Next-generation consoles have made its release to the global market. These consoles offer a new platform for the electronic spare time and open new worlds to the entertaining. However, the worldwide economic situation compels people to buy in a responsible way, going in depth in all possible aspects to carry out a smart purchase. For this reason, it is good to gather together all the available information about each console and then decide which one fits in more with your requirements.
Lots of things have been said about these two systems, some unpopular features have been removed since the competition between the two companies (Sony and Microsoft) is very high and a simple mistake would be fatal. Here we are going to talk about the confirmed characteristics, and thus, we can offer a more detailed and technical view about what we have in the market.
A bit of history about PlayStation and Xbox
PlayStation was the first console released by Sony Computer Entertainment in December 4th, 1994. It was one of the pioneers in having CD-ROM as storage medium for its games although alongside Philips CD-I or Mega CD for Sega Genesis among others. PlayStation is considered one of the most successful video game console systems in the history, not only in sales but also in popularity. Later, PlayStation 2 was launched as the successor of PlayStation in March 4th, 2000. Its production ended in 2013 being the most sold of the history of consoles. In addition, it is the second most long-lived since it went on 13 years in the market. Finally, the last console of Sony up to now was PlayStation 3, being the last of the seventh-generation. It was launched in November 12th, 2006 and was noticeable thanks to its multimedia abilities, its connectivity and the support for Blu-ray Disc. PlayStation 4 is the last release, released in November 15th, 2013 in USA, and November 29th in Europe.
Xbox was the first console developed by Microsoft for competing with the PlayStation 2 of Sony, Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo's GameCube. It was launched in November 15th, 2001 in USA and later in the rest of the world. Microsoft received the collaboration of Intel and NVIDIA for creating the consoles. Thanks to this, its CPU was an Intel Pentium III and its architecture was similar to a PC, being an x86 one. This way, developers were able to adapt its PC games to this new console. In 2008 it was withdrew from the market, making way to the latest release of Microsoft, the Xbox 360, developed in 2005. The Xbox 360 was launched to compete with the PlayStation 3 of Sony. It was released in three different versions with different architectures. In this occasion, the graphics of the device were provided by ATI. Its name was 360 instead of Xbox 2 because Microsoft didn't want it to be related to PlayStation 2.
This way, you can check that the competition between PlayStation and Xbox goes back more than 10 years ago, being the more successful consoles of each generation. Now, both next-generation consoles are about to be released, so we are expecting to know which one becomes the best-selling console of this competition.
PlayStation 4 and Xbox features pretty similar processors, since both next-gen consoles will count with an AMD APU processor, with two quad-core x86-64 modules (eight-core). Both are based on Jaguar architecture, which will be easier for developers to create new games without wasting too much time porting their titles into other completely different system.
Regarding the graphical aspects, PlayStation 4 has an AMD GPU capable of processing 1.84 teraflops, based on new generation Radeon. Its system memory is 8gb, GDDR5 with a 176GB p/s broadband. Finally, its storage capacity will be 500gb for downloading games from the official PlayStation Network or for multimedia files.
Xbox One features an AMD GPU with GCN architecture that will provide a performance of 1.31 teraflops. The system memory of this console will be 8gb DDR3 with a 168.3GB p/s and its storage capacity is also of 500gb. So we can say that regarding this elements, both consoles will be similar, with some differences respecting the graphic aspect but essentially the same.
The most asked question about hardware of both consoles is "How will the accessories be?" Well, this question has been already answered and we are going to give you some information. As far as controllers are concerned, PlayStation has introduced its new Dualshock 4 to the public, available in Black, Magma Red and Wave Blue. Its design is pretty similar to the former Dualshock 3; however, Sony has added new features with the aid of several developers. The precision of the Dualshock 4 gamepad has been readjusted by Guerrilla Games, the sticks have been elevated to improve the accuracy and also, to add a new stereo jack 3.5 mm headphones connector. One of the most remarkable novelties in the Dualshock 4 is its new sensor, three-axis accelerometer and the three-axis gyroscope which provide super motion detection.
In addition, it will count with a built-in two-point capacitive touchpad. It also has three LED lights of different colors that will give important information to the player along the game, for instance, making the user notice if its character has suffered some harm. The battery of this controller is a lithium-ion one, rechargeable and with capacity for 1000 mAh. It will be connected to the console via Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, as the previous gamepad. Besides, it supports Windows PC and OS X platforms, thus, it will be the first Sony first-party controller to do this. The buttons that this controller displays will be "Options" including the previous start and select, the directional buttons, the action buttons (the well-known square, triangle, cross and circle), trigger and shoulder buttons (R2, L2, R1, L1), analog stick buttons (R3, L3) and the new one, "Share". This button will allow you to share your scores, recorded videos, etc. with your friends on Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Ustream, and other social networks.
The Xbox One controller remains similar to the one of the previous edition. The arrangement of the buttons, the joysticks and the triggers is quite similar to the previous device. However, the triggers have now a vibration system called "Impulse Triggers". The directional pad has a four-way design and the Back and Start buttons have been replaced by the View and the Menu ones. Besides, the Xbox button is not so centered as before, positioning itself in a higher position, leaving room for the new buttons. This new controller follows the same path of the former console, which really was a comfortable gamepad, without applying too many novelties that the users would ask for.
This row is won by PlayStation, at least regarding novelties and specifications. Each controller has its own new features, but PlayStation’s seems more useful and complete, while the Xbox one remains the same than the former one. However, this does not mean that it will be worse, the previous one was good enough, and some people found it better than the Dualshock 3. Now, PlayStation has the opportunity for redemption.
In respect to cameras, PlayStation has launched PlayStation 4 Eye, a motion sensing input device. It has a double camera system of 1280 x 800 px and four microphones. The lenses of the camera will have 20 cm focusing distance, operating with an f/2.0 aperture. It will have a view field of 85º. The camera also has a four-channel microphone that will be able to receive voice commands. The four-channel system makes the reduction of background noise possible. Xbox is going to launch the new version of its Kinect. This version will receive the name of Kinect 2.0. It will have a 1080p resolution, and its level of accuracy and exploration is superior to the first version. It will be able to track up to 6 bodies at once. Besides, it will be able to process 2GB per second and capture 30 images per second too. Its microphone will also be able to receive voice commands, and it will remain active by default.
As we can check, dealing with hardware aspects, both consoles are well served. Each one has its strong points, but to make this competition a bit more interesting, let's make a comparison between both software systems. As previously mentioned, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will have 500gb of storage capacity to make you enjoy your games, so what is the difference at this point? Almost none in this part. In order to make its console faster, Microsoft compels to install your games in the hard drive, and once it is installed, you will never have to use the disc again. This way, the console will take advantage of the speed of its operating system to run the games. Besides, it will reduce the use of the lens, which in most cases they haven't a long life. PS4 requires to do the same since this can increase your console’s life.
A fact that shows the care that Sony has with its users is the controversial about Microsoft's decision of inserting activation codes in all its published games. This way, you will not be able to sell them once you have played, or even to lend them to your friends. After the clamorous protests of Microsoft users, Microsoft decided to suppress activation codes, allowing people to sell their games providing the agreement of the developer and having a fee. However, this decision came too late, and some of its users decided to join the rivals since Sony has never forbidden selling its games, and does not have intention to do it. This was very clear after the advert Sony shows after the controversial decision of Microsoft, in which Shuhei Yoshida explains how to lend your PS4 games to your friends.
Besides, the fight for getting the exclusive of the best-selling games is something that will make a difference since gamers will follow their favorite games. This way, popular games such as Infamous: The Second Son, developed by Sucker Punch, KillZone: Shadow Fall by Guerrilla, The Dark Socerer by Quantic Dream, Knack, Driveclub or The Order 1886 by ReadyatDawn will be exclusives to PlayStation 4. However, games like Ryse: Son of Rome by Crytek, Quantum Break by Remedy Enterainment, Halo by 343 Industries, Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct, Titanfall, Forza Motorsport 5, Project Spark or Sunset Overdrive by Insomniac Games will be exclusives to Xbox One. In addition, if you have a PlayStation 3 game that is also available in the PS4, PlayStation will offer you the opportunity of buying online the PS4 version of this game with a discount. Among the titles that will be offered in this system you can find Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4 or Assassin's Creed: Black Flag.
The last thing we have to compare is prices. PlayStation will offer its console about 100$ cheaper than its rival, even when its functions are more or less the same, some things better, some things worse. Multiplayer options will be paid in both devices. Xbox has already this system with Xbox Live, but it is a novelty in PlayStation. Multiplayer was free before with PlayStation Network, and now with the Plus option, Sony will add new content and the possibility of playing online.
Once you have read the comparison and taking into account the technical aspects of both giants of the games world, you can check that the consoles do not differ too much. PlayStation 4 and Xbox are two very powerful consoles, with very powerful processors, very powerful graphics and very powerful accessories. The main difference falls on the client handling. While Xbox will offer its console with a high price and some restrictions (even when they have gone back in some decisions), PlayStation offers its clients several advantages such as getting the PS4 version of some games cheaper. This way, the decision is yours, but be hurry, both consoles are around the corner. Which one do you think is better?