Xbox One Vs Wii U Vs PS4 Vs PC: Which Next-Gen Console To Buy And Why
Wii U vs PC vs Xbox One vs PC. It's come down to this. We've looked at each of the consoles in turn, evaluated their differences, discussed how this is the first console generation in a decade and a half where your choice actually matters, and barely touched on things like actual games - because except for PC and to some extent Wii U, the systems are all potential for the moment. So now let's look at what you should actually buy, based on the kind of gamer you are.
If you're a hardcore gamer - by which I don't mean someone who games a lot, I mean someone who likes first person shooters, zombie games, racing games, and playing a lot of online multiplayer - you should buy an Xbox One. As you well know, Sony has zero amazing FPS series. Everything is either cross-platform or Microsoft-exclusive. And with Xbox Live's 300,000 servers, it seems pretty likely that the Xbox One will be the best console for traditional online multiplayer. After all... Halo and Titanfall. End of discussion.
PlayStation 4. Hello. If you primarily like playing single player games, maybe with occasional multiplayer excursions, PS4 is your best bet. They have the best single-player exclusives - Uncharted and PS3's The Last of Us come to mind - and, if the PS4 becomes the default platform to develop on before porting to the Xbox One (which it looks like it will, in a reversal from the Xbox 360 - PS3 dynamic), that and the PS4's slightly greater power will make it the go-to system for third-party exclusives. You'll want to play Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, Elder Scrolls VI, Ass. Creed, and all those sorts of things on PS4.
Wii U is the obvious choice if you still play games the way you did fifteen years ago - and I say that with infinite affection - on the couch with your best friends. It's the only game with a serious commitment to local multiplayer. Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros U, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, DKC: Tropical Freeze, the list goes on and on (and let's not forget the not-multiplayer Zelda Wii U).
PC has the most versatility and the best graphics. It always will. It will miss out on big exclusives or have to wait an unknown amount of time for some of them - like Grand Theft Auto 5 - or get crappy versions of some titles - like Dark Souls. But overall and in the long run, the PC has the best variety (strategy games, anyone?) and it runs most of the games it can play better than any other system. Hardcore gamers should consider PC as well for shooters - it's getting Titanfall - but the community won't be as large. Of course, for tinkerers and those who enjoy mods, or cheap games, PC is obviously the way to go.
Wii U, obviously. Nintendo first-party titles are invariably both really fun and actually family-friendly (in that you can play them without wanting to kill yourself), and most of them have local multiplayer too. And the Wii U GamePad means you can play things that your kids aren't ready for on the GamePad. Or, you know, make them play on it while you watch TV.
If, like me, you're particularly interested in games as an art form, you have to go with PC, or, if you have the cash for it, PC & PS4. The PS4 has a pretty serious commitment to indie games, but it's nothing on the PC. But PS4 first party titles will be the most likely flagship art games - like The Last Guardian and things like that. PC has the indie art games - the Braids of the next generation.
I don't mean casual like Angry Birds, I mean casual like gaming isn't your primary hobby. If that's the case, the Xbox One or the Wii U is your best bet. Xbox has the Kinect and its many entertainment features, with the one major caveat that you have to have an online subscription to watch Netflix on it. Wii U allows that for free, and has all those Nintendo games you're probably nostalgic for.
What game system you get is ultimately a matter of taste and preference - all are valid and appeal to different types of gamers, and all of them will see support for many years. But, if you're a broad-based gamer, I think there's a single option that's better than any other.
That's PS4 and Wii U. This double console combination offers the most choice by a long shot, although you can substitute PC for PS4 if you have the dough, or Xbox One if you love shooters. Truth is, the Wii U has the least overlap with the other systems - it's much less powerful, it has the most first party titles you'll never see anywhere else, it has the most unique hardware, and it's also pretty cheap. Add whichever other console meets your needs, which, as a single-player gamer, is a PS4 for me, and throw on a Wii U for those Nintendo exclusives that you just can't bring yourself to not like.
In fact, Wii U is perfect as a stopgap system. There is approximately one really good next-gen game right now (Battlefield 4), and that is definitely not worth $400 or $500, especially considering the risk of hardware failure. A Wii U has a good selection of third party games - Ass. Creed 4: Black Flag is a particular highlight - and they look better than the 360 and PS3 versions by a good jump. They aren't fully next gen, but why buy into next gen before there's anything to play? Do what I just did - get a Wii U now for its exclusives and for third party titles, and get a PS4 when something really great comes out in a year or two.
Whatever you do, take satisfaction in one thing - the next generation is finally here, and it opens up a world of dreams.
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