PS4 Vs Xbox One: Launch Line-Up Review
There are plenty of questions that you’ll likely be asking yourself if you’re thinking about getting a PS4 or Xbox One.
Is the PS4 more powerful? Which console has the best controller? Is the Xbox One’s OS better? How do the two system’s sharing functionalities compare?
The answers to those questions will be significant for some people and will matter less to others, depending on what your priorities are.
When it comes down to it though, the PS4 and Xbox One are games consoles and as such, there is one thing that matters to everybody: the games.
So, how do the launch line-ups of the PS4 and Xbox One stack up? Let’s find out!
Xbox One Launch Line-Up
It’s understandable that Microsoft and Sony will want one or two known quantities in their launch line-ups – names that people know and trust.
Microsoft has that with two of their headline exclusives, Forza 5 and Dead Rising 3.
Unsurprisingly, given that what we’ve got here are two sequels, both these games offer more of the same, which may or may not be what you want on your next-gen console.
If you’re a fan of either of the series, you’ll likely enjoy what are, two solid launch games. Just don’t expect to be blown away.
If you’re looking for a game that functions as a technical showpiece for the Xbox One, now’s the time for us to stop talking about Forza 5 and Dead Rising 3 in tandem.
Driving games always seem to get wheeled out for console launches as an example of what a system can do from a graphical standpoint and Forza 5 is a very attractive looking game that does that for the Xbox One.
Dead Rising 3 on the other hand is, from a technical perspective, unimpressive. The open-world is small by current-gen standards and it’s not what you’d call a looker. That’s not to say it’s bad, it’s just not got that ‘next-gen feel’.
Talking of technical showpieces, Microsoft’s other headline exclusive is Crytek’s hack and slash Rome-em-up, Ryse: Son of Rome.
If you want a game to test the Xbox One’s graphical chops, Ryse: Son of Rome will do you nicely. Before you rush out to the shops to throw your money at the poor cashier, however, consider this fact: Ryse can be a little bit boring.
The game is a repetitive, unimaginative and a bit of a QTE-a-thon.
Of course, the limb slicing, throat stabbing violence of Ryse isn’t going to appeal to everyone and, indeed, Microsoft is quite conscious of the need for something a bit more family friendly in its launch line-up, hence, Zoo Tycoon.
Zoo Tycoon doesn’t provide the depth and complexity that hardcore strategy fans will be after and might expect from a game with the ‘Tycoon’ moniker.
It is however, a decent little game that kids will probably enjoy. Yes, not everyone wants to spend their time feeding apples to giraffes with Kinect, but it’s nice to see something that can be enjoyed by a younger audience being released with the Xbox One, so kudos to Microsoft for that.
Microsoft also has a couple of downloadable titles – the likes of Crimson Dragon and LocoCycle – available to bolster their launch roster.
Are they worthy editions, though? Well, we haven’t been particularly impressed with either. If you think Crimson Dragon or LocoCycle look to be up your street, then by all means check them out, but both these games are inessential, to say the least.
PS4 Launch Line-Up
Where Ryse: Son of Rome and Forza 5 play the role of next-gen showpiece for the Xbox One, Killzone: Shadow Fall does the same for the PS4.
In fact, Killzone: Shadow Fall edges it as the most visually impressive exclusive that’s available at launch. If you want a game to show off the power of the PS4 hardware, then, Killzone: Shadow Fall is your game.
It isn’t all style and no substance, though. Killzone: Shadow Fall is also a good shooter. Visuals aside, there’s nothing mind blowing about it, but, like Forza 5 and Dead Rising 3, it’s a safe bet for Sony and a known quantity for consumers.
Sony’s not just relying on sequels, of course. They’ve also got a new IP on the bill with platformer, Knack.
Knack is clearly intended to be the PS4’s family friendly offering, but be aware that there’s been a fair amount of talk about Knack being surprisingly difficult, so there could be a barrier to enjoyment for younger kids.
There’s also been a lot of talk about Knack being terrible. Our verdict is that, in reality, Knack is average, rather than bad, but It’s certainly not one of the best release games available.
In contrast to Microsoft, Sony are leaning a lot more heavily on downloadable titles with the PS4.
Firstly there’s Reosgun, which is, by all accounts, a triumph. There probably weren’t too many people who were expecting a downloadable title to stand out as one of the best games available at launch, but there you are – that’s exactly what Resogun is.
Contrast, on the other hand, is, shall we say, average. If you like the idea of an 1920’s inspired indie platformer with a Jazz soundtrack, it’s definitely worth a look. In fact, given that’s its free on PS Plus, you may as well have a look anyway, but be warned that its not one of the stronger titles available on PS4.
The PS4 will have a couple of free-to-play games available from the get-go in Warframe and Blacklight: Retribution.
Not only are they free, they’re also decent games. Sure, with the likes of Killzone: Shadow Fall and cross-platform titles like Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts on offer, neither are the best shooters that you can play at launch.
But, despite some issues with the need to grind, they are both serviceable shooters and certainly worth giving a go, given that they’re free.
PS4 Vs. Xbox One: Launch Line-Up Review
When comparing the PS4 and Xbox One launch line-up, the first thing to say is that neither console has an essential title that makes their system a must buy on day one.
One console does have a launch line-up that offers more variety, however, and that console is the Xbox One.
With the likes of Killzone: Shadow Fall, Warframe and Blacklight: Retribution, the PS4’s roster looks a little shooter heavy, particularly when you consider that both Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 are available at launch.
The Xbox One, on the other hand, has a driving game in Forza 5, a hack and slash game in Ryse: Son of Rome, an open-world game in Dead Rising 3 and a family friendly strategy game in Zoo Tycoon.
Some might see the lack of a first-person shooter as a notable absence from that list, but when you consider that Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 are both available to fill that gap, that absence makes perfect sense.
Where Sony has been very smart is in giving a substantial portion of their launch line-up away for free. Both Resogun and Contrast will be free through PS Plus at launch, while Warframe and Blacklight: Retribution are both free-to-play.
Granted, Resogun and Contrast require a PS Plus subscription to download for free, but Sony is including a months subscription with the PS4.
The appeal of getting free games to bolster your library after buying an expensive piece of kit should not be underestimated, though it must be said that this is more about the quality of PS Plus as a service than games themselves.
Neither the Xbox One or the PS4 has a spectacular launch line-up and, as a result, it’s difficult to hold one up as being clearly superior.
If we had to plump for one, we’d go for the Xbox One, purely due to the greater variety on offer.
Sure, the PS4 offers great value at launch through PS Plus, but that’s a reflection of the quality of the PS Plus service, rather than the games themselves.
Ultimately, the launch line-up that’s the ‘best’ will depend on your personal taste and, whether you go for a PS4 or Xbox One, we’re pleased to say that there will be good games for you to play come release day.