Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth


Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth
Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth
Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth
Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth

Not a great deal of change here, but as they say, if it ain't broke... The PS4's DualShock 4 controller resembles the existing DualShock, adding a touchpad and re-branded Select and Start buttons. Sony has taken a leaf out of Microsoft's book with the thumbsticks and triggers, though – the thumbsticks now sport more grippy tops, and the L2 and R2 triggers are concave, so your fingers are less likely to slip off. About damn time.

The DualShock 4 features a light bar that can be used to identify players – the console will also be able to tell who's using what controller, so if you swap seats on the sofa during a multiplayer gaming session, the PS4 will helpfully reorganise the split-screen layout. 

The Xbox One can also do the same thanks to the wonders of Kinect and as it'll be bundled with each unit, everyone can take advantage of it out of the box. The DualShock 4 also sports a headphone jack and built-in speaker, plus enhanced rumble tech.

The Xbox One controller closely resembles its predecessor – though it now has more subtly coloured buttons. Vibration feedback through each of the triggers opens up the possibility for deeper in-game immersion and we were thoroughly spooked and impressed by the subtle vibrations during our E3 demo. You also get a more sensitive D-pad, grippier (but smaller) joysticks, a better integrated removable slot and more efficient Wi-Fi syncing.

Overall, bar a few individual minor gripes, they're both excellent and we'd happily take either.

For a thorough look at both controllers, check out our Xbox One vs PS4 controller showdown.

Blu-ray and optical drive

Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth

Although there was talk of the PS4 ditching physical media to rely on the cloud all together, Sony has packed in a Blu-ray drive that's three times faster than that found in the PS3. Microsoft has similarly added a Blu-ray drive to its console – no format wars in this console generation.