Xbox One Vs Playstation 4
Begun the Console War Has
Microsoft and Sony are ready to battle it out for a spot in your living room, and both sides are coming out swinging with their next generation of gaming consoles. The fight has been brutal so far, with Sony embarrassing their opponent at E3 by pointing out all Xbox One’s flawed policies and coming in $100 cheaper at $399. Now that some of the dust has settled and Microsoft reversed most of their policies, we are going to put them head to head and see who comes out on top. Things haven’t been this exciting since the Sega Genesis / Super Nintendo 16-bit era.
Hardware Specs Edge: Tie
Both companies have elected to run their machines on existing, developer friendly, X86 PC architecture. In doing so, they have negated any real distinguishing specs to set them apart, with the exception of the types of RAM used. The PS4 uses GDDR5 RAM instead of XB1′s DDR3. This means that the PS4 will have an advantage is graphical throughput which could result in games that look better, although that will be up to individual game developers. The Xbox One, however, has a HDMI in port, which will allow input from a cable box.
PS4 | XB1
8-core X86 AMD Jaguar CPU | 8-core X86 AMD Jaguar CPU
1.8-teraflop AMD Radeon Graphics engine | 1.8-teraflop AMD Radeon Graphics engine
8GB of GDDR5 memory | 8GB of DDR3 memory
500GB hard drive | 500GB hard drive
USB 3.0 ports | USB 3.0 ports
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi | 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
Blu-ray disk drive | Blu-ray disk drive
Ethernet, HDMI, Bluetooth 2.1, optical audio | Ethernet, HDMI, Bluetooth 2.1, optical audio
Motion Control Edge: XB1
Every Xbox One will come bundled with their next generation Kinect device, while the Playstation will sell their comparable Move controller separately, for $59.99. Some people speculate that the Move was not included because the Kinect is a far superior product and leaving it out allowed Sony to widen the price gap between the systems. Either way, the fact that a Kinect will be included incentivizes game developers to support or require the device because it will have a larger install base of users. Save for a couple of cool tech demos, nothing shown for the new Kinect seemed to have any groundbreaking potential.
Controller Edge: PS4
The XB1 controller is a natural evolution of the near perfect Xbox 360 controller with ergonomic refinements being the main focus. They’ve also added extra rumble to the triggers to allow for haptic feedback during games (On the current generation of consoles, I chose to play most of my multi-platform games on 360 solely because I like the controller better, and I use the DualShock 3 for mostly exclusives. You’re mileage may vary). The Playstation 4′s controller layout remains generally the same with a few major modifications; In addition to fixing the much maligned triggers, they’ve also added a clickable touchpad to the face along with a ‘Share” button that allows for immediate sharing of gameplay on social media. Like the PS3 controller before it, the PS4 controller will be rechargeable via USB while the XB1 controller will give consumers the option to buy a play and charge kit for $24.99.
Exclusives Edge: XB1
One word: TitanFall
Headset Edge: PS4
The Xbox One will
not come with a headset packaged with the system. Instead, they are pushing the fact that you can yell at your Kinect. Or, you can always buy one for an additional $24.99. Worse though, is the decision to use a new proprietary headphone jack on the controller that’s incompatible with existing headphones. But, of course, they are promising to let you buy an adapter in the future so you can use that overpriced set of 7.1 channel surround sound headset you bought with your tax return. Sony is including an earbud and line mic with the PS4 which is pretty lame, but its miles better than what Microsoft is offering. Update: Microsoft has decided to include a headset with the Xbox One.
Indie Gaming Edge: Tie
Indie gaming has become a huge monster in the past few years with its tentacles reaching every aspect of gaming. Games like Limbo and Journey became darlings of critics and hardcore gamers, even if they didn’t achieve financial greatness, and the iPhone App Store is littered with gems like Angry Birds and Infinity Blade. Sony has been reaching out to independent developers, bringing tiny, two-man dev teams on stage at their PS4 press conference and pledging their support. Xbox Live Arcade helped launch indie gaming on consoles, but their restrictive policies made it difficult to publish games without significant financial backing from major publishers. Microsoft however, recently removed those policies and pledged to allow each XB1 to be used for development within a year of launch, which would be a boon to Indie devs if they follow through.
Non-gaming Edge: PS4
Microsoft is pushing TV on the Xbox really, really hard. They look at the number of people who watch Netflix and Hulu on their 360′s and think that we must really want cable on our Xbox One. The problem is that cable companies make way to much money leasing you their shitty cable boxes for $15 dollars a month and they are not willing to give it up. So instead of being a universal DVR, the XB1 overlays their guide on top of the standard guide and controls it with an IR repeater on the back. That is, at best, a clunky solution for a dying medium. Sony, instead, just decided to keep features like Netflix available without a subscription to PSN. To use those features on XB1, you will have to pay another $60 a year for Xbox Live. There are no TV features on the PS4. and I don’t think that’s a problem at all.
Second Screen Edge: Meh
The Wii U has a touchpad, so I guess the PS4 and the XB1 needed one too? Whatever. The PS4 will be able to use the Playstation Vita as a second controller if developers code it into their games. They are also promising some remote play on the PS4 for sometime in the future, but I’ll believe it when I see it. The XB1 will use the Xbox Smartglass App for your existing device. You can use the app for the 360, and I used to have it, but I never used it and I never found anyone else who did either.
Backwards Compatibility Edge: PS4
Neither system will be backwards compatible at launch and Microsoft says if you want to play 360 games, get a 360. Sony will be offering PS3 games through their Gaikai streaming service sometime in 2014, but what titles will be available and when are still questions that are yet to be answered. Just don’t hold your breath to play The Last of Us on PS4.
We have a tough decision ahead of us; both sides have lots to offer and there are many more factors than are listed here to consider when choosing the right console for you. While Xbox has great exclusive content, they continue to nickel and dime you into oblivion on top of a $499 price tag. Sony seems to have learned a hard lesson with the PS3 and they’ve really cleaned up their act. In all honesty, we are probably going to buy both systems at some point, because we love games. In this clash of titans, the real winner is us, the consumers. But as far as our Head to Head is concerned, the Sony Playstation 4 offers a much better value along with the features we need. Here’s hoping that TitanFall is a timed exclusive, because my PS4 is already on pre-order. What about you?