Now that both of the most popular consoles have a had a full year in the hands of gamers, each has had a chance to address their initial shortcomings and become more well-rounded machines. As a result, definitively distinguishing one console over the other as superior has become a finer line than ever before, and there is perhaps no true answer. However, the two gaming systems retain their characteristic differences, and user preference can make one console the clear choice.
Visually, the somewhat elaborate interface of the Xbox One is inspired by other modern Windows platforms such as Windows 8 and that of the Windows phone. The PS4 employs a simpler user experience that chiefly relies on scrolling and is often seen as more accessible right out of the box.
Xbox One stands out for continuing fulfilling its release day promise to provide free monthly updates for all active subscribers to its Xbox Live monthly service. Every 30 days sees a new set of features for the console such as enhanced TV integration and advanced storage features, making it an excellent choice as an all-around entertainment system. Sony also releases updates to its software periodically, with a recent update introducing SharePlay functionality and support for YouTube among other feature.
The Xbox One is significantly larger than the PS4, presenting a large rectangular profile where the PS4 is more streamlined and modern. However, the larger casing of the Xbox 360 is an effort to address the overheating issues that were prevalent with the previous generation’s Xbox 360. The power cable for the Xbox is also much larger than the PS4’s making it more of a stationary console.
Standard retail prices for the two consoles are similar where not identical, although the Xbox One features a larger variety of value bundles that can bring the cost of the system and its peripherals well below the price of a similarly appointed PS4.
The flagship accessory of the Xbox, the Kinect, allows far more interaction with the console than the motion capture of the PS4’s camera, allowing command input in menus and other applications as well as gameplay control. It also has more advanced TV integration through its HDMI input and hub functionality as well as 3D Blu-Ray support, making it more of a total entertainment system.
Where the Xbox shines in versatility, the PS4 is designed to present maximum appeal to hardcore gamers, featuring a lighter size and weight as well as a low profile power cord for easy transport as well as a more powerful GPU that allows for more impressive graphics rendering.
A hotly anticipated new feature, Playstation TV, will allow users to stream and play games on any TV in their homes over a Wi-Fi connection to provide constant access to their library of games and another new utility known as Share Play allows users to create a co-op experience online without all users needing to own the game.
Overall, both the PS4 and Xbox One have their own package of benefits that will appeal to a given type of user. Veteran gamers will likely be better served by Sony’s offering while those looking for a true home entertainment system would do well to consider Microsoft’s latest console, and you can get the Playstation 4 at Harvey Norman as well as the Xbox One.