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Xbox One vs PS4: Apples n’ Oranges?

/ Jun 6th, 2013 1 Comment

Could Microsoft and Sony have made it any more difficult for gamers to form a solid opinion about the console of the future? PS4 and Xbox One have ridiculously similar hardware, but are separating themselves in terms of their functionalities and they seem to appeal to significantly different demographics. Xbox One seems to have made a slightly more radical change when compared with PS4. Let’s dive into the Xbox One first to get an idea of how PS4 compares with it.

Xbox One

Xbox One Games

Xbox One

First off, the Xbox One has got the gaming world ranting about the very name itself. It is the third Xbox, so why is it Xbox One? Well, the Xbox One is supposed to be an all-in-one system, which sort of suggests a new era of gaming consoles, which might explain why they are labeling it as Xbox One… The name sounds weird and nonsensical either way though. But, names are trivial. What is more important is what this console is planning to bring to the next generation.

[adsense250itp]There is one thing that people were clearly unhappy about; Xbox One placed video games secondary in their presentation. For gamers, it is fair to say that is a big no-no, which is why it seems they are indeed targeting a different demographic, and that is the modern entertainment enthusiast. This is a person who wants to play games, watch T.V., watch movies, and surf the net all on one device at the same time. Frankly, seeing the new Kinect in action with upgraded voice recognition and movement detection was pretty impressive. One might even suspect that it was all being done on cue behind the scenes rather than it being a true representation of what it will be like in a home. The system was pretty dang quick to respond to gestures and voice commands. The idea of being able to do so much on one system is surely an admirable idea for modern entertainment enthusiasts who want a little bit of everything in one box, but it is doubtful this will get someone who is a purely gaming enthusiast very excited. The reason being that all that entertainment is already accessible to people in a variety of ways.

When people think of consoles, they think of games, not Skype. Being able to do Internet stuff that we’re used to doing on a computer on a console is a fine idea, but not at the expense of it not being the best gaming system possible. Microsoft did show off a couple of games, but not many exclusives, and almost no gameplay. Forza 5 was pretty much the highlight of Xbox One’s presentation, which leaves anyone who is not a racing fan kind of just… waiting for something to get excited about. It was really surprising to see no other exclusive games either such as a Gears of War or Halo game, for Halo it might be because 343i is busy with a Halo TV show.

As far as having to be online all the time, it is a relief to know that the outrageous idea of having to be constantly connected to the Internet in order to do anything on the console has been thrown out. However, there is this idea being thrown around that gamers may have to connect to the cloud once every 24 hours in order to keep doing things, but that sounds ridiculous and is hopefully nothing more than a misunderstanding. Obvious improvements to the system include the new Blu-Ray drive and built-in Wi-Fi. One thing that deserves a lot of props is their controller. They kept the same basic design with just a few add-ons. From the look of it, this controller will feel very much like the Xbox 360 controller, but with better grip and comfort. Microsoft claims that they have made this new controller far more responsive than the previous iteration, which is a bit hard to imagine, but we’ll just have to find out after some more people have gotten their hands on them.

PS4

PS4 Controller

PS4 Controller

PS4 spent a lot more time displaying their games. Not only did Xbox One fail to show many games, they literally showed no actual gameplay. This left plenty of question marks about what the actual graphics will be when playing the game. Sony showed long gameplay videos of games such as the next Killzone: Shadowfall, which displayed gorgeous graphical detail. They also focused on the new concept of being able to use a PS Vita, which would allow you to continue to play PS4 games remotely. This seems to be an effort to drive sales for the PS Vita, which has not done as well as Sony would like, but this effort seems to be working as PS Vita is establishing more following since the PS4 press release.

Although some PS4 cinematics were shown, most of them transitioned directly into gameplay. It is worth noting that these beautiful, photo-realistic graphics in cut-scenes held up seamlessly during gameplay. Another bold concept that is suggested during the press conference was the ability of PSN friends being able to jump into games and assist other friends in missions. Going back to the idea of Sony really making PS4 all about games, the PS4 was said to have been built with developers in mind. In other words, they went around asking all the greatest developers what they need in order to create great games and built their system around that. According to Sony, this will lead to global support for the PS4 in terms of developers, which should translate to a massive array of games from around the world. Sony also mentioned several exclusives that will be on their console, which can be seen here.

Sony also spent some time talking about the all new Gai Kai technology, which promises to make gaming accessible via “the cloud”; we await further information on how exactly that will work. Among the disappointments of PS4 was the lack of a physical console to unveil, no mention of price, and general withholding of details. However, the same can be said for the Xbox One, which had a lot more time to ready up their presentation. As for the controller, aside from the classic buttons that we’ve grown accustomed to with all PlayStations, it does look quite different. It now has a touch pad in the center as well as a new share button that promises to engage gamers in new social experiences. It was also disappointing to hear Sony representatives say that PS4 “offers gamers completely new ways to play and interact with games,” without ever explaining how. It would also be nice to know whether PS4 will recognize PS3 controllers, since the demos they showcased did not utilize any use of the new features on the PS4 controller.

Xbox One vs PS4: The Gamer’s Complex

Both systems show great potential, but in different ways; they also disappointed gamers in different ways. The number one problem on both ends had to be the fact that there was too much vague information that distracted from some important issues that gamers have an interest in knowing. With the Xbox One it was backwards compatibility, price range, and Xbox Live pricing structure. While Sony neglected to give us a thorough understanding of the new Gai Kai cloud technology and how the seemingly more Internet-dependent system will effect PSN prices. Questions are being raised about how consoles are going to be able to stack up against PCs as well, considering the ever-changing market and ability to infinitely customize PCs as technology progresses. It is difficult to choose a winner with such limited information and such similar technical stats. However, given Sony’s focus on actual video games in terms of developer relationships, time spent on games in their press conference, and their slightly higher stats in technical specs, it’s probably fair to say that PS4 is the more appealing system for gamers as of right now. Hopefully, E3 will challenge all opinions on these two gaming giants and give people some more solid information to help them decide which system to get more excited for!!!

Alejandro Grover

Alejandro Grover

Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Alejandro is an official contributor at Gaming Illustrated and part of the editorial team. He loves movies, video games, and music. He is also a composer.
Alejandro Grover
Alejandro Grover

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