Xbox One or PS4: The Great Debate

This isn't going to be easy...

"Should I get a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One?" is a question we get asked a lot. It's a hard one to answer as both consoles offer very similar performances and share a similar game catalogue. Gamers also tend to have a strong affinity for one or the other making it hard to find unbiased opinions.

A coworker of ours found himself in that exact situation. He can only afford to buy one of the two consoles, but deciding which one is harder than he thought. As he put it "every friend I ask or blog I read is pretty fanboyed out on one with a serious unrealistic hate for the other…" So he sent us this email:

Dear Girls on Games
I'm ready to take the plunge this generation and unlike the last gen before having 2 kids I am only allowed to buy one console…

If there was one feature that makes each console, what would you say it is?
Exclusives were huge last gen, if you had to pick one announced exclusive for each console, what would it be?
Media is a big part of consoles now and the console really can be the main piece of entertainment equipment in your house, what do you think each console does really well in this arena filled with chromecasts, appleTV's and smartTV's?
Where are you satisfied and dissatisfied with each console being a few months into the life, and where do you see each console standing out 2 years from now?

Thanks Girls on Games, you're my favourite gaming blog!
-Dad on the fence with less money for gaming now

Here are our answers based on our personal experience with both consoles:

If there was one feature that makes each console, what would you say it is?

Leah

The innards of the two consoles are so similar that you cannot say one has more power than the other. Xbox One has the more comfortable controller and that cool haptic feedback in the triggers that add that little 'somethin-somethin' to the gameplay experience. For the PlayStation 4 I really enjoy the remote play with the PSVita. Most of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was played on my Vita because my fiancée wanted to use the television for other things like watching hockey or playing another game.

Catherine

For the Xbox, I would say the controller. Sweet mother of pearl it's a great controller. It's comfortable, has great haptics and the best triggers ever. The new Kinect is great and comes stock. I love it for voice commands and video chatting.
The PS4 offers more versatility and is better for a casual gamer. The user interface experience is definitely better organized making it more user-friendly. You can also do more without buying the PS+ account compared to not having an XBLA Gold account on the Xbox One.

Exclusives were huge last gen, if you had to pick one announced exclusive for each console, what would it be?

Leah Xbox One already released: Titanfall. I got to play this in Beta and really enjoyed what was presented. We did not get a chance to review this game but everything I hear and read is nothing but good.
Xbox One coming up: The easy choice is Halo but I am more intrigued by Quantum Break. Looks interesting and I like the idea of a new IP.

PlayStation 4 already released: inFAMOUS: Second Son. (Click for review)
PlayStation 4 coming up: The untitled Uncharted game. Cause I cannot get enough Nathan Drake.
Catherine



Xbox: Forza or Dead Rising
PS4: InFAMOUS.

Media is a big part of consoles now and the console really can be the main piece of entertainment equipment in your house, what do you think each console does really well in this arena filled with chromecasts, appleTV’s and smartTV’s?

Leah

Xbox One has that cool snap feature that allows you to watch tv and do other things at the same time (you connect your PVR to the Xbox One with an HDMI cable instead of directly to your tv). For instance, if you are watching Football you can have your team's stats on the side so you can keep track of your fantasy team. You can also have tv running while you play a game. On the contrary, you must have Xbox Live Gold in order to watch services like Netflix that you probably already pay for. PlayStation only charges you a fee if you want to play games online, not to access other apps. Most of the services like Netflix are available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the other devices you mentioned so you won't have issues getting the content you desire. 

Catherine

Neither will read media from a USB key like the PS3 or the 360 so keep that in mind. Neither will stream media from your computer, either. This is DRM central. The PS4 is said to eventually (whatever that means) receive a firmware update that will restore the DNLA media server function but I wouldn't count on it for now.
The big hurdle for the Xbox One is that apps like Netflix require an XBLA Gold account. You end up paying for two monthly memberships to access one service. I think in that aspect, the PS4 is the better choice hands down.

When it comes to consuming the on demand content, each pander to their interests. Apple TV is all iTunes content, PS4 is all Sony Entertainment (which is still a vast catalogue), etc. If you're looking for variety, I would combine one of the consoles with an existing service to cover the widest media catalogue possible. In the end, I find that neither are really as good media hubs as their predecessors.

Where are you satisfied and dissatisfied with each console being a few months into the life, and where do you see each console standing out 2 years from now?

Leah

I am pretty satisfied with both right now. They stand exactly where I expected them to, being 5 month old babies. The graphic capabilities of both consoles are fantastic so we know based on experience from the last generation that things are only going to get better. Were things are going to get real interesting is in the realm of virtual reality and motion. The kinect is pretty awesome. Kinect Sports Rivals only scratched the surface of what that tech is capable off for motion controls and using voice commands to control the entire system is great. I yell 'Xbox On' all the time now before picking up my controller.

On the PlayStation front, Project Morpheus could be a game changer if treated properly. From reports it sounds like it is a ways out from being on store shelves, but if they create the right experiences and games are built from the ground up for it, the future of how we play games might be significantly different from what it is now and that makes me very excited. And don't forget about PlayStation Now, that game streaming service that will alow us to play the old PlayStation games. It's supposed to come out later this year but I expect we will hear more at E3 so stay tuned!

 
Catherine

Xbox One: Loving how it performs and the added functions of the Kinect. However, the console is bulky and heavy and the UIX isn't optimal. I hate how you need XBLA Gold for anything and everything yet you reap few member rewards.
PS4: Also great performance, better UIX, you can do more without a paid account and PS+ gets you free monthly games. I think this console is better for a casual and budget-savvy gamer. 

2 years from now, I see a similar scenario from what we've seen with the PS3 and Xbox 360. A needless console war between two similar products.

My two cents: Get a PS4. The next major releases you'll want to play are most likely third party and will be available on both (Watch_Dogs, Batman: Arkham Knight, etc.) Unless you want to play Halo. Then splurge the extra money for the Xbox One and the membership.

 

If you're faced with the same connundrum, we hope this post will aid you in choosing the right console for your needs and wants. Happy gaming!

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