Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 – the battle for your living room is about to begin.
Geek Magazine is going to give away one of these systems, and all you have to do to enter is tell us on either Facebook or Twitter which system you think is going to be better and why. When you do so, include the hashtag #ConsoleDeathMatch and a winner will be selected at random after December 3.
To help make up your mind, we’ve broken things down for you below. Read the article and then make a decision…
By Brady Fiechter and Andrew Hayward
Despite Nintendo’s insistence to the contrary, last Fall’s debut of the Wii U has been seen by most as the tail end of the last generation of consoles. The real next generation of video game hardware kicks off shortly with the debut of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, which will wage war this holiday season with pricey devices, numerous exclusive and multiplatform games alike and plenty of rabid fanboy bickering over which product deserves a rightful home at the center of your entertainment center.
What’s the big hook this time around? Admittedly, the visual jump isn’t quite as staggering as we saw the last time (though it’s still a meaningful upgrade) on both platforms, and many of the initial games look like smoother, sleeker versions of what we’ve played in the past. What Microsoft and Sony are pushing this time are more routinely linked experiences — being connected to your friends and other folks, to your other forms of entertainment and to the various ways you want to play and interact with your game experiences.
Microsoft stumbled early with the announcement of the Xbox One, with what’s been a potentially poisonous marketing blunder. Despite trying to spin its digital-centric platform in a positive manner — in which games could be shared with selected family members, but retail games couldn’t be resold — the news backfired and gamers lost their collective cool on the Internet. After Sony took advantage of the situation by revealing the cheaper, used-game-friendly PlayStation 4, Microsoft had little choice but to abandon its plans to stifle the previously played game market or otherwise risk potentially losing heavily entrenched Xbox fans.
And it seems the poison has been extracted, as the Xbox One has blown through its available pre-order allocations — but so has the PlayStation 4. Granted, such numbers are mere marketing fodder and don’t prove much, if anything, but some could argue the playing field has been levelled.
The facts are these: Both consoles are launching shortly, both feature plump price tags — $399 for Sony’s offering and $499 for Microsoft’s — and there has never been quite so much at stake in an industry that’s now so stuffed full of platforms, players, tastes and global stakes. Games are everywhere now. They’re on your phone, your tablet and even your social networking sites. Many are also incredibly cheap — if not free — and while there’s still a distinction between the $60 console-quality games and the App Store freebies, players are embracing the trend of games being cheap, breezy and available in a heartbeat.
If the Xbox One and PS4 hope to be as successful as their predecessors, they’ll have to push the boundaries of gaming instead of relying on past successes. That approach of ample sequelization worked for a while, but games on current systems are starting to feel homogenized to a degree that can no longer be ignored, and sales are suffering as a result. It’s more than just jaded critics who are beginning to challenge the notion of what these new console launches will ultimately signify, and with all this incredible new technology comes equal new responsibility as creators. Games have the potential for powerful advancement. What’s your money riding on?
PS4 Pros and Cons
At $399, the base system will come out a full $100 less than Xbox One. Keep in mind that the PS3 launched at $499/$599 in 2006. In today’s technological dollars, perception has mightily changed, but at face value — extra costs here and there will eventually complicate things.
The DualShock 4 is designed with a touch panel at the top of the controller, which makes a ton of sense in the age of smartphones and tablets. Having the functionality available to developers is just one more way to innovate and manage perception.
This isn’t the same old DualShock. It’s an aggressively redesigned controller (more so than the Xbox One’s over Xbox 360) that’s much more comfortable in the hand and ergonomically sound.
Say what you will about the PlayStation Vita, but the real proof of concept is about to show itself with the PS4 interfacing and all the possibilities the two systems bring working together.
Sony is pushing the PS4 as a gaming console first and foremost, and that’s resonating with millions of gamers who feel like consoles are moving more and more toward being “media hubs.” The company’s commitment to returning to its roots is huge to fans.
Indie developers love the PS4 and Sony loves them back. Self-publishing is available to anyone and Sony has also been shining a spotlight on many of these lesser-known creators, whereas Microsoft initially shunned indies and only relented after significant pushback.
Sony has incredible talent under its wings, including Uncharted and The Last of Us creator Naughty Dog, and looks to put it to excellent use on the PS4.
It’s a social console. You can upload your gameplay footage for anyone to see, and as much as 15 minutes can be shared at once — three times the amount that the Xbox One allows.
The PS4 is reportedly far easier for developers to work with than the confusing Cell processor of the PS3, which means creators of all backgrounds should be able to generate awesome games with the hardware.
The PS4 is very friendly with the cloud, as you can stream demos and even entire games to your console in moments without a huge download. And while the system won’t support discs from previous PlayStation consoles, you can buy and stream older games to your system.
The PS3 caught a lot of flack for its lacking online infrastructure, and there just never was much debating that Xbox Live was the better choice. It’s a new playing field, but has Sony learned from past mistakes?
It used to be that online multiplayer was free on PlayStation consoles, but that’ll change with the PS4. You’ll now need a PlayStation Plus subscription, which will yield regular free games and even a AAA launch title with the slick-looking #Driveclub, but it’ll still cost you.
Video sharing will not be directly compatible with YouTube or Twitch TV, which are the heaviest hitters in the industry.
Goodbye, backwards compatibility. Sony had been chipping away at this with each new version of the PS3, but with the PS4, you won’t be able to play your old game discs at all.
Sony’s got the upper hand in price, but shipping the PS4 at $399 means leaving out the PlayStation Camera. While some gamers may gripe about camera-based experiences, having such hardware be optional means that developers may not embrace it for their most notable creations.
Check here for more info on the Playstation 4
Xbox Pros and Cons
It’s an all-in-one home entertainment system. Die-hard gamers might recoil at this, but the Xbox One manages your television and media way better than the Wii U could ever hope to with its dinky TV functionality. The ability to swap between sources with Kinect is a truly great addition.
Achievements pioneered the meta-game concept, and the next generation looks like it’ll be even more addictive in design. Now there will be Challenges to supplement the standard Achievements, and these may be community-based or timed to only be available for a certain span of time.
Kinect is back and it’s expected to be much better this time around. We’ve seen the lows of motion gaming over the past couple years, so there’s reason to be apprehensive. But the Kinect was experimental tech; this should be refined.
Titanfall is a Microsoft exclusive. If there’s one huge new system seller on either new console, it’s EA’s mech and infantry shooter, which hails from Respawn Entertainment, the studio formed by ex-Infinity Ward (Call of Duty) heads.
By including the Kinect sensor with every Xbox One, the market won’t be fragmented, which is what’s sure to happen with the PlayStation Camera. Developers will be more inclined to develop subtle Kinect functionality into their games.
The Xbox 360 controller was already mostly great — aside from that terrible directional pad — and the Xbox One version looks even better. The d-pad is a definite improvement, and the force feedback in the triggers is an extremely cool feature.
Halo belongs to Microsoft, and while Sony fans might claim to have similar shooter franchises, the sales numbers and review scores don’t lie, and the next Halo on Xbox One is sure to be massive.
SmartGlass functionality didn’t prove particularly essential with Xbox 360 games, but it looks much improved with the early batch of Xbox One titles. You’ll be able to use a smartphone or tablet to interact with games using a second screen, which opens up cool abilities in Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome.
Like PlayStation 4, the Xbox One is designed to let you record and share gameplay footage with ease, plus you can use voice commands via Kinect to start recording at any time. At any point, you can stop the action and pull footage from the last five minutes of play, edit it on the fly, and upload it; or you can live-stream gameplay.
Even with the Kinect bundled in, most prospective buyers are going to see the Xbox One at $100 more than PlayStation 4 and consider it a weaker value. Microsoft may need to consider ways to get more competitive in that regard.
After backpedaling on both the used-games issue and ability for indie creators to self-publish their own titles, Microsoft looks like a flip-flopper. Do they really have a consistent strategy, or are they just aiming to appease complainers?
While the Xbox One design is thankfully more subdued than that of the PS4, it’s also rather large. Pack in a large power adapter and we’re going to have to clear off a lot of shelf space for it.
Microsoft changed its mind on the digital rights issues, but not everything the company planned was so bad — we were actually looking forward to the ability to share games online with distant family members. Will the digital future be set back in the gaming world by Microsoft’s backtracking?
Even though the new Kinect sensor is significantly improved, many people are worried about its place in the gaming ecosystem, while others hate the idea of an always-on sensor recording their voice and actions.
Check here for more info on the XBOX One
Game of Exclusives
Monster franchises such as Call of Duty will be released on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but as is tradition in the console wars, both sides will have their territory. Here are five distinct games you can only get if you own either the Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
PS4 vs. Xbox One: Which do you want to win?
Pick one and enter at geekexchange.com/consoledeathmatch
Click Here for Contest Rules.