CON­SOLE WARS

TekSavvy Insider - - Contents -

With Nin­tendo’s Wii U, Sony’s PlaySta­tion 4 and Mi­crosoft’s Xbox One now well and truly bed­ded in we take a look at the per­for­mance of each sys­tem so far and weigh them up against each other across a num­ber of cat­e­gories s to find out which one can be crowned King of the Con­soles so far...

The cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of con­soles kicked off on Novem­ber 18th, 2012, with the launch of Nin­tendo’s Wii U, com­plete with its touch screen GamePad con­troller, be­fore Sony and Mi­crosoft stepped into the fray on Novem­ber 15th and Novem­ber 22nd, 2013, re­spec­tively. In the time since those launches, all three con­soles have had the chance to bed down and carve their own niches ( or at­tempt to), by rolling out an as­sort­ment of dif­fer­ent ser­vices and show­cas­ing wholly unique tac­tics and ap­proaches in an at­tempt to claim as much of the mar­ket as pos­si­ble for them­selves.

As the tag “next gen” fi­nally be­gins to fade out of the gam­ing dic­tio­nary un­til the next goaround, and all three plat­forms have had the time to es­tab­lish them­selves, or at least their iden­ti­ties and how they aim to ap­peal to gamers, it’s as good a time as any to take a look at how each of th­ese con­soles has per­formed since launch. We ap­pre­ci­ate that th­ese so- called “con­sole wars” can prove to be a very touchy area for some gamers, par­tic­u­larly those who like to pick a brand or plat­form and stick with it through thick and thin, but we’ve tried to be as ob­jec­tive as pos­si­ble, and would like to stress that, with the way things stand right now, there re­ally isn’t a “wrong” choice for any­one who has yet to take the plunge and de­cide which sys­tem will play host to their gam­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for the months and years ahead. Un­less you like Nin­tendo games, in which case there’s re­ally only one “right” choice, but let’s not get ahead of our­selves here!

Launch­ing on Novem­ber 18th, 2012, Nin­tendo’s Wii U has had a mixed life to date. Launch­ing with a pretty siz­able cat­a­logue of 23 ti­tles, run­ning the gamut of first party and third party re­leases. No­table launch games in­cluded As­sas­sin’s Creed III, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, FIFA 13, Zom­biU, Scrib­ble­nauts Un­lim­ited, Dark­siders II, Bat­man: Arkham City - Ar­mored Edi­tion, Skylanders Gi­ants, Nin­tendo Land and New Su­per Mario Bros. U, of­fer­ing gamers a de­cent se­lec­tion from which to start their col­lec­tion. How­ever, things didn’t con­tinue in that vein. Poor con­sole sales be­yond the ini­tial sold out batch of hard­ware meant that third party pub­lish­ers soon got cold feet about the plat­form, and to­day it’s a rar­ity to find mul­ti­plat­form games mak­ing their way to the sys­tem. In­deed, even Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, her­alded as a ma­jor re­lease for the sys­tem, ar­rived six months be­hind all other ver­sions, and wasn’t ex­actly the great­est port the world has ever seen. That early third party en­thu­si­asm has cer­tainly waned, but in its place Nin­tendo con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength with its own of­fer­ings, push­ing out gem af­ter gem at a break­neck pace. Al­ready, ti­tles like Su­per Mario 3D World, Pik­min 3, Su­per Smash Bros. for Wii U, The Leg­end of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Mario Kart 8 and Nin­tendo- pub­lished Plat­inum Games of­fer­ings like The Won­der­ful 101 and Bay­o­netta 2 have made the con­sole a must- have for many gamers, but sorely lack­ing from third par­ties. Nin­tendo hasn’t done it­self any favours with its poor mar­ket­ing of the con­sole. In the run up to the sys­tem’s launch, an as­ton­ish­ing num­ber of peo­ple in the gen­eral public re­mained bliss­fully un­aware that the Wii U was even a thing, while a hefty per­cent­age of those who had heard rum­blings of it be­lieved it to be lit­tle more than a new touch- screen con­troller for the orig­i­nal Wii. The suc­cess of the Wii un­doubt­edly clouded Nin­tendo’s judg­ment with its suc­ces­sor, with the com­pany be­liev­ing that the same peo­ple who snapped up the 2006 de­vice would hap­pily pay out for the fol­low- up, but we all know that was never go­ing to be the case. In terms of sales fig­ures, the Wii U has seen a re­cent up­turn in for­tunes, but it’s still strug­gling, rel­a­tively speak­ing, with just 9.2 mil­lion units shipped as of De­cem­ber 2014, and although Nin­tendo has pledged its sup­port for the long term, many in­dus­try an­a­lysts have pos­tu­lated that a suc­ces­sor may ar­rive sooner rather than later. In the mean­time, how­ever, we gen­uinely can’t rec­om­mend the Wii U enough. It’s got far and away the best cat­a­logue of games of any of the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion thanks in equal mea­sures to its head start and Nin­tendo’s un­ri­valed cal­i­bre at churn­ing out the goods time and time again. With an MSRP of $ 299, it re­mains per­haps a lit­tle pricey when com­pared to the PS4 and Xbox One, but we fully ex­pect to see that price come down post- E3 this year, and a more com­pet­i­tive price point of $ 199- 229 could kick start the gen­eral public’s in­ter­est in the con­sole. Given the sheer qual­ity of game­play ex­pe­ri­ences avail­able on the sys­tem, it’d be a real shame to see a pre­ma­ture end for the Wii U, es­pe­cially when there are still some great ti­tles to look for­ward to, like Spla­toon, the next in­stall­ment in The Leg­end of Zelda and an all- new Star­fox game - and that’s not to men­tion the un­used fran­chises that re­main, like F- Zero and Metroid.

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