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People are watching quarterly sales of next-gen consoles like each new data point is going to pick a winner (and therefore a couple losers). I said last year and at the start of this year, Sony needs the PS4 to do very well and Microsoft just needs the Xbox One to do well enough that 3rd party developers keep building games and apps for it. Even in that respect, Windows 10 could be the killer app for the living room if they are able to mesh it with the current system (think lots of 3rd party apps).
The quarterly financial results from this quarter really bring it all into perspective. Sony’s quarterly loss – $785 million (3.3 million PS4 sales last quarter). Microsoft’s quarterly profit – $4.3 billion (2.4 million Xbox One sales last quarter). Sony may have better PS4 numbers, but they are fighting to keep their company healthy. Microsoft is making lots of money in other areas (as well as the consumer division), so they aren’t as dependent on winning this round of the gaming consoles. I personally hope that Sony is able to pull through this (as well as Nintendo for that matter). I think that every console is better due to the competition.
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I haven’t gotten a lot of use out of our Xbox One. I have used it for workouts and it’s been a very capable media and Blue-ray player, but none of the current games (that weren’t available on the PC) have enticed me. That changed with the release of Destiny. Destiny is created by Bungie, the studio that brought us the Halo series of games. They are back with a game that includes a lot of the mechanics of Halo with additional features that make it also resemble a MMO (massively multiplayer online game).
Typically you have FPSs (first person shooters) that include a story component as well as a player versus player (PVP) or cooperative (PVE) multiplayer component. Destiny includes these components as expected. On top of this, they add a character building component typically associated with MMOs or RPGs. In Destiny you pick a class (or type) of character each with different styles of play and special powers. As you level up your character, you gain access to new powers and new gear. The gear includes weapons (3 different classes) and armor (head, arms, chest and legs). You also gain access to additional visual upgrades as well. Basically, you build a totally unique character.
Destiny is available for multiple platforms, so what makes the Xbox One unique? The first thing that I noticed were the amazing visuals (shared with the PS4). The second thing amazed me was saying “Xbox Record That” after killing my first big boss. Later on while checking the Xbox One app on my WP device, I was able to watch the 30 second clip. On the Xbox One, it keeps a 30 second cache of everything that’s going on so that you can always records something great in game. Not only that, but you can easily edit and access it from anywhere. You can also jump to another app than then quickly jump back into the action when you are ready. Overall, I’m enjoying the new game and I’m looking forward to all of the additional content that will be coming out for the game over the next couple years. The Xbox platform itself just keeps getting better as well and I’m now at the point that I would prefer the “next gen” over the 360.
It’s almost a year into the next generation of console gaming. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been on the market for several months and it’s interesting to see how things have gone for the major players. The sales numbers so far show the PS4 with a sizeable lead in the race. With 10 million consoles in the hands of consumers, they dominate the estimated 6 million consoles sold by Microsoft. Sony’s status among gamers is back up really high. What most gamers don’t know is that Sony as a corporation has been losing money in most other areas (with the exception of movies and music), so they needed this win. Though Microsoft has taken it lumps in the tech press (which seems to perpetually hate MS), the Xbox One is still ahead of where the 360 was at this point. So Sony is winning big, but Microsoft is doing okay other than perception.
It’s funny to be sitting at my desk listening to the video games going on around me. Many times it’s like a whole other language that they are speaking. It’s not just my boys either as my girls have started to pick up on some of these terms as well (but most of the time it is the boys). These terms now extend beyond the gaming world into their normal discourse with other teens. Pretty funny really as it’s no different than a whole list of goofy phases that my cohorts created and used when we were teenagers. I thought I would record them on my blog for future reference. Its sort of helpful to know what they are referring to when we are out in public as well.