Neowin's senior news editor for Europe, Andy Weir, is finally ready to buy a new-generation games console. But which one should he buy?
To my great surprise, I didn't rush out and buy an Xbox One on the first day of its release in the UK last year. Even after the price cuts that followed its launch, I still didn't buy one, although I got as far as going through the entire checkout process, with my finger hovering over the final 'confirm your purchase' button for a couple of minutes before ultimately backing out.
Ever since the very first Xbox was released in Europe in 2002, I've been an Xbox gamer, and my 360 has been an excellent companion (despite having to be replaced thanks to a Red Ring of Death failure). But moving from the 360 to the Xbox One wasn't quite the no-brainer that I expected it to be.
I've looked on with some interest at Sony's new PlayStation 4. Like its predecessors, it's a sleek and stylish machine and, like the Xbox One, it offers a compelling mix of games and entertainment services. For the first time in a long, long time, I'm seriously considering buying a PlayStation, simply because there's nothing especially compelling that's tying me down to Xbox. Even if I stick with Xbox, I'll still have to buy new games for the One, since there's no backwards compatibility with the previous generation.
I'm not an obsessive gamer with hundreds of titles, so that's no big deal for me. I play games like GTA V and Halo, but it's an occasional diversion for me. The kinds of games - though not necessarily every specific title - that I enjoy are available on both Xbox and PlayStation. More often than not, my Xbox 360 is relegated to serving up movies and TV shows, and this side of things - Netflix, and the like - is adequately catered for on both new consoles.
Having spoken to dozens of people in a similar situation to mine over the last few months, it's becoming clear that there are many folks out there facing the same dilemma and, like me, most of them have narrowed it down to just the two options - PS4 or Xbox One - having dismissed Nintendo's Wii U as an overpriced curiosity with only limited appeal.
But there are compelling arguments for both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Not merely for my benefit, but to help many others who are in a similar situation - ready to swipe the credit card, but not quite ready to make a final decision on which one to buy - it seems like it would be helpful to open this up to our fantastic community here on Neowin, to hear both sides of the discussion.
Have you, for example, faced the same dilemma? Are you happy with the decision you ultimately made, or do you regret not going with the alternative? What was it that swayed your decision one way or the other? And if you haven't yet bought either console, why not? Is there some killer feature that you're waiting for?
Whatever your position, it would be great to hear your opinion on this. I can't promise that I'll go with your recommendation - like everyone else out there, when I spend my money, I want to be happy with my purchase! - but I'll certainly consider every aspect of the discussion. And hopefully, it will help a few other people out there to finally make their minds up too.
Whichever one I eventually settle on, I'll let you know how I get on - and I'll certainly let you know if my ultimate choice was the right one for me, or not...!