Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth

Microsoft and Sony's next-gen gaming powerhouses square up to each other in this clash of the console titans

We've seen the next-generation consoles do incredible things. Some of them even involve games. Here we take a look at what we've experienced so far of the Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One

Before we begin, check out our PS4 review and Xbox One review for our verdict on Sony and Microsoft's next-gen gaming powerhouses.

Design and build

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Smooth round curves are out, sharp lines and blocky shapes are in. Both the Xbox One And PS4 are flaunting a cleaner look with harder edges, with Microsoft opting for a two-tone black '80s VCR-like box design which has been met with a split reaction.

The PS4 on the other hand has gone for a striking angular slanted look, with a two-tone parallelogram design which is intersected with a glowing blue line. It's new, but with strong echoes of the past: the grille-like structure will be familiar to anyone fond of the PS2 and, to a lesser extent, the original PlayStation. You could take the PS badge off of it and still know it's a PlayStation.

It's all down to personal preference of course, but while the Xbox One will blend in beneath your telly a little better than the PS4, Sony's console is, simply put, the prettier of the two.

Microsoft's console also dwarfs Sony's angular offering, despite the fact that the Xbox One has an external power brick while the PS4's is built in.

Microsoft seems to be playing it safe, offering plenty of room for the Xbox One to breathe, hoping to avoid the over-heating issues that plagued the original Xbox 360.

Having said that, only time will tell how both consoles will hold up to daily use, but for the time being they both run cool and quiet – just the way we like it.

More after the break...

graphics and power

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Both the Xbox One and PS4 will pack eight-core AMD x86 CPUs which, coupled with 8GB RAM, should deliver more than enough power to get gamers hot under the collar.

Where the two differ is in the type of RAM they're packing. While the Xbox One will come with the DDR3 variety, the PlayStation 4's is the more exotic GDDR5. Strip away the letters and numbers and that means that the PlayStation 4 will have more bandwidth to play around with – which could possibly give PS4 titles a slight visual edge over the Xbox One's offerings.

Indeed, Call of Duty: Ghosts will run natively at 1080p on the PS4 while the Xbox One will run it natively at 720p before upscaling it to full HD. While both versions will run at 60fps, it does show PS4 does pack more graphical grunt than its rival.

However, games on both consoles look positively luscious and are a marked improvement over the previous generation. And things can only get better as developers become more comfortable with the hardware on offer.

Both consoles will support 4K graphics (in terms of power at least) and although the number of 4K sets at launch will be minimal, it's important to future-proof the Xbox One and PS4 against the coming wave of 4K TVs.

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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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