A new era of console gaming is upon us. And while Nintendo jumped ahead with the launch of the Wii U last November, we still await device releases including Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4.
The new products could reinvent the way we game, how we program our televisions and even how we communicate socially.
Come fall, the tech giants will battle it out for sales in the retail market – each hoping that their respective device lands in the homes of you, the consumer. Below we highlight the most important differences between Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 (AKA Xbox One VS PS4):
Xbox One vs PS4: PRICING
Xbox One: Microsoft’s console features a pre-order price of $499.99 USD.
PlayStation 4: Sony’s console will be more affordable. In the U.S., the device will retail at $399USD. In Europe, you’ll have to fork over €399.
Analysis: Sony has succeeded in undercutting the Xbox’s price by offering the more affordable console. Will the move give the company an edge in the console race? We’ll have to see this fall.
Xbox One vs PS4 Release Dates
Xbox One: November 2013
PlayStation 4: Holiday season 2013
Analysis: As of now, we have a better idea when the Xbox One will arrive. However, we’d expect the PS4 to get here no later than November. Let’s just say it’s smart that each company is making sure shoppers have the chance to pick up their respective consoles as Christmas presents, whether for themselves or others.
Xbox One vs PS4 Controller
Xbox One: The Xbox One’s controller has a very familiar feel; staying true to the originality of its predecessor while also adding in a few changes that make the device both more comfortable and technologically advanced. Controller parts including thumbsticks, buttons and triggers have been slightly altered, now not requiring users to apply as much force when initiating game controls. One of the biggest changes, however, has to do with the controller’s battery cavity which has now been made internal instead of placed externally (as was such with the 360). The Xbox One controller is also capable of sending out reflective technology and LEDs to work with Kinect.
PlayStation 4: Like Microsoft, Sony’s Dual Shock 4 stays true to the originality of its predecessor while mixing things up a bit. One very new thing, however, is the Dual Shock 4’s touchpad, something Sony says will provide users with “completely new ways to play and interact with games.” Sony has also slightly altered the controller’s shape in addition to adding a “share button” which will allow gamers to live-stream game to Ustream. They’ll also be able to share achievements and video recordings via social networks like Facebook. Enhanced vibration is an additional key component.
Analysis: The Dual Shock 4’s touchpad is surely something PlayStation gamers will love. The Xbox One’s controller is also impressive but features fewer new additions compared to the Dual Shock 4. In this category, we’d have to say users will probably prefer the controller they’re already used to; therefore, Xbox 360 enthusiasts will probably be drawn to Xbox One’s controller while PS2 and PS3 enthusiasts will, without a doubt, be drawn to the Dual Shock 4. As stubborn as this may sound, it’s not surprising.
Xbox One vs PS4: Under the Hood
Xbox One: Features an 8-core x86 processor
PlayStation 4: Features an 8-core x86-64 AMD Jaguar
Analysis: Both are pretty similar in this regard and impressive. Both are also big steps up compared to the previous generation consoles.
Xbox One: Microsoft’s console features 8GB memory
PlayStation 4: Like the Xbox One, the PS4 also features 8GB memory
Analysis: Another identical tech spec for the two sides. Both are significant improvements compared to previous generation consoles. The Xbox 360 featured just 512MB while the PlayStation 3 included 256MB.
PlayStation 4: AMD Radeon GPU
Xbox One: AMD Radeon
Analysis: Both consoles will feature impressive state of the art graphics.
Xbox One vs PS4: Backward Compatibility
Xbox One: Microsoft’s new console won’t be capable of playing hard disk Xbox 360 titles. Simple reason: the architecture is completely different.
PlayStation 4: Like the One, the PS4 doesn’t support backward compatibility with previous gen Sony games either. Instead, Sony has opted to explore making older titles available via emulation from the cloud. Sony’s purchase of cloud streaming service Gaikai last year could go a long way towards helping making that goal a reality.
Analysis: Nothing surprising here. It’s not that the companies don’t want to support backward compatibility – they simple can’t; the architectures are completely different compared to the previous generation consoles.
Xbox One vs PS4: The Games
Analysis: The fact is, both consoles are going to feature plenty of game titles. We can’t even begin to list the possibilities. One thing we would like to note, however, is that Kingdom Hearts 3 will be arriving from Square Enix for both devices. Previous games in the series were initially only available for Sony consoles.
Xbox One: There’s been a lot of confusion regarding Microsoft’s policy on sharing and reselling used games. Here’s what we know: Like usual, Microsoft is supporting the sale of Xbox One games via retailers (we’re guessing the usual suspects like Gamestop, etc.).
However, Microsoft’s policy regarding game giving is a little trickier. Here’s what the company recently said via Xbox Wire attempting to explain how the licensing works: “Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.”
PlayStation 4: Sony has promised no share restrictions on PS4 titles whatsoever. Users should have no problem giving and reselling their titles whether they be to retailers or friends.
Analysis: If you’re a fan of open source (and who isn’t?), you’re probably digging the idea of no restrictions whatsoever; so here, Sony has a clear upper hand.
Xbox One vs PS4: Movement Detection
Xbox One: Microsoft has upgraded its Kinect to better detect gestures along with voice commands – something that will allow users to seamlessly operate the console for other things aside from gaming, like commanding their televisions to flip to particular channels. You’ll be able to say things like “Xbox, watch TV,” “Xbox, go to music,” “Xbox, go to game,” “Xbox, go to Internet Explorer” – something that provides the user with almost instantaneous switching between the console’s features.
PlayStation 4: While it probably doesn’t feature as much as Kinect, Sony is delivering a PlayStation 4 Camera – something that will interact directly with the Dual Shock 4’s light bar to track the 3D position of the controller.
Analysis: Microsoft is bundling the new Kinect with purchases of the Xbox One. On the other hand, Sony will sell its PS4 camera (or as some would say, the “eye”) separately from the actual console device.
Xbox One: Yes
PlayStation 4: Yes
Analysis: Finally, blue-ray has arrived for the Xbox, something that wasn’t available with the 360. Meanwhile, blue-ray was already available with the PlayStation 3.