The Xbox Boys
Three years ago, my roommates and I chose to split an Xbox One. We had all switched from PS2 to the Xbox 360 the generation before. My roomies wanted to keep their gamerscores. For myself, my favorite series at the time was Assassin’s Creed, and Kingdom Hearts 3 and FFXV were coming to both consoles, so I didn’t feel too strongly about whether we got a PS4 or Xbox One.
For two and a half years this was a happy arrangement. Sure the PS4 got some amazing exclusives like Bloodborne, but I was perfectly content with my Xbox. Then I had a few long business trips coming up, and I wanted to be able to game on the go. My laptop couldn’t play anything, so I decided to take the dive and get a refurbished Vita.
Living La Vita Loca
I first played Final Fantasy IX and X on it. I had never played those two as a kid and wanted to for a while. They were great, but those games didn’t make me want to get back in bed with PlayStation. For PlayStation to win back my attention, it would take two Vita exclusives.
I next played Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. Danganronpa was my first visual novel. I had heard about it from podcasts. It was incredible. Danganronpa was so different and strange; it was unlike anything I had ever played on my Xbox. It was also something that I could never see Microsoft bringing over.
After one text-heavy Japanese adventure, I went to another. My next game was Persona 4: Golden. If you haven’t played P4G, you need to play it now! P4G is the best expression of a JRPG I have every played. Modern JRPG’s had lost me before P4G. I found them outdated and boring recently. Persona changed my opinion of the genre. P4G was flashy, exciting, and oozing with personality.
I sadly glanced at my Xbox and realized I would never have a Persona experience on it. I would probably never get an experience I couldn’t find on a powerful PC on it. It just felt like less of a distinctive game playing machine than it had used to.
I soon found out that Persona 5 and Danganronpa 3 were coming to the PS4. I agonized for weeks over whether I should pick up a PS4. I could afford it, but I had a gaming console. I thought exclusives were dead this generation, but the Vita showed me that Sony was interested in bringing unique games to its North American consumers. I came to the decision that I would buy a PS4. There were just too many unique experiences on Sony’s console that I didn’t want to miss. Sony you just won yourself another customer. You should thank the Vita for that.
Postscript - Xbummed
I feel it would be disingenuous if I didn’t’ address Microsoft’s mistakes for helping me decide to purchase a PS4. I love the Fable games. Microsoft has largely abandoned that franchise which makes me sad. Fable had a unique voice in the RPG market. Additionally, doubling down on old franchises like Gears and Halo strikes me as boring and safe. I don’t see much innovation coming from Xbox recently. I hope that changes.