Let’s rewind to November 15th, I stayed home all day to wait for a particular package to arrive, and once it did I was ready to open up and hook up my PlayStation 4. However, my wife had other plans, so after running some errands and eating dinner I was then ready to hook up the console.
After hastily plugging everything in, I powered up the console and was greeted to a blue blinking line on my PlayStation 4. The TV wasn’t recognizing the console’s HDMI, something that made my heart sink until my wife looked behind the TV and noted that the splitter had become disconnected. We fixed it and were on our way to setup.
Now, I picked up the PlayStation Camera so I had to set that up as well. Upon seeing this, my wife warned me of two things. First, I was absolutely a dead man if I broadcast video or pictures with her in it without her permission. Secondly, “What is it about Next Gen that makes it necessary to have a camera on everything?”. I made it through the rest of the setup and was able to finally start using the system.
Unfortunately, the PlayStation Network was dealing with everyone using it, so everything was working unbearably slow. My wife pointed out that last gen so far seemed faster than next gen and she wasn’t impressed at all… yet. The first game I was able to play on the new system was Resogun and as she put it “This isn’t impressive at all, in fact it looks pretty boring”. After playing it for a little, she requested that I play something that justified my purchase or she was going to call it a night. I fired up Contrast because honestly, everything else was taking way too long to download patches. Turns out i made a good choice.
My wife was immediately drawn to Contrast and was totally interested in the game, story and the mechanics within it. She never played the game but hung on to everything that happened within it. She was amazed at some of the lighting effects and seemed appreciative of how smooth everything ran. She noted to me that the game wasn’t graphically the most beautiful game but was minimalistically breathtaking. Ultimately over the next few days, she watched me 100% the game and enjoyed every minute.
For the PlayStation 4, here was her general feedback:
System: “It’s way smaller than I expected. I don’t like the menus at all. Why is it so messy?”
- That Resogun game is stupid.
- Contrast is great, I liked it better than Beyond: Two Souls.
- Assassin’s Creed looks really good, I want to get into that more!
- Battlefield and Call of Duty? Ugh more war games, I don’t care how they look, they’ll be the same thing anyhow.
- Knack? It seemed repetitive, was it really a $60 game?
- Need for Speed Rivals looks like it is a lot of fun. It’s really beautiful. I’d really like to play with you. Too bad I can’t. I don’t want to play by myself because I don’t want to play with other people. How come it is set up like that?
- Madden 25 doesn’t seem like a great example of next gen, I blame the Viking’s season on the fact that AD is on the cover. Thanks, people that made Madden.
- Playroom is cute. (Our son) likes to play it but I don’t see any reason for me to play. You can broadcast that on the internet? What is going to stop people from doing other things with this?
Controller: “It’s good, I guess. So there is a big button in the middle of it now? Is that a good thing?”
Overall: “I probably wouldn’t buy one if it was up to me. It seems okay but not something I’d get my money out of right away.”
On Xbox One:
I actually went to Best Buy the night of the 21st to wait in line for 30 minutes to pick up my Xbox One. By the time I got home, my wife was dead asleep but somehow groggily woke up and asked me if I had gotten it without issue. When we set it up the next day, she was amazed at the size of the console. “That is big! I mean, that is way bigger than the other systems. Why did they make it so huge?” was her reaction to the system.
After getting everything hooked up, she watched me play some Killer Instinct. Her initial views on the game were “It looks pretty detailed but there is a lot going on”. Other than that, she was particularly interested in the way apps were set up. She felt that everything was familiar enough that she could navigate it easily but she didn’t need to relearn anything to actually use it. In fact, she really liked the user interface of some of the apps she used on the older systems.
System: “It’s all so big! The Xbox is huge and the Kinect is stupidly large as well. It also seems kind of slow as well when we are loading stuff up. Is that because it is new?”
Kinect: “I don’t like the idea of having a camera on the Xbox 360, I still don’t like having a camera on the Xbox One OR the PlayStation 4. It just isn’t needed and it shouldn’t be.”
- “Killer Instinct seems okay, you know how to play this way better than i do though, I’ll sit this one out. Are those the only characters though?”
- “I remember the first Dead Rising game. It seems okay. There seems like a pretty good amount of stuff to do but it definitely isn’t my type of game at all.”
- “Ryse is another war game? Yuck. Oh you play as a Roman soldier? You just cut that guy’s arm off… That’s nice. Play something else.”
- “Forza 5 looks really nice. The cars look really good but where is all the action? I am pretty sure that Need for Speed is a better game by default. This is more of a game for people that like NASCAR and stuff, right?”
Controller: “It seems a lot like the normal 360 one. That’s good I guess. Why are you asking me about the controllers?”
Apps: “All the things I like to use are all here, that is really good. I do have a serious issue with Netflix crashing after every episode. It’s pretty dumb that I need to exit the app to reboot it, they really need to fix it. Wait, did we get an achievement for watching Netflix? Netflix has achievements now? Most the apps do? That is… I don’t know, it seems kind of sad. People need awards to watch movies and stuff now? Do you get awards for doing things like turning the system on too?”
Overall: “I am still stuck on the app achievements. You know people are going to try to get these, right? It’s not just off, it’s really weird. Maybe even sad. You said that there were achievements for watching other players play games too? Is any of this needed? Is this what it means to be next gen? I think that next gen was supposed to be better graphics and brand new elements of game play.
“Xbox One though? I like it, it is familiar enough but it also has some new stuff that seems worth exploring. It’s a bit slow but if you don’t have time to wait, you probably should be trying to play a game anyhow. It is comically large though.”
To wrap things up, I asked her what her thoughts were on next gen as a whole. She told me “We’ve been married for 11 years, I got you an Xbox as a gift awhile back. Game graphics have gotten better over the last 11 years but the games themselves don’t seem to change. It also seems like game systems always come out before Thanksgiving and then don’t get much to play on them until around your birthday (February). It never changes. So you ask me what I think of next gen? Well, it’s okay.
I’ll tell you if I think it is real cool in 3 or 4 months, until then I feel like that is $900 in game systems that don’t play old games and don’t have many new games either. It’s not a bad thing, but what happens if the new games aren’t very good? Do you just play the old systems instead?”