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Video games redefined

This holiday season Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo all compete for top spot in the video gaming industry

Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 14:12

Next Gen

Special to / The Advocate

A new era of gaming has dawned, now that all of the next generation video game consoles have been released.

While all three consoles have been slow to produce any variety in launch titles, the first games that are released with each system, results are being promised by all three manufacturers: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

The question remains the same with each console, however. Which one is the best to get this holiday season? The Advocate delves into the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Nintendo’s Wii U
Nintendo has always been the video-game developer with a distinct style. Having created such icons as Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong, it is no surprise it still exists in the gaming world.

The Wii U was released Nov. 18, 2012, and so far has failed to appeal to hardcore gamers. Like past launches, the console struggled with a lack of strong launch titles.

This year, when Wii U released “Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD” and “Super Mario 3D World,” the console gained much appeal to a larger group of gamers.

It was the first console from Nintendo that supports high-definition games and had a better online service. The Wii U gamepad, the console’s controller, is what makes the console unique and, for being a big controller, it fits perfectly in most hands. The controller has a HD screen built into it and is like a handheld video game.

Gamers will have a choice to play the game on an HD television or with the gamepad. The console is backward compatible, which means gamers can still play their favorite Wii and GameCube games on the Wii U console.

The Wii U has a good lineup of games coming out in 2014, like “Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze,” “Super Smash Brothers Wii U” and “Bayonetta 2.”

Microsoft’s Xbox One
After an impressive press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, it appeared Microsoft is trying to pack every piece of digital entertainment into one experience.

Music, television, Internet and games are being molded into one system.

Some outrageous policies were planned in the beginning, however. At the press conference Microsoft announced that disc-based games will have to be installed to the console, and once installed the game will not be re-sellable or usable in any other Xbox One.

This did not sit well with users. Microsoft was trying to enforce Digital Rights Management and wanted to stop games from being pirated. The price of the console being $499 did not help them.

A week after the E3 conference, Microsoft changed all of its policies. The console has features where gamers can jump from playing a video game, to watching live television on the console all with voice commands that are very responsive. The console comes with Kinect 2.0, which is an improved motion-sensor camera that revolves around what the console does.

The Xbox One had four exclusive launch titles that came out, “Ryse: Fall of Rome,” “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Dead Rising 3” and “Killer Instinct.” The Xbox One was released Nov. 22, and sold one million units in its first week.

Sony’s PlayStation 4
Also at E3, some will say that Sony stole the show with its dazzling press conference.

The announcements about not enforcing Digital Management Rights and the cheaper price of $399 were the main reasons why Sony’s press conference was good, but most of the games they showed will be available on the Xbox One.

Sony is investing in the indie-game industry. Indie games are independent gaming studios that do not have a publisher to fund their development.

The PlayStation 4 was released Nov. 18 in the United States, and Nov. 25 internationally.

The PS4 has three exclusive launch titles, “Killzone: Shadow Fall,” “Knack,” and “Resongun.” Sony acquired Genkai for $380 million on July 2, 2012, which means cloud-based gaming is coming to the PS4 in 2014.

The indie-game lineup that PS4 has is going to give 8-bit game fans something to look forward to in the long run. Sony’s upcoming title “The Order: 1886” looks like an interesting game, but there was no gameplay showed at the conference. 

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