What does it mean for me to be a gamer? I’ve never really thought about it until lately. A gamer, after all, is just a label. I’ve always been the person I am, and I love playing video games. I love the immersive worlds, the challenge of mind, hand, and eye coordination, and I like the stories in the same way people like getting sucked into good books. I suppose by some small definition of the word “gamer” that makes me one. I also have other hobbies like biking, reading, woodworking, and of course, writing. Does that make me any less of a gamer? I don’t know. But what I do know is…
I’m definitely buying a PlayStation 4.
Amongst privacy concerns, used game restrictions, and “always on” technology, I have to wonder why anyone would buy an Xbox One over a PS4…period. One of the only positive reviews I’ve read for the Xbox One was from GIZMODO (http://gizmodo.com/why-im-getting-the-xbox-one-not-the-ps4-ugh-512840127) who really only wanted it as a TV/movie catalogue/streaming device. They literally wanted “One” box to control everything entertainment in their home.
One of the freakiest features of the new Xbox console is the “always on” Kinect. For those of you who don’t know, the Kinect is a camera that you can use to interact with your Xbox. But with the Xbox One, the Kinect is super-freaky-smart. It has a 1080p wide-angle camera with an infrared sensor so it can see in the dark and a microphone that always remains on in order to pick up voice commands even when the Xbox One is in sleep mode. From a purely technological standpoint, this is pretty cool, however amidst talk of government surveillance through major companies like Microsoft, I worry how such a powerful tool could be implemented.
Outside of the voice and motion controls managing the entertainment coursing through your living room, the PS4 offers everything I need. I can play both new and used games independent of an internet connection. I can still watch Netflix and BluRay movies. I have access to tons of cool new games that can also be found on the Xbox One, and other games that are exclusive to the PS4. Perhaps the only real downside on the PS4 is the announcement that online gaming will require a PlayStation Plus membership (rather than remaining free). To be honest though, I’ve been looking for a reason to join PlayStation Plus, and online gaming is just the thing to do it. As soon as I sign up, I’ll have access to an online backup of my game saves, an online library of free games, and discounts on new releases.
So bring it out already, Sony. You’ve made me a lifelong customer with the service you’ve shown and your ability to listen well to your customers. I’m ready to buy.