So… you’ve got your brand new PS4 or Xbox One, and you know that you can play games with it, but what ELSE can you do? We’ve grown so used to smart devices that we just don’t want a device that only does one thing anymore. PS3 and Xbox 360 have both gotten us spoiled to using our devices for everything. Personally, I use my PS3 to watch Blu-ray movies and Netflix instant as well as playing games. I also use the Playstation network to download free game downloads and game media. So what can you do on these consoles besides game?
The biggest change for Playstation users will be the end of free online gaming. We have grown used to this with our PS3′s, and I’ll say that I will miss it terribly. Starting with the PS4, you will only be able to game online if you are a Playstation Plus member. The good news is that it’s relatively inexpensive, at about $14 for three months or $50 per year. Along with online gaming, Playstation Plus gives you a TON of freebies and discounts, including free wallpapers and games (including over recent months, Borderlands 2, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite and Resident Evil’s Umbrella Chronicles HD) and discounts on most of their other items. PS Plus also gives you access to game videos, avatars and themes, both discounted and free.
Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Redbox Instant and Vudu, all PPU or on-demand video services. I don’t think that any of them require too much explanation. They’re all pretty well-known at this point.
In addition to this, they each have a dedicated video service (Xbox Video on Xbox One and Video Unlimited on PS4) and a music service (Xbox Music and Music Unlimited).
Xbox definitely wins the exclusives contest with 14.
Their exclusive video channels include CW Now, Fox Now and FX Now, which all include shows from those channels, sports channels ESPN and Univision Deportes, video on demand channels Target Ticket and Verizon FIOS, the inspirational lecture channel Ted and Youtube.
They are also offering an exclusive version of Internet Explorer for the Xbox 1, and with a new update allowing the use of a USB keyboard, this feature could get a lot of use.
For gamers, they are offering a channel dedicated to video game videos called Twitch, as well as Machinima Wingman, which will feature game videos, previews and walk throughs as well as original series and animation.
For music fans, they have Muzu TV, which features over 40,000 music videos.
Last but not least… Skype. I know that PS3 has a Skype app, so I’m sure that there’s one coming for the PS4, although they didn’t have it at launch.
Playstation only has four exclusive apps on launch, including the streaming video channels Epix (blockbuster movies) and Crunchy Roll (anime) and the sports channels NBA Game Center and NHL Game Center Live.
Hope that this helps you choose if you’re still undecided!
~ Randal Schaffer