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XBox One vs. PS4 Debate Solved (Temporarily)


For as long as men can remember there has been this epic struggle. The debate has raged since near the beginning of time, but no clear victor could ever be established. At times it was clear that the battle would swing one way or the other, but there never was a decisive blow. So, this question remains unanswered.

Should I buy an XBox One or a PS4.

In the early days it appeared as if the PS4 would win. It had superior specs, a wonderful understanding of the gaming culture and its needs, and PS Vita remote play. It was popular, sleek, and promised to reunite me with beloved gaming franchises like God of War, which I have not touched since the PS2. I thought then that I would have the PS4.

At that time the XBox One was getting terrible press, though not for an inferior product. The bad press appeared to be due to a failure to predict the desires of the gaming community and a lack of ability to put together a coherent marketing message. The problem was that they weren’t putting together a gaming console, they were trying to put together the one box to rule the entire living room media experience. They just weren’t saying it very well.

At the time I didn’t think that was what I wanted, but I thought it was a pretty good idea. I liked the evil business savvy so much that I bought a pile of Microsoft stock. Many companies have tried to take over the living room experience and failed, but it looked like Microsoft could actually succeed. Today, I could buy a PS4 with the money I’ve made on that stock.

Then I thought about it some more.

About half of what I do on my XBox 360 is not video games. Also, I’ve read that the XBox One is an unbelievably silent machine (solving my biggest complaint for the 360). Also, I don’t own a PS Vita, so having to purchase another machine to get remote play just doesn’t seem worth it when the XBox One has that snapped video feature.

I was split.

Leaning toward the XBox One.

However, I want the same machine my friends get. I love coop play, and having a different system is a huge barrier. Not that we ever do coop play with our XBox 360s.

So, when the two machines came  out I read all of the reviews for both machines, determined to pick one and have a very merry Christmas.

They both got mediocre reviews. Playing a PS4 at Best Buy failed to impress; it looks only marginally better. The game Knack was really not all that much fun.

Also, there are absolutely no games out for either system that I am excited about.

So, I solved the problem. Temporarily.

I bought one $500 Where It’s Needed Most from the Red Cross. I figure they’ll use the money to buy some starving person an XBox One or PS4, depending on what they need the most. Or maybe food. I also threw in a $50 Vaccinations for People You’ll Never Meet, since it seemed like the sort of thing that could potentially improve a lot of people’s lives.

Heifer International also got some money this year. I consider it to be the perfect compliment to the Red Cross. Red Cross is for acute, dangerous need and Heifer International is for ongoing need. Mostly. There are places where the need is so great that they overlap.

Did I mention that there are half a dozen games that I still want to play on the XBox 360? I have nearly a year’s worth of game backlog, including DLC, that won’t ever be ported forward. They’re cheap now, too, and getting cheaper.

If you’re in the same situation as I was, I’d encourage you to do the same. Random people you’ve never met could probably use the $500 more than you. Also, Best Buy ran out of XBox Ones, so you might as well spend your money on something that will temporarily make you feel like a good person.

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