Has the console war been won?

Since the beginning of gaming there’s been constant disagreement among gamers about which platform is the best. While it’s generally accepted that as the hardware can be upgraded exponentially depending on the depth of your pocket, PC offers the best gaming experience. The title of the best console however, is a matter of constant debate. Normally, it’s a close fought battle between the 2 giants of Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation, but this year Nintendo returned to the console war with their first serious contender in the last decade with the Switch, combining their mastery of the hand-held console game with the performance of a household console. Nintendo started off strong, gaining record console sales and near universal love for the Switch but the enthusiasm for it petered out when the realisation that all the new games for it are just remakes of tried and tested and at this point, stale franchises. My gaming experience started on the Nintendo 64, so believe me when I say that I love Mario, Sonic and Zelda as much as the next person, but at some point, everyone has to admit a certain lack of enthusiasm for Mario 247 and Sonic 300. There’s no denying that the Switch is a great platform, it just needs an A list title selection to join the competition at the top. Now to the usual two big contenders in this battle. Xbox One has been a leader in the console game for a long time, regularly releasing upgraded versions of the base model console bringing the range now to the Xbox One S, X and the Scorpio. But this year, Xbox is struggling to compete as they are seriously lacking in the exclusive content field. This year their line up has been mostly cross platform content with just 1 or 2 exclusives, even lacking the usual titles such as Halo which unfortunately fell flat with the previous title, Halo 5. This year though, Playstation 4 has firmly planted its feet at the top of the mountain, to the point where even PC master race die hards like myself are queuing up to buy a console for their exclusive content. Uncharted, Final Fantasy, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian, Nioh and most recently God of War and many more decorate the exclusive collection that is propelling Playstation into a decisive lead. These games will never come to other platforms, which will be bringing people in droves to their side. I may end up living on rice and beans but I’m determined to get the console for these titles. Playstation has even caught up in the entertainment game where most video streaming services like Netflix and YouTube are now available on the system which Xbox has been able to do for years, levelling the playing field in that department. Xbox and Nintendo have a chance yet to recover ground this year. E3, the biggest gaming conference of the year where all companies, producers and platforms announce their next big projects, is in September and if they announce enough games which will be released in time for Christmas they will stand a chance of retaining their market share. All we can do now is wait for September and see what they can do to catch the rapidly climbing juggernaut that Playstation has become.

Author: Ross Tibbles

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