It’s likely you’ve heard a lot of talk on the Internet and TV about this new “PS4” or “Xbox One” console race. Retailers have been bombarded with questions regarding which console to get, what games to get, what accessories are needed and the usual uncertainty that comes with adopting a new gaming system. Hopefully this article will clear up some of that confusion.
But first, a couple disclaimers. First, if you’re already an avid PC gamer, then picking up either of these consoles isn’t necessary unless you want an exclusive such as “Halo” or “Kingdom Hearts III.” Most games that come out on consoles come to PC anyway. This article is directed toward those who do not own gaming PCs. Second, this is not a battle, and there will be no clear winner or loser. Both consoles appeal to different audiences, and this article will help readers decide which one is right for them.
The first entry in the next generation of consoles (in North America, anyway) is the PlayStation 4, or PS4. The PS4 is $100 cheaper than the Xbox One (or XBO) and a slight bit more powerful. Sony has touted the PS4 as the gamers’ machine, working primarily to play great-looking games with greater variety, and eventually it will carry more titles than the XBO.
The other entry is the Xbox One, which, as mentioned earlier, is $100 more expensive. It includes an improved version of the Kinect, a camera peripheral that allows users to use gestures and voice commands without needing a controller. Microsoft has shown the console off as an all-in-one entertainment machine (hence the name), capable of playing Blu-rays, running online video services, playing games and sharing media with others, all without the need for a controller.
Getting into specific specs is confusing for the non-tech-savvy audience the consoles are being advertised to, but it’s worth mentioning that both consoles carry a 500 gigabyte hard drive. The PS4’s hard drive is replaceable and expandable, but while the XBO will eventually support expanding space with external drives, replacing the drive is a non-option.
While 500 GB may seem like a lot for a game console, it’s important to note that many modern games can carry an installation size of 50 GB or more.
It’s also important to note that the PS4 is not as much of an entertainment box as the XBO is. While the PS4 can still play Blu-rays and run programs like Netflix or Hulu Plus, entertainment options are more limited. For example, the PS4 can no longer play files directly from a hard drive, meaning that media has to be consumed either from Internet services or from Blu-rays.
So what does all this mean? In short, the PS4 is a stronger gaming machine, while the XBO is stronger when it comes to entertainment in general. If you’re passionate about gaming, would prefer not to use a gaming PC and would like to save an extra $100, the PS4 is the stronger option. If you’re looking to turn your television into a smart TV and use it more for general media, the XBO is the better option.