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We are hours away from the next-gen consoles launching, and an interesting statistic has hit my inbox from Amazon. An Amazon spokesperson has said that if you were to combine the pre-order sales of the PS4 and Xbox One consoles, "it would make up the largest product release in Amazon history for all categories worldwide".
This is a seriously strong statement, and goes to show the kind of money that is rolling around with these next-gen consoles launching right now. Amazon is one of the biggest retailers shipping and selling the PS4 and Xbox One, but those numbers above are just gigantic. The company with the biggest smile on their face? AMD. AMD have APUs in the PS4 and Xbox One, and they must be laughing all the way to the bank, or at least to the Kaveri APU.
One of the Xbox One's most unique features is app snapping, a feature allows users to do two things at once such as checking up on your friends via the activity feed while playing a game. Users activate the snap feature by using the command "Xbox Snap" which is picked up by the microphone in the new Kinect sensor.
The new snapping feature will even let gamers watch tv while gaming. For instance, a user may be playing Madden 25 on the Xbox One and could say "Xbox Snap to TV ESPN" and could watch Sports Center or this weeks NFL game while playing Madden at the same time. Other snap features include Skype, and internet searching. Users can use this feature to search for hints or game walkthrough in the event they get stuck in the game they are playing.
Sony mentioned a just a couple weeks in their FAQ that the PlayStation 4 will not play MP3 or CDs, which was a huge disappointment from fans. Most people where thinking it was a way to push out their Music Unlimited service. Sony says that was never their intention. So they have decided they will push out a update after the PlayStation 4 launches.
Sony's Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida comments on an episode of Giant Bomb's Interview Dumptruck: "The biggest surprise for us all internally at Sony was there are so many people who passionately reacted to our announcement that there's no MP3 support or CD support on day one," he says. "It's not like we actively decided 'let's not do this feature so people will have to subscribe to Music Unlimited."
Yoshida continues: "The focus has been more on the game features. Some of the features we wanted but we couldn't get in on day one. We didn't really think about MP3 or CD. We thought 'we're going to do that eventually.'... It caught us off-guard. People don't really talk about these features, right? Some people get really mad and [say] 'I'll cancel my pre-order!' So as we speak, people in Japan - the system guys - are discussing when we can put these features in."
The Xbox will come with 500GB of storage. Sounds like a good amount but with the next-gen consoles you will have to install your games. Some of the titles are pretty massive like NBA 2K14, which is a 43GB install. You might have to worry about filling up your console too quickly if you're an avid gamer. Although some titles are not as big like Xbox Fitness is only 246MB install.
Some of the people from NeoGAF have been testing install sizes including @midnightswami. Here is a list from NeoGAF.
The Xbox One has an interesting feature that other consoles seem to not cater to, where it has a HDMI input port. This HDMI port can take most HDMI-based devices, including the PlayStation 4 and Wii U consoles.
This means that you can actually use your Xbox One as an amplifier, or HDMI receiver of sorts, and plug your other console into the Xbox One to play it, saving those precious HDMI ports on your TV. Jeff Henshaw, Group Program Manger of Xbox, said: "[i]f it puts out HDMI, it'll work just great," and that any lag would be imperceptible to the human eye.
It feels like every few articles I write are about the PS4, but we are on the eve of next-gen consoles dropping, so why not? The Japanese electronics giant is expecting to sell at least 3 million PS4 consoles before the end of the year.
During a recent interview with Bloomberg, President and CEO of Sony's US Computer Entertainment Division, Jack Tretton, said that Sony is currently running a marathon, and not a race, in terms of next-gen console sales. Tretten is confident that the company won't have supply issues during the holiday season like it did with the PS3 launch back in 2006, which should be a good thing for consumers this time around.
The PlayStation 4 is pushing all controller-based gameplay, as you'd expect from a console, but there will be one mouse and keyboard driven title. War Thunder is currently on the PC, with over 5 million gamers in the open beta.
The PS4 version of War Thunder will let you play like you do on the PC, as it supports mouse and keyboard gameplay. Oh, and flight sticks. Better yet, War Thunder will also pit PS4 gamers against PC gamers, which is something we should see more of. War Thunder will also support the PlayStation Eye camera, which will feature head-tracking, letting you change the viewpoint in the game by just turning your face.
War Thunder is coming, soon, with the game launching across Europe on the 29th of this month.
The minutes are counting down until the next-gen consoles launch from Microsoft and Sony, with the latter updating its PlayStation 4 Software Usage Terms today, stating that it may monitor and record PSN activity, including content of voice and text communications.
Sony has said that is cannot monitor "all PSN activity" and that it makes "no commitment to do so." But, Sony's statement does say: "However, we reserve the right in our sole discretion to monitor and record any or all of your PSN activity and to remove any of your UGM at our sole discretion, without further notice to you." It goes on to state:
Your use of PSN and our community features may be recorded and collected by us or sent to us by other users as described in 13.1. Any information collected in this way, for example, your UGM, the content of your voice and text communications, video of your gameplay, the time and location of your activities, and your name, your PSN Online ID and IP address, may be used by us or our affiliated companies to enforce these Terms and the SEN Terms of Service, to comply with the law, to protect our rights and those of our licensors and users, and to protect the personal safety of our employees and users. This information may be passed to the police or other appropriate authorities. By accepting these Software Usage Terms, you expressly consent to this.
Mad Catz says that they are working with NVIDIA to bring GameStream to their M.O.J.O. Android-based gaming console before it ships to the public on December 10th. This would use the same technology that NVIDIA's Shield uses to stream games from the users PC and would definitely give the M.O.J.O. more appeal to gamers.
"We're talking to NVIDIA and we hope to enable GameStream soon after the launch of the console," said Mad Catz Global PR Director Alex Verrey. "[Were] also very excited for Steam and we look at all these opportunities with interest."
At the moment, none of the small Android gaming consoles really appeal to me. This could be due to the horrible experience I had with the OUYA, or it could be that for the most part, I never play Android games unless I am in a car, on a flight, or otherwise unable to game at my PC. GameStream on the M.O.J.O. might just be a way to lure those like me to purchase the small consoles.
Sony releases an unboxing video just less than a week before the console's release date. Along with being an unboxing video, the video itself is quite mysterious. It looks like it takes place in a dark server room. The video shows everything included with the PlayStation 4. It comes with the manual, network voucher, HDMI cord, USB cable, power cord, mono headset, the DualShock 4 controller, and finally the console itself which has a massive beam of light coming off of it in the video.
At the end of the video you will see that the mysterious man is Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Worldwide Studios. He finishes off the video with "greatness awaits." Both consoles are just around the corner. The PlayStation will be available this Friday on the 15th in the U.S, and the 29th in Europe also the Xbox One will be available on the 22nd in the U.S and Europe.