Diwali 2014 buying guide: Gaming consoles with games to get this Diwali
Price: Rs 39,999 without the PS4 Eye or Move
Graphics and hardware: Using 1152 shaders, the PS4’s AMD Radeon Graphics Core, coupled with it’s GDDR5 RAM, beats the Xbox hands down. Now if you already have a PS3, then this is what you need to know: every part of the PS4 is built to make it 16 times faster than its predecessor. If you are a stickler for detailed graphics, this console is built for you. The controller is also a major upgrade — no longer is it the flimsy delicate device it used to be. The PS4 controller is stronger, has a new ergonomic design and a way better response time. It also has a touchpad to scroll through and is rechargeable through USB (like the old one) — the Xbox One still uses rechargeable battery packs.
Online: PSN Plus is no more free, like it was with PS3. However, it’s probably at par with Microsoft’s Live this time around. PSN downloads are slower than Xbox Live’s.
What sets it apart: Better graphics at the price of Xbox One.
Popular Exclusive Games: Last of Us, Uncharted series, Gran Turismo
Price: Rs 39,990 without the Kinect (which can be bought separately for Rs 9,990 or as a bundle from select sellers)
Graphics and hardware: The Xbox One comes with a custom Microsoft CPU and AMD graphics solution having 768 shaders. The Xbox cannot run a lot of games on full HD. This is because the Xbox graphics accelerators are shared for a lot of features apart from gaming, which doesn’t make it a dedicated machine for games. Some special games (like the Forza racing series) will run at 60fps 1080p, but Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs or Activision’s Call of Duty: Ghosts will not. Although, it is more game specific, but the Xbox One loses out on graphics in comparison to the PS4. As for RAM, the Xbox One has 8GB DDR3, compared to PlayStation 4’s faster 8GB GDDR5.
Online: Microsoft Live is easily one of the best online platforms to game on, especially if you’re an online gaming buff. However, the number of games on Xbox Gold are comparatively lesser than on PlayStation Network — but the titles are more popular.
What sets it apart: Apart from the beautiful controller — the Xbox One can be called a complete entertainment system rather than just a gaming machine. For instance, it comes bundled with a lot of entertainment apps, Skype with friends and use your mobile phone as an additional gaming screen using SmartGlass. There’s also the TV input — which means you can set up your television through the Xbox and control it via the console. The other unique thing is that it supports external storage devices.
Popular Exclusive Games: Halo series, Quantum Break, Forza series.
Five must-have games this Diwali
FIFA 15: EA Sports played the ‘feeling’ bit too much — with players’ on-pitch emotions making the headlines. Instead, it should have been the brilliant gameplay that the makers should have harped on. The annoying first touch of Fifa 14 has become much better, first-time passing is a dream and scoring goals isn’t easy — so forget screamers from 30 yards out every other match. With new in-game ball dynamics and better defending and goalkeeping AI, Fifa 15 makes it harder — and sweeter — to win. The customisable tactics allows you to give individual players specific roles. For example, you can ask Cristiano Ronaldo to either cut in, hug the touchline or roam the channels — with such detail, Fifa 15 is the best football game ever.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor: When you first see Shadow, it looks like an Assassin’s Creed rip-off. The stealth kills, the hiding spots, the eagle vision and the scaling of tall buildings is all too similar. But this is a game based in the Lord of the Rings world — and you’re a ranger with brilliant abilities whose behaviour in the game also decides how his enemies react to situations. It’s innovative, smooth, vast and there’s more than enough creatures to get your dagger through in kickass moves. And oh, there’s Sauron at the end of it all.
Watch Dogs: There’s no doubt that ways to go through a game by killing the bad guys can get repetitive. There’s machine-gunning, sniping, dagger-stabbing, rocket-launching… the works. Based in Chicago, Watch Dogs makes things interesting with the unique storyline of a hacker out for revenge for the accidental killing of his niece. And this is no cheap hacker. This guy hacks the central operating system of Chicago, meaning if the police are chasing you through a train station, you can put the lights out and leave them lost in the chaos – and if they chase you in a car, then just block them off by causing collisions via traffic lights you control. As for guns and money? Your hacking system allows you to steal funds, know what people do, save a crime from happening and get you lots of bullets and guns.
Infamous: Second Son: This one’s set in Seattle, this one’s mad, this one’s another must-have. In Second Son, you can be good or evil – it’s up to you really, what to do with your insane powers, which include using smoke, neon and concrete to create havoc in the city. The protagonist has a karma meter which defines whether he’s a good or a bad guy – but the neon dashes through the roads and on top of buildings and the innovative ways you can use things scattered across the city to your advantage – is what really makes this game so much fun.
The Last of Us Remastered: This PlayStation exclusive is, in gaming language, an ‘essential’. While the plot is pretty simple in the sense that you have to survive in a post-apocalyptic world – the characterization, script, game play, detailing, storyline and stunning graphics made it the second biggest game of the past year after GTA V.