Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4

Gentry Fitch

Christmas is soon approaching and one of this year’s hottest gifts, Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 are head-to-head.  These devices are the next generation of gaming and are built with the most cutting-edge technology and consumer lulls they can possibly pack into one system.

Body design
The Xbox One brings a larger console to the fight but at some expense to Sony’s frontrunner.  The cost of producing a smaller console may result in a louder machine and less ventilation to cool of graphics processors that can cause various malfunctions in the system. However, these drawbacks shouldn’t affect your everyday gamer. 

In terms of aesthetics, this one is in the eye of the consumer.  Microsoft truly puts the “box” in Xbox in its new generation.  Essentially there is a black box, a port to enter a disc on the left and an Xbox logo towards the right.  You also have some I/O ports in the back for power, audio, monitor connection, Xbox Live support among many other things.

Sony has a quite similar design, as pointed out in the E3 conference earlier this year, to the PS4’s much older brother: the PS2.  The console was produced to resemble a slant parallelogram with the disc reader on the left and PS4 logo on the right.  Similar to the Xbox One, all of the I/O ports are in the back of the device where you can connect to power, audio, etc.

Overall the designs are quite subjective to the consumer’s taste but should be considered both ways.

The other selling point for more conscious gamers is on-board internals.  The processing power of the two systems is greatly increased considering the Xbox 360 and PS3. 

Xbox boasts an 8-core x86 CPU processor under the hood, which allows for a speedy and safe switch between apps, games and other media outlets.  The CPU in the Xbox One is the same as in the PS4, but this does not mean overall performance is the same.  Many other factors in the machines work together to promote a performance that can be used for a better gaming experience.  For example, a graphics processor, also known as a GPU, can directly affect a console’s individual performance while actually playing games rather than that of the CPU, which runs all interactions that you don’t necessarily see onscreen.  The GPU in the PlayStation 4 runs quickly but the Microsoft equivalent comes out on top (853 MHz vs. 800Mhz).

The final factor for the internals is the systems memory (measured in RAM).  This is another touchy comparison as both consoles have 8 GB of RAM inside, but the other internals in the devices determine which 8 GB will be faster to access.  Without getting overly technical, this factor comes to a tie.

Deal breakers
Despite critics’ thoughts on these next generation devices, both have equivalent hardware and are worthy of an awesome Christmas gift.  This is why they’re jam-packed with small goodies that could possibly sway consumer opinion.

The most convincing aspect for an average consumer is price. The PS4 is priced at $400 and the Xbox One at $500; however, there is a reason for the $100 price difference.  The Xbox One is a packaged deal that includes one wireless controller, the console itself and a Kinect sensor.  The Kinect sensor is normally sold for $100 so with all things equal, the two are about the same value when its all said and done.  This advantage also helps developers for Xbox create games that can seamlessly integrate the Kinect sensor into their games and applications because the market all has the same hardware.

Wireless gaming and international competition has now dominated the market for some years now.  Sony and Microsoft have devised a plan to keep online players with their system.  Sony’s route is a reliable service with somewhere in the 30,000 range of servers worldwide, allowing for stable game play and reliable cloud services.  This comes for $50 annually starting Nov. 15th.  Microsoft chose the exceptionally reliable and stable route.  With around 300,000 servers worldwide to host online gaming, Xbox Live is the service of choice between the two.  This high value comes at a higher price, but only $60 for a ten-fold better service is hard to beat.

Some other factors that are subject to some vicious debate between the die-hard PS’ers and Xbox’ers are controller shape, release titles, and outside corporate partnerships, most of which are overlooked by a casual gamer.

The Xbox one (left) in comparison to the PlayStation 4 (right) Photo:

The Xbox one (left) in comparison to the PlayStation 4 (right)


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