Wii U vs Playstation 4 vs Xbox One
Posted: Tuesday, December 09, 2014 - 12:00 PM
Another generation of game consoles, another decision on which one to invest several hundred dollars of hard-earned money on. As with any investment, you need to do research to figure out which one is the best one for you. All three major consoles have their strengths and weaknesses, and the right one for one person may not be the right one for another.
First, let’s look at each console’s strengths and weaknesses separately.
Nintendo’s current console is the most unique of the three consoles. Featuring both motion controls and a bulky controller with a second screen, playing on the Wii U is a unique experience. As such, many of the games on the Wii U are equally unique. This is Nintendo’s biggest strength and biggest weakness.
Due to the unique architecture of the system, many of the games simply cannot be ported to other systems, or to the PC. Or from the PS4, Xbox One, or PC to the Wii U, either. Nintendo’s system is an island, separate from the rest of the gaming world. As such, if you want to play one of the games that are available on the Wii U, you will HAVE to own a Wii U. If you want to play a game that is on another system, chances are that you won’t find a version on the Wii U. The competition simply does not have the capabilities to run Wii U games because their hardware does not include the features necessary to run the games.
And, let’s face it, Nintendo makes Fun games. Being a family-centric company, Nintendo focuses their energy on making and publishing games that are simply fun and appealing to your inner child, instead of relying on sex and violence to sell games, which are becoming increasingly common themes in modern media. Of course, there are a few exceptions, such a Bayonetta, but if you are looking for a family-friendly console with family-friendly games that you and your kids can enjoy together, the Wii U can’t be beat.
Unlike its competitors, the Wii U has a very small harddrive. With the largest console featuring 32 GB of memory, as opposed to the 500 GB that is standard on both the PS4 and Xbox One, the Wii U’s harddrive is a bit limited if you want to download current games. With that being said, many of the past-generation games that you can download through the eStore don’t use up a lot of space, so a huge Harddrive is not necessary if you plan on enjoying classic gaming.
As with each console, Nintendo has its own online gaming community built into the console. On the Wii U, you will find the Miiverse. The Miiverse consists of a message board where people can post short messages and pictures that they draw through the console’s interface. The Miiverse is by far the most heavily moderated of the three consoles’ communities, so if you are worried that your child will see or read something inappropriate, you can put your fears at ease. If you enjoy off-color jokes and crude humor, however, Nintendo’s community is not for you.
Playstation 4 (PS4)
Sony’s Playstation 4 is, as expected, their fourth iteration of their home console, and it is the most technologically advanced of the three systems in the current generation. Featuring higher definition graphical and computational capabilities than its predecessors, the Playstation 4 is the most powerful of the three consoles available on the market.
With Playstation being a big hit with Japanese developers, fans of JRPGs and quirky Japanese games have plenty to look forward to with the PS4. Now that the PS3 is beginning to be phased out, the PS4 will be the go-to console for fans of unique, story-heavy games from Japan.
Of course, you can expect to find all of the standard blockbuster Triple A games on the PS4 (and Xbox One, and PC), so if you care about the big names in game development, but still want the unique Japanese games, you won’t be missing out.
And, you don’t even need to go to the store to buy your games. Much like with every other modern console, by using the Playstation’s store, which is included on the console, you can purchase and download games, television shows, and movies onto your console from the comfort of your living room. In addition, the PS4 can serve as a DVD and Blu-Ray player, saving you a large chunk of money on buying a Blu-ray player.
On the PS4, you can use the Playstation Network (PSN) to keep track of, chat with, and play with all of your friends. With the ability to compare trophies (The Playstation’s Achievement system), and text-based chatting system, the PSN has the tools that you need to stay connected and competitive with your friends, and it does it for free.
The Xbox One is the third console in the Xbox family, and is a great addition to any action-fan’s console collection.
Much like its predecessor, the Xbox One is a big hit with western developers, so it is the perfect console for any fans of First-Person and Third-Person shooters, as well as macho action games. If you want to support American game developers, this console is the one to choose.
Of course, you can expect to find all of the standard blockbuster Triple A games on the Xbox One (and PS4, and PC), so if you care about the big names in game development, but still want plenty of manly action games, you won’t be missing out.
In addition, the Xbox One features a highly integrated media center, so that you can watch television or movies using your console, and even use your voice to control your channel surfing. And, like the PS4, it can serve as a DVD and Blu-Ray player, saving you a hefty chunk of change on a Blu-ray player.
Unlike Nintendo and Sony, Microsoft’s console has a required paid membership of $59.99 per year for a Gold account to play online with other gamers (you can still play single player with a free account). However, don’t view that as a bad thing. It serves to weed out random trolls (people who cause trouble for the sake of causing trouble), and strengthens the community by ensuring that there are more serious gamers. As a bonus, you also get free and discount games through their store if you have a Gold account, meaning that, if you take advantage of these deals, the annual subscription price pays for itself several times over.
Personal Computer (PC)
Why is the PC listed here, you ask? Because the PC is a gaming machine, much like the three consoles listed above. And several companies computers, such as Dell’s Alienware and HP’s Envy, are made primarily for gaming. A decent Gaming PC costs about two to three times what a console does, but it is has far more functionality than a console, as well.
With game distribution systems, such as Steam, Origin, UPlay, and many others designed simply to make PC gaming easy and affordable, a proper PC can be better than any console. If your PC is old and outdated, though, playing on a PC can be a painful experience.
If you just can’t get used to playing with a keyboard, you can simply plug in an Xbox controller to your PC, and use it to play games.
Because technology is always improving, the PC can be the strongest gaming console available, but because every computer is different, it is also one of the least stable. Developers will never be able to make a game that runs well on every computer. However, PCs that are built for gaming don’t need to worry as much about stability and can generally out-perform any console available on the market.
And, best of all, many games that are available on PC are moddable. Who wouldn’t love to run around in Skyrim, for example, and fight dragons that look like Chuck Norris while dressed as a vampire ninja pirate (why choose only one?), as the Moon from The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask stares down at you from the night sky?
With the popularity of Steam and similar PC game distribution systems, many of the big name games that are available on PS4 and Xbox One are also available on PC. Furthermore, due to the wider audience and lower barriers of entry, PC is also a great place to find Indie games, which are smaller games that are made by new and talented entrepreneurs who either don’t have the funds or manpower to make big budget games that are the common staple of console gaming.
Which console is right for you?
This is the question of the day. Which one to get? It all depends on you and what you want/need in a gaming console.
Are you buying it for a household with young kids or someone who wants fun games that remind them of younger days, the Wii U. If you like unique Japanese games, as well as story-rich games, the PS4 is for you. If you love fast paced action, guns, and explosions, get the Xbox One.
If you own a Gaming PC, the console with the most exclusive content from the three available would be the Wii U. This is because many games available on the PS4 and Xbox One are also available on the PC, while the Wii U’s games are exclusively on the Wii U. The Wii U will give you the largest catalog of unique titles available for your investment. Titles that are, admittedly, developed for a young audience. That does not stop them from being fun for gamers of any age, though.
If you don’t own a Blu-ray player, the PS4 or Xbox One both can function like Blu-ray players, saving you the cost and hassle of buying and setting up an additional appliance. And their games are mature enough to interest teenage and adult gamers. If you feel that one of these are for you, you just need to look at the catalog of exclusive titles, and find which one appeals the most to you.