PlayStation 4 and Xbox One approach one-year anniversaries, Wii U making a comeback
By Kenneth Porter
On Nov. 15 and Nov. 22 the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be celebrating their one-year anniversaries of the release of the latest video game consoles,. The year has been filled with exciting developments from all sides as gamers welcome these two powerhouses into their homes and their lives.
Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) had a fantastic year in 2014. According to market research firm NPD Group, the console has outsold both of its primary competitors in all but one of the 11 months that it has been on sale. Numerous independent and third party game developers have voiced their support for the console, and the PS4 regularly runs games at higher resolution than all other systems.
“I bought the PS4 because it has my favorite games and the best graphics,” said Terrence Smith, Schoolcraft student and Sony fan. “I enjoy sports games, action-adventure games and horror games, and PS4 has all of those.”
Sony’s PS4 launch hasn’t been perfect though. The company’s online multiplayer system, PlayStation Network, has seen numerous outages as it struggles to handle the immense demand by new gamers. The console’s operating system has been hit with numerous bugs, and many of its exclusive games, such as arcade-sim racer “Driveclub,” have received disappointingly low review scores.
Microsoft’s Xbox One has endured an even more tumultuous year. The console is unrecognizable from the model that was revealed to gamers early in 2013. Microsoft has removed several unpopular requirements on the console, such as a feature that made the device unplayable if it didn’t connect to the Internet once every 24 hours and have slashed the price by more than $150 from its initial starting price of $499.
However, the console is still consistently outsold by the PlayStation 4, despite the release of several strongly reviewed games such as zombie-shooter “Sunset Overdrive” and racer “Forza Horizon 2.”
And then there’s the Wii U. Nintendo’s successor to the phenomenally successful Wii has struggled since release, falling behind the Xbox One and PS4 in sales despite launching a full year prior to the Xbox One and PS4 and being home to classic exclusives such as “Pikmin 3” and “Super Mario 3D World.”
However, the console’s sales are going up following key releases such as “Mario Kart 8” and the impending release of “Super Smash Bros.,” further increasing the console’s selection and causing a more competitive marketplace with the PS4 or Xbox One.
“I’m much more satisfied with my Wii U now than I was when I first bought it,” says Schoolcraft student, Trevor Corn, Nintendo enthusiast. “The Wii U’s games interest me a lot more than games on other platforms.”
Despite the ups-and-downs of the past year, the future looks bright for all consoles.
New installments in some of the industry’s biggest third-party franchises, such as “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” and “Dragon’s Age: Inquisition,” release later this month and are projected to be commercial.
Key exclusives, such as “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” on PS4 and “Halo 5” on Xbox One, drop in 2015 and are sure to push their respective console’s sales even higher.
These exclusive games will help the consoles fend off competition from the PC and mobile phone gaming markets, which have seen constant growth in sales and continue to fight for the time and thumbs of gamers worldwide.
The video game industry as a whole is in a strong position for future growth, and gamers of all types can find something they enjoy. There has never been a better time to take part in this hobby.