The next level of gaming arrives this month, with the release of two new consoles.
Microsoft’s answer to the PlayStation 4 has been hailed by the company as an ‘all-in-one entertainment system for a new generation’. Owners of the company’s previous console, the Xbox 360, will be familiar with its Kinnect motion sensor gaming system and the latest hardware takes the concept to a whole new level. The Xbox One can be controlled using hand gestures and voice recognition (just shout ‘open Internet Explorer’ at your TV and you can surf the net in seconds, for example). The console comes with an upgraded version of Microsoft’s motion-sensing Kinnect camera (which according to Microsoft can measure your weight and monitor your heartbeat). Users can record games on the Xbox One using a built-in DVR. It’s expected to be released this November.
Essential games: Call of Duty: Ghosts, Forza Motorsport 5, Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.
Scheduled for release in the US on November 15 and the UK on November 29 (it’s expected to be released in the UAE on December 13), the new device from Sony has similar technical specs to its Microsoft rival, but is expected to cost considerably less (around Dhs450-500) cheaper. One key benefit for gamers is the ability to sell games purchased online. Like the PS3, it comes with a built-in Blu-Ray player and the makers have embraced social networking with the console’s new DualShock controller. It now incorporates a built-in ‘share’ button which lets gamers to post gameplay footage and screenshots online. Friends can even take control of a player’s game through the controller. Sony is also releasing a 3D camera, to rival Microsoft’s Kinnect motion sensor system.
Essential games: Fifa 14, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
This virtual reality headset is being tipped to completely revolutionise the gaming market. Currently only a few models have been made available to developers, but a version for the general public is set to hit stores in 2014 (although there’s no sign of a release date yet). Users strap on a black, rectangular headset and view games through two lenses (almost like looking through a set of binoculars). There are also plans to release a standalone headset with smartphone operating system Android built in. Currently, you have to plug an Oculus Rift into a PC.