Within the past couple of weeks, two new next generation games consoles were released to the delight (and relief) of eagerly anticipating gamers. The Xbox One was unveiled worldwide on the 22nd, with the PlayStation 4 unleashed in North America a week earlier. The two consoles have already received extremely healthy sales with both selling over a million units in their first 24 hours.
UK fans will have to wait until Friday when the PS4 will see another huge sales spike as it is released across Europe and South America. Microsoft has been boasting to any media outlet that will listen about its successful Xbox One launch, however when you consider that it debuted in 11 more countries than the PS4 it doesn't seem quite so impressive.
While the vast majority of owners of the Xbox One and the PS4 have been glued to their screens since tearing open the packaging, a small number of people have been experiencing problems with their machines. Xbox users have reported disc tray problems, while a very small minority of PlayStation gamers had problems with blinking lights and unexplained switch offs. Both companies have rushed to replace any faulty units and Microsoft have offered those with hardware problems a free download of one of their launch titles.
Although the two consoles have very similar specifications and capabilities, they are very different in the type of experience and features they offer. If you are thinking about buying one of the new machines, you should compare their capabilities and think about the type of media you enjoy the most. After all, games consoles have come a long way in a short space of time and can do a lot more than simply play video games. One console may be more suited to film lovers, while those that enjoy social sharing might prefer another. Here is a quick look at how the two heavyweights match up.
PS4 - £349 Xbox One - £429.99
The PS4 is decidedly cheaper than the Xbox One, which may entice some into opting for the lower priced console. The Xbox One does contain the motion sensor bar, Kinect 2.0, though. This bar sits under the screen and detects motion in order to control characters or menus on the screen. Users can also use voice activated commands to turn the console off and on and access menus. This is certainly a selling point for the Xbox, and is quite shrewd of them to include this in the bundle, as developers may be more inclined to make games using this feature specifically for the Xbox. The PS4 does have its own camera sensor, but this is an optional extra which bumps the price up slightly.
Shape and Size
The PS4 is a little more petite than the Xbox One, but to get the best comparison, you should watch this video from Mashable which compares the consoles themselves and their peripherals:
Video sharing is a huge feature of both of the consoles, with both supporting live streaming and recording of gameplay. By saying “Xbox, broadcast” out loud, the Kinect will pick up your voice and begin recording and broadcasting to Twitch.TV. PS4 owners can tap the “share” button on the controller to record and then upload to either Twitch or Ustream. The PS4 allows for 15 minutes worth of recording, compared to Xbox’s 5, however Microsoft’s Upload Studio allows for a lot of editing options meaning you can add commentary and effects.
Games and Graphics
We won’t bore you with the technical specifics of each machine, but generally speaking the PS4 has the potential for higher graphical capabilities. You won’t necessarily see this in games made for both consoles, but in games that developers have spent time specifically designing for the PlayStation the improved graphics will be noticeable.
That said, there will be games exclusive on the Xbox too, and if you want a system purely for gaming then it’s worth waiting a while until these exclusive titles are released. It’s fine having a machine that is more powerful than the other, but if you don’t like the games it is running then what’s the point?
There is no way to say which console is better than the other, simply because it is down to preference. The PlayStation is the more powerful when it comes to game capabilities, and is certainly the one to go for if you are a dedicated gamer. The Xbox will have some brilliant exclusive games though, so it’s tough to say which one will come out on top. Chances are if you are a “hardcore gamer” though, you’ll already have made your pre-orders a long time ago!
If you want more than just a games system, the Xbox has a neat interface for music and films with a handy motion and voice control. The PlayStation, on release, doesn't actually support mp3 playback or accommodate CD play. Sony have stated that this will come later with a post-release update. So while the PS4 will eventually be up to date with the Xbox, this is perhaps an indicator of where the two companies’ priorities lie.