The only way the Xbox One could have gotten off to a worse start would have been calling itself the Wii U. Microsoft reversed its policies on game sharing and constant online connections because of their unpopularity. There is still the matter of the PlayStation 4 being $100 cheaper. Microsoft needed to hit us with compelling reasons to get their console instead.
After seeing the launch lineups, Xbox One has emerged from Gamescom 2013 with a slight edge. I’m far from alone in saying this. The Guardian named the six games they’re most excited about after the show. Two of them, Dead Rising 3 and Titanfall, were Xbox One console exclusives. The PS Vita made their list with Murasaki Baby, while no PS4 exclusives cracked the list.
The Guardian is in love with Titanfall, and I completely agree. Respawn Entertainment looks poised to give sci-fi shooters the shot in the arm the genre needs. Everyone that has played this comes away raving about it. It’s coming to the Xbox 360 and PC as well, but it is not coming to the PlayStation 4. Adding it into a mix of shooter exclusives that already includes the Halo and Gears of War franchises offers compelling reasons to do your fragging on the Xbox One.
Dead Rising 3 keeps building on the momentum from Capcom’s zombie franchise. Are we tired of zombies yet? Sales of the first two games, and countless others about the undead indicate we are not. They’re every bit as prevalent as military shooters, and the same rules apply. Sell me a great one, and I can’t play it enough. Sell me a bad one, and I can’t turn it into trade credit fast enough. DR3 has done what I thought was impossible, made me care a little bit about Smart Glass. I loved No More Heroes usage of the Wii-mote as a phone. Now I can use my real phone as an in-game phone.
Ryse: Son of Rome seemed heavy on the quick time events at E3, but Crytek worked on that extensively after the negative feedback. Now the button prompts are gone, and enemies are highlighted with the color of the button you’ll need to press to dispatch them. This sounds like a much better transition, and the combat is now drawing favorable comparisons to Arkham Asylum.
Now I’ve been as skeptical as anyone about Killer Instinct. Microsoft ponied up for this exclusive for a reason. Familiar names sell well, especially in the short term. The free-to-play structure makes it easy to dip your toes in this violent pool and see if you’d have fun. The full edition with all the fighters comes with the original game too. Sorry, there’s no online support for it. They’ve considered the possibility that the first KI might be more fun than the new one and headed us off.
The Xbox One launch lineup looks superior to PlayStation 4 right now, but obviously we will see a lot more gameplay footage before November. Being the significantly cheaper option is going to get the PS4 into a lot of homes. But in the long run, it’s all about the games.