Although the PS4 has already launched in the US (and is coming to UK shores on the 29th) the Xbox One will be hitting shops on the 22nd November. With 22 launch titles and more exclusives than Sony's next-gen console, we take a look at the best launch titles for Microsoft's latest.
The Xbox One will cost £429 to the PS4's £349, but for that price you get the Kinect 2.0 in the pack. This might not seem like an essential purchase now but Microsoft are promising more extensive use of the sensor in the future. For the time being features like logging in automatically with facial recognition and HD Skype calls make the Kinect pretty useful.
Experts have combed over the specs for the two consoles, and although the Xbox One has less graphical heft than the PS4 this is no reason to be worried: for a start most games will be developed for the systems in tandem, making for similar visual fare; and Microsoft also has its expertise with cloud computing, meaning extra attention can be paid to graphics whilst servers take care of some of the processing tasks (as is the case with Forza 5).
But enough equivocating, here are the games we're most looking forward to for the Xbox One:
When British games developer Rare was purchased by Microsoft back in 2002 fans speculated about when the US company would bring back Killer Instinct, a critically acclaimed fighter for arcade machines and the SNES. Microsoft have described the reboot as the "world's most generous demo" for the Xbox One, with gamers able to play as a character named Jago for free, with each further character unlocked for £3.99 - or £34.99 for an 'Ultra Edition' with eight characters.
Okay, so fan boys have been crowing about the decision to run Battlefield 4 in 720p on the Xbox One whilst the PS4 gets the shinier 900p resolution, but really it's a great game for either console. The single player campaign has been criticized for being a bit short, but the multiplayer is as expansive as they come with 64 players and massive maps moving Battlefield 4 away from the twitch shooting of CoD and into more strategic realms.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
This title appeared our our list of must-haves for the PS4 but really there's no way we could leave it out for either console. Reviewers have been wowed by the latest in this series from Ubisoft, with most factors playing second fiddle to the game's glorious Caribbean setting and the feeling of having a real world for you to explore. Knights Templar and hidden wrist blades are all present and correct of course, but these elements are left in the shade by sheer joy of sailing into the sunset .
This promises to be the most lavish racing simulator out there, running at 60fps/1080p and with Microsoft's cloud service helping out with some of the processing heavy lifting Forza 5 will be one of the first titles of the next generation that actually takes advantage of our new always-connected systems.
Ryse: Son of Rome
A big-budget swords 'n' sandals epic, Ryse is perhaps the nearest the Xbox One has to the PS4's Killzone - a visual spectacular that will show off the new console's graphical capabilities, and with Crytek (the guys behind Far Cry) developing you can expect something truly eye popping from the game. Early feedback has flagged up a somewhat unimaginative combat engine, but let's hope the sheer spectacle of Ryse carries the game.
Dead Rising 3
We've gotten pretty greedy with our zombies in recent years. Whilst older flicks used to be able to generate terror using just a single member of the animate undead we now demand hordes of the shuffling horrors (see World War Z). Thankfully, the extra processing power in the Xbox One means Dead Rising 3 will be delivering exactly that: more zombies than you can shake a stick, or (looking at the trailer) more zombies than you can run over in a motorcycle-steamroller hybrid. Expect buckets of fun gore from this one.
A spiritual successor to the famous Panzer Dragoon series, this will be a dragon-based rail shooter (which is a lovely combination of words even if a little nonsensical) with some Kinect functionality but with the main wodge of controls accounted for by the gamepad. The title was unfortunately built for the 360, which means the graphics aren't the most spectacular out there, but first impressions suggest that it's a solid bit of retro fun, with an AA price ($20 in the US, UK price not yet available) that means it's definitely worth a try.
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