difference.

Gamers need to get technical this time around.

The release date for the next gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony is nearly here. This time it’s not just about the games or the look of the console itself that matters anymore. Gamers now need to analyse the technical specs before they can make their choice.

Over seven years have passed since the last model of these consoles were released to the public. Many new features have been included in both new designs as Xbox One and PS4 battle for gaming supremacy. So what’s on offer this time around?

Xbox One now has 8 GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive as well as the ability to store data in the cloud. Now there is plenty of memory for games, demos, movies, apps, music and more. The Kinect system has been re-engineered. So users can change between games, movies, live television and a host of other Microsoft services through voice control. An ultra-sensitive sensor can track wrist and shoulder rotations; as well as a 1080P camera that can record video at 30fps.

Although the Xbox controller reportedly had over 40 new design tweaks, it still looks similar to the existing 360 one. The most notable change is the improved D-pad but there are lots of other small changes.

PlayStation 4 is also offering 8GB memory and a 500GB hard drive but without the ability to save files to the cloud. The PlayStation camera will also have to be purchased separately for an extra $100. The main difference for gamers is in the controller. Basically the same for the last 15 years, the DualShock 4 is now weightier and studier. It has a clickable touch pad and the trigger buttons are improved. Overall it’s a solid user friendly controller.

Samuel Cooper the EB Games store manager for the Sydney region has said “these next gen consoles have so many new features. If buyers need any assistance our staff are fully trained and ready to help”

These are just the basic differences. To check out even more of the new features of these next gen consoles, simply follow the links below.

Gamers get a preview of the next gen consoles.

The new consoles are looking good, with the final version on display.

Microsoft have opted for a more simple and sleek design for its new console. The shell is two tone: half matte grey and the other gloss black, and the rings have been replaced by a glowing white Xbox logo.

Top down view including Kinect

Top down view including Kinect

Top rear view

Top rear view

Sony has used a combination of black gloss and matte finish on the new console. It has angled fins on the edges and a more compact design than its competitor. The Sony logo is more discrete and less intrusive.

The front view

The front view

The Rear of the console

The Rear of the console

Profile Piece: Interview with Adam Pollington

At the EB Games Expo on Friday 4th of October 2013, I talked with Adam Pollington about the upcoming release of the new Xbox One. His current position is Xbox Platform Category Lead at Microsoft Australia. He has a passion for interactive entertainment and a strong interest in business and people management.

Adam Pollington

Adam Pollington

Are you happy with the overall response you have received to the new Xbox One console?

Given that Microsoft has been quite ambitious with the number of features and the level of quality we wanted to achieve, we are very pleased so far with the reception of our new console. It was very satisfying to see the level of excitement and anticipation towards something we have all worked so hard to accomplish.

Why has it taken so long for Microsoft to design and produce a new console?

It’s always about making it better than the last one, always trying to improve always trying to make it more efficient with more features, but at the same time still making it accessible for new players. From a technical standpoint it’s about making the console a brand new top of the range product. We didn’t just want to re-create the past. We wanted to innovate and expand.

There has been some negative criticism of the Xbox One, how would you respond to that?

We are always willing to change our ideas if it means a better product. Because of the negative feedback that we received about the ‘always on’ internet connection, the Xbox One will not need to be constantly connected to the internet. It will also support used games. Unfortunately however, the console will not be backwards compatible with Xbox360 games and there are no current plans to change this feature.

Do you listen to online feedback? Do you take players ideas for future games on board?

Yes, we are very proactive with soliciting online feedback and ideas via Facebook, Twitter and Blogs. There is a lot of great discussion and interaction that goes on amongst the gaming community themselves and with us. This really helps us understand what is currently resonating with gamers and what they consider important to add, change or improve in games for the next time. The real challenge is in creating games is to make sure that they are both fun and realistic.

What do you see as the best features of Xbox One?

With the Xbox One, Microsoft has focused on what the hardware could do outside of traditional gaming and how it could form the centre of all entertainment in the family living room. The new and improved Kinect system allows users to easily change content, scrolling through games, movies, live television and a host of other Microsoft services. A new feature called Snap is included for the first time. This places two different kinds of content next to each other on the screen. So for example, users can watch movies and surf the net at the same time.

EB Games 2013 Expo attracts UOW Interest.

UOW film crew attends the 2nd annual EB Games Expo at Sydney Showground.

Starting on Friday the 4th and finishing on Sunday the 6th of October, the Sydney EB Games Expo is the largest event of its kind held in Australia. This is the second year of a three year contract that EB signed with the Sydney Showground. The Expo brings together over 32 exhibitors who will be showing off the latest gaming technology and the hottest new games on the market. The event is expected to see tens of thousands of people of all ages flocking through the gates, with over 30,000 attending the 2012 convention.

Xbox One booth           

On behalf of UOW TV, a small group of Wollongong University third year Digital Media students were dispatched to cover this event. Our brief was to interview game developers and to report back on all the latest developments in the world of gaming. The team consisted of myself, Ryan Jory and Tina Zunic. We were anticipating an interesting day when we set off to cover this event and we were not disappointed.

Sony Booth

While attending the Expo, we interviewed several game developers and filmed a short highlights clip for UOW TV recording their responses to watch this, view the video below.

While we were at the Expo, we also caught up with Lisa who is one of the event organisers. When asked how things were going, she commented “yeah guys, this year’s turnout has been really great. Everyone is having a fantastic time and it looks like there are more people here than last year. There’s a huge interest in this kind of entertainment right across the age groups”. For anyone wanting to reserve their place at the 2014 Sydney Expo you need only follow this link for more information.

Xbox or PlayStation? The big decision for gamers!

Which console are you planning to buy in 2013?

November this year is the month that both Microsoft and Sony plan to release their new generation of game consoles.

A recent study conducted at The University of Wollongong this week by Digital Media students revealed that there are some very interesting trends emerging. The poll involved a sample group of 25 participants 20 males and 5 females who each filled out a questionnaire asking for their opinion on the release of the new Xbox One or PS4.

The results from this survey showed that 72% of males thought the consoles were too expensive. Xbox one will be priced at $598 while PlayStation 4 will cost $548. Over half of all people surveyed stated that money played the biggest factor in determining which console they would eventually chose. While another 38% said they would not buy a new console until the price dropped significantly.

Another factor influencing the decision to buy is the choice of games currently available and due for release in the near future. In an interview with one of the male respondents he stated that “there just aren’t any games that have got me interested at the moment… I’ll definitely wait until there are more games to play before I consider buying one or the other”.

However 4 out of the 5 females surveyed thought it was a worthwhile purchase. One commented that “If my boyfriend plays it all the time then I don’t see a problem with him buying one straight away”

Although the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 both have a huge pre-order list with local retailers, it appears from the results of this study that most university students aren’t planning on upgrading their gaming consoles anytime soon.

After the rival consoles have been released, the results of a follow up opinion poll will indicate if gamers have changed their opinions. If you need more help deciding check out this website.