Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4: in depth

UPDATED 15/11/2013 - the Xbox One dwarfs the PS4 in side-by-side comparison shots.
Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4

It's five long months 'til launch, but we've already seen the next-generation consoles do incredible things. Some of them even involved games. Here we take a look at what we know about and what we've experienced so far of the Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One. Can you pick a favourite yet?

Design and build

Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4
Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4
Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4

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, though we rather like it.  

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 we have a feeling the Xbox One will blend in beneath your telly a little better than the PS4.

Update 15/11/13: German publication PC Games has posted side-by-side shots of the Xbox One and PS4, and Microsoft's console dwarfs Sony's angular offering, despite the fact that the Xbox One has an external power brick while the PS4's is built in. 

Still, it's not like you'll be lugging either around too much and there should be more than enough room under your telly to accomodate one or the other. Or even both, if you're lucky enough.

Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 – graphics and power

Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4
Microsoft Xbox One vs Sony PS4

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.

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. Sadly, the Xbox One reveal didn't feature Microsoft's new Illumiroom technology – which uses the Kinect and a projector to extend your TV display across an entire room. With no showing at E3, it'll be a long time before the magical technology graces your living room with its presence.