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Playstation 4 A Parent’s Buyers Guide

By Michelle

November 17, 2013

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PS4: A Parent’s Buyers Guide

Whenever you look at a new game release, it seems like kids and teens are the ones who are more often the most excited about it, but seeing as how I don’t know anyone under the age of 18 with a full-time job it falls to us, the parents, to foot the bill. As parents, and intelligent consumers, we want to know what our kids are getting into with all the media about video games out there, especially with all the web connectivity, social networking, and game content that each console seems to boast with each new release. Let’s go over a few things you should know if you decide that a Playstation 4 is the right console for you and your family.

PS4Unless you’re a gamer yourself, what a console is capable of might not be a big deal to you, but it’s likely what your kids are excited about. The Playstation 4 is set to be one of the most powerful consoles on the market, touting fantastic processing power and incredibly high definition graphical capabilities. This means that games for the PS4 will feature beautifully rendered, realistic environments, practically spawning living and breathing cities, landscapes, and other locations within games. This provides one of the best and most comprehensive gaming experiences imaginable, something that gamers are definitely looking forward to from their PS4s.

Another aspect that you should look at is the social features the Playstation 4 has available. The Playstation Network is an online service that allows players to connect, play games with, and share game info with each other over. The Playstation 4 allows players to share their gaming highlights and even stream their games (playing their games for a live audience of their friends online)! This is a tremendous step up from classic game sharing that required all kinds of hardware and software to share their personal gaming footage, making it inaccessible to many but with just the touch of a button, kids can boast about their gaming achievements over PSN in a snap.

Yet another unique function is the Playstation App, something that I’m sure parents will be excited over. Presented as yet another way to browse the Playstation Network for game info, make and review purchases, and view gamers’ streams, it can also be away to monitor your child’s gaming activity through your compatible phone or tablet device. You can watch additional content purchases, check their game history, and even watch what they’re playing live if they happen to be streaming. As a bonus, you could even secretly treat them to a game from your phone if they’ve been doing well in school or with their chores.

Probably the most important factor when it comes to buying a home gaming console is the games that your child will be playing and the Playstation 4 has a wide variety of games available for a wide range of gamers’ ages. While many games focus on a teen or adult audience, there are still plenty of options for you to share with your younger gamers as well. With so many violent games out there, unique games like Hohokum place a high value on exploration and taking in the scenery are a rare treat. There are also lots of great multiplayer options, giving you a chance to enjoy games with your children and see for yourself what they’re playing. The Playstation 4 isn’t just for games either, as a practical staple of modern consoles, the PS4 is capable of utilizing apps and services like Netflix and even watch TV and movies right on the console.

PS4 SonyAt the end of the day, most of us are probably asking ourselves “So what is this going to cost me?” and that’s understandable, especially with how big of an investment high end electronics are and, comparatively, a Playstation 4 is actually quite moderately priced. With the base unit set at $399, the bar is dropped $200 from its predecessor’s release, and roughly $100 less than some of its competitors.

With the vast array of features and functions available, the Playstation 4 is a great choice for a gaming console upgrade or even a first home gaming system purchase. It’s something your kids are sure to love and something you might even come to find yourself enjoying as well.

If you would like to learn more about the PS4 then Read My Review on the PlayStation 4 HERE or you might also like to Read My Review where I compare PS4 with XBox One, you can read about that Click Here.

Xbox One: Making The Upgrade

By Michelle

November 16, 2013

Xbox One: Making The Upgrade

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When it comes down to loyalty, there are no fans out there more loyal than Xbox fans. From the original Xbox to the 360, there are no console fans out there more loyal to their brand, making it both a tough and easy decision at the same time when it comes to picking up an Xbox One. On one hand you’re giving up your precious 360 console, but on the other you’re trading it in for something so much better to enjoy the next generation of gaming. If you’re still on the fence for whether to make the upgrade from a 360 to a new Xbox One, let me help you make that decision.

 

In terms of raw power, the Xbox One has the Xbox 360 beaten hands down. Xbox 360 games look and play great but it’s no secret that the newest games are currently pushing the boundaries of even what the 360 is capable of. The Xbox One, however, features significantly upgraded hardware over its predecessor. Its life hasn’t even begun and it’s already impressing critics and gamers alike with early sneak peeks and previews. The One has significantly more processing power than the 360 and has beautiful 4k (2160p!) resolution so when you see your games, it’s almost like you’re looking through a window at the real thing. If you’re just looking at hardware, the choice between the 360 and the One is no contest.

 

For the 360 the Kinect was an expensive bonus accessory that worked with a few exclusives and a handful of regular releases with the bonus of some neat but ultimately unnecessary features. The Xbox One’s Kinect, however, is an integral part of the system, included in the package from the start, and can be easily used to interact with your console, games, and media in all new ways. The new Kinect’s lens is a 1080p wide angle lens, allowing you to use it in a smaller space than the original and has improved features like controller tracking, the ability to read your heart rate, and even identify 6 individual skeletons for simultaneous multiplay. The lens isn’t all that’s better, the voice sensor has also been upgraded for increased recognition and has been integrated into every facet of the Xbox One system. From turning your console on with a voice command to ordering your troops in-game to having a conversation with a friend while you play, the new Kinect is bursting at the seams with new ways to improve your experience.

 

The Xbox One also introduces a new feature called Smart Glass. If you own a compatible tablet or smart phone, Smart Glass technology allows you to use said device as a second screen for your Xbox One console. This can take the form of real-time strategy and gameplay perks for your games, additional info and suggestions about your favorite shows and movies, or simply a way to remotely control, browse, and interact with your new Xbox. The new Smart Glass is definitely going to be a favorite among gamers who are looking for all new ways to interact with their games and other media. Speaking of media, the media integration capabilities of the Xbox One far outshine that of the 360. The One takes it a step further, allowing you to do everything your 360 can by allowing you to purchase and stream movies, music, and TV shows while also allowing you to integrate live TV into the mix with a set-top box, letting you control your TV with Kinect voice commands or even the use of the Smart Glass. Your Xbox One is sure to become the media hub for your family and living room, something for everyone to enjoy! The vast amount of features the Xbox One has over the 360 makes it an instant replacement in my books.

 

Enough about the fluff, we all know that when it comes to consoles it’s the games that are important and what a lineup the Xbox One has in store. While the 360 is nearing the end of its production life, which for gamers means we’re going to slowly see less and less releases and exclusives for it. Top exclusives like Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome are already making Xbox One news watchers drool. If you want to be at the forefront of the new wave of gaming, don’t get left behind with your old 360, take advantage of the One’s all new lineup of great games.

 

Now here comes the part that most people flinch at, but let me finish before you turn away. When it comes to price, there’s no skirting the fact that the Xbox One is set to be the most expensive of the next-gen consoles to purchase. With a base price tag of $499 it might seem like a safer bet to stick with your 360 and wait for an inevitable price drop, but think about it for a moment. The Xbox One has so much to offer right out of the box, the price tag is easily justified. For $499, you get the Xbox One console that will double as a media center and offer tons of great content for you and your family the second you take it out of the box and set it up. This also includes the new Kinect sensor where the old version was a $150 accessory on day one and also gives you access to Smart Glass for advanced controls and features of your console and this is just looking at what comes out of the box. Compared with the average ~$299 price of a lot of new 360 models, you’re practically saving money when you balance price to value with the Xbox One.

 

At the end of the day it’s up to you as a gamer and a consumer if you want to make the switch from the 360 to the Xbox One, but if I leave you with one thing to consider, let it be this. The Xbox One is ushering in a new era of gaming on the cutting edge of technology, offering fantastic games and all new experiences that gamers all around the world will be enjoying for the first time. Do you really want to miss out on such an amazing experience? I didn’t think so.

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