A general overview of each next-generation console to help you choose the best one for you.
The console wars are back for the 2014 holiday season, but at price tags exceeding $400 and $500 respectively, how are you deciding which console to buy?
I’m on the fence about either one, but I can tell you that I won’t buy either anytime soon. The price point is way too expensive, and if we’ve learned anything from the launch of the Xbox 360 and PS3 is that we can expect plenty of hardware, connectivity and firmware issues. There has already been reports of problems with the PS4 and a few problems with the XboxOne, but this is normal for a new tech product launch.
I fully expect that it’ll take a few months, maybe even a full year, for both companies to iron out all of the kinks and bugs. Plus, game developers will also have to figure out how to unlock the maximum potential of the systems. According to Metacritic, it took the Xbox 360 and PS3 about 4 years to reach their “peak,” with some of the best games being released between 2009 and 2011. Besides, I’m too broke to spend that much money and will continue to monitor the interwebz to see how each console is performing.
With that in mind, here are a few resources I’ve collected to help me decide which console to eventually go with. Hopefully it’ll help you too.
If none of the information helps, try out Dorkly’s illustrated guide, “How to Decide Which Next Gen Console is Right For You.”
|Playstation 4||Xbox One|
|CPU||8 Core Single Chip x86 AMD Jaguar||8 Core Microsoft custom chip|
|GPU (Graphics)||AMD Radeon Graphic Core Next Engine, 1152 Shaders||853 MHz AMD Radeon GPU 768 Shaders|
|RAM||8 GB RAM||8 GB RAM|
|Hard Drive||500 GB HD (removable)||500 GB (additional external storage via USB)|
|Dimensions||Internal power supply, 11″ W x 2″ H x 12″ D; about 6 lbs. Can stand upright.||13″ W x 3″ H x 11″ D; External power supply (8″ L x 2″ H x 3″ D); about 7 lbs. Cannot be stood upright|
|Backwards Compatible||None, cannot play with previous gen network||None, cannot play with previous gen network|
|Motion/Voice Controls||Yes; optional accessory for $59.99||Kinect; included|
|Cross Play||Remote & Cross-play functionality with the PS VIta||HDMI pass-through for TV Control|
|Controllers||Dualshock 4; Touchpad feature||Xbox One Controller; similar to Xbox 360|
|3D Blu-Ray||Not Yet||Not Yet|
|CD Playback?||Not Yet||Yes|
|Color||Jet Black||Liquid Black|
|Streaming Video Apps*||Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu+, Redbox Instant, NBA Game Time, NHL GameCenter Live||Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu+, Redbox Instant, HBO GO (Not at launch), ESPN, Fox Now, FX Now, NFL|
|Internet Required||Yes, for patches and online features||Yes, for patches and online features|
So what does that all mean? On paper, the PS4 is said to be more powerful than the Xbox One with raw graphics power, higher output resolutions (up to 1600 x 900 compared to Xbox One’s 1280 x 720), and smoother frame rates.
However, despite the resolution difference, there will ultimately be VERY LITTLE difference in visuals. If you are playing games at a typical distance (ranging anywhere from 8 ft to 12 ft), you are not likely to notice the difference at all. And if you can see it, you’re probably sitting too close.
***Warning – potential spoilers in video if you have not played Battlefield 4***
View a complete breakdown of specs at extremetech.com.
Here’s a list of the games that are available on each console’s launch date: IGN’s List of Xbox One and PS4 Titles
|Knack||✓||Family-friendly action platformer; PS4 exclusive|
|Killzone: Shadow Fall||✓||First-person shooter; PS4 Exclusive|
|Dead Rising 3||✓||Zombie-Survival, Horror-Adventure; XB1 Exclusive|
|Fighter Within||✓||Motion-controlled fighting game; XB1 Exclusive|
|Forza Motorsports 5||✓||Racing simulation XB1 Exclusive|
|Killer Instinct||✓||Yes, they brought back this fighting franchise! C-c-c-c-c-combo Breaker!|
|Kinect Sports Rival||✓||Motion-controlled sports games|
|Ryse: Son of Rome||✓||Fighting-adventure set in ancient Rome|
|Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag||✓||✓||Open-world pirate adventure, part-platform, part stealth play.|
|Battlefield 4||✓||✓||Mililtary-based FPS|
|Call of Duty: Ghosts||✓||✓||Military-based FPS|
|FIFA 14||✓||✓||Soccer simulator|
|Injustice: Gods Among Us||✓||✓||Fighting game featuring the DC Comic universe|
|Just Dance 2014||✓||✓||Rhythm-based dancing game|
|LEGO Marvel Super Heroes||✓||✓||Lego Marvel Heroes action and platformer|
|Madden NFL 25||✓||✓||Football|
|NBA LIVE 14||✓||✓||Basketball|
|Need For Speed Rivals||✓||✓||Racing|
|Skylanders Swap Force||✓||✓||Use collectible action figures to play with in game. Strategy, turn-based.|
[List via Techlicious.com]
At first glance, there appears to be a pretty big difference in price point with the Xbox One priced at $499 retail and the PS4 priced at $399 retail. However, as Geek.com has pointed out, you have to purchase other things in order to have the full experience of what each system has to offer. So, in order to compare them fairly, we’ll look at the total costs for the following:
- 1 game
- 1 extra controller
- Playstation + AND Xbox Live Gold Subscriptions
- Kinect + Playstation Camera*
The aforementioned items will give anyone the ability to experience each system completely, including online access to video streaming apps, multi-player functions, AND motion and voice control (*As noted in the specs section, the PS4 is not packaged with the camera).
Now, let’s look at the cost comparison:
|Playstation 4||Xbox One|
|1 Extra Controller||$60||$60|
|Online Membership (1 year)||$50||$60|
|Kinect or PS Camera||$60||Included|
|Total Costs (Before taxes)||$629||$679|
You can argue the value of other features such as CD playback ability, the used-game issue, streaming video apps, availability of downloadable games, etc… But looking at the bare minimum of what you would need to get the most out of each console, the PS4 is only $50 less than the Xbox One.