Report Card for the Current Consoles and PC, As Graded By You

Last week, we asked you to grade each of the three current consoles and the current PC marketplace in 13 categories. It turns out that our readers are pretty generous and aren’t terribly cynical, which honestly makes me happy. I like to see people enjoying games rather than bashing them (says the guy who designed a report card for them and opened the door for them to get bad grades).

Here is the final report card.
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1 – Hardware: Not just raw power, but features, reliability, user friendliness, and so on.

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – B
Wii U – B
PC – A

I can’t say it surprised me that PS4 and PC both earned high marks here. But it was definitely refreshing to see that people don’t criticize the Wii U too harshly just for being under-powered, instead respecting what it does and the system’s unique features.
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2 – OVERALL game lineup

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – B
Wii U – C
PC – A

Not accounting for first-party titles (we’ll get to that shortly), a C is a pretty fair grade for the Wii U’s software library as a whole. The other three aren’t especially indistinguishable beyond a relatively small pool of exclusives, so it makes sense for them all to rate about the same.
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3 – Exclusives / First-party lineup

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – B
Wii U – A
PC – C

This one might’ve been a little unfairly skewed against PC, as exclusives aren’t as big of a deal on PC as they are in a console race. But if I may interject a little personal opinion, I have always said that consoles have more exclusive games that aren’t on PC than vice versa, so maybe our readers had this in mind when they voted.
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4 – Upcoming officially announced games (in terms of potential)

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – B
Wii U – A
PC – A

I guess everyone is feeling pretty good about what each of the four platforms has on the horizon.
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5 – Genre diversity: Has a game library that represents a wide variety of genres and game types

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – A
Wii U – C
PC – A

So it seems that the Wii U is the only platform that doesn’t have a nice variety of different genres and gameplay experiences, and that is certainly fair to say. The bulk of the noteworthy Wii U games have been platformers or multiplayer/party games. Star Fox and Zelda will diversify things a bit, but will it be enough?
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6 – “Legacy” support: backwards compatibility, availability of classic games on digital storefronts, etc

PlayStation 4 – D
Xbox One – B
Wii U – A
PC – A

As gamers get older, it has become more important to them that newer systems allow access to older games in some way. PS4 is currently the only current platform with zero backwards compatibility (current or planned), and that is obviously a big deal to you given the near-failing grade you gave it in this category. The fact that Sony has been slow to bring much of the retro content available to PS3 owners on PSN – including the entire line of PS1 classics – to PS4 as well certainly doesn’t help their case.
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7 – Online: Services, features, functionality, etc

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – B
Wii U – C
PC – A

While Nintendo has finally began to catch up to its competitors – and the world in general – in terms of its online features and functionality, the company still has a long way to go to be a real competitor in that category. Beyond that, our readers don’t exhibit a clear preference between Xbox Live and PlayStation Network and give both of them high marks.
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8 – Digital Storefront(s) (For PC, you can consider any and all LEGITIMATE digital storefronts that are available)

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – C
Wii U – A
PC – A

You guys and gals are clearly not fans of Xbox’s digital storefront. The need to make everything Kinect-compatible has long been an issue in how you navigate Xbox Live and its menus (with or without it), and that is likely part of the reason for the low marks.
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9 – Default controller/control method: Flexibility, ease of use, feature set, etc.

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – A
Wii U – C
PC – A

These results say one thing and one thing only: the Wii U’s tablet hasn’t completely won over our readership.
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10 – Brand Power/Personality: Does it demonstrate its “brand” in a unique way and set itself apart as a unique platform, or is it just a generic game-playing device?

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – C
Wii U – A
PC – A

These are probably the results I disagree with the most. I would argue that neither Xbox One nor PlayStation 4 do much to distinguish themselves as a unique brand rather than just a box that plays games. But I’m apparently mistaken on that as far as PS4 is concerned.
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11 – Non-gaming features: Video and music streaming services, social media integration, YouTube and Twitch integration, web browsing, etc.

PlayStation 4 – B
Xbox One – B
Wii U – C
PC – A

I almost never use video game systems for anything but video games, so I can’t really make a personal comment on this category. I wonder, however, if the lack of any of the consoles getting an A is an indicator of people wishing they did more in terms of non-gaming features, or if the ones they already have are unnecessary or distracting.
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12 – Overall $$$ value: Based on current hardware pricing, currently available bundles, cost and availability of services like Games with Gold and PlayStation+, typical cost of new and budget-line software, digital storefront pricing, and so on.

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – C
Wii U – C
PC – A

Seeing the Wii U score low in this category was a surprise given its cheap price. It apparently isn’t cheap enough  for our readers. It’s also interesting the difference between the grades for PS4 and XB1 given how close they are in price now. A lot of it could also be each platforms’ online loyalty program, with PS+ being much more generous overall than Games with Gold.
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13 – Your personal grade: Just whatever grade you personally would give it based on your own experience and preference. Doesn’t have to be an average of the other grades or even COUNT the other grades in any way.

PlayStation 4 – A
Xbox One – C
Wii U – B
PC – A

There clearly just isn’t an outpouring of love for the XB1. Given the chance to bring up each platform’s average, you all decided to do so with the Wii U but actually scored XB1 lower than most other categories.
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