Here are the top releases owners of the next-gen consoles out this month in the USA (and at a dodgy MBK or Pantip shop near you) will be craving this Christmas.

NBA Live 14

Release date: Nov 19 for PS4 

Pitch: The 14th edition of the NBA’s only official basketball simulator.

Who made it: EA Sports.

Most anticipated feature: BounceTek; a new dribbling physics-based system that allows the players to have more control over the ball and better responsiveness. 

Bonus drama: Six of the league’s youngest point guards lend their faces and physiques to the game: Kyrie Irving (NBA All Star 2013), alongside Damian Lillard, John Wall, Kemba Walker, Ricky Rubio, and Victor Oladipo.  

Perfect for: Those too short to make the high-school team. 

Need for Speed Rivals

Release date: Nov 15 for PS4; Nov 19 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC; and Nov 22 for Xbox One.  

Pitch: Your usual Need for Speed format: cops chase you, you shake them off your tail, you challenge rival racers, your reputation grows. This time around, you can also play as the cops, though.

Who made it: Ghost Games and Criterion Games.

Most anticipated feature: AllDrive is a new online feature that allows players to seamlessly transition between single player, co-op, to multiplayer mode.  

Bonus drama: Ken Block is the series’ appointed racing advisor. He’s this mad Gymkhana driver who can pull some awesome driving stunts.

Perfect for: Guys who crashed their car trying to pull these stunts in the real world.

Call of Duty: Ghosts

Release date: Nov 5 for Xbox One; Nov 15 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4

Pitch: This is the first-person shooter of choice. And while most kids on the multiplayer maps won’t care about the plot, here goes: The game is set 10 years in the future, after a nuclear bomb detonated in the Middle East, leaving the USA crippled. South America’s oil-producing nations have formed The Federation, which invades and conquers Central America. They then hijack an orbital super weapon, ODIN, and use it to destroy cities in the southwestern United States. 

Who made it: Infinity Ward, Neversoft, and Raven Software. 

Most anticipated feature: “Dynamic Maps” introduce mid-game events that can flatten entire portions of a map, while players can strategically destroy parts of the map to open or block passageways. 

Bonus drama: Tony-Award nominated Stephen Lang (Col. Miles Quaritch from Avatar) is the voice of Elias Walker and the game’s script is written by Stephen Gaghan (Traffic and Syrianna). 

Perfect for: Your typical gamer who needs a little more violence in his life.

Dead Rising 3

Release date: Nov 22 for Xbox One.

Pitch: Following the well-received previous installments, Dead Rising 3 takes place 10 years after the events at Fortune City. The protagonist, a young mechanic named Nick Ramos, attempts to survive a massive zombie outbreak. To do so, Nick has a tendency to build madcap contraptions that cause massive mayhem.

Who made it: Capcom Vancouver and Microsoft

Most anticipated feature: Players now have the ability to create weapons and vehicles on the go. Rollerhawg, anyone? It’s the combination of a chopper and a steamroller. 

Bonus drama: This is a Capcom game and its many references to Hollywood zombie flicks have trickled through Japanese arcade game culture, making it a pretty brain-dead experience. But hey, you’re here to kill zombies, not watch Oscar-winning performances.

Perfect for: Walking Dead fans who would like to experience the thrill of crushing hordes of zombies. 

Battlefield 4

Release date: Oct 29 for Xbox 360

Pitch: Battlefield differs from your usual first-person shooters in its ability to give you control of vehicles and jump around from soldier to soldier, giving you the impression of leading an entire campaign at both a strategic and tactical level. This edition of the beloved game, set in the near-future, pits the USA, China and Russia against each other.

Who made it: EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) it’s published by Electronic Arts.

Most anticipated feature: Battlefield 4 will run up to 60 frames per second and it will feature support for 64-player multiplayer matches on PS4 and Xbox One.  

Bonus drama: There’s an actual Jason Bourne-style plot in the single player campaign by Jesse Stern, who has writing credits on scores of US TV series like NCIS (about the Naval Criminal Investigative Service). His series have a tendency to never make it past the first season, though. Just sayin’.

Perfect for: Those who dodged their military service and are having second thoughts.

TECH KNOW

Meet the Consoles

Xbox One

Microsoft welcomes the Xbox One, the third console in the Xbox family this month. It has been nearly six years since the release of the previous Xbox console, Xbox 360. 

Release Date: Nov 22 in the USA and 2014 for Thailand.

New Features: 

  • Blu-ray player, 500GB hard-drive and 8GB of system memory.
  • Multitasking with music, video, Skype and Internet Explorer.
  • Improved cloud computing and on-demand streaming of games onto your consoles.
  • Improved Kinect functionality: a  1080p wide-angle camera that captures your movements and gestures allowing you to control the on-screen action.
  • Kinect microphone that remains active at all times, and can be awoken with a voice command when in sleep mode. 
  • The new wireless Xbox One controller features new vibration motors in the triggers.  
  • Expanded TV and entertainment options.

PlayStation 4

Sony launches its fourth video game console, PlayStation 4. The PS4 is the successor of PlayStation 3, which was released in 2006. 

Release Dates: Nov 15 in the USA and 2014 for Thailand.

New Features: 

  • New controllers have a “Share” button for easy access to social features like the “view-in-game” live stream from friends.
  • A cloud-based gaming service that streams video games and connects to your Sony smartphones, tablets and PlayStation Vita.  
  • It includes a blu-ray player (like the previous model), 500GB hard-drive for additional storage, 8GB of system memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and two 3.0 USB ports.
  • The PlayStation Camera, a motion-sensing digital camera.
  • There are other audio/video output options such as HDMI TV and Optical S/PDIF audio to use your PlayStation 4 as a one-stop media center.

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