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Next Gen Consoles Take the World by Storm

Every Christmas there is usually something that makes the world go crazy. People should recall the Tickle Me Elmo craze of 1996 that left several department store employees injured, as well as the Furby stampede a few years later. This past holiday season saw the debut of two new next generation gaming systems: Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s XBOX One. While I don’t believe these systems reached the levels of consumer insanity brought on by the Cabbage Patch Dolls in 1983, what transpired here in Fort McMurray was nothing short of disgusting.

As with any new gaming system, there was a bit of a craze during their initial release. The PS4 launched November 15, 2013 in North America (then on November 29 everywhere else in the world), while the XBOX One was released globally on November 22. The PS4 retails for a price of $399 while the XBOX One goes for $499. As you would expect, the first shipments of both systems sold out in the pre-order stage since many people wanted to upgrade.

Here’s where things went wrong. On the launch days of both systems, there were ads popping up all over Fort McMurray with people selling these new systems for double or even triple their retail price. While I understand the concept of Capitalism and economics, I still could not wrap my head around this. My only hope is thinking that no one would be stupid enough to pay $1,000 - $1,500 for a PS4 and the sellers either get stuck with multiple systems or have to sell them for a more sensible price. Either way, price gouging around Christmas time is the definition of greed. I hope Common Sense prevails. Let this be a lesson to gamers everywhere, ALWAYS PRE-ORDER YOUR FAVOURITE SYSTEMS AND GAMES! You can always cancel a pre-order so it just makes sense to save your sanity on release day.

With the retail prices, it seems like a no-brainer is regards to which system you want to purchase if you’re torn between the two. To clarify, the XBOX One comes with the console, one controller, one online gaming headset as well as new the Kinect motion sensor. The PS4 comes with the console, one controller, one earbud/microphone combo cord and that’s it. If you want the PS4 camera, which is going to be essential for interactive gaming, it will cost you an additional $60 plus the cost of a decent headset if you want to go that route. So even though the XBOX One comes in at $100 more, you are going to match that cost with the PS4 if you want to be able to do everything the XBOX One does out-of-the-box.

During my coverage of E3 2013 a few issues back, I gave you the rundown of what each system will bring you. I said it there and I’ll say it again: both systems are pretty much identical when it comes to their output. Mind you, the world was shocked to learn that the latest Call of Duty game GHOSTS would only have a resolution of 720p on the XBOX One compared to full High Definition 1080p on the PS4. My research has assured me that this was an isolated issue due to the timing of the XBOX One development software being available; and be honest, who can tell the difference between 720p and 1080p?

I have finally been able to play around with both these consoles and I can come up with a final solution to the never-ending question of “Which One Do I Buy?” These two systems are geared for two different types of people. The PS4 is strictly a gaming system. They have some of the best gaming licenses in the business as well as some of the best developers. The PS4 is designed to be a high-out device and poised to position Sony on top of the industry for years to come. The XBOX One is meant to be an “All-In-One” entertainment device. It’s designed to integrate into your TV and be able to bring you a more interactive TV and movie experience (with social media and “Second Screen” content being accessible while watching a particular show) as well as bring you some of the very best in gaming. While the XBOX One doesn’t lose out on the gaming factor, especially with the next HALO game coming out in 2015, it encompasses a more boarder form of entertainment. Whichever your desire is should dictate which system you should buy. For those that know me, it’s obvious that I’m an XBOX fanboy and by the time you read this, I should be thoroughly enjoying my new entertainment device!

Featured Device

While I usually do an App, this time I wanted to share a great device that I feel not many people are aware of, the Apple TV. Allow me to clarify as many people are probably very familiar with Apple TV but maybe they don’t realize just how affordable this device is. Now I’m not a huge fan of Apple products but this one is too good to not pass up. Think having your iPhone on your TV with the ability to access a lot of great programs, as well as actually having your iPhone on your TV with its mirror software. Apple TV retails for just over $100 and a simple HDMI hook-up and WiFi connection gives you apps like Netflix, YouTube, NHL GameCenter and much more right on your TV. The feature that I love best is the ability for Apple TV to sync with your iTunes account. Whatever you purchase or upload on your iTunes account is available on whatever your Apple TV is hooked up to. It’s a cheap device that gives you ample functionality. It’s a definite buy!


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