Welcome to Bago’s newest feature, where our writers argue over a topic and you, our beloved readers, get to decide whose opinion is right, and whose is unforgivably wrong.
As the year of our fathers, Marty and Doc, comes to an end, we look back and determine once and for all, which console “won” 2015.
The notion that this is could even be debated is laughable. Sony is the only console whose best exclusive this year isn’t some tired, uninventive retread of an exhausted franchise. Sure, Microsoft’s Rise of the Tomb Raider may only be the second installment of the rebooted franchise, but the game’s dismal sales numbers speak volumes. Speaking of sales numbers, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One nearly every single month of 2015 and to date, has sold approximately 4 million units since launch. This pretty much quadruples Nintendo’s Wii U sales numbers and doubles that of Microsoft’s Xbox One. It should be important to note the Xbox One sales are really only approximations as Microsoft has been reluctant to reveal official console sales numbers, unlike Sony. Regardless of which of the big three you find yourself rooting for, sales numbers don’t lie.
Numbers, beh. I can say that Rise of the Tomb Raider was an odd move for Microsoft that didn’t end so well. But, in terms of exclusives, Microsoft has the advantage. Nintendo did the shameful thing of bringing out the same game just with Bayonetta as a character. Plus, Sony does the absolute minimal and their die hard fan base just eats it up, like for instance, copying maneuvers from Microsoft, such as backwards compatibility, just to win over the crowds, even after publicly stating that it was not needed for Sony fans. Sony’s exclusive titles are mixed at best. For every The Last of Us, there are a dozen titles like The Order: 1886 thrown in. Have you noticed that Sony loves to get exclusive content for some of the most anticipated games that usually flop or lack any real substance? Batman, Watch_Dogs and Destiny all failed to show respect for gamers as Sony supported withheld game content, claiming it was made for the “players”. What’s that Sony? You’re selling Final Fantasy VII on the PS Store and want a standing ovation? The numbers that matter are the numbers of silent observers when Sony fails and doesn’t do anything to make up for it. At least Microsoft listens to their fans’ feedback. Microsoft also innovates with their technology while their competitors lack vision, taking it to the next level with interactive holograms. Kinect may have been a flop, but at least it had ambition and in a few years time, could make a come back.
As my Sony competitor stated, numbers don’t lie, so let us take a good look at Nintendo’s 3DS numbers shall we? As of December 9, The Washington Post reported that the 3DS had sold 50 million consoles. 50 million consoles! That is a greater number than Sony and Microsoft at the time and I’m sure the 3DS’s numbers have risen since, with the release of some great exclusives. Smash Brothers, Majora’s Mask, Tri-Force Heroes, and Monster Hunter 4 all come to mind, and that’s just a handful of games that I can pull out of my head. I know at this point that owning a Wii U is sometimes a laughable concept to many, but I enjoy my Wii U. I’ve been enjoying Yoshi’s Woolly World, and cannot wait to sink my teeth into Xenoblade Chronicles X. An exclusive from Monolith Soft is nothing to shake a stick at, and those gamers who yearn for the golden age of JRPG’s have only one console for their tastes, and that’s the Wii U. My Microsoft-arguing colleague also mentioned how Microsoft was ahead of the curve by introducing backwards compatibility into the Xbox One, while the Wii U shipped WITH backwards compatibility. Therefore, not only do you have all the great first party games for the Wii U, you can also go back in time and play Super Mario Galaxy without any fuss. With the heap of exclusives coming to the 3DS and the Wii U, Nintendo will most likely win the profitability race, perhaps not the home console race, but definitely the handheld race. This is a no PlayStation Vita zone here.
Kinect, Microsoft’s half-assed attempt at cashing in on the Nintendo-inspired motion-control craze was “innovative” and “may come back”? I nearly just spit out my coffee – Achievement Unlocked. Furthermore, Jerry’s right! The Xbone’s best accomplishment this year was backwards compatibility, a feature that shipped with the Wii U. Speaking of Nintendo’s stutter-step into this console generation, I too enjoy playing the handful of exclusives on the Wii U. Unfortunately, depending solely on the popularity of your own licensed properties can only float your console for so long, hence Satoru Iwata’s massive, self-inflicted pay cut (may he rest in peace). As far as the 3DS goes, get all your enjoyment in now, because mobile killed the handheld star. While rational people learn from their mistakes, the heads of Nintendo and Microsoft paradoxically “unlearn” from their successes. Microsoft went from the dominant Xbox 360, which set the standard for online console gaming and marketplace UI, to the botched (and confusingly named) Xbox One, with it’s garish look and nearly unnavigable menus. Not to be outdone, Nintendo leapt from the best-selling gimmick of all the time, the Wii, to a console so boring that third-party developers won’t touch it with a 39 1/2 foot pole. Game over, Microsoft and Nintendo. Your princess is in Sony’s castle.
That’s nice, Corey. So how did PlayStation Move work out? Does Sony care to improve their awkward controllers, just to create an add-on trigger adjustment. Oh wait, the PS4 controllers now speak to you, which is useful for when you want to know if you’ve arrived at your destination in MGS V. Just turn off that console with the world’s smallest power switch. At least Nintendo knows how to make a successful handheld system (*cough* PSVita *cough* PSP)! Microsoft isn’t perfect, but at least they try (and normally succeed) in making things right. Sony would rather just forget it and sadly, Sony fans have a short memory problem as they follow on, blindly. But Nintendo isn’t so squeaky clean when it comes to abusing their fan base with the DS; they release the same product in tons of different sizes and colors, much like another billion dollar corporation. But, unlike Apple, Nintendo is given a pass so easily by fans. Yes it’s true, Microsoft named its console with a One, but “confusing UIs?” Really? I think Sony’s trophy system (which was stolen from Microsoft) has gone to your head.
Bayonetta, Wonderful 101, Xenoblade Chronicles X and Lego City Undercover are not first party games, and they are some of the best games on the Wii U. Plus, Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei have still yet to hit the market and move even systems for Nintendo. Of course everyone buys a Nintendo system to play Mario games; Mario is the mascot for video games; Master Chief and Crash Bandicoot couldn’t trump him. Yes, Nintendo does pump out a lot of different handhelds, but Sony produced the PlayStation Heavy, then the Slim, and then the weird one that opens from the top. Microsoft as well had the original, then the sleek black one, and now the “slim” (which is aesthetically pleasing next to the One). All those different versions of the 3DS haven’t hurt sales; I’m looking to buy the new one, so I can play Xenoblade Chronicles on the go. As for Nintendo’s foray into the mobile market, they aren’t dumb enough to ruin the market they have with the DS and 3DS; that would be suicide. I can see Nintendo doing “endless runners” with Mario or Yoshi, but nothing substantial like a Mario Galaxy or Legend of Zelda. Their mobile games will just be supplemental and judging by when they may come out, can help the NX. Nintendo is not going anywhere. While they may not be the dominate console this generation, they’ve still got their Little Mac hands up and will put up one hell of fight with the 3DS and future Wii U exclusives. Twilight Princess HD anyone?
So what do you think? Who won the argument, and who is flat out incorrect? Let us know in the comments!