Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth

Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 – games

While both consoles will undoubtedly keep their AAA exclusive titles like Halo and the God of War series, heavy hitters like Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed 4 and Ubisoft's Watch Dogs will still be available for both consoles – though it's up in the air whether Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V will be putting in an appearance on the next-gen consoles, given its September release date.

Since Sony has ditched the PS3's Cell architecture for the PS4, and both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are running similar AMD processors and graphics cards, we should see even more simultaneous cross-platform launches in this generation. Much to the delight of keyboard and mouse fraggers, no doubt.

Plenty of Xbox One games were revealed at E3 and exclusive titles include Forza Motorsport 5, Quantum Break, Halo 5, Ryse and Titanfall.

The PS4's exclusive line-up includes family adventure Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Infamous: Second Son, and the very impressive massive open world rubber burner, DriveClub. Plus PS4 games will support PS Vita Remote Play as standard.

The Xbox One's exclusive list is bigger (for the time being) but all-in-all, the best titles (in our opinion) are available on both consoles, which include the likes of Destiny, Assassin's Creed 4: Blag Flag and The Division, to name but a few.

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 since we wrote this comparison, Microsoft has 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's a massive, huge 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...

Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 – launch price

The Xbox One will launch for a wallet-stinging US$499, while Sony surprised everyone with a cheaper US$399 PS4 price tag. It's worth bearing in mind though that the Xbox One will come bundled with the Kinect camera, while PS4 gamers will have to fork out a further US$59 for the PlayStation camera.

Why the Xbox One deserves your US$499

Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 – release date

It's not yet clear whether we can expect an exact release date for either console, though both will be out in time for Christmas 2013 – Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One will launch in November, and we expect Sony to follow suit. Those in Asia, however, may be disappointed to learn that Microsoft previously said that the Xbox One will be available in the region in late 2014. 

Read the Stuff team's gut reaction – Xbox One vs PS4

You have to login or register to comment.