The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (PS4) are great improvements over their predecessors – the Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively. While the predecessors are way too different, the technology behind the new consoles is amazingly similar. Both consoles feature motion control technology, instant power-on and seamless update in the background. They will be released around the same time later this year, so gaming enthusiasts will be left with a difficult choice. Perhaps, a brief discussion on how they measure up against each other will help!
The Xbox One and PS4 are powered by eight-core AMD Jaguar processors with x86 architecture similar to processors used in PCs. The major difference is in the RAM type – Xbox One uses 8 GB of DDR3 RAM while PS4 uses 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM.
Xbox One will have a 500 GB hard drive, HDMI in/out, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet. PS4 will have huge hard drive (exact size has yet to be announced), HDMI, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.
PS4 features 1,152 GPU cores while Xbox One uses 768 graphics cores. PS4’s GPU is expected to have 50% more raw graphical computational power compared to Xbox One. It will be capable of driving 1.84 TFLOPS compared to Xbox One’s throughput of 1.23 TFLOPS.
Xbox One, PS 4 Controllers
The Xbox One controller is more refined with a better D-pad, more responsive triggers and a new battery compartment for improved ergonomics and aesthetics.
The DualShock 4 on PS4 features a clickable touch pad and a light bar, which works with Move and PS4 Eye camera to track the controller and adjust split-screen orientation for multiplayer gaming. It features analog sticks, easy-to-use triggers, headphone jack, built-in speaker, and Share button for social networking.
The Xbox One connects to its controller via Wi-Fi, while PS4 depends on Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. Theoretically, Wi-Fi Direct’s 250 Mbps throughput outperforms the 3 Mbps speed of Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.
Motion and Voice Control Technology
The Xbox One comes with a Kinect 2.0 unit with a 1080p camera and better tracking capabilities, including the ability to track overall body expressions and determine heart rate. The upgraded Kinect allows you to control the console with voice commands. You can log into your account by saying “Xbox On” and continue to pronounce more commands to start playing, or watch TV.
PS4 will be compatible with the Move controller and new camera though Sony has yet to announce whether they would be bundled with the system. It will feature the PlayStation Eye that can use the Move controller and track the light bar on DualShock 4. It can stream video while you are streaming a game.
At this point it is hard to rate which motion/camera is better, Kinect is likely to be more pervasive.
Xbox One, touted as a comprehensive solution for the living room, will let you switch from game to TV, Web, movie, or Skype without switching inputs via simple voice commands. It will also allow multitasking, such as running games and apps simultaneously. Instead of replacing the cable box, it will plug into it, enabling live TV control. Xbox One will facilitate live streaming services as well.
Sony has yet to reveal more about PS4’s non-gaming entertainment, but there are no talks of live TV integration.
Social features of Xbox One pertain to Skype, Xbox Live, Smart Match and SmartGlass. The friends-list limit on Xbox Live has been increased from 100 to 1,000. The console will allow simultaneous participation of more players in multiplayer games and allow developers to make new releases in accordance to the game’s community.
The Share button on PS4’s controller allows you to broadcast live gameplay and share videos of recent games. Friends can watch you play and post comments during the game, or even take over your controls to help you through difficult sections of the game via Sony’s Gaikai technology. PS4 will be integrated with Facebook and video chat. Players can stream games via the PlayStation Network or UStream. With Remote Play, PS4 games can be streamed onto PlayStation Vita.
PS 4 , Xbox One Games
Microsoft assures 15 exclusive games by the first 12 months of Xbox One launch, with eight games coming from new franchises. It has revealed Forza 5 racing, Crytek’s Ryse and Alan Wake’s Quantum Change. More details are expected at the E3 event in June 2013.
While announcing PS4 in February, Sony revealed Mark Cerny’s Knack and the Killzone: Shadow Fall. It also showed clips from Infamous: Second Son and Drive Club racing game. However, it kept silent on the number of exclusive titles for PS4.
Rumors have it that Xbox One will cost $499, and a subsidized $299 with Xbox Live subscription. There are no guesses on PS4 pricing. However, Microsoft and Sony are yet to announce the official pricing.
Despite many similarities between Xbox One and PS4, each has its own distinctive features. Comparing Xbox One’s Kinect 2.0 with PS4 Eye, it seems like Xbox One has the edge on motion tracking. PS4 has the edge in terms of GPU size and raw gaming power.
Xbox One has HDMI to let gamers watch TV without switching the input. The cable box can be controlled with voice commands via Kinect. In addition, the Snap feature allows users to open apps alongside live stream. Skype integration allows video chat via Kinect’s 1080p camera.
Indie game support makes Sony’s PS4 stand out. PS4 and the PlayStation Vita will serve as a choice platform for Indie developers. While Sony plans to allow independent studios publish games on PS4, Microsoft prefers to work with major publishers.
While each console has its own pros and cons based on the specs known so far, it is better to wait for the actual release of both for a true comparison.