Last week I analyzed the top strength of the Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch in 2017. The Xbox One features high-quality games, the PS4 boasts numerous exclusive totles, and the Switch is versatile gaming machine. Each console has weaknesses that could stop their success in 2017. The Xbox One has a limited number of exclusive titles, the Playstation 4 suffers from the mishaps of PSN, and the Nintendo Switch has a weak launch lineup of games.
Xbox One: Limited Number of Exclusives
The limited number of exclusive games being released by Microsoft is going to be the biggest weakness for the Xbox One in 2017. Xbox One will still feature great games such as: Mass Effect: Andromeda, Red Dead Redemption 2, Destiny 2, Battlefront 2, but it lacks a must-buy exclusive, like Horizon Zero Dawn. The few Xbox One exclusives being released in 2017 may not be able to live up to the hype behind them.
Sea of Thieves is a unique IP with amazing co-op gameplay, but there is a worry that gamers who enjoy playing solo, or do not have friends who have the game, will not be able to full enjoy Sea of Thieves. Crackdown 3 is a third installment that the majority of Xbox gamers were not asking for; it has heavily advertised the feature of “destructible environments,” which may not be enough to garner good reviews. Halo Wars 2 has potential to be a great e-sports title, but the lack of HDR support and implementation of microtransactions (creation of “pay-to-win” route) are worrisome.
The Playstation Network is an unreliable service, that continuously lets down PS4 gamers. The monthly free games for PS Plus members have been vastly underwhelming and there are no signs of that changing. My PS Plus membership has yet to amaze me since launch, except for the recent flash sales. Flash sales are an easy way for Sony to market the benefits of PS Plus (you get an additional percentage off), but they rarely conduct good flash sales.
The monthly free games are mostly indie titles for the PS4, and AAA titles have ceased to be released. Receiving PS4 multiplayer games for any holiday is the ultimate tease, because when you want to play online the most, PSN will let you down (or just get hacked). Amazing flash sales, monthly free games, and superb online service are what PS4 gamers expect. Instead, great flash sales are rare, the monthly free games are subpar, and the online service is constantly hacked or simply not working.
Switch: Lackluster Launch Lineup
The Nintendo Switch is an impressive gaming machine, and its hybrid functionality will attract many gamers. Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch will release with an unexciting launch line-up, and with a small number of games being released later in the year. The launch lineup will include 1-2-Switch, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth, Just Dance 2017, Human Resource Machine, I Am Setsuna, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Little Inferno, Skylanders: Imaginators, Super Bomberman R, World of Goo.
The Legend of Zelda is by far the best game that will be available for the Switch at launch, but it is difficult to find another game that matches the quality of Zelda. Nintendo Switch will feature some great releases later in 2017 such as Super Mario Odyssey, Skyrim, and Mario Kart. However, it would be no surprise if many of Nintendo’s post-launch games are delayed until 2018.