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Console Wars: Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony Go Head to Head Again!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

It's an interesting time in the games industry right now as Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony go head to head in a make or break console war.
As you might be aware, Sony is releasing the Playstation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro) on November 10th, and the Playstation VR (PSVR) on October 13th, which will really appeal to those into virtual reality (VR) gaming. Saying this, VR gaming is still in early development so it won't be until a few more years until VR gaming will come into its own.

Microsoft is releasing the much anticipated Xbox Scorpio which rumor has it it's going to be a beast of a console game machine. Problem is that the Xbox Scorpio has no release date as of yet and the hardware development is still in its infancy. As far as I can tell, we may be looking at Christmas of 2017 when the Xbox Scorpio is finally released to the public, which is a long time.
With that said, the PS4 Pro surprisingly won't play UHD Blu-Ray discs while Xbox Scorpio will. Since PS4 Pro won't actually run 4K games, would it be a good idea to wait for the Playstation 5 to come out?
The other contender in the console war is, of course, Nintendo who may be releasing the Nintendo NX as early as October 21st, though the most likely release date for the Nintendo NX is December 31st. Mario and Zelda fans will no doubt be champing at the bit to get theirs hands on a NX game console!

As far as pricing, here are the numbers:
  • NX: £350 ($440)
  • Scorpio: £450-£500 ($570-640) estimated
  • PS4 Pro: £310 ($400)
  • PSVR: £360 ($460), including the PlayStation Camera which is sold separately
Two questions to consider:
  1. If you own an Xbox 360, Xbox One or PS4 would you consider forking out £350 upgrading to a PS4 Pro, Xbox Scorpio or PSVR?
  2. Is console gaming that much better than PC gaming?
Both +Sony PlayStation 4 and +Microsoft Xbox One platforms are essentially dedicated gaming computers with highly optimized hardware and proprietary operating systems (a bit like MAC computers). The days of the AMD architecture are long gone. Both the PS4 and Xbox One have an x64 architecture (also known as x64, x86_64 and AMD64), which is a backwards-compatible extension of x86. In other words, the 64-bit version of the x86 instruction set. 

If you own an Xbox One you may be happy to learn that +XBOX One games (as well as Xbox Store download games) will be compatible with the Xbox Scorpio

+Nintendo NX in the other hand, will be a handheld tablet/ TV console hybrid with detachable controllers that will be powered by the Tegra Nvidia chip.

The best argument I've probably heard in favor of PC gaming is cheaper games plus ability to upgrade the graphics card, CPU and RAM as opposed to upgrading an entire new machine. This argument is actually a similar argument one can hear regarding smart phones vs modular phones.

Keep in mind that the PS4 Pro spec will only be 8GB of DDR3, which is a huge increase from PS3's 512 MB but nothing to write home about. 
On that note, it's really amazing how far gaming machines have come along from the early console machine. Who would have thought one day one could pick up a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) for only £40? You can even get a Nintendo Wii for even £20 these days. 

Even more fascinating is being able to play old Nintendo games on a PlayStation. If you own a PlayStation (PS) Vita with the v3.60 firmware installed, you can turn the PS Vita into a retro console emulator. All you have to do is go to the HENkaku website and click install.

Whether PC or console machine, the bottom line always comes down to the games!

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