The dates of both of the next generation consoles are now confirmed. We’ll be able to get our hands on the Xbox One on the 22nd of November, and the PlayStation 4 will be available on the 15th of November in the US, and on the 29th of November for the other launch countries that Sony is targeting. With the release dates so close together and drawing closer rapidly gamers around the globe are priming their bank accounts, ready to take the hit for their preferred console of choice.
The Race for First Place
Customer loyalty obviously plays a large role in determining the success of the top console. Some PlayStation fanboys (or girls) simply wouldn’t listen to reason even if the Xbox One was judged to be the better gaming platform, and the opposite is undoubtedly also true. For those individuals that might sit on the fence more than siding with either of the two companies (or of course Nintendo), one factor in determining which console they opt for is simply which one is ready first! We wondered for a time if the bestseller would be based on which option first appears in front of the gaming community, but with the releases so very close together in November, 2013 this is less likely to be the case. There is not much difference between the two next generation offerings when it comes to processing power, graphical prowess, RAM, storage space and the like; they’re both using different technologies but are packing a similar punch. And now that the release dates are also within just a week of each other it’s going to be even more difficult to distinguish between the two if you don’t already have loyalty to one particular brand.
A Specification War
The PlayStation 3 might technically have the edge on the Xbox 360 when it comes to graphics, processing power and high definition media in the form of its Blu-Ray drive, but the differences between the next generation consoles will be slighter. One doesn't simply walk up to the technical experts and insist on a new processor created in one month. The creation of the technology to back up these next generation consoles was in development for years before their official announcements. Both gaming platforms are filled to the brim with the latest and greatest technologies. Even the way that we play games on the two consoles is the same, with the Xbox One now featuring Blu-Ray technology like the PlayStation 4. Both consoles will support HD, and even 3D vision. Motion control is an obvious difference in the specifications of these two consoles with Microsoft’s Kinect now bundled together with every Xbox One. Both the Kinect and Move technologies have been undeniably successful, though it is obvious that Microsoft and the Xbox brand have been ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation. Microsoft’s enhancements to the Kinect for the Xbox One sound impressive, but Sony hasn’t revealed much in the way of anything to rival such a complete piece of augmented reality equipment?
Your Own Gaming Paradise
If you aren't too bothered by the particular specifications that each system will boast then there’s a good chance you will likely be swayed by your own preferences. If you live and breathe for the next Halo or Gears of War game, then you will certainly want to stick with Microsoft, but if Killzone or inFAMOUS is more your thing, then the PS4 is where it's at. The choice will be yours!
|Xbox One||PlayStation 4|
|CPU||Microsoft custom-built 8 core CPU||x86 AMD "Jaguar" 8 cores|
|GPU||D3D 11.1 chip with 32 MB embedded memory||1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation "Radeon" based graphics engine|
|RAM||8 GB DDR3||8 GB DDR5|
|Storage||500 GB Hard Drive||500 GB Hard Drive|
|Controllers||Kinect, Xbox One Controller||Dual Shock 4 Controller, PlayStation Move|
|Console Specific Games||Forza 5, Quantum Break, Halo||KillZone, inFamous|
A first glance at this comparison may leave you wondering which of the two consoles will pack the most powerful punch due to their relatively similar technical structures. Initial reports that the PlayStation 4 would outrun the Xbox One due to its improved RAM may still be true, but with Microsoft touting its Cloud processing power to allow some game processing to be carried out away from the console it’s unlikely that the differences will be obvious. The PS4's Jaguar processor is designed with the Radeon GPU in mind, providing a CPU/GPU combination that works powerfully to show off the greatest graphics. Microsoft’s inbuilt technology can’t be overlooked however, as its 8 core CPU also works in tandem with its GPU, being able to run even the largest open-world battles without a drop in frame-rate. Both systems can support 3D gaming, and both of the GPUs are compatible with DirectX 11 technology. The memory of the two consoles is also comparable, clocking in at 8 GB of RAM for each system, although Sony has opted for DDR5 whereas Microsoft is sticking with DDR3. Consider the impressive display created on the current consoles, featuring just 512 MB of RAM in the Xbox 360 and only 256 MB in the PlayStation 3, and you can begin to visualize how this increase in RAM will help to shape the future of gaming.
At E3 2013, we once again saw just how similar both consoles would be in terms of the features offered. The Xbox One will offer streaming services via Twitch, similar to the PlayStation 4's Share functionality. Both systems will share many of the same games, as was expected, however the Xbox One does have a larger share of third party exclusives, such as Dead Rising 3. Now that Microsoft has completely reversed its policies on DRM, both systems will approach used games the same way. Sony has announced that PlayStation Plus will now be required for online multiplayer, similar to Xbox Live Gold for the Xbox One, again diminishing the differences between the two systems. Microsoft is now giving away free games each month for those with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, similar to what Sony is already doing with PlayStation Plus.
It seems that the greatest differences between the Xbox One and the PS4 will be in terms of the look, feel and operation of the consoles. The Xbox One will come with built in and improved Kinect technology, something sure to play more of a part in future games. PlayStation’s Move technology may have fallen off the radar in comparison to Kinect, however with motion detection playing a large part of gaming today we could expect to see improved functionality in this area by Sony. Classic controllers for both systems will still be around for some time, though we did see some modifications such as the touch-screen technology found within the PS4's controller. However, the Xbox One controller looks to play it safe as it's simply a revamped Xbox 360 controller: why fix what isn't broken, right? With similar technical specifications featured in both consoles it seems that the deciding factor for many users will be price. The Xbox One will retail for $499, while the PlayStation 4 will retail for $399, a pretty steep $100 difference between the two. If price is not an issue, the choice for your favorite may still come down to loyalty, preferred gaming choices or simply the way in which the consoles operate.
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