At this year’s E3 gaming convention, Sony finally revealed the long-awaited details on their eighth generation gaming console. Come Christmas 2013, the hot items are going to be, once again, either something from Microsoft or something from Sony. The PlayStation4 and Xbox One are going to be the thing every kid wants under their tree (well, maybe a bit later for PS4 due to the December 31th release date). In the age-old war of PlayStation Vs Xbox, who has come out on top in the latest round of gaming consoles? It all comes down to opinion and what you’re looking for, but I’m going to take a critical look at both to decide which is “better”. Note: neither of these systems have been released yet, and so what I say in here may not apply to the final version of each system. This is a prediction based on what we already know, and both companies may change the product in the meantime.
Let’s start by looking at both systems.
Xbox One has already received an ungodly amount of criticism based on it’s design alone, commonly being compared to a VCR. It is big and bulky, and I admit: the design is very lazy. It’s probably because they’ve tried to cram a lot of shit into this thing, but we’ll get more into that later.
As far as I’m concerned, the PS4 isn’t a whole lot better in that regard. Yes, the slanted shape of the PS4 makes it slightly more appealing to look at, but they are both essentially big black boxes. I’m sure future console releases will give us slimmer versions, but for now, I’m not crazy about the designs of either. The PS4’s appeal changes depending on what angle you look at it. From the front, it’s pretty cool and sleek. From the side, it’s dull. Regardless, it’s still smaller, thinner, and less bulky than the Xbox One.
Now, the controllers.
Looking at the Xbox One’s controller, it doesn’t seem much different than the 360’s. It’s got a more sleek shape, seems a bit smoother, less spaced apart, and the only new feature it includes are vibrating triggers.
The PS4, however, seems to have added quite a bit. It appears fatter than the PS3’s, Start and Select have moved to the top, and the analog sticks are indented, but the big difference is the new share option. At the press of a button, screenshots can be posted online, and you can allow friends that own the same game to take control of your game from theirs, even if they’re in a different country. Both seem similar enough to their predecessors to keep people happy, but I got to give this one to PS4. The features added to these controllers are pretty cool. However, some people prefer the simplicity Xbox One kept. It all boils down to preference.
The PS4 and Xbox One’s similarities continue when comparing the hardware. Both have gone custom AMD chips and eight-core CPUs with 8GB of RAM, though the PS4 has an edge there, using GDDR5 instead of Microsoft’s DDR3. Sony also has higher graphics, with GPU estimated by ExtremeTech to be on a par with the Radeon 7870, while the Xbox One’s is nearer to the Radeon HD 7790. It’s definitely a step down for Microsoft, and a leap forward for Sony. If you saw the Livestream of Sony’s E3 conference, you’ve seen what this thing is capable of. The graphics on all the games shown are almost creepily realistic, whereas the gameplay of Call of Duty: Ghosts shown on Microsoft’s conference are only up to the PS3’s standards.
Both systems will include motion sensor technology. The Kinect will be included with all Xbox Ones. In fact, you can’t even turn it on without a Kinect attached – this was confirmed at Microsoft’s unveiling of the Xbox One. The PlayStationMove will have to be bought separately, but is optional, and when you compare the prices of the systems (we will later), they even out pretty well. It’s pretty obvious that the Kinect is top-of-the-line as far as motion technology goes, but many people are bothered by the fact that the Kinect will always be on, seeing it as an invasion of privacy.
So, overall, the Xbox One has weaker hardware as far as gaming goes, but superior motion technology when compared to the PS4. The PS4, on the other hand, has the most powerful hardware we’ve ever seen in a console, mainly because their focus has continued to be gaming. Microsoft’s isn’t.
Up until E3, the Xbox looked like it was going to to fail miserably in this department, mainly because Microsoft’s entire press conference focused on the non-gaming features of the Xbox One, which has Xbox fans disgruntled. The only game they really highlighted was Call of Duty: Ghosts, which, personally, I find to be really stupid, considering Halo is the Xbox’s defining franchise, and CoD isn’t even Xbox-exclusive. However, E3 helped to alleviate some of those fears. Games announced for the Xbox One include Halo, CoD, Battlefield, a Minecraft port, and Crimson Dragon. Basically, a lineup that should pacify any hard-core Xbox fans that won’t be abandoning Microsoft.
Sony, however, went above and beyond in terms of gaming, spending more than half of their two-hour presentation focusing on new releases for the PS4. Killzone: Shadowfall, a new Batman game, Infamous, the newest Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts III, Destiny, Grand Theft Auto V, Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, Beyond 2 Souls, a PlayStation-exclusive beta for Elder Scrolls Online, The Last Of Us, and partnership with eight indie game designers were just a few of the titles discussed.
When combined with the graphical capabilities of the PS4, the winner here isn’t even debatable.
This is where Sony has probably put the nail in the Xbox One’s coffin. It’s very simple: Xbox One games, once purchased at full price, can’t be played on any other console. They’re on a code-based system, meaning that they can’t be sold, traded, rented, borrowed, or bought used. The CEO of Sony America was smirking and almost laughing when cheers broke out after his announcement that the PS4 will be disc-based and won’t require internet connection to play offline.
Oh, and this video was also posted to YouTube.
This is what we call “Microsoft getting dickslapped in the face by Sony.”
“Bang for your buck”
The Xbox One will be released in November for $499, or £429. The PS4 will be released in December for $399, or £349. Which is the better value? Based on what I’ve seen, I’ll have to say, I’m going Sony once again. Allow me to summarize this:
The PlayStation4 has stronger hardware, no restrictions on games you pay for, a free game collection if PlayStationPlus is purchased, no internet access is required to play it, it has better graphics, more exclusives, and is $100 cheaper than the Xbox One. As far as a gaming system goes, the PS4 is without a doubt the superior system. This really can’t be argued. If you feel like you have a good argument as to how the Xbox One is a better gaming system, I’d love to hear it.
That being said, the Xbox One isn’t a gaming system, is it? Microsoft is promising more than video games. Although the multimedia features of the Xbox One have been widely criticized, they are it’s major marketing aim. Think about it. You will have this thing in your living room for years. Is $500 really that much for something that’s supposed to last for seven, eight years? The main thing is: do you even want this? You can get Netflix on your laptop. You can plug your laptop into your TV via a HDMI cable. Do you want people bugging you on Skype while trying to play a game? The Xbox One is shifting its targeted audience, and it really isn’t fitting into the niche at the moment. Time will tell if the Xbox One will whether the storm, or become the next dead console.
Design:PlayStation4: 8/10 – If looked at from the right angle, it can be pretty cool and the controller has a ton of new and interesting features.
Xbox One: 5/10 – The design is big, bulky, unpleasant to look at, and very lazy. The controller is better, but doesn’t offer anything new.
PlayStation4: 10/10 – From what we’ve seen in the specifications and the gameplay trailers released at E3, this system runs beautifully, with graphics nothing short of stunning and a hardware to back it up. The PlayStationMove is likely going to fall short of the Kinect, but it remains an optional feature.
Xbox One: 8/10 – While the PS4 clearly is the superior system when it comes to hardware, the Xbox One is getting there – it’s starting to get up to the PS3’s standards. Too bad the PS3 is eight years old and the PS4 is already expanding on that. The Kinect is without a doubt the best motion sensor technology out there, but the fact that it is now required has some people hesitant.
PlayStation4: 10/10 – With a huge amount of beautiful exclusives and indie games on the way, Sony continues to be the winner in terms of game variety and design.
Xbox One: 7/10 – The titles released at E3 might have been enough to calm hard-core fans, but let’s face it: the Xbox One simply can’t compete with the games coming out for PS4. Sony is even getting Elder Scrolls before Microsoft, the first time this has ever happened. As usual, Xbox One will be a gaming system good for one genre: first person shooter.
PlayStation4: 10/10 – PS4 supports them.
Xbox One: 0/10 – Xbox One doesn’t.
Xbox One: 5/10