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Xbox One vs PlayStation 4: In-depth comparison

Published by on Jun 11th, 2013, 24 Comments

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The next generation of consoles will be among us by the end of this year, with the Xbox One and the PS4 both being released in the holiday season of 2013. The new Xbox has been confirmed as a November release, whereas we don’t yet have the exact date for the PS4.

Gaming has truly evolved since the previous generation of consoles though, and these giants of the gaming world are also now becoming all-encompassing entertainment systems rather than just a vehicle for big budget games.

E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) 2013 started on Monday, 10 June and we finally saw what the PS4 looks like, with many other morsels of news being announced for both the consoles. Both Microsoft and Sony are preparing for a mammoth battle, so let’s see how things are shaping up.

Design

Although the PS4 was announced some time ago and well before the One, we haven’t really been able to see what it looks like, until now. At E3, the world’s biggest gaming and electronic entertainment show, we finally got our eyes on the newest member of the Sony gaming family.

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The console is almost entirely black with a strip of purple dividing the different shades of the console. It has a very unassuming design, really. Gone are the swoops and curves we saw with the PS3. The sides of the PS4 have a slight angled offset, which does change the design significantly. Some might find the design boring, but we feel it looks quite sleek. It’s not as businessman-like as a suit, but not as hostile looking as a honey badger.

The Xbox has a very similar design, in fact. It offers a sleek, modern look and Microsoft claim to have chosen a ’black box’ design as it was meant to be out of sight. The reasoning behind this is that it is a fully fledged media centre, and not just a console. So, like a Blu-ray player, it is not really meant to be seen, just used.

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Hardware

The two consoles have a very similar heart beating underneath the dark skin. The biggest difference is the type of RAM it uses. The PS4 uses 8GB GDDR5 RAM, while the One will be running 8GB of DDR3 RAM. The GDDR5 RAM we find in the PS4 is basically the same we find in modern PC graphics cards. This is to optimize graphical output, and it is estimated that the PS4 will have about a third more raw graphical processing power than the One. That being said, on the initial demonstrations we saw from both companies, it was near impossible to see any difference.

The rest of the hardware is pretty much identical. We do not have final confirmation as to the PS4 hard drive as of yet, but we assume there will be different variants at launch. The Xbox One will come with 500GB space at launch.

An important consideration for consumers is of course price. At launch the Xbox will cost $499, whereas the PS4 will be retailing at $399.

Here is a summary of the hardware specs:

Xbox One PlayStation 4
Price $499 $399
Availability November 2013 Holiday 2013
Blu-ray Yes Yes
Hard drive Built-in (500GB) Built-in
Motion control New Kinect (bundled) Move controller
CPU 8-core x86 AMD 8-core x86 AMD
RAM 8GB DDR3 8GB GDDR5
USB 3.0 Yes Yes
Wireless Yes (802.11n w/Wi-Fi Direct) Yes (802.11n)
Gigabit Ethernet Yes Yes
HDMI Yes (in and out) Yes
Suspend/resume game support Yes Yes
Background downloading Yes Yes
Native gameplay sharing (video) Yes Yes

Controllers

When using the console for their primary purpose, gaming, the user’s most important input mechanism is the controller, naturally. Both controllers are an evolution on the predecessor.

Sony’s DualShock 4 controller differs from previous iterations in that there is a clickable touchpad on the front. This is an interesting addition as it gives developers more options when designing games. We look forward to seeing it in action.

ps4-controller

The controller also includes a “light bar” at the front, which enables motion control functionality with the PS4’s eye camera to track your position and identify where the controller is. According to Sony, it can, if need be, adjust the split-screen orientation during multiplayer couch gaming. It also includes a social-focused Share button, with a built-in speaker and a headphone jack.

onecontroller

The Xbox One will have the same controller identifying capabilities, but will do this with the Kinect that will be included in all shipments (also contributing to the higher price). The Xbox One uses Wi-Fi direct to connect its controller to the console, compared to the PS4’s Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity. On paper at least, this would make the Xbox connection much smoother as the Wi-Fi direct has a maximum throughput of 250Mbps whereas the Bluetooth 2.1 can only manage a theoretical 3Mbps. Whether we will see any real difference in everyday use remains to be seen, though. We suspect this much quicker Xbox controller is to support add-ons, such as an updated version of its keyboard pad and a microphone for voice chat.

Entertainment (non-gaming)

The PS4 will allow users to watch streaming video through Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus (among others). It will also include services like Music Unlimited, Flixster and Crackle. According to Sony, they are also busy working on “cutting edge”, exclusive PS4 programming which is being “developed with games in mind”. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about it as of yet.

Microsoft, on the other hand, explained from the get-go that their new console was meant for more than gaming; it is not merely a (X)box to play video games on. The entire system will be integrated into other facets of home use.

The Xbox One will allow you to switch – in live time – from the game to TV, the internet, a movie, Skype etc. and it will do this all easily and smoothly. There is apparently no need to switch inputs as this will all be done with voice control. It will also multitask, allowing you to run games and other apps simultaneously.

While the TV capabilities of the Xbox might still be limited on our shores, it should be upgradable in the future to be used as our US counterparts will from launch. It doesn’t replace your decoder box, but allows the decoder to be plugged into it.

Exclusive games

There will always be self-published games on every console system, and we have a lot to look forward to on both. There are the ones we already know, like Gears of War, Fable and Halo which will appear on the Xbox only, where titles such as Killzone, Uncharted and Ratchet and Clank will remain PlayStation only.

At the E3 press conference we learned of some other key exclusives. For the PS4 these include Infamous: Second Son, The Order, The Dark Sorcerer and Killzone: Shadow Fall. It will also exclusively receive about 10 new indie titles.

Microsoft included the important exclusives Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct, Quantum Break, Dead Rising 3, Forza 5, Titanfall and Dead Rising 3 to its press release. They also said that DLC (downloadable content) for the new Call of Duty: Ghosts would be released on the Xbox One first.

Are you looking to buy one of the new generation consoles? Which would you choose? Also, which one do you believe has the best list of excusive games?

Comments

  • Bob

    “Ratchet and Crack” lol

  • Theunis Jansen van Rensburg

    I was wondering if any PS fans would pick that up. :-D
    I’ll change it, they are good games, no need to rip them. :-)

  • SkepticZA

    The XBox One Nazi DRM / 2nd Hand game restrictions = no purchase for me

  • Duzula

    No more Xbox for me PS4 all the way from now on wards… just too much restrictions DRM connect on the net.

  • Jeeves Eddings

    Meh. PS4 is definitely the better bet but PC is king for now.

  • Ryan

    the PS4 controller doesn’t look like the photo above.

  • doc69

    What about backward compatibility with the games?? Can the PS4 play my PS3 games?? Will the One play older gen games??

  • Theunis Jansen van Rensburg

    Neither of the two are backwards compatible.

  • Theunis Jansen van Rensburg

    Yes, it does.

  • Mark Treloar

    The correct response is that Sony will make PS3 titles available via their cloud service Gaikai.

  • doc69

    I really hope they (microsoft and/or sony) will do that…I have heaps of games on both consoles…

  • Mark Treloar

    Sony has already confirmed they are, Microsoft does not seem inclined to do so.

  • jeevadotnet

    Neither will be.
    Reason:

    XBOX 360 – PowerPC

    XBOX NAZI – X86 Architecture

    Same in the lines for PS.

  • Riaan Van Wyk

    Nope it does not. The PS4 controller have the share and option buttons. It also has a small speaker and the PS logo instead of “Sony” between the thumb sticks.

  • Jim

    one with DRM – first they kill the movie and music industry, and now they try to control it and take over it. poor play microsoft. We don’t pay you play police on our personal data. Xbox owner to ps4 without a doubt.

  • OneManRiot

    Ps4 controller does not look like that and also some of the facts in this article are wrong… it was confirmed that the PS4 will have a 500gig internal HD and it will be upgradable while the One only supports external drive s. The internal drive cannot be upgraded.

  • Kyle Farmer

    Damn you Xbox and your Dead Rising 3… I wanted to avoid Xbox at all costs! PC will remain my “console” of choice though. PS4 was and still is tempting though…

  • muppet

    Yeah, especially the picture of the xbone, they put a picture there of some sort of box instead of a turd.

    Anyway, as things stand right now, SA is not on the list of countries that will be supported by xbone on launch. When this ‘list’ didnt go off too well, M$ shot off that all the criticism was essentially due to the fact that consumers need to be ‘informed’, but then simultaneously stated that their target audience was the same uninformed consumers because “they didnt pay attention to details”

  • Nubbly_XD

    PC will always be the best option as far as i’m concerned… Having owned both previous generations of the two consoles, The 360 and the PS3, my estimates of the ease of use and online support is lacking in comparison. Personally I believe the PS4 will be so much better than the One but I think i’ll be spending my money on newer hardware for my PC instead XD

  • modeFAN

    I have an intel i5, 16Gb Ram and a Geforce GTX670. I know theres no need to compare PC’s with consoles,but my system is not even top of the range and it already easily kicks console butt, the graphics card alone cost more than any console…. point is, WHY CANT THEY BRING OUT A PROPER CONSOLE FOR ONCE?

  • http://www.bandwidthblog.com Minnaar Pieters

    Because consoles are cheaper than your PC, and the games are optimized for one piece of hardware, not a massive range of hardware.

    And… consoles tend to stay “relevant” longer. Xbox 360 was released almost 8 years ago. Try running any modern game on a 8 year old PC.

    In my opinion it seems like a better value proposition. But if you have money to burn, PC will win every time of course.

  • http://www.bandwidthblog.com Minnaar Pieters

    Luckily now resolved… Now?

  • http://www.bandwidthblog.com Minnaar Pieters

    Luckily fixed now.

  • modeFAN

    I know that argument… I meant…why dont they put 16Gigs of RAM in it, with a maybe a QUAD GPU setup, and maybe dual proccesors? (actual seperate proccesors) … like the massive old machines you saw in arcades, REAL dedicated gaming hardware that you cannot duplicate on your pc….

http://www.bandwidthblog.com/wp-content/themes/cnnetwork