When Pippa Tshabalala starts comparing the Xbox One with PlayStation 4, one thing comes to mind – onions.
The questions I probably get asked the most in my line of work are, “What’s your favourite game?” and “Xbox or PlayStation?” Of course because I enjoy being belligerent and watching the confused look of people who have never experienced the wonders of an alternate platform, I normally reply PC. Let’s take a step back however, and review this Xbox/PlayStation argument. I deliberately use the full names, because I used to be asked this about the 360 and PS3, however with the advent of the Xbox One and the PS4, the answer is somewhat multi-layered. Like an onion. Or a parfait.
So let’s start with the first layer. The Xbox One has not yet been released in South Africa. Yes, I have a PlayStation 4, so obviously I’m playing that at the moment because… the Xbox One is not out in South Africa!
No, I can’t make a valid comparison between them yet, because even if I had imported one, our infrastructure is not yet quite ready to provide us with the full Xbox One experience. I’m as annoyed by the delay as the next person, but I’m not of a mind to import one prior to its release here. I have other things more pressing to spend my money on at this point.
Layer two. It’s my opinion that PlayStation has probably won over many new buyers to their machine, primarily because of availability. If you’re looking to buy a new gaming console, perhaps for your kids and you don’t know much about them, the PS4 is right there in your face. It currently has no competition in that market.
Layer three. If you’re already a console gamer, particularly if you spend a large amount of time playing online, you’ve already invested a significant amount of time building up your friends list and your trophies/gamer score. It is unlikely (although I admit wholeheartedly it’s not impossible), that many people who already have their profiles set up and gone through this process are likely to abandon all of that in order to switch consoles because the PS4 came out first. If they’re PlayStation owners, they’re likely to remain PlayStation owners. If they’re Xbox owners, likewise they’re likely to persist. Obviously if they own both (like myself) and have profiles set up on both, this argument doesn’t really apply as it’s also likely that at some point they’ll buy both machines anyway.
Layer four. The Xbox One is probably going to be more expensive. Prepare yourselves for this fact. The international price difference between the Xbox One and PS4 was $100, and the PS4 arrived in South Africa at a cost of more than R6 000. Although we currently have no price for the Xbox One, expect it to come in at quite significantly more expensive than that.
Xbox or Playstation? As I said, onions. But I think I can safely say at this stage it’s still a waiting game for me.
By: Pippa Tshabalala
Picture: Adriaan Louw from we-are-awesome.com
Makeup artist: Natasha Carstens.
Article first appeared in TechSmart 128.
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