The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One boast powerful new specs and a lot of pretty games, but some features seem to have fallen in the wake.
Today, Microsoft announced that USB sticks can't play music on the Xbox One. For a console that keeps marketing itself as the "all-in-one" machine, this doesn't seem to emphasize that marketing plan. What doesn't make sense is that Microsoft wants consumers to replace their Xbox 360 with an Xbox One, yet taking away basic features such as this almost seems like its a lesser product. Coupled with the fact that the console won't be able to stream Twitch until 2014, and you have two big reasons to stay away at launch.
But Microsoft isn't the only one at fault. Sony's newest console doesn't play Audio CD's. The PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 console both had this feature, heck my old stereo from the 90's had this feature. While the company is focused on making a console specifically for 'gamers', this is about as simple as standard additions can get.
Another surprise is that the PS4 won't play 3D Blu-rays, which is in direct contradiction with their past pushing of the 3D PlayStation Monitor, and many of their games being made in 3D (ICO Collection and Uncharted 3).
Ten years ago, the lack of these apps might have made sense. But with all this amazing technology that can enhance your entertainment experience, it makes no sense to exclude them from top-of-the-line gaming hardware.
The irony is that Sony and Microsoft ended up copying each other's strategy from their previous consoles. The end result are two pieces of hardware, still finding their identity.
Sony has still done well with the release of the PS4 though, selling over one-million units at launch. It remains to be seen whether Xbox One will meet this feat.