The Playstation 4 and Xbox ONE have long been awaited by the adoring public. Both systems will have mutual releases and boast unique, platform-specific ones, but the games that interest us, the sports community, are Madden 25, NBA 2K14, NHL '14 and FIFA 2014. The games will need to truly impress to leave the past in the past for good; question is, will they? Graphics improve dramatically between generations. Madden '99 (N64) didn't look like much of a graphics deity with its blotchy, messy players. When Favre threw the ball to Antonio Freeman -- regardless of gain, touchdown -- the graphics would depress you. Peyton Manning looked eons better chucking it up to Harrison once NFL Fever 2002 rolled around on Microsoft's first-born (Xbox), but the bar could be set higher -- and eventually was. In rolled the king of kings on PS2: NFL 2K5 and Terrell Owens in a Philly jersey. The presentation, the gameplay, the extra features, the story mode, the commentators, the season mode ... all had perfect scores from a plethora of loyal proponents. Oh yeah, a small side note: it was only $19.99 upon release! Granted the price could've been the reason the NFL's avarice kicked 2K to the curb eight horrifying years ago, but many still own a copy and valiantly, yearly continue to update the 2004-2005 rosters to resemble the current season's crew on all 32 ball clubs. It set the standard so high that PS3/Xbox 360 still hasn't released the monopolized Madden game even capable of holding 2K5's jock strap according to many loyalists. The anti-separatist fans have flocked to social media to rebel. Many have created mock NFL 2K comeback sites, but only time will tell if it's enough to garner enough interest in the NFL licensing with multiple partners, not just EA Sports. Frankly, the polarizing effect this madness has brought forth will be sent to the next level of platforms. Graphics are a simple jump from platform past and platform future, but to not purchase a subsequent generation is foolhardy perhaps? Leaps and bounds have been made to ensure that gamers experience a new level of gameplay in upcoming aforementioned titles. Why can't EA and 2K just get along so all sports fans are on the same playing field? Oh, right, the two loathe one another for more than one reason (NBA 2K outperforming Live to the point of a multi-year sabbatical and NCAA announcing a termination of contract with EA -- which might be the case with the NFL soon too now that the extension stemming from lockout fear is nearly complete). Well, if humanity truly wanted peace, the Manhattan Project would have been nixed, John Lennon would not have been assassinated and Democrats and Republicans would once again form the Jeffersonian Republicans ... it's not reality! Reality is that our platforms will continue to squabble, our favorite sports teams will continue to fight in the trenches and the line between good and evil in the 2K Sports/EA war will continue to grow blurrier, messier.
August 19, 2013