The current generation of games consoles feels like a relatively open battle: Sony’s PlayStation 4 is perceived to have had the edge over Microsoft’s Xbox One so far, but latest figures from the latter suggest the race is far from won.
“As we head into the busy holiday season Xbox One led generation 8 console sales in the US for the past two weeks,” wrote Microsoft’s corporate vice president of devices and studios, Yusuf Mehdi, yesterday. “Shortly, we will have sold in to retailers more than 10 million Xbox One consoles.”
To be clear, the first sentence relates to the US only, but the latter is global shipments. The releases of Halo: the Master Chief Collection and Sunset Overdrive have brought some bona-fide buzz to Xbox One at exactly the right time, ahead of the holiday-shopping season.
PlayStation 4 hit 10m sales in August, although that’s sales rather than shipments to retailers (which is the Xbox One figure). So Sony remains ahead, but Microsoft is at least gaining ground. How do you see this battle spinning out in the long term, though?
If you’re a gamer and have chosen one (or both) of these consoles, how happy are you with your choice, and what would you like to see Sony or Microsoft do in the next couple of years to take it forward? Let’s not forget Nintendo: is the Wii U finding its niche in the current console market?
If you’re not a gamer, are any of these devices appealing to you in their other guise – as home entertainment systems – or are you more likely to have a box powered by Apple, Google, Amazon or other tech firms sitting under your TV? The comments section is open for your thoughts.
Also on the technology radar this morning:Twitter has opened up about some of the changes it’s planning to make in the coming months: the ability to record, edit and share videos natively on Twitter; better ways to show users what they’ve missed when they log back in, and “an instant, personalised timeline for new users who don’t want to spend time cultivating one on their own”.
There’s a new round in the row between Taylor Swift and streaming service Spotify: her label says it’s been paid “less than $500,000” for US streams of her songs in the last year, while Spotify counters that it’s paid her label and publishers $2m globally in that period. “We paid Taylor’s label and publisher roughly half a million dollars in the month before she took her catalogue down...”
More big news from Microsoft: plans to open up its .NET and Visual Studio to more developers, including open sourcing the full server-side .NET Core stack, and expanding it to run on Linux and Mac OS X as well as Windows. The vision: to reach developers “whether you are a startup, a student, a hobbyist, an open source developer or a commercial developer, and no matter the platform you are targeting or the app you are creating”.
Good news for gamers: “Playing action video games substantially improves performance in a range of attentional, perceptual, and cognitive tasks”. Call of Duty is good for your brain! Although I can sadly report that having children that don’t sleep well substantially reduces your performance at action games. And, to be honest, the full gamut of attentional, perceptual, and cognitive tasks...
Samsung’s Oculus Rift-powered Gear VR will go on sale in the US in December for $249 with a Bluetooth joypad bundled in, or $199 standalone. Are you excited about strapping a phablet to your face and exploring virtual worlds?
But while we’re on Samsung, boo hiss to the company for making its startling corporate-diversity rap video private, after it was reported by tech sites. “Samsung, we 280,000 humans, 40% 112,000 women, you don’t have to worry after giving birth...” I suspect it’ll be returning in a few mashups imminently.
What else? The comments section is open for your thoughts on the above, and other links you’ve spotted today.