It may not come as much of a surprise to anyone that the Playstation 4 has been at least a little bit a head of the Xbox One in sales, given the $100 difference in its price, however Titanfall was expected to be Xbox One’s console seller. Does it really stack up to Playstation 4’s inFamous: Second Son? The easiest way to determine a match up between games that are not exactly alike is to take a glimpse at sales numbers and see who is outselling the other.
Long story short, inFamous has led to a doubling of sales for Playstation 4 Units while Titanfall lagged slightly behind with a 94% sales increase, which is still not bad but it is also not winning. But why? Why can’t Xbox One’s hype demon Titanfall stand up to inFamous: Second Son? From game critics, the two have received generally favorable reviews. It is difficult to compare a third person single player sandbox action game to a first person shooter heavily focused on multiplayer. Each gamer has his or her own opinions on those genres and moreover, single player does not appeal to every gamer and neither does multiplayer. Some may argue that a multiplayer shooter like Titanfall gives more of a rush than a single player game like inFamous, but inFamous also offers a richer storyline and an experience unmarred by other players online. For some, inFamous Second Son’s storyline and setting (not-so-far-into-the-future Seattle) is likely enough to spur players into purchasing it, however with the success of the modern first person shooter, Titanfall should easily match the numbers instead of being outsold.
The real competition lies within the hardware consoles themselves, not the games. Sony had an edge over Microsoft with the Playstation 4 release price of $100 less than the Xbox One. On top of this, Microsoft’s initial implementation of DRM prompted outrage and suspicion of the trading of used games, and also talk of an always online console turned a fair amount of gamers off to the Xbox One. Finally, the last generation of video game consoles bore witness to a major decline in exclusivity. A number of games that were well known exclusives to their respective hardware started appearing on both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 (with everyone mostly ignoring the Wii). This trend seems to be continuing onward to the current generation, save for the obvious exceptions. Even though inFamous Second Son and Titanfall are both reputable games, and are locked in this struggle to outsell one another and get their respective consoles more sales and attention, both games will be made forgettable compared to the multiplatform releases due out later this year and in the future, like Bungie’s Destiny or Konami’s Metal Gear Solid.
What is the point then? Why even pick one console over another? For now, the main reason simply boils down to price difference. With an unvarying experience on both of these systems, most players only need to look towards their wallets, piggy banks, and bank accounts to see what system they really want. But for others there is a great deal of difference between holding an Xbox controller and holding a Playstation controller. And it’s not just button layout or stick placement or how the trigger buttons feel. The controller is the player’s conduit to a world outside, a door to dimensions elsewhere. The controller is important. The system is important. So regardless of whether or not InFamous: Second Son outsells Titanfall into the ground, or vice versa, players will stick to their favorite, because gamers are stubborn in the best and the worst of ways.
Opinion by Michael Foster