The Un-Answerable Question: Xbox One VS PS4?

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Xbox One vs PS4. Do we dare? Do we dare try and answer the so-far unanswerable question? It’s been 5 years since the new generational consoles were released and the debate still rattles on.

It’s no secret that initially the PS4 seemed like the better console, offering marginally better technology and display. However, thanks to on-going efforts from Microsoft, which include tonnes of entertainment apps and on-going software updates, the playing field has been evened.

The powerful PS4 wowed gamers with it’s compact design, but then Microsoft fought back with the Xbox One S – a smaller and sleeker hardware version. And then, of course, Sony hit back with the PS4 Slim – their equivalent.

So, after fives years, which one has come out on top? Enough time has gone-by to pass judgement. It’s time to go head-to-head.

Xbox One VS PS4 - Compare Main Features

xbox one

Best Price: £209.95

Ratings
Xbox One
VS
PS4
Design
7/10
VS
9/10
Display
7.5/10
VS
9/10
Software
8/10
VS
9/10
Performance
10/10
VS
10/10
Camera
10/10
VS
0/10
Overall
8.5/10
VS
9/10

Best Price: £229.95

Xbox One VS PS4

Xbox One vs PS4 at a Glance:

Xbox One

  • More widely used;
  • Great support services;
  • Superb backward capabilities;

PS4

  • Sleek, modern design;
  • Overall a cheaper console;
  • Better in-game graphics;

Xbox One vs PS4: The Hidden Features

Since both consoles offer a cracking playing experience it seemed pointless to compare those (you can see a full technical spec at the bottom of the page), so, instead, we’re discussing the cool tricks that each offer.

Xbox One

It’s no secret that the Xbox One has the capability to play your old Xbox 360 games, but it doesn’t just stop there; if you’re an Xbox Live Gold Member then the new console allows you to pick up a game where it left off on the previous console. The Xbox One even allows its users to stream games to PCs with Windows 10. The PS4, however, notoriously doesn’t run your PS3 discs and took some pushback before releasing Remote Play, the Sony alternative to PC streaming.

[Go to Settings>System>Storage>Cloud Saved Games and select “Enable”. Now next time you play the game on your 360 and save it select “Cloud Saved Games” as your save location.]

The Xbox One has been credited with having a great interface, which it does. However, until Microsoft adds microphone or Cortona support to controllers inputting text can be a cumbersome task; (especially since the HDMI on the back of the console is designed to encourage users to route their TV through the Xbox). Thankfully Microsoft has indeed thought this through. Users can download an Xbox One SmartGlass app to their phone or tablet, which when connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the console, can turn their mobile device into a keyword.

[Click the “connect” icon in the app (and select your Xbox), and if your Xbox is resting on a text entry screen your mobile device will show a keyboard.]

Of course, Microsoft wants you to become a heavy gamer (and thus a brand ambassador), the Xbox One allows for extensions of its internal memory with the option to plug in external USB hard drives. Data, however, is a different ballgame. No doubt that the best thing about new generation consoles is playing your favourite multiplayer games online (hands up for Overwatch and Star Wars Battlefront ?), but they are very data intensive endeavours, which isn’t great if your provider limits you each month. To keep track of any potential overcharges the Xbox One has an in-built bandwidth monitor that keeps track of how much data your games are using.

[Settings>Network>Bandwidth Usage.]

PS4

Unlike the Xbox One clunky controls, the PS4 offers great voice commands because buttons are for losers. As long as your gaming set up involves some form of a microphone all you’ll need to do is say “PlayStation”, and “All Commands” to be presented with a list of the voice commands at your disposal.

Much like its rival, the PlayStation 4 has its own app that’s available on Android or iPhone. The app has a whole host of decent extras like being able to sees who’s online and allowing you to purchase new games whilst out and about, which will begin downloading to your console at home automatically – ready for when you get home. Decent.

Anyone who games a lot will know the frustration of in-built playlists. Don’t we all know the lyrics every song from GTA: San Andreas? Sony must have taken long gaming hours into consideration when they paired with Spotify to allow users to pump their very own library and playlists over the top of their games.

[Once your phone is connected to the same network as the PS4, simply open the Spotify app, play a song, and tap the “Connected Devices” button at the bottom. Select the PS4 and enjoy.]

Xbox One vs PS4: Design and Portability

The Microsoft’s Xbox range has historically been chunkier and clunkier than their competitor console counterparts, and the Xbox One is no different.

Weighing in at 7lbs and measuring a solid 13.1 x 10.5 x 3.25 inches, it dwarfs the 6.1lb, 10.8 x 12 x 2.08-inch PlayStation 4. Then there’s the bulky aesthetic that makes the Xbox One look like a redesign of an old VCR machine (trying to be cool or seriously hitting the mark, you decide). Whereas the PS4 has a wonderfully sleek and contemporary feel, like a piece of modern art.

However, while the PS4 may look better, its sleek design does make it more fragile. You’re unlikely to be moving it around often when you do you’ll want to know that it’s safe to do so. The best thing about having a games console is sharing it with friends and family, so whether you’ll be taking it to a friend’s house or moving it back and forth from the living room to your bedroom, chunky could be funky (sorry).

When it comes to sharing the love and linking up your device the Xbox One has more to shout about. In addition to the USB 3.0 port on the left side of the console, there’s another pair of USB 3.0 ports in the rear of the console. There’s also HDMI-in, HDMI-out, S/PDIF, an Auxiliary port, Ethernet, IR Out, a power jack and a secure lock slot.

When it comes to the selection of ports on the PlayStation 4, it’s not as plentiful. The console only has a pair of USB 3.0 ports on the front and HDMI-out, Ethernet, an Optical port, an Auxilliary port for the PlayStation Camera and a jack for the power plug along the rear.

Xbox One VS PS4: Value for Money

Xbox One vs PS4 / white Xbox One

When it came to initial sales, i.e. the day that diehard console loyalists would be getting their hands on them, the PS4 retailed at a much lower price than the Xbox One; £349.99 and £429.99 respectively. It’s worth noting, however, that the Xbox One bundle included the console, a controller and Kinect while the PS4 bundle only had the console and DualShock 4 controller.

Now that the dust has settled, and the verdicts are in, it’s easier to see how the land lies. Most people default to tech specs as a basis of comparison, and while it’s been long proven that the PlayStation 4 is slightly more powerful than the Xbox One, in all honesty, the differences in game performance are hard to spot unless you have the two consoles side-by-side.

Any smart shopper knows that deals and sales fluctuate so it really depends on the time of year (Boxing Day Sales/Black Friday/January) and the bundle that you’re getting with it. For instance, Xbox One retailers soon chopped Kinect from the compulsory bundle to lower the price and better compete with Sony.

Games have historically been the driving force for console sales, and since both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can be purchased in a bundle that offers one or more free games, there’s never a good reason to buy the console by itself.

If your goal is to play with friends who already own a system, or if there’s a game you’re interested in that’s only available on one console, then your decision has been made for you.

Best-Selling Games of 2017:

Generally, most of the big sellers will be developed by companies that aren’t owned by Microsoft or Sony, so it’s not beneficial to release their game on only one console. This means most big sellers and popular games will be available across both.

There are, of course, the exceptions such as Gran Turismo Sport, Forza Motorsport 7, and the ever favourite, Crash Bandicoot (though this does now have an Xbox release date). So, it is worth checking that the games you’re gunning for are available on your chosen console.

RankTitlePublisher/Developeravailable on What console?
1FIFA 18EA/EA CanadaXbox One/PS4
2Call of Duty: WWIIActivision/Sledgehammer GamesXbox One/PS4
3Grand Theft Auto VRockstar/Rockstar NorthXbox One/PS4
4Assassin's Creed OriginsUbisoft/Ubisoft MontrealXbox One/PS4
5Star Wars Battlefront IIEA/EA DICEXbox One/PS4
6Crash Bandicoot N.Sane TrilogyActivision/Vicarious VisionsPS4
7Destiny 2Activision/BungieXbox One/PS4
8Gran Turismo SportSony/PolyphonyPS4
9Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: WildlandsUbisoft/Ubisoft FranceXbox One/PS4
10Horizon Zero DawnSony/Guerrilla GamesPS4
11Mario Kart 8: DeluxeNintendoSwitch
12Super Mario OdysseyNintendoSwitch
13Forza Horizon 3Microsoft/Playground GamesXbox One
14The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildNintendoSwitch
15Call of Duty: Infinite WarfareActivision/Infinity WardXbox One/PS4
16LEGO WorldsWarner Bros/TT GamesXbox One/PS4
17FIFA 17EA/EA CanadaXbox One/PS4
18Resident Evil 7: BiohazardCapcomXbox One/PS4
19Fallout 4BethesdaXbox One/PS4
20Forza Motorsport 7Microsoft/Turn 10Xbox One
 

Xbox One VS PS4: Online Services

PS4 DualShock Controller / Xbox One vs PS4

Neither Microsoft or Sony are quite ready to connect you with your mates right out of the box, and since gaming in 2018 seems almost solely online multiplayer, it’s essential to take into consideration monthly service subscriptions.

PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold are both subscriptions that allow gamers onto the online platforms. A 1-year membership for PlayStation Plus retails for £49.99 or £6.99 a month, and the Xbox equivalent is £39.99 for a year or £5.99 a month. So, in the grand scheme of things, there’s not much in it. If you’re dead set on getting a PS4, for instance, that £1 extra a month probably won’t be enough to sway it.

And if you’re a seasoned Slick Deals user then you’ll probably have the digital know-how to grab yourself a cheaper option.

In terms of the features of each, obviously both allow you to play online – which means with your mates and other gamers across the globe in real time. That means more headset banter and a more social playing experience. But on top of this mean feature, both packages offer extra value with access to free games every month, updates, game trials and beta trials, the option to purchase and download new games plus special discounts on purchases.

Xbox One VS PS4: Customer Support

Xbox One vs PS4 / Xbox One Controller

Customer support should be a huge factor in any tech buying decision unless you have expert knowledge or wisdom, or access to it.

PlayStation offers a wide variety of ways to reach out when you need help; from reaching out on Twitter, @AskPlayStation, (they don’t accept messages or questions to their Facebook page), to the PlayStation support forums, live chat and telephone options. But how good is it?

Well, the people over at Tom’s Guide conducted an experiment to rate Sony’s support options and ended with a strong 82/100 result. Overall, they summarised that while “Sony’s phone service was mostly top-notch, the company could still work to improve on accurate, quick responses online”.

In a similar “report card” for Xbox conducted in 2017, the Microsoft owned brand came up trumps with a result of 90/100. Unlike their nemesis, Microsoft received full marks for their web and social support, with quicker response times and a better repertoire of resources to help answer queries. Like Sony, Microsoft offers social, online chats and forums, however, they also offer additional support of YouTube guides and brand ambassadors from their own community.

In regard to warranty both offer a year with a new console, although your Xbox One isn’t covered against accidental damage; your PS4, however, can be swapped free of charge and will continue with the rest of your warranty or 90 days of protection – whichever is longer – after the swap.

Xbox One VS PS4: Full Technical Spec

 PS4PS4 SlimPS4 ProXbox OneXbox One SXbox One X
PriceCirca £259.99Circa £229Circa £319Circa £209Circa £218Circa £429.99
AvailabilityNowNowNowNowNowNow
CPU1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar2.1GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar1.75GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar1.75GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar2.3GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar
GPU1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon (18CU, 800MHz)1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon (18CU, 800MHz)4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon (36CU, 911MHz)1.31 TFLOP AMD Radeon1.4 TFLOP AMD Radeon6 TFLOP AMD Radeon (40CU, 1.172GHz)
Max video output1080p1080p4K1080p4K4K
Typical game resolution720p - 1080p720p - 1080pVaries massively720p - 1080p720p - 1080p720p - 1080p
HDR supportYesYesYesNoYesYes
Memory8GB GDDR58GB GDDR58GB GDDR5 + 1GB8GB DDR38GB DDR312GB GDDR5
Storage500GB (5400rpm)500GB, 1TB (5400rpm)1TB500GB, 1TB (5400rpm)500GB, 1TB, 2TB (5400rpm)1K
Dimensions (imperial)12 x 10.8 inches11.3 x 10.4 inches12.9 x 11.6 inches13.1 x 10.8 inches11.6 x 9.0 inches11.81 x 9.44 inches
Dimensions (metric)305 x 275mm288 x 265mm327 x 295mm333 x 274mm295 x 230mmTBD
Height2.09 inches (53mm)1.54 inches (39mm)2.17 inches (55mm)3.1 in (79mm)2.5 in (64mm)2.36inches (60mm)
Weight6.2 pounds (2.8kg)4.6 pounds (2.1kg)7.3 pounds (3.3kg)7.8 pounds (3.5kg)6.4 pounds (2.9kg)8.4 pounds (3.8kg)
Optical driveBlu-ray, DVDBlu-ray, DVDBlu-ray, DVDBlu-ray, DVD4K Blu-ray, DVD4K Blu-ray, DVD
Game compatibilityPS4, select PS3 with PS Now subscriptionPS4, select PS3 with PS Now subscriptionPS4, select PS3 with PS Now subscriptionXbox One, select Xbox 360Xbox One, select Xbox 360Xbox One
Inputs2x USB 3.0, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x PS Camera2x USB 3.1, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x PS Camera3x USB 3.1, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x PS Camera3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI-in, 1x Kinect3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI-in3 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI-in, IR Blaster
Networking802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only), Bluetooth 2.1802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0
ControllerBluetooth connection, 3.5mm headset jack, Li-ion battery rechargeable w/ Micro-USBBluetooth or direct USB connect, 3.5mm headset jack, Li-ion battery rechargeable w/ Micro-USBBluetooth or direct USB connect, 3.5mm headset jack, Li-ion battery rechargeable w/ Micro-USBProprietary 2.4GHz wireless, 3.5mm audio jack. 2x AA batteries or optional rechargeable pack.Proprietary 2.4GHz wireless or Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio jack. 2x AA batteries or optional rechargeable packAll existing Xbox One accessories including controller will work
Optical audio outputYesNoYesYesYesYes
Power supplyInternal 250WInternal 165WInternal 310WExternal (wattage unknown)Internal (wattage unknown)TBD
ColorsBlack, whiteBlackBlackBlack, whiteWhiteTBD (Black)
Notable extrasPS VR compatibilityEasy-access hard drive replacement, PS VR compatibilityPS VR compatibility, enhanced graphics in existing PS4 titlesBuilt-in IR blasterEnhanced graphics in existing Xbox One titles, VR support

Xbox One VS PS4: The Verdict

I’m afraid the un-answerable question will remind just that: unanswered. There are too many variables to take into consideration to make an unbiased decision. The PS4 looks nicer and runs ever so slightly better graphics, but the Xbox is more widely used, has a much better backwards compatibility and a far better support service for technical issues.

When it comes to answering what’s better, the Xbox One vs PS4, the question you must ask yourself is: what console do your friends have? And do you want to play with them? Then you’ll have your answer.

 

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