Xbox One: The #1 Console to Own This Holiday Season

Strong support, constant updates and a hat-trick of amazing games catapults Microsoft ahead in the console war.

Posted By | On 21st, Nov. 2014 Under Article, Editorials


You may know the story by now. In February 2013, Sony revealed the PlayStation 4 and announced a Holiday release window. On the one hand, many of us were awed by the games on display. On the other, we were skeptical as to whether Sony would actually make the release, much less deliver even half the games it showed off. Regardless, the overall response was one of positive, perhaps somewhat cautious, hype.

Don Mattrick

"Microsoft promised three compelling exclusives for this Holiday season with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon 2. Two of those games were only confirmed at E3 2014 several months ago."

Then Microsoft revealed its successor to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, in May 2013. The response – to put it lightly – was bad. Microsoft was railed on for the months that followed for what seemed like oppressive practices such as 24 hour online authentication, region-locking, mandatory usage of Kinect (which was always on) and a price point that was $100 higher than the PS4.

The launch titles didn’t scream “must-have” either and while the PS4 didn’t exactly blow us away with Killzone: Shadow Fall or Knack, Sony was arguably making larger strides with its indie developer line-up and upcoming exclusives like The Order: 1886 and Uncharted (later revealed to be Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End).

Fast-forward a year. The memory of Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct and Dead Rising 3 has more or less faded. Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program is looking good with original efforts like Inside, Cuphead and Below garnering out attention. More than anything though, Microsoft promised three compelling exclusives for this Holiday season with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon 2. Two of those games were only confirmed at E3 2014 several months ago.

Sunset Overdrive has proven to be a blast, melding open world gameplay with parkour mechanics and a self-aware, tongue-in-cheek acidic sense of humour. Forza Horizon 2 is just plain gorgeous and packs tons of content and activities across its vast open world, arguably putting Forza Motorsport 5 to shame.

1406314910-sdcc-2014-halo-2-anniversary-cinematic-looking-forward

"You've got four amazing remasters with Halo: CE Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4."

The one oddity in this bunch is Halo: The Master Chief Collection obviously. This is due to the numerous matchmaking issues that multiplayer has been experiencing (and no, we’re not going to ignore that some people can’t find games despite searching for 1.5 HOURS). It’s not easy optimizing multiplayer across 100 different maps and four different games but it’s improving as 343 Industries continues releasing patches and the like.

And unlike Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, you don’t just have one strong campaign to hold your attention in the meantime. You’ve got four amazing remasters with Halo: CE Anniversary, Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4.

Some may debate that they’ve played these before but thankfully, Halo 2 Anniversary features a massive revamp of the game’s visuals with some new additions to the campaign. Halo: Nightfall is available for those who want to know the set-up to Halo 5: Guardians. The multiplayer beta for the latter is also on the disc and it starts in late December with many positive impressions thus far.

Did we mention the strong range of third party titles also available on the Xbox One such as Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition?

DriveClub

"DriveClub had proven to be an awful mess at launch with buggy code preventing players from even accessing many of the game's multiplayer modes. A month and many patches later haven't changed the fact that it has issues."

Not that the above makes too much of a difference if you’re a PS4 owner. However, when you look at the PS4’s Holiday line-up, it’s plainly obvious that Microsoft has won out. DriveClub had proven to be an awful mess at launch with buggy code preventing players from even accessing many of the game’s multiplayer modes. A month and many patches later haven’t changed the fact that it has issues. Don’t even get us started on the utter disappearance of the PS Plus Edition.

LittleBigPlanet 3 is a strong new entry in the series and well worth a fan’s time – even if it doesn’t change much with the formula. But that’s pretty much it, exposing Sony’s lack of foresight for this Holiday season.

Many of its top-tier releases like The Order: 1886 and Bloodborne will only be out early next year. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is looking to be a late 2015 release. There’s no information on games like The Last Guardian. Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to feed information on interesting titles like Quantum Break, Halo 5: Guardians and Crackdown while also offering exclusive beta access to games like Tom Clancy’s The Division and Evolve in early 2015.

You could argue that the Xbox One still has a ways to go and really, so does the PS4. Both consoles are only a year old and both have seen numerous additions, both positive and negative, to their repertoires. Xbox Live’s Games With Gold deal for the Xbox One still doesn’t feel as great as PS Plus when it comes to free games. The PS4 hasn’t had as many updates to the core console as the Xbox One. Both have great games coming out in the coming year and both are causing developers to concentrate their efforts away from previous gen consoles.

However, only one has the best overall games line-up for this Holiday season. Sony may have had a stronger start but the Xbox One has definitely scored a strong string victories to close out 2014. What are your thoughts on the same though? Let us know in the comments below.


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  • Satsumo

    In truth both consoles released a year before they were ready. On the whole I agree with the author’s assessment. It’s all about the games – which X1 has best of at the moment.

    • 54nakaD

      Too bad there’s not much even on x1 worth buying. Even Sunset OD flopped. Only actual game worth getting on xb1 is Halo5 and that’s 13 months away.

  • demderp

    Playstation distributes its exclusives evenly across the year, not all during the holidays. PS4 has LBP3, Guilty Gear Xrd, and Driveclub this holiday. Driveclub’s online issues were disappointing but mostly fixed as of Oct 28.

    All 3 consoles have good games worth playing, it depends on the consumer’s interest.

    http://www.listwar.com
    http://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/score/metascore/all/ps4?sort=desc

    2013-2014 exclusives: Killzone: Shadowfall, Knack, Resogun, Infamous: Second Son and First Light, MLB: The Show 14, The Last of Us Remastered, Samurai Warriors 4, Guilty Gear Xrd, Driveclub, LittleBigPlanet 3, Natural Doctrine, and many more critically acclaimed digital games. Final Fantasy XIV and Injustice are on PS4 but not Xbox.

    2015 exclusives: The Order: 1886, Bloodborne, Ratchet & Clank, Uncharted 4, Tearaway Unfolded, Until Dawn, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Rime, Let it Die, Deep Down, Alienation, Helldivers, Wild, The Tomorrow Children, more.

    Sony’s 1st parties are working on unannounced PS4 AAA games. 1st/2nd party studios include Japan Studio, Polyphony Digital, Naughty Dog, SCE Bend, SCE San Diego, SCE Santa Monica, Sucker Punch, Pixel Opus, Evolution Studios, Guerrilla Games, Guerrilla Cambridge, SCE London, Media Molecule, Ready at Dawn, Quantic Dream, etc.

    • Michael Norris

      Next year is Sony’s,just too many games being made atm.I agree as of now the Xone has the better games.

    • rudero

      No. Not according to sales. Of the software, not the consoles. If they were better, they would sell both though.

    • JimmyNice

      By the numbers they don’t.

      XB1 – Game Scores (as of Nov 19 2014 as per metacritic)

      A – score 85 and up = 13 games (one game over 90 is Rayman Legends at 91)
      B – score 75 – 84 = 37 games
      C – Score 60 – 74 = 39 games

      14% A Scores, 42% B Scores and 44% C Scores.
      A total of 89 games with a “passing” grade out of a total 124 games available. (71% passing)

      31 games (digital & retail) on XB1 that are NOT on PS4
      15 full disc retail games on XB1 NOT on PS4 (incl. Fitness, Zumba & Fantasia)
      79 total full disk Retail games (including multisystem) on XB1
      124 total games available for XB1
      ________________________________________________

      PS4 – Game Scores (as of Nov 19 2014 as per metacritic)

      A – score 85 and up = 24 games (6 games over 90, GTAV at 96)
      B – score 75 – 84 = 63 games
      C – Score 60 – 74 = 52 games

      17% A Scores, 45% B Scores and 37% C Scores
      A total of 139 games with a “passing” grade our of a total 189 games (74% passing)

      95 games on (digital & retail) PS4 that are NOT on XB1
      20 full disc retail games on PS4 NOT on XB1
      84 total full disk Retail games (including multisystem) on PS4

      There are simply more games on PS4 that are NOT on XB1 than the other way around. More overall games and higher scoring games.

      Now you may have a personal preference… which I get… I mean I don’t like FPS but I love survival horror like Alan Wake… but saying “XB1 has the better games” doesn’t really hold water.

    • Psionicinversion

      you cant include GTA5 lmao its multiplat and is the same game clutching at straws, if its got a higher score than xbox must be that more grass!!. More games doesnt mean better games besides i wouldnt trust metacritic tbh

    • JimmyNice

      I included all games for all systems… GTA5 is 96 on PS4 and 89 on XB1. I didn’t write the reviews.. if you have more textures, further draw distance and just over all looks better… that’s why it’s a higher score. I didn’t cherry pick anything… you can find all the data here http://www.listwar.com/released-games/

      Isn’t clutching at straws ignoring all the factual data on that list and blowing off metacritic to question GTAV? (which I include on both their lists) Game companies give bonuses or fire teams based on the metacritic scores of their games. They seem to take it pretty seriously

    • Psionicinversion

      errrm according to digital foundry they look exactly the same apart from the grass

    • JimmyNice

      This is from Digital foundry posted yesterday;

      “However, while Xbox One enjoys an advantage during high-speed races in packed junction areas, it’s clear the platform faces its own particular challenges. It drops a few frames during downtown driving outside of the problem junction areas, whereas PS4 remains solid. On top of that, we’ve already seen that Rockstar has made some visual cutbacks to its complex outdoor rendering, presumably to accommodate Xbox One’s less capable graphics hardware, but in certain areas where cuts haven’t been made, performance can dip.

      Complex effects work, usually involving transparency effects (explosions etc) can also cause visible, sustained hitches in performance. Explosive missions with Trevor in Los Santos’ outskirts show the biggest pitfall on Xbox One – with 24fps held at length during one shoot-out. Meanwhile, the PS4 has no issue with these segments, sparing one or two dropped frames just as alpha effects appear on-screen.”

      … Yeah… it’s just the grass.. lol.

    • Psionicinversion

      it is the grass, you ps4 guys bin smoking to much of it!!!

    • JimmyNice

      oh… you are just a troll with nothing of value to add… I remember you… nice to see you again trolly troll. It’s so cute when you run out of things to say and go all trolly.

    • Psionicinversion

      tbh i think i know why the PC version has bin held back because xbox and ps guys arguing about this stuff but when the PC version gets compared its going to blow both consoles away thats why

    • Jay Deez

      I just think about how big a loser would actually take the time to write all that

    • Psionicinversion

      No they don’t distribute evenly because there all delayed lmao. Oh i evenly distribute the amount of rubbish I talk by delaying certain things because I’ve not finished with the amount of rubbish I’m going say!!! But I’ll spin it off as distributing them evenly hahaha

    • rudero

      You really like your toy. Sooo cute.
      what is it like to hold those goalposts and run all over the place to defend microsoft? It probably make you cranky. ie your posts

    • Michael Norris

      Bullshit Sony tried to spread their titles out over the course of the year.MS loves to drop there load all at once.

    • Psionicinversion

      they arent spread out at all. There targetted at times of the year around holiday season, games in february are because people have usually recovered from xmas spending by then. Its hardly spread out, its pretty focused. Same with most game. If there delayed there just released as soon as

    • demderp

      Yes they are.

      March – Infamous Second Son
      May – MLB 14: The Show
      June – Resogun Heroes
      July – The Last of Us
      August – Infamous First Light
      October – Driveclub, Samurai Warriors 4
      November – LBP3
      December – Guilty Gear Xrd

    • Psionicinversion

      wow lots of games only certain people care about nice. Ive got at least a little more respect for Uplay now at least its not got some 5MB/s BS speed cap.

      Bought FC4 downloading at 16MB/s 30 mins for 31GB 😀 happy bunny

    • demderp

      Dragon Age > UbiTrash

    • Psionicinversion

      Im not much for dragon age i had a go off whatever the last one was, got bored pretty quickly

    • demderp

      Complete lies. Driveclub and The Order were the only 1st party games delayed. PS3 also had its exclusives distributed across the entire year.

      PS3 had great exclusive support from 2011-2013, expect the same lifetime support for PS4.

    • Psionicinversion

      and infamous

    • rodney patrick

      wow you sound salty

    • rodney patrick

      exactly

    • andy

      You will agree with any moron won’t you?

    • andy

      HAHA he is talking about in general, not 2014. Look at this sad and hard to swallow, for you, picture http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/195601iE6B39142D8DF1DC0/image-size/original?v=mpbl-1&px=-1

      Forza, Gears, Halo (add Fable 3 to that too, its not there though because it isn’t exclusive to Xbox 360), all released for the holiday seasons. Microsoft, most of time, do NOTHING throughout the year with game releases, 2014 was no different.

      Do you need more proof?
      2011: Sony released LBP Jan, Killzone 3 Feb, MLB 11 March, Socom 4 April, Motorstorm Apocalypse May, Infamous 2 June, White Knight Chronicles 2 July, Resistance 3 Sep, Ratchet and Clank All 4 One Oct, Uncharted 3 Nov. This is quite normal for Sony.
      Did i evenly distribute what I was saying here? 😉

    • rodney patrick

      stop just stop

  • rudero

    Just imagine the console Microsoft could have made if they didn’t have to spend so much convincing people to buy it. Le’sigh. One could dream.
    Years. YEARS since an exclusive new ip has touched an microsoft console and they sell ONE in four years and it’s “Sony doesn’t have games”. They release two exclusives this year and they are not even system sellers and its “Sony has no games”.
    System updates. Ha. REPAIRS for the most part. Crap chat, sticky snap, same as last gen kinect voice controls and things already available on another consoke.
    Please.
    Cash those check shills. Enjoy the holidays. Feed that marketing frenzy for microsoft. Lord knows they do not know how to deserve anything.

  • crizz1066

    Only reason its catching up, is cuz its cheap with loads of free games. Once PS4 do their Xmas promotion. Surely things will stablise again with PS4 out selling, week on week month on month.

    • jacksjus

      I think what most are overlooking is despite MS’ recent spike the PS4 hasn’t shifted from their normal weekly output. So when things normalize come January where will MS’ weekly output stand? Will they continue to sell 100k+ a week or will it dip back to ore-holiday numbers? That is what remains to be seen because the PS4 hasn’t budge other than an occasional spike due to a game release.

    • crizz1066

      Exactly

    • rodney patrick

      not

  • jacksjus

    I think new adopters this holiday will focus on all games launched to date and not necessarily what has recently come out because to them they are all new experiences. Its like current owners are thinking for the newbies which makes no sense.

    Why is Titan Fall and Infamous suddenly considered non-worthy if a purchase? Would you not recommend either of the two to someone who hasn’t played them? Or is it simply about what came out in the last 8 weeks?

  • Honestly, the Xbox One has the stronger lineup. The games they have are very very strong (Sunset Overdrive being a true standout). And the games they will have sitting there on the shelves this holiday season are much stronger than the PS4’s lineup.

    The PS4 had a really strong debut. But that’s the problem… the PS4 put all of it’s strong games in it’s first few months. They relied on a huge surge at the start. The Xbox One relied on a steady trickle of games until now when it feels like they have so many big titles all hitting at once I can’t keep up.

    I do wish I could play Little Big Planet – that’s a fun game and I’ll give credit to the PS4 on that score. But the rest of the lineup is… “Lackluster” is not the word… Hard to put a finger on it, but their lineup is just not as strong as the Xbox’s is currently.

    • 54nakaD

      So a rehashed game and a game nobody wants makes for a stronger lineup? Could have fooled me. I always preferred quality over quantity.

    • Nobody cares about Sunset Overdrive? Interesting. So, the fact that it has sold very well and the version of the Xbox One with it included selling out is evidence that “Nobody cares”?

      Stop drinking the Sony Koolaid – the PS4 train is running out of steam.

    • 54nakaD

      Where did you get that it sold well? It has only sold a little over 200,000 copies to date. Most of that was the first week and now I think sales for the second week dropped to under 20k. So it was a horrific flop and Insomniac feels stupid now. It was never a trending game on social media before or after launch as much money MS paid for commercial time. Too bad but don’t worry your precious MS isn’t going anywhere because even though they continually lose money on xbox they will continue to support it for some reason even though investors want it gone.

    • Interesting. So, basically you just created a fantasy version of reality and ran with it. Well, okay then – you’re too stupid to bother with.

    • 54nakaD

      Yeah check numbers. 210k first week. Call of duty just on xb1 sold double that in its second week. Sunset OD won’t even break 500k. But only mindless shooters sell well on Xbox. Rehashed Halo sold 1 mil in 4 days. Watch youtube videos of Xbox and ps4. Ps4 you hear mostly adults. Xbox you hear a ton of potty mouth kids. Sunset OD surely would have sold much better on ps4.

  • TheWayItsMeantToBePlayed

    Actually you can get a nice PC instead if you are prepared to spend a bit more. Then you don’t have to worry about 1080P for the entire generation.

    • Psionicinversion

      i think AMD’s 390x is going to destroy the 980Ti, AMD is the way its meant to be played!!

    • TheWayItsMeantToBePlayed

      Pirate Isles is interesting. I’ve ordered a 970 but the performance ratio seems fine compared to the leaked 380X specs so I’m not going to lose sleep 😉

    • Psionicinversion

      the 380x is competing against 980 and i think has about 3200 SP’s 390x should have 4000+

  • andy

    Imagine if the Order 1886 wasn’t delayed, I guess the PS4 would be THE console to buy this Christmas eh gamingbolt? Or would you have run this paid for article by Microsoft anyway?

    90 days, The Order 1886 was delayed by 90 days and people see it as a massive game changing situation because of the transition in the numbers 2014 and 2015.
    You know what, maybe Halo MCC should have been delayed too because it CERTAINLY WASN’T ready for launch. But the sad truth is Microsoft have SO much more to lose by not releasing it and fanboys just don’t care.

    Was the jab at Littlebigplanet 3 worth it gamingbolt? I mean if Halo 5 plays like a Halo game are you going to hold that against them this time next year too?

    • Psionicinversion

      i think the order 1886 is struggling to keep its frame rate, i think the extra time is for optimisation and trying to create more efficient code

  • Zohak Diaz

    Everything is better with Xbox. It’s a no brainer, the best features, updates and games are on the Xbox.


 

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