How the PS4 Converted an Xbox Superfan: A Brief History of The Recent Console War

Console War
Will E3 2018 be the year Xbox finally catches up?

The internal deliberation over what platform to pre-order Mass Effect Andromeda on is what made me realize: PlayStation are pulling ahead in the console war of this generation. Back in the era of the Xbox 360, it was a no-brainer for me. Mass Effect was played on an Xbox. It started life as an Xbox exclusive, and so it just felt right playing it on the Microsoft console. Mass Effect wasn’t the only reason I loved my Xbox. The memory of countless hours over countless nights plowing away at the waves of enemies in horde mode for Gears of War 2 still gives me joy. The Halo series was still decent, Halo ODST a particular highlight. Though Xbox Live Gold was a paid subscription, I felt it was superior to the PSN. I was confident I had made the right choice in the last generation’s console war.

So why was I finding it so difficult to confirm my pre-order for the latest Mass Effect game on my Xbox One? I’m in a point in my life now where both of the “big 2” are in my possession, although I still haven’t made the jump to either an Xbox One S or PS4 Pro. It was my personal opinion that the breaking of the normal “generation cycle” was just a thinly veiled attempt to get us to part with more money, but the PS4 Pro keeps laying on the benefits of owning one. Although, this was only part of the reason my preference had done a steady back-flip over the last year. My loss of faith in the Xbox console started at that reveal in March 2013.

Xbox One Reveal Console War

I was distraught. How could Microsoft have made so many bad calls with the Xbox One? The console was going to turn from being the darling of my living room, to some Orwellian nightmare machine. Always on, always connected, always watching. The low point of the whole affair was when Sony published a video making fun of the Xbox One’s inability to share used games. My friends knew how much I loved my Xbox 360. When the inevitable barrage of jokes hit, I just couldn’t think of a line of argument in defense of the Xbox One. Thankfully, during the E3 period of June 2013, Microsoft reversed some of their terrible decisions from a few months earlier, and made it so that you could once again share physical copies of games. The living-room surveillance system in the guise of a console had also been scrapped in favor of the more traditional “off-means-off” approach. I think Microsoft still hold the world record for “fastest U-turn”.

Though my pride in the Xbox was still badly bruised, things were certainly starting to look how they should have looked with that reveal. With an interesting and exciting showcase of games, such as Titanfall, Ryse: Son of Rome, and Quantum Break, I decided to just keep the faith in Xbox, and pre-ordered my day one edition console. I loved Ryse: Son of Rome. Though the general reception of the game wasn’t great, I thought there was a real Batman: Arkham Asylum-level of finesse to the combat. This, and Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, kept me happy on the Xbox One until the utterly great Titanfall. Despite all of this, I should have just stopped to think for a second. The early warning signs were all there. The really bad user interface, which is still terrible to this day. The feeling that the focus was shifting from gaming to becoming an entertainment center. It was just starting to feel like the Xbox had lost its soul, and was now simply a machine, whereas the PS4 was a lively, vibrant character in the console war.

Ryse Console War

The thing is, even though the PS4 had definitely come out on top after the reveals, there was a noticeable lack of games for the system over the first year of it’s release. Or at least, there was nothing I was interested in. Killzone Shadow Fall, Knack, and Infamous Second Son didn’t really get my engine running, and after scoring average reviews (apart from Infamous), I wasn’t convinced. Anything I wanted to buy was multi-platform, and I had my Xbox One, so there was still no need to take the plunge. One year after release, and I was relatively happy in my Microsoft bubble. That is, until a PS3 entered my life. Looking back, I highly regret not owning a PS3 during it’s heyday. I played Beyond Two Souls with my partner and absolutely loved it. I finally gave The Last of Us a go, and immediately understood why it was so lauded. Journey‘s sensual assault of vibrant art is rarely matched.

It was at this point I started to notice a difference between exclusives for the PlayStation, and exclusives for the Xbox. Where Xbox games tended to focus on massive, world shifting and shattering narratives rife with hugely cinematic moments, PlayStation games were more about the characters, and their interaction with other characters. PlayStation games were, to me, far more emotive, and I immediately felt more connected to the stories that were conveyed by PS3 games. At this point, I had played my fill of the spectacular. I wanted to feel. Then Bloodborne came along. This game was probably the reason I bought a PS4. After a long dry spell on the Xbox One (Sunset Overdrive never really appealed to me), Bloodborne‘s gorgeous aesthetic and unique style of gameplay were extremely attractive. Bloodborne was a masterpiece in every facet of design, and was the first nail in the coffin in my internal console war.

Bloodborne Console War

From my point of view, the PS4 never really stopped hammering the nails in from that moment. The highly underrated and underplayed Until Dawn was like a brilliant mesh of the Japanese style visual novel and classic American horror, all with a Hollywood budget. The fact that the PS4 was running games at higher resolutions than the Xbox One was baffling, even though Microsoft assured us that the much touted and never really demonstrated “cloud-computing” capabilities would eventually ensure the leg up on Sony. Even the UI was vastly superior. Navigating the home screen, especially now with folders, feels a whole lot quicker than on the Xbox One. At this point, I was buying an increasing amount of multi-platform titles on the PS4, such as Fallout 4. My heart was being swayed.

I desperately wanted to keep the Xbox One as my primary console. I had over 100K Gamerscore. All of my friends were on Xbox. And there was some hope in the shape of a few upcoming exclusives. Quantum Break was on my radar first. Remedy Games’ Alan Wake was a masterpiece in my opinion, so I had high hopes that Quantum Break would provide some relief from my ailing faith during the console war. Like many others, my feelings on the game were mixed. While unquestionably gorgeous, with a unique take on narrative delivery, I still came away feeling it was all more style than substance. I had also been intending to purchase ReCore, but after my customary week of allowing the reviews to come in, I decided against it. The PS4 was gaining ground in the console war.

What really made my transition complete was The Last Guardian. If the PS4 needed a persona to represent them aside from Nathan Drake, Trico would be it, the big bird/cat/dinosaur that accompanies you through the story. The Last Guardian managed to be spectacular, but also intensely emotive and personal. If the kinds of experiences presented by Until Dawn, Bloodborne and The Last Guardian were representative, then I wanted more. At this point, the cancellation of Scalebound didn’t bother me, I was too busy looking forward to Nioh, Nier: Automata, and Horizon Zero Dawn, a 1-2-3 combination of blows that cemented the dominance of the PS4 in my mind. Even the future of gaming on the PS4 was mind-blowing: Detroit: Become Human, The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding. I can honestly say there isn’t a single Xbox One exclusive coming out in the next year that I am at all interested in.

Horizon Zero Dawn Console War

So now I make my decision. The Xbox One version of Mass Effect Andromeda had been sitting in my virtual shopping basket until now. In the end, the logical choice is to swap my pre-order to the PS4 version. In some ways, it still feels like betrayal, but when I think about the continual disappointment experienced over the 3 years of owning an Xbox One, the feeling is somewhat numbed. Admittedly, Games with Gold usually provides some gems that I wouldn’t have usually played, but more often than not, I download the monthly offering, and never have time to play it.

The PS4 is the runaway winner in this particular leg of the console war, and I can only see it pulling further ahead as time goes on, unless Microsoft pull off some big moves at this year’s E3. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.



  1. Welcome to the playstation nation 🙂
    Totally agree Sony exclusives are just a lot more interesting.
    And the verity is just insane.
    Also if you enjoyed beyond two souls give heavy rain ago its extremely cheap on the store now.

  2. Its True Im a Xbox fan as well but I would be lying if I said Playstation does not have the more interesting exclusives.Definitely want a PS4 Pro right now

  3. This guy represents the effect the media has had on gaming. The gaming media from before the Xbox One launched has created and nurtured a blanket of negativity around the Xbox One. This guy is singing most of their greatest hits. All he is missing is kinect spies on you.
    Its not his fault. Some people need that fanfare around them and gain confidence in making decisions when the media reviews hype everyone up. They feel like part of a community. Being a independent minded consumer I can recognize propagandized information and ideas….. like when people criticize the user interface. The Xbox One since launch has done more than the Ps4, media pass through, voice commands, gesture controls, multi tasking and so on and so forth….. a user interface is something that you learn. A few days in it should be a non issue…. like going from Android to iOS. The interface at its worst wasnt 5 seconds slower in running tasks as the Ps4 and when you add that it did more the argument is foolish at best. But the gaming media keeps articles telling people its slow or sluggish or I cant find the settings button.

    The same thing has happened with the reveal, and how the media tries to tank every Xbox One game that comes out. This guy bought The Last Guardian because reviews lubed him up, The reviews pushed him away from Recore which is a great platformer in its own right.

    If this guy is not a shill…… he is a case study MS needs to be using for the Xbox One business going forward. He follows the console warsand the gaming media controls the narrative. You see how he talks about resolution differences but no mention of the dedicated servers being used in MS exclusives. The reality is that MS is not fighting Sony. The Xbox Ones real enemy is the gaming media . I remember when the Ps3 came out and all the game ran better on the 360 you couldnt find an article not telling you that the Ps3 was the cheapest Blu ray player around always adding that value………. you barely ever here them talk about the Xbox One S 4k drive.

    As far as exclusives go Its a preference thing. I personally see Ps4 current set of exclusives as cheap. They have interesting settings and concepts but the game play is all unrefined and closer to something I would have played on a Ps2……. run slash slash slash dodge….. run slash slash slash dodge….. run slash slash slash dodge. This week the X1 has an RTS coming out later this year 2 MMOs. The only games I would buy on Ps4 is Horizon and the Uncharted 4 expansion.

    Anyway….. the point is until MS can either get the media influence on their side or out of gaming the X1 will suffer no matter how good the game are or how powerful the machine is.

    • You must be dizzy from all of that spin you just vomited forth.
      Blame it on the “gaming media”, really? Why not blame MS for putting forth a crap system & draconian practices & a total abandon of exclusives.
      Ever since MS threw their hat into the gaming world, they have nickeled and dimed gamers to death. And now thanks to that we have to pay for DLC (which was free until MS started charging for it), We have to pay to play, remember when gaming online was free (again, thanks a lot MS for screwing that up for us.)
      The only “shill” here is you.

      • “remember when gaming online was free?” yeah…i had the sega netlink and games….”free” to play…sure…at 28.8k lol

      • I blame it on the media because everything you said was complete fodder that was actually reinforced by the gaming media.

        What you present is just an opinion and a way of viewing a situation. For instance. Wen some one says since MS is putting their games on PC though UWP the Xbox One console loses value. Understandable
        But….. you could also say when I buy a game on my X1 I also get the PC version of it which gives it more range of were I can play since I could travel with my Laptop easier than my console so there is added value.

        The media is to blame because they have been bias and only pushed the negative view on many of the issues that surround the X1 even to the point of affecting the console and thus affecting its consumers.

        I remember when gaming online was free, compared to now it sucked. On PC its always been fine but on consoles before MS came along it was bad. 56k modems weird lobby and match making systems if there was even one. Now consoles are entertainment hubs. You complain about DLC I remember finishing games and thinking I would love more of this story, or playing Goldeneye thinking I wish they had more maps in the MP…….. now we have tons of content at our finger tips. Thanx MS

        I am no shill…… I am just a consumer expressing what I am consuming and the way I see the layout of the industry. The X1 is a great console and MS has done some great things and I dont see them being explained or pushed to the other consumers through the media. For instance Sea of Thieves is a MMO that is console based and a test for the cloud to provide a very large living world. This is new tech and a big leap forward especially for consoles and we see little to nothing from the gaming media. You dont find that “funny”.

    • LOL. Somebody give this guy a hug. He sounds really hurt. “The media” is causing people to buy the ps4? Uhhhh….the ps4 has many more games available for it than does the xbox one, those games are more highly rated than the xbox one’s, there is more variety in gameplay among the ps4’s offerings than those of the xbox one’s. and Sony has the better first party developers than does Microsoft. In just the last month, ps4 gamers have been treated to Tales of Beseria, Yakuza 0, Gravity Rush II, Nioh, (and some others) with Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier Automata, and Persona 5 right around the corner. Microsoft has treated gamers to zip. Zero. Zilch. Grab a tissue and wipe up, son. Sony is killing you. The truth is killing you. Good luck with that.

      • Said the sorry sack who must not realize those “Asian” games are outselling xbox one so called “exclusive” big games like Forza and Dead Rising. It is to laugh. The poor critter swings, and misses, yet again. He’s used to it.

      • Actually, you fanboys seem to be the hurt ones look at all your replies to him. Mostly all insulting towards him which shows that a bunch of you were triggered by his pro Xbox comment. lol

        Oh and btw, Scorpio will be here soon it will be the most powerful console on the market and have thousands of games due to full backward compatibility what will you trolls do then? Nobody will care about your Tales of Beseria, Yakuza 0, Gravity Rush II, Nioh with Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier Automata, and Persona 5 — then! I doubt they care now seeing how most popular games on the PS4 are all multiplats anyway.

        • LOL…here is another poor, unfortunate critter who absolves the loser Edonus for his racists comments, then doubles down on his lunacy by claiming a brand new console’s biggest advantage will be it’s stunning ability to play year’s old games. Yikes. Yes folks, they really are this desperate. It is to laugh.

          Enjoy your 2007 gaming catalog on Scorpio though. Double yikes. When you have no games, I guess all you can do is look backwards. Triple yikes. You done struck out son.

          • Simple thoughts from a simple mind. You have to laugh at the poor critter, and believe me, I’m chuckling quite a bit.

    • OMG person. The media, the media, the media. Seriously u need to stop allowing idiots like Crapgamer to do your thinking for you. There is no conspiracy here. Microsoft is failing their gamers. These are just facts. Now grow up and deal with it.

    • I feel you have missed the point I made in this article. I am a player of video games, and I can use my own judgement to determine a product’s worth. I loved the Xbox 360, and I still think it has a better set of experiences than the PS3, but that’s my opinion, which has in no way been shaped by gaming media. Similarly, nowadays my preference is the PS4, not because the media have told me to prefer it, but because I have enjoyed using the system and playing games on it more than the Xbox One. I am also an “independent minded consumer”, who purchased an Xbox One the day it came out, because it was my independent opinion that I would enjoy the system more than the PS4. I feel I was wrong after experiencing the console for 3 years, and then experiencing the PS4. The Last Guardian was the turning point, not because the reviews told me to like it (and the reviews for TLG aren’t exactly beaming), but because the Xbox One had offered no experience like it so far. I have limited time and money, so ReCore was never going to make the cut.

      Fair enough, I may have forgotten to mention that one of the things that made Titanfall great was the dedicated servers, but dedicated servers don’t make good games. Neither do voice commands, gesture controls, multitasking, and so on, which are so rarely implemented nowadays. Would you still like a bowl of chocolate ice cream if I mixed sand into it? Kinect is the sand in the ice cream of my Xbox One. These features are superfluous to the gaming experience, and that’s where Microsoft went wrong. They tried to innovate, and they got it wrong. They’re not morons for doing it, they just tried something new.

      It’s unfortunate that you don’t agree with the sentiment of my article, but I can assure you I’m not a shill 🙂

    • XBOT On!!!!!
      By the way The Last Guardian did not gentthe best reviews. Also, all those issues are real. Kinnect was a great idea in consept, terrible in how they supported it.
      Xbox had the lead, and went with greed. Lets bring sales up! Thats whatbis was.
      Try playstation, try Sony, see their message, play their games. You will see. His article wasnt against Microsoft. It was in favor of gaming!!!!!!

    • “This guy represents the effect the media has had on gaming” I wouldn’t have said that, it’s more like he found out himself what MS was trying to do with gaming and how he was left out compared to PS4 gamers with Sony’s exclusive titles and support even after the U-turns made due to bring bad media on themselves with Xbone policies. I agree that “as far as exclusives go Its a preference thing” but truth is Sony offers more exclusives than what MS have done so to date, and by doing that PS4 offers more choice to the gamer which was clearly seen by games listings for each console as well as sales showing what console gamers bought due to the above.

      MS made a rod for their own back with Xbone policies and how they wanted to stop people sharing games or using second hand games etc, and although MS have tried to make things right that rod is still in place due to their own actions.

      • All the issues you say you gamers had with X1 policies are examples of the gaming medias influence on the consumers. Most of the policies from the beginning never even took place. What the media has been doing is called “coloring”. Imagine a page out of a coloring book. The gaming media has colored the trees purple and the sky orange, when the people that come to their sites and articles get there that is how they will see the picture. That picture was not created based off of the reality of how the picture should look based on reality.

        MS made no rod……. the rod was created by the media and strapped to the X1. In the free market what regularly happens is; someone makes an idea or product, they put it in the market and the consumers go out, try it experience it and based on how they feel and react decides whether the product or idea stays. In this gen of gaming the media attacked DRM and kinect pushed resolution as the defacto measuring bar of consoles before the consumers could even give a hands on impression. There is a possibility that the fans could have come to the same conclusions but the market was never given that chance.

        And again more games dont mean better games and if some one is new to the X1 you have 3 years worth of games from the start. The media nurturing this idea of if you get an X1 you wont have anything to play on it. That is BS.

        • Well I for one welcome the media as without the exposure from the media MS could have stop game sharing, second hand game sales & buying, Kinect always on, only online gaming, etc, etc

          Thanks to the media and how people complained MS had to make choices and back off from their policies and try put right what they wronged. Gamers were not happy the way MS tried to bully their way into game changing situations that could effect people and people then voted against MS with their pockets by not buying into Xbone and to this day it still stands. Maybe that’s why Sony have been reaping the rewards this gen.

  4. Yeah most of my gaming pre-2013 was mostly all on Xbox. I never even discovered PlayStation until like 2010 or 2011. So i was pretty established on Xbox before they announced the new consoles. You know I had pretty good gamerscore, all my friends were on Xbox, etc. When they announced Xbox One I was disgusted by it. PS4 stuck to what the core gamer wanted and Xbox took this radical turn. Even though they backtracked it still left a bad taste in my mouth. I own both consoles today, but virtually all third party games I play on PS4 now. Most of my friends have moved over to PS4 as well. The exclusives are a major reason I made the switch. Then M$ shot themselves in the foot and that was it.

  5. I bought my xbox 360 first last gen, on the strength of exclusives like Mass Effect and Gears of War. I bought my ps3 a couple years after it launched, around the time MGS4 came out, as before that, it didn’t have any exclusives that made me want the ps3. The 360 was my gaming darling for the first 3 years or so of the last gen, but after that, playstation exclusives took over the show. What Sony offered from their first party studios middle to late last gen was staggering, and it was those exclusives that ensured that come this gen, there was no doubt the ps4 would be my number one console, over the xbox one by quite some margin. It wasn’t even close. And that is how it has turned out so far…..there really has been no competition this gen, ps4 is slaughtering it.

    When you look at the games released to date this gen, and more damningly, the games to come, Sony is out front by miles. On my personal list, there are perhaps 5 xbox games I’m looking forward to in 2017/2018 at this point, while my list for the ps4 for 2017/2018 sits at about 25 games. No real contest.

    Also….Don Mattrick. Never forget.

  6. “PlayStation games are far more emotive”

    That’s EXACTLY why I don’t care what new console releases,Xbox,Nintendo,etc. doesn’t matter,PlayStation games can immerse you and are more replayable because of it. Xbox games are like watching disaster flicks,you watch them once and the thrill is gone.

    • Actually it vice versa: MS provides highly replayable games like Forza, Halo, Gears with dozens and hundreds of hours and after you bored with SP you can dive into MP. Now Halo Wars with incredible replayability since RTS. MS was always about gameplay first.

      Sony made cinematic games which had strong design, story, characters but worth only one play through.

      Though I agree MS lost this generation everywhere except the US. So I have XO and also bought PS4 Pro for jrpgs. Though you could also play most of jrpgs on PC now, in Steam.

      The author did not mention external HDD, excellent many hour charge gamepads including Elite gamepads, not mentioning incredible games with gold, UWP apps, backwards compatibility, multitasking, HDR and 4k drive in XOS. And many, many other things. Yes some are entertainment thingies but most are gaming only which shows they still care! If you want to see where MS doesn’t care – it’s Windows Phone. The difference in support is drastic.

      Be fair, he is acting like a kid though looks like he’s in forties already.

      • The online MP is the only thing that makes those replayable and none of them have any depth beyond that. Sports games like Forza don’t count as they offer nothing else but online play. Halo is like every typical shooter out there, a 4-5 hour play-through and then straight to online MP. Gears is the same way but as 3rd person shooter. Take away online play from Xbox games and they have no replay value.

  7. Reminds me of when I had to unplug my GameCube and set it aside so I could plug in the Xbox. I had a Nintendo in my living room since day 1! I believe as consumers it our duty to never be brand loyal. I loved the 360 too, but Microsoft dropped the ball big time with the XBone launch and gamers responded by flocking to the PS4. As a result of that, Microsoft is going all out with the Scorpio. … did the right thing

  8. I may be in the minority with this opinion but I really feel that Microsoft missed the point of why Sony pulled ahead this generation. Not that I believe Sony have done everything right, but for the most part, they have been on point. They remembered that, for us, it’s about the games. We don’t necessarily want more hardware shoved down our throat, we want games and reasons to be happy with our purchase.

    Microsoft seem steadfast in the belief that the only reason Sony is ahead is because of their power advantage, but it’s not.
    (Power has never meant success in the gaming industry in any generation. Sega and Nintendo were at the top of the 4th generation despite having multiple competitors with more power. The PS2 was the weakest console of the 6th gen and the Wii the weakest of the 7th. Yet both outsold their competitors.)

    At E3 last year Microsoft showed some fantastic looking games which even made me consider getting an Xbox, then wasted no time in mentioning that all of the games would also be available on PC and trying to shove even more hardware down our throats. What is the point of spending so much hard earned money on a console if the manufacturer is putting more effort into making the next console, than into the games? Why even get a “Scorpio”? Why not just wait for the one after that? Or the one after that? Surely whatever comes next will make even this fabled 6 teraflop console look like an over priced paper weight…

    The 7th generation still stands as one of the best generations we have had since the Mega Drive/Super Nintendo. We had some amazing games, and the amount developers managed to squeeze out of that hardware (which was already “obsolete” when they were released) was incredible.

    Look at GTA V on PS3/360. They did that with less than 500mb of ram and tech from 2005!

    Microsoft have completely missed the point this gen, but at the very least, they are at least making Sony work for that lead.

  9. Article felt very genuine: the fact that you pointet out cloud computing, the lack of original exclusives, 720 vrs 1080 on the PS4 I trully get, however when you mentioned: The Last of Us, Untill Dawn, Uncharted, Bloodborne, this is the reason why PS4 fans come together. Its great to have the third party games, but Donys exclusives have heart.

    This games show that Sony cares and it feels Phil Spencer is the only one who cares at Microsoft. XBox 1 new upgrade will come at the release of a new Nintendo console and when Sony is just bringing out the Beef!

    So many bad decisions. Great to have you hear brother.

  10. The reasons you have shared are also shared by many others including myself, and although I’m one of the lucky gamers that own both consoles I have to say I’m disappointed by MS and how they tried treating gamers and how they tried to stop gaming as we have always know it for that matter, and even after doing many u-turns on policies the damage had been done. MS IMO have lost the sight they once had with 360, while Sony just gave gamers what they always have.. Support and games with a games selection 2nd to none.

  11. “I just couldn’t think of a line of argument in defense of the Xbox One.”
    Then you weren’t really paying attention to the reveal. Game share would have more than made up for everything.

  12. I bought a PS1 at release, and that was the last PlayStation I had bought until the PS4. I bought an Xbox on launch day, then Xbox 360, but didn’t buy the Xbox One because of Don Mattrick’s DRM always online Kinect infused Dream which ticked me off at the time. I bought a PS4 instead and have been really happy with it. I have bought the PS4 pro, Vita and PSVR as well. It’s been fantastic, Sony really knocked it out of the park with the PS4. I hope MS gets me excited about the Scorpio, right now im lukewarm, i hope they get me excited about it at e3.

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