Math. How I Chose My Next Gen Console


When the next gen consoles launched in November of 2013, I was underwhelmed.  They were nothing truly ground breaking and there weren’t any games I had to play.  So I pocketed my hard-earned $500+ and played Borderlands 2 for the fourth time (yes, really).

First, a little backstory: I’ve owned the Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, Xbox, Xbox 360 and for a very short time, the PlayStation 3.  You’d think I’d be on either the Microsoft or Nintendo bandwagon.  You’d be wrong.

That vast majority of Nintendo games don’t appeal to me anymore.  I’m not into Pokemon or any JRPGs and Nintendo consoles have been notorious for having poor graphics lately.  On the Microsoft front I got an Xbox 360 in 2006- a full year after it launched.  In the span of 4 years, I went through 4 differently purchased consoles and had to send them all in (or get rid of them because Microsoft wouldn’t repair them because they were out of warranty) a total of- get ready for this- 10 times.  Thanks, Microsoft.

As 2014 drew to a close, I thought obsessively about which I’d go with.  I kept going back and forth between the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One.  Finally, I turned to math for a black and white which one should I pick? answer.  This method can be done by anyone who’s undecided about different options.  The only requirement is that you have a bit of knowledge about each.

Step 1:  Determine Your Options
In my case: Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

Step 2:  Make a List of Main Factors in Your Decision
Here are mine: hardware, games, what my friends have, online play/community, cost and controller.

Step 3:  Give Each Factor a Value
Give each factor a value of 0.0 to 1.0 so that all values add up to 1.0.  The higher the value, the more important that particular factor is to you.  You’re basically saying [this factor] is X percentage of my decision (X is the value you give each factor and it would be multiplied by 100 to give you that actual percentage) or this factor means “this” much to me in my decision making.

For example hardware may be .2, friends .2, controller .1, cost .3, online .1, games .1.  The sum of these is 1.0.

Does this make sense?  If the controller was 100% of your decision you wouldn’t even need to think about the others.

Step 4:  Score Each Factor Based On Its Console
Give each factor for each console a score of 0-100 for both consoles (or all options).

For example, if you love the PS4 controller, it’s your favorite in the world give it 100.  If you love the exclusive games on/coming to the PS4 but wish it had Halo, give it something like 70 or 80.  Do this for each factor and for both consoles.

Here’s what my chart looks like:

Math in Action!

Step 5:  Math!
Now you’re going to multiply the value of the factor by the score you gave to each particular console.  Do this for all factors of both consoles.

For example I valued “cost” at .1 so for the Playstation 4 the score for cost would be calculated as such: .1 x 60 = 6.  The cost score for the Xbox One would be achieved by doing this: .1 x 50 = 5

I did this calculation for each category for the PS4 and then again for the X1.

Step 6:  More Math!
Now you’re going to add up all of the individual score factors you got from step 5 for each console to give you two, raw, final scores.

Here are my calculations:

If for some reason you're drunk and reading this- I'm sorry.

The last time I used math beyond multiplication for a real life scenario was in high school when I used pythagorean theorem to determine the optimal mud-water ratio for mud wrestling in a kiddie pool. Don’t ask.


And the Winner Is…

Just until the Oculus Rift comes out.


So that’s it!  The Xbox One beat out the PlayStation 4!  This could be the dumbest decision I’ve ever made (COULD be).  Hopefully Microsoft doesn’t eat it too badly this time around!

Which console(s) did you pick up?  Let me know in the poll/comments below!

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About Dean

I play video games and eat the hell outta food

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