I Switch Teams

I am unashamedly pro Microsoft. I game on Windows 8, have a Surface Pro 2 that I love and admire (upgrading to Surface Pro 3 soon), I even had a Windows Phone at one point! (It broke.. they have limited handset styles in Canada so ended up going back to android). And yes, I had an Xbox and an Xbox 360. I make fun of people who love crApple products and seriously, didn’t Sony last innovate with the Walkman?  Microsoft has been a joy for me for gaming, computing, working, travelling and working, you name it. Their products fit my needs. I use my PC for *my* gaming but use the console for gaming with my 9 year old. It works better for joint games.

So yeah, I bought a PS4 on the weekend.

PS4 vs Xbox One: which is better?
via techradar

First off it was an accident. My wife mentioned we should get an Xbox One. I mentioned I’m not sure if it is the “right-gen” move for us. I explained the differences that I was aware of (and there are a LOT of examples in the above techradar link below the graphic) to which she said “Let’s get a PS4 then – we already have an Xbox 360” and we did. (I had to take the wife green light to buy while she was still willing!) Seriously though, a lot more went into it than that. Here are some of the main reasons – in no particular order.

  • Baseball. I love baseball games. I haven’t had one in years. Yes, I did the 2K series on my PC but that wasn’t the same as the good baseball games. It was a default and only option. PS4 has the exclusive, hands down best option for baseball. I play sports console games a lot and miss baseball. I only had one choice here for that reason. It wasn’t the deciding factor but was enough of a factor here to list.
  • Lack of backward compatibility – I get it, I know they both work that way but it drives me nuts. Surely they can figure out how to build in an emulator. I would have 100% stuck with Xbox One if it was backward compatible – it wouldn’t have even been a thought or possibility to switch. They left themselves open to consideration here. I am not ready to abandon my 50+ title Xbox 360 yet, we still play the Lego series, Diablo III, heck, even Destiny on it. Why take up 2 HDMI ports? I still think there would be a profitable workaround here if either company took it seriously – if the desire was there.
  • Graphics – the native 1080p is a big deal to me. The tech is already “old” in terms of computer comparison so why get a system that needs a workaround to get there? How is anything not built in 1080p native in this tech world?
  • Friend recommendation – I have a friend who is console crazy. He is on top of everything. He uses it for full entertainment (TV, Netflix, gaming, etc.) It is his primary device in his house for him and his family. He had an Xbox 360 and was a huge fan of it last gen. He switched, and told me why, and recommended it. I don’t stay on the cutting edge in console land like he does, so right away it held a lot of weight. He isn’t a fan boy of any kind and I really trust his opinion.

So based on those things I switched teams. From Green to Blue. I got “The Last of Us” remastered bundle, a second controller, Disney Marvel Infinity 2.0 (with Avengers and GoG packs) and Destiny. I wanted to see what the high quality graphic difference was. Setting it up was mostly painless. It’s a simple machine. Plug it in, hook up Wi-Fi, and run with it. The menu navigation will take some time getting used to (and most review sites put that as an Xbox strength over PS4) and funny enough the hardest thing getting used to is the color. It was always so green, now so blue. In fact, I really only had one problem with the whole setup.

My email address.

I have had the same Gmail account since Gmail started – it has been forever! I use it for my “junk” mail (that is where I sign up for newsletters, etc.) and it is my primary email setup for all online games and services. When I went to sign up for a PlayStation Network account it said my email was in use. I assumed it was because it was my SOE account for EQ and EQ2 so I tried to recover the password. I got a link in my email address and went to reset it and they asked me for my birthday. I put it in and got an error – that isn’t the birthday assigned with the account. I definitely know my birthday. So, assuming somewhere I had signed in for some PlayStation service I couldn’t remember I dug in and called tech support (who answered very fast and was very friendly) and it turns out my Gmail account is tied to a PSN account – in AUSTRALIA. Tech support NA can’t help me. I have to call Australia.

I am not getting long distance charges so tried both Skype (closed) and email. I received a response 24 hours later about how they don’t release email addresses and that one is now “dead” and I have to use another one instead. Nope, I am NOT accepting that. It is my email, I have had full control of it, I have NEVER received a confirmation email for a PSN account, and Google is awesome – anytime someone has tried to access my account outside of North America they have stopped them AND sent me a warning that someone tried and from the EXACT city they tried from. So, Sony wants to kill my email address because they don’t have the necessary preventative measures to ensure people don’t use fraudulent email addresses? On principle, I can’t accept that.

The reason they gave was odd – that they are “closing” the account and old email addresses can’t be used. I am guessing there is some value on that account (or something) but I am just confused that someone was able to open an account via my email address without validating it. Even if there is value, just wipe it clean, and let me start fresh with it – it isn’t even on the same side of the planet. Little things tend to agitate and annoy me sometimes (clearly I am the owner of the account, so let me reset the PW and use it. It’s mine) and yes I have several other email addresses but this is the one I use for gaming. Final thought and reiteration – they screwed up by letting someone use an unverified account, so fix it. It is your issue, not mine.

On to the good, I think I like the controller better. It feels smaller and longer in my hands. The sticks have a larger, softer top (or so it feels like) so it is comfortable on my thumbs. If found it easier to aim and shoot in Destiny, and the compact placement of the triggers and RB/LB connections seem sensible. As I play along on it I’ll be sharing anything that stands out with the change. I am really looking forward to “The Last of Us”. It is still too early to tell and I am not sure if I feel great about the change – change is weird – it’s like learning a whole new system. Because that is exactly what it is.

Did you switch? Do you PS4? Do you have any suggestions or tips for a PS4 newbie that you wish you knew when you picked up the system? Would love to hear from anyone reading how their experience has been.

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Speaking from secondhand experience, Playstation’s customer support is terrible. My boyfriend has spent hours and hours on the phone with them, getting passed from person to person, whenever an account issue comes up. Once it got so bad that they offered him a year free of PS Plus to say sorry (and for some reason they sent a physical card/code which took 3 months to arrive instead of just adding it to his account). I can’t really compare to MS though, since I’ve never had to call them.

    I was all about the 360 last generation. I’ve got over 60 games for it (not counting the digital ones) and it continues to provide me with hours of entertainment. The PS3 on the other hand, I had only played 2 games on, until very recently when I decided I needed to play through the Uncharted series. When the new generation consoles came out, I got both, but ended up mostly playing on the PS, because XBox just wasn’t releasing games I was interested in. It’s getting better now though.

    If a game is available on both consoles, I will get it for XBox though, for 2 reasons. Achievement points are a huge motivator and they feel more rewarding than trophies. I like the XBox controller better. I also prefer the dashboard (I guess that’s 3 reasons). I don’t have a good enough eye to tell that something is 1080p on the PS, I don’t really notice a performance difference between the two consoles.

    1. It seems neither of them win on support and I suppose I could reference any of my “gaming is till an immature industry” style posts where they need to grow up and fix that soon as an answer.

      holy runon sentence. Sorry!

      The best part is I get my 360 still and get to try a new frontier. The last of us is my style of game so I’m hoping it won’t disappoint. The controller is a comfort thing so far (feels weird using a PS4 one) but am curious if that changes over time.

      Feels like I am cheating on an ex-girlfriend for some reason, which is as odd as it sounds. =)

  2. Yeah, I preordered the original Xbox and purchased the Xbox 360 twice (and not because of red rings). I’m a big Xbox fan.

    But, the Playstation 4 just seemed like a better buy than the Xbox One:

    I had missed out on Playstation 3 games, so getting to play The Last of Us was tempting, as well as all the eventual sequels that won’t feel nearly as samey.

    Playstation Network is finally on par with Xbox Live, if not better thanks to Playstation Plus.

    The interface is nice and simple, plus having a stream/screenshot button on demand is really lovely.

    As much as I want Halo 5 and the Master Chief Collection, that’s a whole lot of Halo and nothing else. The Playstation exclusives, as well as their better indie presence, are both more exciting.

    I’m sorry for your customer service issues, but as someone who has dealt with Xbox Live customer service on multiple occasions, I can assure you the grass isn’t greener anywhere.

    Add me: ‘ctmurfy’

    1. I will add you for sure – if you beat me to it, mine is : ihaspc

      That was actually funny trying to use a combination of letters and numbers to spell ANYTHING. I was shocked at what was taken.

      ihaspc wasn’t, of course, so that is an easy one. Levelling up Destiny again is going to stink, but going to let my kid get his to level 15 first so I can build that defender Titan I always wanted without going through it twice =)

      I’m sure my time on PS4 will spawn some fun blog posts, haven’t even dipped into the PS Plus universe yet (and paying for two kind of hurts – I almost got the xbone for the sole reason Gold works for both)

      1. I think you’ll like Playstation Plus. At least so far, they’ve done a lot of local co-op games, which should be fun for you and the kid. There’s a rumor that the new Binding of Isaac will be on Playstation Plus and it has a local-only co-op component as well.

  3. I’ve been a picky and choosy consumer for years. Yes, all of my PCs have had Windows on them. I never felt the need for anything else. I did own an IPod, but otherwise would never purchase an apple product again. I’ve been on the Sony side of things since the original Playstation, and honestly if it wasn’t for that shitty off-kilter stick design on the Xbox, I might have given it a better chance, but that alone drives me crazy. Besides, I have a Microsoft driven PC, so why do I need their console?

    I’m not 100% on this, but I do know that Sony adopted Blu-ray on their console first, I want to say that’s an innovation they can claim?

    My PSN ID is Built4Sin82, but I don’t have a PS4 just yet.

    1. Sony did do the Blu-Ray back when a lot of people were looking at HD-DVD so there is one I missed – nice catch!

      The other thing that always drove me nuts about X-Box was the lack of integration with PC. I always felt they would get a huge uptake in console sales if they allowed cross-platform with PC on games like Diablo, etc

      1. Yeah that didn’t make sense to me either. However, the lack of backwards compatibility between Sony systems irks me as well. I understand from a business point of view they’d rather sell you PS1 and 2 classics at a reduced price (from their original box price, not really reduced if you already bought the games back in the day), but really, cmon. The streaming service they’re hyping right now seems like a good idea, but you’re still going to end up paying for old games. Would make more sense that if it’s on your account, you can play it on any system. Period.

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