Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth

Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 – used games and DRM

Here's where things get a little heated. Not to mention confusing. First of all, the easy bit. Neither console will let you play PS3 games or Xbox 360 games. The Xbox One gives you the option to plug the 360 into it (presumably vie the HDMI passthrough) which will let you play 360 games with a 360 controller, in the Xbox One interface. Pretty handy we suppose.

Now then, Microsoft was at the wrong end of an angry mob both during and after E3 after its DRM, always-on and used game policies were scrutinized against Sony's more open PS4. Essentially, each Xbox One game could be downloaded in full – off the cloud or disc – to your hard drive, and you would have had to be online at least once every 24 hours to verify each game to your account, otherwise you won't be able to play. Not even single player mode. Sony on the other hand, did not have this restriction.

You'll notice we're talking in the past tense though. That's because Microsoft completely flipped around and announced that its always-on, DRM and used game restrictions would be lifted, levelling the playing field against the PS4. It was a massive decision in the face of a very tough week of angry gamer reactions.

Microsoft (like Sony) is leaving it to publishers to decide whether or not they'll be charging fees to buyers of second-hand games). This is all because you could otherwise download a game to your console and play it after selling it and making some cash.

Both consoles will now charge a monthly fee for online multiplayer, including Sony who previously offered it for free. PlayStation Plus members will have access to free game downloads as part of their package though.

More after the break...

price

The Xbox One will set you back a wallet-stinging £430, while the PS$ has a cheaper £350 price tag. It's worth bearing in mind though that the Xbox One comes bundled with the Kinect camera, while PS4 gamers will have to fork out a further £45 for the PlayStation camera.

verdict

The Xbox One is the more ambitious console, but it just doesn’t quite manage to follow through on all of its potential. Yet.

The PS4 on the other hand might have less media and voice control powers, but its beefier specs promise a slew of eye-watering exclusive titles further down the line.

If you want the Xbox One's media powers and Kinect magic, then your decision is clear. But if you're after a purer gaming experience for a cheaper price, then you'll want to fly the PS4 flag.

Console wars are long, bloody, drawn out affairs though, and we can't wait to document every battle along the way. It's only just begun...

Comments

If you want an upgradable media centre then buy a media centre pc. They're designed to do everything you mentioned, are software AND hardware upgradable, have the multi-codec capability that a console can only dream of, and can be bought and set up for half the price of an xbox one. You'll have no restrictions on what you can install and because individual components can be upgraded a media centre pc is pretty much future proof.

A console is a games machine first and a media centre second. You're just wasting money if you buy an xbox one and then don't play games on it.  

"The only people who buy consoles are gamers." - really?

When it came time for me to buy my first Blu-Ray player, the PS3 was a no brainer.

Upgradeable to 3D just with software updates; streaming music, photos and videos from my PC, internet access and other Smart-TV features are just some of the reasons for buying a console.

As for playing games - I don't.

The X-Box One simply offers the next logical step in the evolution of media centric appliances.

I think Microsoft have dropped the ball with the xbox one. The only people who buy consoles are gamers. There's no other reason for having one. To then say to your target audience, you have to have a broadband connection preferably always on, we will restrict your ability to play second hand games and we're going to charge you £80 more than our nearest rival, well that's just dumb.

More than 70 million xbox 360's have been sold worldwide, but there's only around 30 million xbox live accounts worldwide. So more than half of the world's xbox 360 users do not use their machine online. 

Also Microsoft seem to have forgotten that there is a worldwide economic crisis right now. Current gen games cost £30 - £40 new. I bet the next gen titles will cost more. How many people have the spare cash to buy all the games they want to play? Second hand gaming and rental subcriptions like Lovefilm give people on a limited budget the chance to play the games they want. Ok so there's less money going to the publishers, but less money is better than no money at all.

As to the price, let's be completely honest here. The tv functionality, the ability to go online, chat via skype, watch movies, listen to music, all these features are mere frippery. The ability to play games is the raison d'etre of a console. To then offer up a machine that is substandard to it's nearest rival (DDR3 vs GDDR5?, no contest) and then to charge an extra £80, that's just plain insulting.

I used to be a loyal xbox supporter. I bought the original xbox over the PS2 and loved the 360 and laughed at PS3 owners. Time to eat humble pie.

 

Are you serious, who cares about a few hundred bucks these days. I spend that much on a round of drinks for my mates, so I am more than happy to spend a bit more on a console that clearly has more to offer... Get a real job.

Even if one buys the PS4 with the Playstation eye, it would still be cheaper than the Xbox One

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