Mike Tarno collects his new Xbox One in Melbourne. Source: News Corp Australia
THE next-generation games console war has hit Australia, with thousands queuing outside stores at midnight Thursday to buy the first new device off the rank.
But the unprecedented battle between Microsoft’s newly launched Xbox One and Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 console is filled with tough decisions.
One console can play television, while the other has more launch titles. One console can be controlled with your voice while the other is cheaper. And one is in such high demand, new buyers are unlikely to get their hands on it this year.
Interactive Gaming Entertainment Association chief executive Ron Curry said competition between the two major game players was unprecedented, as Sony and Microsoft had never before launched consoles so close to one another.
It’s a big decision for gamers. Picture: Timonth Clary. Source: AFP
Mr Curry said the competition was creating “great hype” for the entire industry and could see some game-players buy both consoles this Christmas season.
“There’s a whole cohort of gamers who will pick a side – they’ll only ever buy PlayStation or they’ll only ever buy Xbox – but there’s an increasing number who will say the machines are different machines and I have two screens at home,” Mr Curry said.
Demand for both next-generation machines had already exceeded previous orders, with the first allocation of PlayStation 4 pre-orders sold out in Australia, extending sales into next year.
Electronic Arts marketing director Simon Smith-Wright said the seven-year wait between game machine launches had helped fuel demand, but the hardware and graphics performance of the new consoles was also a major factor.
“I don’t think we’ve seen demand like this for a generation,” he said. “Consumers have been talking about these launches for a while.”
Both new machines use eight-core chips and 8GB RAM to deliver next-generation games, but the Xbox One has a slight advantage in power while the PlayStation 4 delivers slightly better graphics.
People queuing for the new Xbox in New York. Picture: Andrew Burton. Source: AFP
The new Xbox is designed for entertainment, connecting to a free-to-air or pay television box, while the new PlayStation no longer supports Sony’s TV tuner accessory.
The PlayStation 4 is cheaper than the Xbox One, though its camera is a separate purchase, and it also comes in a smaller form with remote play features for continuing play on smaller, smartphone screens.
Whichever side consumers choose, the gaming industry is set to flourish, with Gartner forecasting sales to grow to $US44 billion worldwide this year, up from $US37 billion in 2012.
THE GREAT GAMING DEBATE: XBOX OR PLAYSTATION?
Bundled Kinect 2.0 unit for sensing movement and voice
Voice controls compatible with Australian accent
Plays free-to-air or pay television
More processing grunt than the PS4
Plenty of apps, including Kinect Fitness, built-in
Not compatible with Xbox 360 games
More expensive than PS4 by $50
Controller largely unchanged
Less graphical grunt than the PS4
Much larger than the PS4
Cheaper than Xbox One by $50
Enhanced game controller with touchpad, speaker and light
More graphical processing grunt than the Xbox One
Slimmer and lighter than the Xbox One
Remote Play using the PlayStation Vita, tablets or smartphones
Not compatible with PlayStation 3 games
No bundled camera with the console
Not compatible with PlayTV television tuner
Not as powerful as the Xbox One
In short supply this year
Xbox characters dressed as Roman soldiers in Times Square. Source: AP,