Should I buy the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One?
This is maybe the main question this year, heading to December. It won’t be a just a quick and easy job to decide which one to pick up from the two new generation gaming machines. I am neither fanboy of Xbox, nor of PlayStation.
Here is my quick overview, I hope it will be helpful for you.
First of all, want to show you all the advantages and disadvantages of these two ‘next generation’ consoles, including the released and announced main accessories for these consoles.
I won’t write about the looks of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, because the mentioned consoles are used for gaming and people don’t usually buy one just to enjoy the look of the machine.
Best Exclusive Games on the consoles and Coming Exclusives
Both of the two consoles will eventually have a very big repository of games available on them, but they are truly defined by the exclusives which are only available on one or the other device. Multiplatform games such as Grand Theft Auto 5 (which just has been announced to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) and other AAA titles will be of course – just as in the last console generation – will be released on both of these…because of profit maximization.
The upcoming games haven’t been released yet, many games of the upcoming list will be released in this year and some of them are coming in 2015. These are the important announced and officially confirmed games, there is only a little room for speculation for the future, if we are talking about exclusives!
Xbox One Exclusives
PlayStation 4 Exclusives
It’s entirely up to you which games you prefer, and I think it may ultimately decide which console you are going to pick up.
Specifications of the two consoles
8GB DDR3 RAM + 32MB eSRAM
CPU: 8 Core AMD (Jaguar) custom CPU – Frequency: 1.75 GHz
GPU: Clock Speed: 853 MHz (around 1.34 TFLOPS output at peak)
Latest DirectX, OpenGL
HDD: 500 GB non-replaceable + you can add up to 2 external hard drives
Operation System: Custom operating system built on Windows 8
HDCP Encryption is enabled, but you can switch it off anytime
8GB GDDR5 RAM (not DDR5!)
8GB Flash Memory
CPU: 8 Core AMD (Jaguar) CPU – Frequency: 1.6 Ghz
GPU: Clock Speed: 800 MHz (around 1.84 TFLOPS output at peak)
HDD: 500 GB replaceable
Operation System: Custom SONY OS for Playstation
Here, I have highlighted the most important pieces of information regarding the specifications of both of the consoles. First, I think I need to clarify what GDDR5 RAM is and its capabilities. GDDR5 is used for memory for GPUs starting from about 2008. This (rumored) year the GDDR6 technology will be released which will dramatically improve the performance of the upcoming GPUs.
GDDR5 is more expensive than DDR3. GDDR5 has twice the output as DDR3. On the other hand DDR3 is used for system memory in desktop computers and the CPUs are happy with it, with GDDR5 they would achieve less performance, but the graphics cards are greatly profiting from GDDR5’s speed.
As you can see we can see a 10% increase of CPU frequency, on the other hand the GPU of PlayStation 4 has ~37% more performance, thanks to the GDDR5 RAM.
Game load times are various, – depending on the game if its more CPU or GPU-intensive – most of the games – will be loaded faster on the Xbox One because of the slightly faster CPU.
If Kinect 2 is connected to the Xbox One it will consume about 8-10% CPU time of the machine.
Lastly we must calculate in that Microsoft claims that Xbox One will be performing much better after the release of DirectX 12, while PlayStation 4 doesn’t have DirectX and won’t receive DirectX 12. PlayStation 4 is running on OpenGL.
The architecture of the two consoles look like the same, but they are slightly different. The GPU Compute Unit in the PlayStaion 4 is 50 pixels wide and 395 pixels tall, while in the Xbox One, each Compute Unit is 42 pixels wide and 347 pixels tall. In Short the overall situation: Microsoft has invested in silicium, while SONY chosen to opt for more GPU bandwidth.
After all of these things only God knows which one performs better. It is only up to the optimization of the game and the SDK to make the magic happen.
We know that the choice is on the developers, those guys can decide the resolution and the framerate the games on the respective consoles will be running.
Normally, as we saw it, it is more likely that – if the game underperforms on one console – that they will lower the native resolution and scale that up to 1080p (especially if we speak about Watch Dogs: 900p 30FPS on the PlayStation 4 and 792p and 30FPS on the Xbox One). In the future I think multiplatform game developers (like Ubisoft and EA) are going to try to achieve their games on both platforms in native 1080p with 60FPS, although it is questionable if the AMD Jaguar CPU will be able to bring the computing performance which is needed by these more and more complex titles.
Where are the lower resolutions coming from on Xbox One?
Multiple game developers said that the Xbox One’s 32MB eSRAM (superfast RAM) is too small for 1080p and the assets required for their games. Microsoft announced that they are working on making their SDK better and in the future all games (also the released ones) will be in native 1080p. The fix is coming out after a DirectX 12 update.
Personally, I hate side-by-side speed tests, because these are not real factors, they are barely noticable if noticable.
Cloud gaming is at the moment only for Xbox One. We know that Microsoft has more resources and business connections (in 2011 they spent $8.6 billion on new servers and data centers all accross Europe and North America) to make a stable and reliable cloud which is able to deliver and sustain massive multiplayer experiences. The resources of only game servers are provided by dedicated servers. If the server needs more resources to run smooth, the cloud will automatically unlock new dedicated servers.
The Xbox cloud gaming is alive, while the PlayStation 4 cloud computing is coming this Summer, we hope that it will be just as good.
You can upload on both consoles your savegames to your personal cloud storage.
Small indie developers and start-up companies if they are about to make a multiplayer game they have the choice to choose the console with the better cloud, so they don’t need to spend a huge money on servers and upkeep.
On PlayStation Vita Remote Play means, that you can play on your PlayStation 4 with PS4 games anytime outside the living room at home, in your office or anywhere on the go. If you are not on the same network as your PS4, then you will need a connection with 10 Mbit/s upload speed and 15 Mbit/s download speed.
Xbox One compatible with Windows desktops and notebooks, Android devices, Windows Phones and iOS devices too. It has basically the very same features as the Remote Play on PlayStation 4, some bonus features were added by Microsoft: a second screen that you can now use your device as a controller (apps, games, music and videos) and you can also speak to your device as you can speak to the Kinect.
Because you are going to use the controller 300-1500 hours in the first year alone, I would recommend you to first go somewhere (to game shops or maybe shopping malls) and try both controllers for about 15-20 minutes and then you can make decisions and observations. The main factors are only the exclusives and the controllers for a gamer.
The new Dual Shock 4 has a touch screen in the center and it has more comfortable design with better sticks and better plastic than SONY’s last generation controller. The other interesting (and for many gamers annoying) feature is the light at the front side of the controller, which is bright and un-turn-off-able. The biggest problem comes here: if you use the controller as wireless normally it takes about 3-4 hours of gaming to completely drain its battery. Yes and about the small light: don’t even think about that turning off, because you simply cannot at this time! (insert a duct tape here.)
The Xbox One controller is almost the same size, basically it is the successor of the 360 Controller. The new controller looks robust, it has 2 AA batteries and better battery lifetime around 2-3 weeks (5-8 active gaming hours a day), but most likely we can only hope that it survives 20 hours of gaming with vibration on without charging the thing. Personally I would recommend you to buy a Play& Charge Kit if you go with Xbox One just because of comfort. This controller has better materials and rumble triggers, than the ones on the Playstation controller. You can feel the rumble also in Forza 5 and NBA 2K14, while the developers of Call of Duty: Ghosts weren’t interested in using it (yet). You can turn off this feature anytime.
Kinect 2 vs PlayStation Camera
Kinect 2 costs about 82 dollars for Microsoft, and you get if for 100 bucks. If you are buying a bundle (with one games or two), Kinect 2 only costs you $50 or none at all. PlayStation Camera is available for just 50 bucks.
Kinect 2 has 39 basic commands and it can be configured for new commands by game developers.
It has a 1080p camera in it and it can pick up your motions by its invisible infrared dots in a dark room too.
PlayStation Camera has two cameras, but only a 720p resolution. PS Camera has a 3D technology, SONY claims it is good enough to be used for facial recognitions, but we are yet to see this.
Xbox One’s Kinect is a far better option to go, the voice recognition and the face recognition softwares are getting better and better with newer and newer updates, while PlayStation 4’s Camera is yet to really introduce itself. 20 already released Xbox One titles are using Kinect 2, they are mostly using either voice commands or gestures and yet no PlayStation 4 titles which are were confirmed to have a PlayStation Camera support.
PlayStation 4 Morpheus Project
Morpheus is the most exciting accessory for the PlayStation 4. SONY is an expert in new products, so they are more than able to pull it off with great results. As you can see it from the picture, it is a VR headset, just like Oculus Rift, but it looks already more refined. Game developer kits were reportedly shipped to various studios around the world, they are polished and comfortable, but we cannot expect that the final version will be released in 2014, it will be coming either in 2015 or in 2016. At the moment there is no revealed price tag for the device, but SONY said it will be affordable. I think it will be around 400-500 dollars.
User Interface and Operating System
The Xbox One uses a Microsoft OS based on Windows 8 and SmartGlass and it is claimed to be more, than a gaming machine, as we have seen on E3 2013. Netflix comes free if you purchase a 12 Month Gold Membership, which is at the same price as the 1 year PlayStation Plus Membership.
The two most awesome features of the OS are maybe the automatic face recognition and the in-game pause-and-resume.
The PlayStation 4 comes with a custom OS and its more lightweight, than the one Microsoft is planing to use. The startup time from stand by and cold is much better on the PlayStation 4, but it doesn’t mean that the games load faster on the PS4.
The TV feature for the PlayStation 4 has been just released for an additional $99. With PlayStation TV you can use a second screen, you can play hundreds of PS3 titles and unlock music and streaming services.
If you are buying a console not just for playing, or you have a little brother, or parents who would use the console for watching TV, the features of the Xbox One are more appealing, because of the Kinect and the easier, more accessible interface.
Are your friends playing on Xbox LIVE or on PlayStation Network?
If you are thinking about buying one console, but all your friends are playing one the other console, then you will probably end up joining in and buying the console, which was preferred by your friends.
Prices and Great Deals
Before you go into the shop it would be really great for you and your wallet if you could check out the deals on the internet. You can easily spare 50-100 dollars (or euros if you are located in Europe).
The following deals I found on the internet, please inform me in the comment section if you have a good find.
If you browse the internet and visit the shops and you don’t find any appealing deals at the moment, it would be maybe a smart move if you could wait a month to see about the new deals and bundles.
Xbox One deals
Microsoft announced a Kinect-less Xbox One for the PS4’s price tag: 400 bucks, while the Titanfall bundle (Xbox One + Kinect + Titanfall) is $500.
Austria: The last one is a decent deal, but on last week there was a bundle with Kinect, Titanfall and Watch Dogs for 500EURs.
PlayStaiton 4 deals
At the moment, nothing special, you can only buy the basicPlayStation 4 configuration from SONY on Amazon, and in Europe there are fewerPS4 ‘care packages’, than Xbox One bundles. It was rumored that SONY wants torelease a bundle with PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita (Ultimate PlayerEdition) later this summer for about $560-600.
Conclusion: Blue or Green?
Should I buy the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One?
The two mentioned consoles are very similar to one another, most of the mainstream and AAA games will be released on both of the consoles.
Both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 has its advantages and disadvantages. You must decide which one you buy. I really recommend you trying the controllers, using the interface a bit on both of the consoles and maybe asking your friends which one they picked for themselves.