You may have heard the hype about the next generation of gaming consoles. This Friday Sony launches the PlayStation 4 ($399) and Microsoft will release Xbox One ($499) on Nov. 22. Gamers probably have already decided which one they’re getting, and the hard core ones are likely buying both as they have exclusive games that they just can’t miss out on. The question for average home owners is more toward should they get one at all?
The decision was similar at first with the last round of consoles. The PS3 offered a Blu-ray player and full media streamer at the same cost of a standalone Blu-ray player (remember this was before ubiquitous Apple TVs and smart TVs). The Xbox 360 had a HD DVD player and streaming capabilities too. When the Blu-ray format beat HD DVD, non gamers had a pretty straight forward decision. And those who just wanted a simple, fun gaming box bought a Nintendo Wii.
This time around both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One offer incredible performance for gaming enthusiasts. For the rest of us, its the other stuff like media playing and home integration that matters, and well, that’s unknown at this time. So we can sit back and let time determine which is the best console for our homes. What we have, if anything, will hold us for quite a while longer. Both Microsoft and Sony want to intertwine themselves into our lives, so there should be some cool entertainment offerings on the home tech front. Stay tuned.