Design and build
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.
graphics and power
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.