Both Next Gen consoles are on their way to market and with what we know of their specs, there isn’t much outside of brand name and chassis design to differentiate the two. Historically, there has usually been a clear winner in the console market when it came down to hardware and specs. NES was topped by the Genesis, which was topped by the N64, which was succeeded by the PS-One. The list goes on. Manufacturers seemed to take turns releasing the best hardware every generation, and proclaim market dominance through their exclusive game libraries.
The alternating hardware dominance has become less prevalent since Sony and Microsoft became direct competitors, so much so that the PS4 and Xbox One are essentially made of the same stuff. The similarities between the two are so evident, that making the decision on which to buy appears to come down solely to which company/controller you prefer. While I prefer to game on my PC, I still feel the need to be in the know, so I began researching the differences between the new Xbox and PlayStation and I was able to find a few key differences between the two. The differences I’ve found, while pretty miniscule, actually point out some key differences in the focuses of each machine. Today I’ll use those differences to
1. Better Interface and Software
If there is one thing that Microsoft knows, its software. Long before Microsoft considered selling their own gaming system, their DEVs were busy creating the most widely used word processing software in the world. If the stability I’ve experienced with Windows 8 thus far is an example of what to expect with the OS running the Xbox One, I could get behind supporting an Xbox One purchase.
2. Exclusive Games
HALO 5, FORZA Motorsport, Titan fall, and, if you’re into the type of game… Dead Rising 3. Who doesn’t want to play these games? (I forgive anyone without a desire to play DR3, I’m with ya). I love racing games, and racing games are the number one reason I asked for my first PlayStation back in Jr. High. It’s very odd to me that I haven’t seen any exclusive driving games announced for the PS4, but as a lover of FPS and driving, Xbox has enough exclusives announced to sway a decent amount of sales their way.
3. Arguably the Best Controller in the Biz
This only counts as a reason if you like the Microsoft controller better than Sony’s because best here can only apply to preference. I’ve heard more people tell me that they feel that the Xbox controller is more comfortable to them than the other way around. The Xbox controller is also more versatile as it can be used to play games on the PC as well.
4. Bundle Includes Kinect
Yes, the Xbox One is $100 more expensive than the PS4, but it comes with the Kinect! Sure, some people may not want the Kinect, but so what. I didn’t necessarily want the backpack that came with my laptop, but I use it every-fracking-day. With every Xbox One system coming with a Kinect, you can be sure that far more game DEVs will find ways to utilize it, making it more of a necessity than a luxury.
5. HDMI In
I know that the HDMI input is intended to serve as a way for you to plug your Cable/Satellite box into the Xbox One. Doing so is supposed to allow you to “seamlessly” switch between games, movies and television, which sounds fantastic if it’s executed properly. What I really want to know however, is if I can plug the PS 4 into the Xbox One’s HDMI port and seamlessly switch between systems/games. How awesome would that be? If it is possible, the Xbox One will end up being exactly what it’s designed to be, the central hub of your gaming and entertainment experience easily.
6. Skype for In-Game Chat
This is a win here. Skype has been around long enough to work out a lot of the kinks associated with VOIP and their annexation into Microsoft only served to supply them with a bigger financial backing. Look forward to easy to manage group chats and the ability to switch between in game chatting and chatting with distant family member without ever having to put down your controller.
7. More Powerful Online Network
Microsoft has somewhere in the ballpark of 300,000 servers ready to handle the oncoming load of new Xbox Live accounts. Great news for day one players. With numbers like this, would it be impractical for me to state that Xbox One’s launch day is more likely to go off without a system wide crash than the PlayStation 4? Probably, but between the two online networks, I think it’s safer to put my coins (private data) in Microsoft’s cup for now.
8. DDR RAM
I can hear you now, “b-b-but the PlayStation’s GDDR5 RAM is newer and faster than the DDR3 included in the Xbox One”. You’re right… technically. While the GDDR5 does come with a higher bandwidth and clock speed, its advancements over DDR3 can only really be applied to graphic performance. As far as app processing, AI and acting as a media server, the Xbox One should outperform the PlayStation 4 easily.
Everything I’ve listed above is proof of I’ve used to get to this point right here. Microsoft has made claims that gaming would cease to be the primary focus of the XBox and simply become one of its many features. With the Xbox One, the proof is definitely in the pudding. Working as a gaming machine, movie player, TV, Streaming Device and a Browser, it is quite obvious that Microsoft wants the Xbox One to be that one device that everything else plugs into until it eventually replaces them. As someone who has more disk space dedicated to media than anything else, a nice media server option is a great benefit to having the Xbox One. Now that I think about it, the Xbox One might be cheaper than my current entertainment solution of running XBMC on my old desktop.
If you want an all in one device that can stream TV, Movies, display live TV and display games almost as clearly as the best equipped gaming system on the market, your money should be heading to Microsoft. It’s rare for me to say such a thing, I know… Maybe it’s because I’ve been playing GTA 5 on a 360, maybe it’s because of my love for quickly responding GUI’s. More than likely, it’s due to my media addiction, and my love for AR, but right now, I see the XBox One as having a bit more value than the PlayStation 4. I’ve still got quite a bit of love for Sony, which I’ll be sharing with you next week, so be sure to check back to get the whole picture. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend and may the Force be with you!