I’ve been thinking about this little subject for awhile now, so I figured I’d pop out a quick blog.
I’m getting tired of people trying to compare hardware specs in non-PC gaming devices. Yes, it can be interesting from time to time, but it should NEVER be used to justify your purchase of a console or handheld. This has been boiling up inside me while moderating comments on IGN during this latest console launch / war. People are arguing non-stop about PS4 vs Xbox One, and Wii U is lolast gen to some. No, Wii U is still this gen. It’s not the specs that make up generations in gaming, it’s when they were released.
So the basic argument is PS4 is stronger than Xbox One. Some say it’s by a lot, some say it’s just by a little. Other than the few discrepancies in hardware, they basically have the same features, and they are incredibly close in hardware specs. How do you know which one to buy? That’s easy, look at the software! When I say software I mean video games. There are so many games that come out on multiple platforms (Xbox One, PS4, PC, and sometimes Wii U). If you see some games that are exclusive to one console that you think you’d really enjoy, that’s the console you should buy! Some people would say they already know this, and other still aren’t convinced.
If you still are on the hardware comparison wagon, I have some examples that may persuade you:
Let’s keep in this generation for the first example. Nintendo 3DS vs PS Vita. If you look at the specs, you’ll see the PS Vita is the better handheld by a long shot. It has a single, large OLED touch screen, two joysticks, and a back touch pad. The 3DS has two smaller screen, with the second only being touch capable. Then there’s the actual hardware like processors and graphics, which PS Vita still wins easily. Let me throw the 3DS a bone, the memory cards for the 3DS can use any third party SD Cards, while the PS Vita only uses playstation manufactured memory cards that are expensive as all hell. So why don’t people go out and buy the Vita? It’s the games! The PS Vita has a few great games, but when you compare it to the 3DS, the 3DS will win each time. The PS Vita library is slowly growing, but at this point the 3DS is winning in software and sales.
Now let’s go back to the last generation. It was all Xbox 360 vs PS3. Most people counted out the Wii and called it last gen like they are doing with the Wii U. However, the Wii was very innovative with its motion controls, and the cheap price tag helped out tremendously. Hell, it was so innovative both the PS3 and 360 tried to add motion controls to their consoles a few years later. You may think it was all 360 vs PS3 last gen, but the Wiii outsold both by a landslide the entire time! In this case it was more features and price than games that helped sell the console, but I find it’s still a great example when arguing hardware since the wii was considered a generation behind.
Again, let’s go back another generation. The three consoles were the PlayStation 2, Nintendo Gamecube, and newcomer Microsoft Xbox. Everyone already knows that it was no contest. The PS2 sold more than the other two consoles by a mile. Why? Because of the games! When comparing the hardware, the PS2 was the worst of all three for most specs, but it was the second best for graphics. The Xbox was leaps and bounds ahead of all the consoles. Hell, it was the only one with an internal hard drive and an Ethernet connection in the back for online play. Yes, you could buy those separately for the PS2, but that was the problem. To be fair, the Sega Dreamcast was in that generation and had an Ethernet port, but it bowed out very early. If you compared the sales, the PS2 sold way more than all the other consoles combined!
On a final note, I just want to say I’m not a console fanboy at all. If anything, I love PC more than consoles, but I still buy all the consoles and handhelds to play exclusives. If you want to argue hardware vs price and games, the PC will always win. You almost never have to worry about backward compatibility unless you change operating systems, and even then you can find a work around.