Students game on with next-gen consoles

Sitting in the Student Union Building, eyes glued to a game of Madden NFL, Boise State freshman and civil engineer major, Gajge Porter, maintains once an Xbox-er, always an Xbox-er.

“No one who plays Xbox is going to switch over to the PS4. The Xbox 360 smoked the PS3 when it came out,” Porter said, fingers hovering over the analog sticks on an Xbox 360 controller.

The Nov. 15 release of the PlayStation 4 and the launch of the Xbox One one week later marked the beginning of the next generation of gaming systems.

On its release date, Sony sold roughly 1 million individual PS4 units. The debut of the Xbox One achieved similar results for Microsoft.

Analysts and gamers alike have hotly debated for months which console is the superior product. Even in the wake of the launch, gamers are still left guessing.

This includes students like Porter who are anxious to see which console will ultimately come out on top.

In the previous generation of game consoles, the PS3 under performed in comparison to the Xbox 360. In a bid to be more competitive, Sony’s next-gen product is notably $100 cheaper than its Microsoft counterpart and several hundred dollars cheaper than the PS3 was upon its release.

Both consoles, however, include original technology and improvements from earlier models. The PS4 and the Xbox One offer approximately 10 times better graphics than previous generation consoles in the game experiences they provide.

The PS4 has a more powerful graphics processor than the Xbox One, but it is not yet clear how big of a difference that will make in individual gamers’ experiences.

So which console represents the future of gaming? Boise State students weighed in.

“If I were to purchase a new console, I’d get the Xbox One for sure. It’s a loyalty thing,” said Porter, an Xbox 360 owner and Xbox enthusiast.

According to Porter, the Xbox’s Kinect feature gives Xbox the edge over PlayStation models.

Kinect is a motion-sensing input device first introduced by Microsoft in the Xbox 360 model of yesteryear. Kinect 2.0 for the Xbox One builds upon the original idea with a renovated and refined body-tracking system.

The Xbox One is being heralded as the future of home entertainment as an all-in-one entertainment system. Microsoft has responded progressively to the rise of social media with a new Friends app, a feature exclusive to Xbox.

Another highlighted feature of the Xbox One is the dynamic impulse triggers in the controller. These sensors allow gamers to feel recoil in shooting games and steering wheel vibrations in racing games to create a more realistic gaming experience.

Like the Xbox One, however, the PS4 also sports new and improved technology, the Share feature, which allows gamers to upload clips and screen shots from their console to social media.

The PS4 has been advertised as the “gamer’s choice” of video game console, in part because of its indie game offerings and software lineup.

Logan Smith is a sophomore at Boise State, studying business, and an Xbox 360 owner.

According to Smith, the PS4 and Xbox One are both excellent gaming systems, but the deciding factor for many students purchasing next-gen consoles will be price.

“The PS4 is just so much cheaper than the Xbox One,” Smith said, “I’m a college student. I hardly have enough time to play video games. I certainly don’t have that kind of money.”

About the author  ⁄ katiemeikle