Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth

media smarts

The Xbox One is aiming to be the centre of your living room, where it can control your digital existence using voice and gestures alone.

It has HDMI pass-through which means you plug your Freeview, Freesat, Sky or Virgin PVR into the HDMI input, and then plug the Xbox into your TV or AV receiver as normal. This means that you can watch TV through the Xbox One and 'snap' what you're watching (via a Kinect voice command no less) to the side, letting you game and catch up with the footy at the same time.

Sadly for Brits, the OneGuide (which serves up your PVRs TV guide) isn’t yet available in the UK. That means you can't browse channels and shows, set recordings and channel surf with Kinect's voice control ability. Gamers in the US can however get the full Xbox One TV treatment. Boo.

In the UK you can however adjust volume, pause and play, and you can set up your remote to work with the Xbox One by setting it up with the relevant code.

The PS4 on the other hand doesn't shake hands with your Sky box, but makes up for it in other ways. For starters if you've got a PlayStation Vita, you can play PS4 games streamed directly to the handheld meaning the action doesn't have to stop when your TV's been commandeered for X Factor. It's just like the Wii U's tablet, and it's a fantastic feature for Vita owners.

Another bonus for the PS4 is the fact that you can upgrade its hard drive with a standard 2.5in offering. Considering that game downloads can reach 50GB and the fact that its OS and various system files take up 93GB, this is a massive plus, especially if you want to load it up with a vast media collection.

Microsoft's list of UK media partners at launch include 4OD Netflix, Lovefilm, Blinkbox, Crackle, Eurosport, Machinima, Muzu TV, Ted Talks, Twitch and Wuaki.tv, but unlike PS4, the Xbox One won't support iPlayer at launch, though Microsoft, in an interview with CNET, stated that it is "…working to bring BBC iPlayer to Xbox One in the future". 

The PS4's streaming services including Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, Crunchyroll, EPIX, NBA Game Time, Netflix, NHL GameCenter LIVE, Redbox Instant by Verizon, VUDU, YuppTV.

More after the break...

cameras

Both the Xbox One with its Kinect and the PS4 with its Eye will be watching you game. The second-gen Kinect has a truly astonishing array of skills – it can track how much force you're exerting, log you in using facial recognition, monitor your mood and even read your heart rate. 

Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth

Can Sony's second attempt at the Eye match up? Well it too offers recognition to log in, has two 1280x800 resolution cameras, four mics for voice control (though it's much more limited than the Kinect) and an 85-degree field of view. The Eye will also play nice with PlayStation Move controllers, if you've still got them knocking around.

The Kinect is unarguably the superior bit of kit, and its voice recognition works perfectly  nine times out of ten. When it does, you're filled with a sense of childlike wonder. When it doesn't you reach for the controller in frustration. But its potential is enormous and we have to hand it to Microsoft for pushing the boundaries and injecting our living rooms with something so futuristic.

The fact that the Kinect comes bundles with every Xbox One console will also encourage developers to create compatible titles for it, while the PS4 Camera, which is sold separately at £45, could be relatively neglected. Considering what the new Kinect could theoretically do for future gameplay, that's worth considering.

Read our Xbox One Kinect first look review

Comments

I own the PS3 and did own a 360 before selling to upgrade, I use my consoles for more than gaming alone and that is why the one is for me, I know a couple of people who have the PS4, have played the 1 or 2 games they got with it and completed them, haven't switched it on since, for me that is £350 wasted as I could not afford £50 for a new game every 2 weeks, I prefer to use the media functionality of a console...just my choice, I am sure the 'Hardcore' gamers as they call themselves will disagree....whilst secretly playing their PS3.

@LegionDestroyer, Sony was not the first to use cd-roms for games. NEC's TurboGrafx-CD addon for the TurboGrafx-16 was the first use of cd-roms as a storage medium for games. 

The Turbografx CD addon was released in 1988 and the Playstation One was released in 1994.

And DRM in gaming was used waaaaay before Sony released the PSone.

Microsoft would never go back to the strict DRM protection they originally had on the XBone, they would take a massive profit loss, which they wouldn't want to do.

Not picking sides here but I'll probably buy an XBone over a PS4 for the Forza series, the only reason I have yet to abandon console gaming all together and beef up a PC for gaming.

Here is what i think gamer to gamer. Even though I am a microsoft person i am not going to be a hater to the ps4. The ps4 has improved greatly from the hardware to software. Such as the look of the software and the look of the console. But the 2 major differencess are that the ps4 is a console that will attract to a one on one gamer so just you and the the console. So if you are a hardcore gamer like us Amaricans then you will probably want the ps4. The Xbox one on the other hand is maid for one on one or family. Because it has the kinect 2.0 that senses hart rate and can tell who is holding the controle or who is in that room.

 To make the ps4 a family console you would have to get the play station eye and the playstation move. That would be about a extra 120$ in us terms but in uk money idk you can convert that or what ever other country is on here. thank you for reading I hope this help you decide.

DRM is not the way to move forward into the future. No matter how much the government protected mercantilist corporations want to trick you into believing that digital downloading and DRM is the wave of the future, it is not.

They are gimmicks and PR double talk to make the sheep believe draconian measures to strip you of your consumer rights  is the "future". If you break it all the way down, DRM is paid government violence. If you've been caught "pirating" (notice how they try to give poor impoverished people playing a 'digitally downloaded' game shared by an anonymous person on the internet a negative name to make the sheep believe these people are evil pirates) and refuse to pay civil fines and fees, then refuse to go back to court, at some point the government will use violence to get that money from you. Did you initiate the violence? No.

Government protectionist laws like copyright laws give the government the facade of legitimacy to the sheep, and if two people have the same idea at the same time, the only one that will get protection from the mafia government is whoever makes it to the government collection building known as the patent office first. Please get your head out of the sand. DRM is NOT the future. It's a step backwards, idiot.

@Satinmavan

How are Sony sheep? First to have Bluray player, First to have games on a disc, first to use DRM so widespread, And first to look after the consumer. And even though Microsoft have REMOVED DRM rules, they'll come BACK, They have been slowly introducing them for years now..

I considered the PS4, but then I remembered Sony have been just like sheep for the past 10 years. Look at where the console world is now, with the exception of Blu-Ray media MS have lead it to where it is today and Sony have followed suit.

I think this is what will happen again this generation. Yes MS have made a balls up of trying to get their new policies and ideas across, but if you look into it a bit more closely instead of reading the main stream BS, you'll see it's not actually that bad, but Sony have done a great job of telling the consumer what they want to hear and stealing any thunder away from MS, but I think in a couple of years time, Sony will do what they do best and follow MS like they have done since the first Xbox was launched, they will just do it in dribs and drabs and no one will bat an eye lid. MS are getting the flak now because they're doing it all at once, new generation, new rules, and you can bet your arse Sony will sneak things in in the coming years, they have just been very clever in going against MS and telling people what they want to hear for now. Nobody likes change, and the backlash against MS is proving that

Personally, I want a PS4. i feel let down by Microsoft: more expensive console, and no backwards compatibility. At least the PS4 can stream old games.

Microsoft just havent bothered with current Xbox fans. So its just ship. PS4 all the way. 

Frankly I'm PS4 all the way like most people. I have enough multi media devices already thanks (TV,cable box;PC;tablet,mobile phone and PS3 who all stream as will the PS4). To buy a less powerfull machine just so I can change TV with my waving hand's seems a bit silly.

I think to some degree the main difference between xbox one and PS4 is MS is pandering to the coporate and sony to the consumer/gamer.

 The main problem with MS apporach is that people feel they are not getting anything in return for all the restrictions. Most of the big AAA titles will appear on both paltforms and probably at least PS3 and maybe 360.

 MS wants the front room, it has done since the 90's. I don't think they care much about gamers - just the money streams - it doesn't matter to them. At least sony seem to want to support gamers and small devs. The more interesting games seem to be on PS4. You'll get all the streaming services on PS4 but they wont shout about it. The switching of game to TV on Xbox one serves little more than a tv remote.  MS vision of the home entertainment hub is like that of Sky. Total dominance and control of the consumer. Even more so than the walled garden of apple with the app store. This is a dark future of corporate control and one of assuming all people are guilty of piracy so they have to be controlled and restrained and milked for as much money as possible. Most of the media stuff you can do with smart tvs anyway.

 Its sumed up with MS comment on if you haven't got an internet connection or reliable one - get yourself a 360 - you're not good enough for a One. They might as well have said get yourself a PS4 - thats an offline device or a Wii U.

 Technically PS4 looks to have the edge. The kinect will be cool but not in the hands of MS or xbox one - I suspect there will be few titles that use it well. In the end it'll depend on  what media and games are avalable and how much it costs to access them. For gaming though I'm going for PS4. Wait a year or so after release and go from there. 

Nice to actually see some people finally commenting on this website. Still a joke compared to a certain other magazine's website, but ho hum.

The truth is that if Sony or MS brought out a console today that only played games (think PS1 or 2) then it would not make them enough money to make it worth their while..... well that's what they think anyway. Personally I would prefer it if it was just a games console, I don't need any of the other stuff I use my PC for already, even the blu ray player is useless to me these days.

The point here is "multiple pay streams". i.e. build in as many different ways of fleecing your customers as possible. From the launch documents/videos, how many pay streams can you count? Thats where the iphone/android phones are cleaning up.

80 million PS3's sold vs. 1.5 billion iPhone users worldwide

One thing to remember. The PS3 was expected to wipe the floor with the 360, based on specs alone. Never happened did it. For me there are always going to be games that will make it worth having either console. Its down to the games for me and nothing else. These are both going to be great consoles. Enjoy!

 

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