So a fun fact about our little group of writers you might not know: While many of us own multiple systems, most of us primarily game on the PlayStation 4. Now, you might think to yourself, “Well… Isn’t it Obvious? The PlayStation 4 is the best console out there!” Something to which I could argue is a matter of perspective. I find it funny though since I‘m in that minority who does their gaming on the Xbox One more than the PS4 and the Switch put together since I feel like it offers the better overall game experience. So much so in fact, I can share ten reasons how the Xbox One excels over the PlayStation 4.
Disclaimer Before We Start
It probably goes without saying, but just in case: this article isn’t meant to be some kind of “Console Wars” article. All consoles have their pros and cons to them and if you play your games primarily on PS4, Nintendo Switch, or even PC, all the more power to you. Even while I‘m making a case for the Xbox One, I will still take jabs at the system since I know the Platform can do a better job than it is. It gets to a point where the system can be treated like a joke when in all actuality, one can make a claim it is the best choice when playing any multi-platform title. I‘m sure we here at Culture of Gaming will have follow-up articles talking about why the PS4 or Switch is the best system so follow us to see those editorials soon-ish.
So with the disclaimer out of the way, let’s dive in and explore all the great things the Xbox One has going for it. Also a special shout out to a fellow writer on the group, John Hansen, for helping me compile this list. Thank you, John.
1) Xbox Game Pass
So let‘s get an easy one out of the way. When we consider the world nowadays, having access to a wide range of games can be near impossible. Blockbuster is no more, Redbox’s selection doesn‘t have too many titles and Gamefly can be cumbersome if you don’t want to wait for games in the mail. With little other options available, Microsoft provided a service that would be described as the “Netflix for Video Games” and we got the Xbox Game Pass.
At the time of its debut, it provided players access to a wide selection of titles to enjoy that not only expanded to titles on the Xbox One but also to the Xbox 360 (to which we’ll get to in a moment). With a wide variety of choices, it allows players on a tight budget to have access to enjoy games in just about every genre. While the Sony does have PSNow, there is one other thing the Xbox Game Pass has that the PSNow would probably avoid: Day One Access to brand new games. So if you wanted to enjoy games like Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3 or Forza Horizon 4, you can play the full game right away and decide later if you want to get them.
2) Backward compatibility
With all the focus we normally give games nowadays, we sometimes need to remind ourselves of the older days and the variety of amazing games we got from previous generations. For a time, we saw how some companies properly used their consoles for playing games from a previous generation, but during this generation, not so much. Sony has access to titles on the PS3 through the PSNow service, but if we look at the lineup, you can see that a good sum of PS3 titles might not be downloadable.
When we look at Microsoft’s backward compatibility though, they have made tremendous strides to bring as much of the 360 library over to the Xbox One as possible. Between the time the program started today, we have over 550 Xbox 360 games you can enjoy on your Xbox One right now. If we consider the number of actual games featured on the Xbox 360 which was over 2000 titles, that means you can play a quarter of the entire library right now. And this isn’t even considering the Original Xbox games that gave us titles like Psychonauts,Jade Empire or Knights of the Old Republic.
There might not be much of a legacy for Xbox as we see for the other competitors, but there‘s no denying that in some ways, Microsoft seems to pay more respect to its legacy in comparison.
3) Xbox Adaptive Controller
Growing up, I’ve met a wide range of individuals from all walks of life. While I may run into my own problems in life, there are other people in this world that have it so much harder than the rest of us. The best way to put it is as simple as looking at your hands. It may not seem like much, but not everyone can use their hands and fingers like the rest of us, and can’t really enjoy video games because of it. Perhaps the only company who came close to having an alternate way of playing games might have been Nintendo with the Wii, but that‘s a stretch to make a case.
It was with the mindset to allow anyone to enjoy a video game that Microsoft started the project which would revolutionize the industry. It might sound silly, but it can really be something special when someone who might have difficulty holding a controller finally can have the ability to enjoy a game like everyone else. This technology was so special that Time Magazine called the Xbox Adaptive Controller one of the best new inventions of 2018. Truly it is a remarkable device and one that will serve as a “Catalyst for inclusiveness” for gamers around the world.
4) Better Online Infrastructure
We live in a day and age where we are more connected than ever. We don’t have to invite friends over or go somewhere else to play when we can play online instead. Provided that these services aren’t cheap, but when you play online with fellow gamers and friends, you expect there to be as flawless of an experience as possible.
While we could use this time to take a stab at Nintendo (to which I hope they fix up their online services), but there’s no denying that the online services of Sony can be rocky. No online service is flawless, but if you were to compare the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, Microsoft provides a better overall experience. Not only there not being as many network issues, but someone performed a study to confirm this as well. What each online can provide might vary, but there’s no denying the quality the Xbox One can provide.
5) Xbox One X
If we look at the history of video game consoles, we usually only get one console per generation. It wasn’t like you could pop out the console’s memory and slap on an expansion pack like with the Nintendo 64: What you saw is what you got. It wasn’t really until the last generation (360, PS3) that we saw “updated version” of existing consoles to help games run smoother. As nice as that was, that pales compared to what we saw when PS4 owners could upgrade to the Pro and Xbox One Owners moved up to the One X.
Both the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X are both powerhouse consoles and providing a glorious gaming experience on 4KTVs. However, if we look under the hood the Xbox One X completely excels past anything that was ever made. This doesn’t mean because there’s more power and has a cooling system it is better by default, but when you compare games available on multiple platforms, more times than naught, fingers point towards the Xbox One having better visuals and performance.
It can be one thing to say a system has more impressive specs, but it is another to say whether a developer takes full advantage. As shared by TechRadar on the subject “PS4 Pro has a better game library, but games look better on the Xbox One X.”
6) Xbox Elite Controller
When you look at the Xbox Controller since the 360, you likely know it to be one of the greatest controller designs of all time. This isn’t me trying to brag, while we could just leave it at that and say how the Xbox One continues to make improvements on the controller design, that controller pales compared to the Elite.
Besides your standard mill, you‘d come to expect, the controller was fully customizable. If you wanted to change out the sticks or D-Pad, you can do that. Don’t want to press the triggers in all the way for shooting games? you can flip a switch so it doesn’t have to be pushed down all the way. Do you need more buttons? Well, you can attach paddle buttons too to map additional inputs. This means you almost never have to move your thumbs away from the sticks and focus on the action on-screen. Overall, if you want to get the most out of your controller when playing a game, no controller does it better than the Elite Controller.
7) The Joys of Cross-Play
With the advancements of technology, you could say playing with anyone anywhere should have been a thing a long time ago. To have a game console is to be apart of an exclusive club to where no one could play with others. Well, the times are changing as we have seen games like Rocket League or Minecraft, where you can play with those who own the game on the Nintendo Switch. It truly is a magical time when this barrier can come down and players can play with each other as they see fit. Something to which you could say Sony was opposed to until recently (and the situation about locking Fortnite accounts to the PS4 at one time).
Will there come a time where Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo players can play with each other? I like to think it is a matter of When than If. At least for now, we know that Microsoft is open to the option and we could well see more Cross-Play opportunities open in the future.
8) The “Go-To” console for Racing, and Shooters
When we look at exclusive games on a console, you can usually find a pattern of games to expect on a system. One key example I can give for PlayStation is how there are plenty of fantastic action-adventure titles with games like God of War, Bloodborne, and Nioh to name a few. I’m sure there are plenty of other Genres that we know Sony dominates, but when you look at genres like shooters and racing, Microsoft has those covered.
You might think I may be exaggerating when I say “Xbox One is the go-to system for shooters,” but really think about it for a second. What exclusive title on the PS4 is a shooter that can match the likes of Halo and Gears of War? You will either struggle to find one or might name a game that’s available on any platform. Even Game Radar’s Best PS4 exclusives make no mention to any shooters (although again, I wouldn’t argue against the wide selection of Action Adventure titles).
Meanwhile, the Forza series remains one of the definitive racing games of our generation. There are plenty of racing games out there to enjoy that range from realistic to over-the-top, but there’s a reason Forza is as one of the best racing titles for several years running.
9) EA Access
It’s not that often that you see a publisher provide their own gaming service. As a subscription-based service, members can have unlimited access to full versions of selected games published by EA. Players can not only enjoy their rather sizeable library but can also partake in special deals, and get the chance to play upcoming games early like Anthem. While they made the offer to both Sony and Microsoft, Sony declined to participate while it launched only on the Xbox One back in 2014. If you are someone who enjoys the games published by EA for both the 360 and Xbox One, EA Access will give you the chance to enjoy (almost) all of them. I say almost since they removed FIFA 14.
10) Xbox Play Anywhere
How often do you hear about a game available on multiple platforms? While we could point towards backward compatibility again, Microsoft went even deeper with the concept. While many of us seem to choose between playing games on a home console or on PC, Xbox One Owners get to enjoy both. The only catch here would be the game has to be owned digitally, but once you do, you can enjoy a good handful of games on either the Xbox One or on Windows 10. Usually in most cases like this. If you want to play a game on different platforms, buy a copy for each one. But if you wanted to enjoy games like Cuphead, Gears of War 4, or the Forza titles, you can enjoy the games literally anywhere. Who knows how much further this will expand out, but if the rumours about cloud services are true, the term “Play Anywhere” could be even more literal.
So those were ten reasons I think the Xbox One does better than the competition. Honestly, for myself, I will admit that there are things on this list I enjoy while others I skip. I may like the Xbox One more, but that doesn’t mean I will invest all my time and money on every item on this list. Most probably, but not all. I also won’t be shocked if we can make counterarguments on any of the points either, and I welcome any feedback since it isn’t like the Xbox One is flawless. I don’t expect people to suddenly flood to the Xbox One over this article, but I hope there is some newfound respect in what Microsoft has contributed to the gaming world as a whole.
Honorable mention goes out to Seamless Cloud Services and TV integration.
So what do you think?
What do you like about the Xbox One? Do you think it does things better than the PS4? And can we make a list on how the PS4 crushes the Xbox One? Well for that last one: Most likely, but I probably will leave that for one of our other writers to do. I can acknowledge that simple things like “better exclusives” and “playing Free to Play” games with no need to pay for online is a big one-two combo. Again though, that’s a story for another time. Until then, be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more fun editorials on the Xbox One and other things in the world of gaming.
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How’s it going everyone, I’m Mike Sol and I am one of many contributing writers to Culture of Gaming. You can usually find me playing some of the latest games to come out, although I tend to avoid anything related to sports or strategy. I enjoy the big three and all the games on them but my main console is the Xbox One. I don’t have a specific preference in gaming, but any game that has fun action and beating up waves of enemies is usually my cup tea. If you ever want to game with me or want me to write about something of interest, feel free to hit me up.
I also now have a personal blog where I go into deeper thoughts about things happening in the gaming world. Please come and check out Mad MAS Gaming here: https://bit.ly/31kPLMA
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