Maximizing your Day One Console.

Come November – Or “The Holidays” in the case of the PS4, gamers will be flocking to stores in order to buy their console of choice. So, whats the best way to get the most bang for your buck?

Xbox One:

What you get in the box:

Xbox One Console, Commemorative controller – Celebrating the fact you just poured 400 quid into the thing – and HDMI cable and the Kinect 2.0 sensor.

Disc Space: 500GB.

Other recommended things to buy:

HDMI Splitter, Rechargeable batteries/Xbox One Charging kit

Optional Extras: Xbox One Headset.

Notes:

The Xbox One will have a very ‘Pick-up-and-play’ pack for its day one sale. You’ll get a single controller as well as the new Kinect sensor, but one thing that occurred to me is the backward compatibility issue – neither the PS4 or the Xbox One will be able to play games from the previous generation, necessitating keeping your previous console if you want to keep that library. The Problem is, a lot of TVs only have a couple of HDMI input sockets, so unless you have a higher range model, it may be worth picking up an HDMI splitter in advance, otherwise you’re going to be doing a lot of changing wires around.

I will say, there are unconfirmed rumours of being able to route your 360 THROUGH your Xbox One, but until these are confirmed, I’d play it safe. Even if that is the case, having both consoles on at the same time is hardly going to do wonders for the electricity bill – so if you’re the poor bugger who has to pay the leccy, a splitter will probably be cheaper in the long run!

Like the 360, the Xbox One is also apparently going to rely on AA batteries for a controller power source. If its anything like the 360 pad, it’ll eat through disposable AAs at a rate of knots, so it’s also worth investing in either the charging kit or rechargeable batteries.

I’ve questioned the ever helpful (not sarcastic!) Xbox Support team over whether support will be given f0r accessories from the current generation, such as my steering wheel, but at the current time they weren’t able to confirm any compatibility outside the Xbox One’s own accessory range. so things like wheels may need to be replaced down the line.

Xbox One: Day One Gaming:

You can actually get a pretty good little package of games on Day one for the XBone. Their world creator game, Project Spark, will be free to play – with the caveat of premium content. Same goes for the beat-em-up Killer Instinct. Microsoft haven’t confirmed much about what you’ll get on day one for Project Spark, but Killer Instinct has the initially slightly underwhelming 1 fighter. That said, most people only use one or two fighters for any fighting game, so the option to pay only for the combatants you want is an intriguing idea. We’ll see how that one pans out, I guess.

Day one titles you’ll actually have to fork out for include Forza Motorsport 5 – which I will be buying. There’s no two ways about this – Watch Dogs, Dead Rising 3, and Roman fighting game Ryse: Son of Rome. For multiplayer fans, there’s Battlefield 4 as well as the usual range of EA sports titles.

PlayStation 4:

What you get in the box: 

Playstation 4 console, Dualshock pad, headset, HDMI cable, USB charging cable.

Disc Space: 500GB

Other recommended things to buy:

HDMI Splitter. 

Optional Extras:

Playstation Eye

Notes:

The PS4, again, offers a very good day-one pack, but suffers from some of the same problems as its Microsoft counterpart. Again, there will only be one pad in the pack, which is a problem for both systems given the pads are going at £40 a pop. 

Like the Xbox One, there is no backwards compatibility on this system, so it may be worth investing in an HDMI splitter if you want to keep both libraries ready to play. Unlike the Xbox pad, the Dualshock 4 is chargeable via USB cable. Chargeable units have their own range of issues in relation to battery life, but its too early to really call that a concern. However, I would say it does make a second pad a slightly more important buy for a Playstation gamer than an Xbox Gamer – to get maximum life out of a chargeable battery, you need to let it run right down to zero. With a detachable power source that isn’t really an issue – you just pop a couple more batteries in – but when its a built in source it can result in a severe interruption to play time. Most USB cables tend to be 1 metre long, so unless you’re sitting far too close to your TV, playing with the pad charging isn’t really a viable option.

The included headset is a nice touch for this package – the Xbox has a sneaky workaround in the form of the Kinect microphone, but that isn’t one most gamers will fancy. I have to say, I prefer full over-the-head sets to earpieces, and the PS4 mono headset looks a little flimsy. I’d make sure you keep it somewhere safe when it isn’t in use.

The Playstation Eye accessory is an… odd one. The Xbox is going to have a lot of Kinect compatibility built in, and if those features start crossing over, the Eye may become more of a necessity than it appears at the moment. PS4 buyers will also need to remain aware that their multiplayer features now come with a cost – the PSN+ service will now be mandatory for multiplayer gaming.

Playstation 4: Day One Gaming:

As well as the same range of EA sports titles and Battlefield 4, Sony also shares Watch Dogs with the Xbox One. They’re also giving away racing title DriveClub as a free game for all subscribers as well as – curiously – DC Universe Online. You’ll also be able to pick up Planetside 2, Warframe, Killzone: Shadow Fall and platformer Knack on day one.

 

Whichever console you choose, theres a lot to think about. Ostensibly, the PS4 is the better deal, but will require some compromises that Xbox One players will not have to make – or in the case of Live/PSN+, are already used to – that may affect the price. The downsides of the Xbox One have already been discussed ad nauseam, and I’m not going to chew over them here. Having the Kinect Sensor ready to use could be either a blessing or a curse for XBone owners but the fact that every console will ship with it will encourage developers to use it’s functionality. The PS4 is a very good pure gaming machine, but may have to make some compromises in the long run that the XBone is already prepared for. Only time will tell.

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