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The Thursday Debate: Does the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 have the better launch line-up?

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Welcome to The Thursday Debate on El33tonline! Every week, we’ll be focussing on a single topic of discussion and debating both sides of the story before asking you to weigh in on the subject at hand.

This week, Oliver and Tom discuss the respective launch line-ups of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to try and determine which next generation console promises the best initial wave of game releases when the systems are available in November.

Read our arguments below and let us know what you think.

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Oliver’s Case

The PlayStation 4 has a better launch line-up than Xbox One

“Console launches are traditionally accompanied by rather limp game line-ups that lack quality and variety, but the PlayStation 4 launch will be anything but conventional.

Flanked by next generation versions of Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Assassin’s Creed IV, FIFA 14 and more triple-A third-party games, Sony proper will be launching the only first-person shooter created specifically to showcase the power of the next-gen systems with Killzone: Shadow Fall, as well as the only family friendly action game (that is also sure to capture the hearts of many a hardcore gamer) in Knack, so you’ll have something to demonstrate to more sensitive gamers what’s special about the PS4 without explaining away zombie gibs and severed legionnaire limbs.

Sony’s commitment to supporting independent developers will also be put on display as Resogun from Housemarque is presented as an exclusive crown jewel launch title alongside the intriguing shadow-play puzzle platformer, Contrast, and if you’re a PlayStation Plus member you’ll get both of these awesome looking titles at no additional charge which means two highly anticipated games ‘free’ right out of the box.”

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- Killzone: Shadow Fall on PlayStation 4

“Speaking of free and exclusive, the online multiplayer games Warframe and DC Universe Online will both remain free-to-play on PS4 at launch so you won’t have to pay anything extra in order to get invested in the next-gen, while Flower, Flow, Escape Plan and Sound Shapes are all Cross-Buy titles so if you’ve already bought them on PlayStation 3 or PS Vita, you’ll automatically gain access to these games, new and improved for PS4 and ready to enjoy all over again.

While much ado has been made about DriveClub’s absence from the PS4 launch line-up, Need For Speed: Rivals will be providing racing entertainment that anyone can jump in and enjoy instead of adhering to racing lines and frustrating realism, and considering reports that the PS4 edition of EA’s title looks superior to even the PC, Sony’s platform may just be home to the definitive version of this exciting racer.

Without a doubt, the PlayStation 4′s line-up of launch titles is the most rich, diverse and pocket concious of the next generation, and perhaps of any console launch ever.”


Rebuttal - Hans Haupt’s response:

“Excluding third party titles and rehashed ‘indie’ titles, the Xbox One does indeed have the better launch line-up.

However, there is more to these next generation consoles than just the games, at least in Microsoft’s case.

With the recent clarification that the PS4 will not have support for External Storage, DLNA, MP3 or Audio CD’s, as well as requiring a patch for BluRay/DVD playback and lacking the much touted ‘suspend’resume’ feature at launch; I am once again inclined to admit that the Xbox One, at launch, is the better featured console.

As a PlayStation owner, I currently have no compelling reason to upgrade from my PS3 at the launch of the PS4. Perhaps in a few months time, once the platform matures a little.

Until then, and in my personal opinion, I would be better served with an Xbox One.”


Tom’s Case

The Xbox One has a better launch line-up than PlayStation 4

“There’s been much talk over the past few months that the PlayStation 4 has the more powerful hardware going into the all-important next-gen battle with the Xbox One. One area where the Xbox One undoubtedly has the upper-hand, however, is its day one software line-up which outstrips the PS4′s launch offering by a considerable margin.

If we focus in on full-priced (i.e. $60) exclusive titles, the Xbox One has Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3 and Fighter Within compared to just Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack on PS4. That’s a lot more choice for Xbox One owners, never mind the fact that the Forza Motorsport series is more critically acclaimed than the Killzone franchise. The last two Killzone games received Metacritic ratings of 91 and 84 respectively, while Forza Motorsport 3 and 4 receiving ratings of 92 and 91 respectively.

Just in terms of the games mentioned above, the PS4′s launch line-up features a first-person shooter and a platformer while the Xbox One’s day one offering includes a racer, motion-controlled fighter, survival horror and action adventure.”

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- Forza Motorsport 5 on Xbox One

“Moving along to the exclusive downloadable titles that will be available alongside each console at launch and discounting games like Flower and Warframe which are ports, the Xbox One’s line-up includes Crimson Dragon, Killer Instinct and Powerstar Golf while the PS4′s only exclusive digital title is Resogun. Once again the Xbox One comes out on top in terms of the variety of exclusive games available at launch.

Microsoft has clearly worked hard to secure a number of third-party exclusive titles for the Xbox One at launch whereas Sony appears to have chosen a more conservative route judging by the complete lack of retail third-party exclusives for the PS4′s launch. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Xbox One has the better launch line-up due to the sheer variety of exclusives on offer in comparison to the PS4′s limited day one line-up.

Obviously when you add all the multi-platform launch titles to the equation you realise that fans who purchase the PS4 at launch will still have plenty of quality games to choose from, but it’s nevertheless disappointing that Sony has secured so few exclusives at launch considering the platform holder’s massive arsenal of first-party studios and third-party partners like Ubisoft.”


Rebuttal - ruefrak’s response:

“… As for the games, I go with PS4. The cross-gen games are looking better on the PS4, and Killzone is the one truly next-gen game designed for a next-gen system. Knack is a great family friendly game. Contrast is beautiful and involves something other than running around killing things.

“Old classics like Flower and Sound Shapes are gorgeous and if you’ve already bought them, you’ll have them for free day one. Injustice on PS4 looks to be more fun than Killer Instinct on XB1. And then the barrage of smaller games that will be coming in the months after launch will set it over the top. XB1 has Forza, Ryse… and then a whole lot of nothing until Titanfall (which is also available on the 360 and PC). So PS4 for the foreseeable future has a better line-up.”


Which next generation console do you think has the better launch line-up?

Would you like to suggest a future Thursday Debate topic? You can send it through to oliver[@]el33tonline[dot]com and we’ll do our best to fairly represent both sides of the argument.


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