The New Game Consoles – First Impressions by a Non Gamer

Yesterday I was browsing my usual sources when I noticed that several game consoles have been made available for pre-order. And although I am not a “gamer”, I thought I’d look into these consoles as entertainment devices and give you my first impressions.

Reading through the technical specifications one can gather that both the
PlayStation 4
and Xbox One will be able to play and stream music and film.

Both have Blu-ray players so they can play DVDs and Blu-ray discs and both have access to music and film services online via an Ethernet port or 802.11 b/g/n wireless network connectivity.

Cloud services are a big selling point with both consoles and both of these devices are powered by 8-core x86 processors with 8GB of RAM so they should be able to handle everything. But I haven’t been able to confirm an ability to use Skype on the PlayStation 4.

I don’t know if they are expecting to implement it in response to the requests by PS3 users. But they did install it on the Vita so a Skype app may make it’s way onto the PlayStation 4 like it has on Xbox One.

I haven’t explored the full functionality of Skype on my home entertainment system. But I would want to have access to it so I’m going to look into this a little more.

In regards to Youtube and Facebook, both devices appear to have apps to handle those social networks so I would probably use either to browse both sites. And both devices will probably have CinemaNow and Netflix apps, in case I want to use those online film rental services.

The ability to stream music and video from home computers and network drives is also made available on both devices.

A DLNA compatible network drive should be accessible on the PlayStation 4 whilst media on Windows PCs should be accessible on the Xbox One. But I’ve also heard that the PlayStation 4 allows the use of used games, allowing me to dabble in gaming as well.

The PlayStation 4’s lower sticker price at $399 makes it more attractive than the $499 Xbox One but the latter has HDMI Pass-Thru, allowing people to connect watch TV on their console.

I currently have a Blu-ray player and Smart TV with most of the apps and capabilities that I want but either game consoles would probably fulfill my needs if I were to decide to upgrade. And I have no particular preference for either when it comes to games because most of the games I play are on my Windows based PC.

Had the Xbox One been $100 cheaper I would probably have gone with that console because of the HDMI Pass-Thru and networking with my current computer. But overall I’d say they’re neck and neck, though I’m sure gamers have another opinion. 🙂

Google Play Expands

Google Play members in Canada now have access to film downloads and will soon be able to download 320 kbps MP3s from the service, which now includes material from Warner Music Group’s extensive catalog.

The service will also include a cloud like system that will scan and match a person’s current music collection. This service will be accessible through android devices and will be free.

Physical CD Purchases On Cloud ? cloud service subscribers may soon gain access to the recordings found on the physical CDs they purchase from the online retailer, automatically.

Billboard claims that this feature will be enabled for Americans sometime in the fall. But there is no news on a Canadian service yet.

Cloud Service Updates has updated their Cloud service with a new system that scans and matches a person’s iTunesicon and Windows Media Player music library.

This enables users of their Cloud service to listen to music they have in their library though the service for $25 per year, without the inconvenience of uploading. But this service in unfortunately not yet available to Canadians.

iTunesicon, on the other hand, has expanded their American Match service to include films. And like they will likely need to negotiate with the film companies to obtain the rights to offer the service to Canadians. Files For Bankruptsy has filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District Of California.

The San Diego based company was founded by Michael Robertson in 2005 and offered cloud and music streaming services to its American members.

Mr. Robertson, who also co-founded in 1997, blames litigation for the failure of the company in a May 1st, 2012 statement.

EMI has stated they would continue their lawsuit against the company, according to C-Net News.

Movies In The Cloud ?

iTunesicon have recently added movies to their cloud services in the States.

This enables their clients to view films and television programs on multiple devices though it appears that they may be short on Universal and Fox releases.

Hopefully this will be rectified by the time the service is enabled in Canada, though it should be noted that no official date in regards to its introduction has yet been published.