The two giants of the video game industry, Sony and Microsoft, are about to unleash their latest gaming consoles this coming holiday, and if you’re a parent, grandparent, someone new to the world of gaming, or someone who loves to play video games but doesn’t know much about the important details of both machines, then this guide is for you! These machines are around $400 to $500 each, so before you plop down your cash, let me help you make an informed decision by explaining to you the pros and cons of each machine in a simple and easy to understand way.
Next Generation Consoles (2013):
PS4 (Playstation 4) – made by Sony. Current announced price is $399.
Xbox One – made by Microsoft. Current announced price is $499.
These are the two new gaming consoles that will be released this holiday season of 2013. Even though they are made by different companies, they practically do the same thing, which is play the latest video games with newly developed technology designed for them. You can liken them to your television sets or microwave ovens, they might do the same thing, but different companies usually have different features. These features are what we have to learn about to find the best choice for us.
Maybe you’ve heard about the Xbox 360? Please don’t be confused, for some reason, Microsoft decided to name the latest version as Xbox One. No, you can’t also just call it Xbox because the very first gaming console from Microsoft is called Xbox. To avoid further confusion, here’s a timeline:
Xbox (released 2001)
Xbox 360 (released 2005)
Xbox One (will be released 2013)
Availability of Games:
Almost every game nowadays is multi-platform, meaning a game like “Assassin’s Creed 4” will be available for both PS4 and Xbox One. You really don’t have to worry much about the lack of games being made for each gaming console because if it’s available on PS4, it will also be available on the Xbox One. No matter which console you pick, almost every game released will be available for it.
One important thing to remember though is that there are games that are called “Console Exclusives”. Console Exclusive games are games that only appear for a certain console. The best example of a Console Exclusive is Nintendo’s Mario, who is probably the world’s most popular video game character in existence. Console Exclusives usually feature a company mascot and are very rare, although sometimes games are made only for certain gaming consoles due to business reasons. An example of an upcoming console exclusive game is “Dead Rising 3” which will be released on the Xbox One only, while “Infamous: Second Son” is only for the PS4.
PS4 and Xbox One Performance:
Although it is too early to say (both consoles haven’t been released yet), it is safe to assume that both gaming consoles will have a similar ability to play games. The hardware parts inside each of them aren’t very much different so we can expect games to perform practically the same on both consoles.
PS4 VS Xbox User Friendliness:
1. Internet Connection Required to Play Games?
Xbox One – YES. Xbox One will have to authenticate at least once every day to an online server for it to let you play. If the Xbox One is not able to connect to the internet, it will give you 24 hours to play offline before it prevents you from playing games. The only way to play games again is if the Xbox One is able to connect once again to its server. In other words, if you don’t have an internet connection, don’t buy the Xbox One because you won’t be able to play games. You also have to pay for the Xbox Live Gold service to play multi-player online games, which is currently $5/month.
PS4 – NO. The PS4 does not need to connect to a server to let you play games offline. The only time it needs an internet connection is if you want to play an online multi-player game. As of now, the planned online multi-player fee is $5/month.
Advantage: PS4, because you can play anytime, anywhere, even without an internet connection. This means that you can bring your PS4 and games during vacation trips and still enjoy them.
Disadvantage: Xbox One, because if you don’t have an internet connection, you won’t be able to play games anymore after a day, unless the Xbox One can connect to its servers again. This also means that even if you’re just playing a single player game, you still won’t be able to play it just because you don’t have an internet connection.
2. Can You Lend Games to Play on a Friend’s Console?
Xbox One – Yes, in a limited way. Your friend has to have been on your Friends List for over 30 days. You can also share a game only once, no more after that.
PS4 – YES. You can easily just give the game disc to your friend and they can play it on their PS4 without restrictions and limitations.
Advantage: PS4, there are no hassles to sharing your games or bringing it anywhere to play as long as there is a PS4 gaming console to use.
Disadvantage: Xbox One, the restrictions of sharing games with the Xbox One means that once you’ve shared it with someone, that’s it, it won’t be possible anymore.
3. Can You Buy/Sell/Trade Used Games?
Xbox One – limited, depends on the game publishers.
PS4 – YES, just as how you can easily share games, you can sell and trade them as well.
Advantage: PS4, because there are no hurdles and complicated matters to worry about if you simply want to sell, share, or trade your games.
Disadvantage: Xbox One, because of their “leave it up to the game publishers” ideology.
4. Can You Buy Games From Another Country and Play It?
Xbox One – NO, Xbox One is “region locked”, meaning a US version of the Xbox One can never play games made for the Japanese version of the Xbox One.
PS4 – YES, this means your US version of PS4 can play Japanese PS4 games.
Advantage: PS4, because you are free to buy and play foreign made games made for the PS4. This is very good especially for those who can speak and read other languages like Japanese.
Disadvantage: Xbox One, because if you want to play a Japanese Xbox One game, then you’ll have to buy a Japanese Xbox One gaming console.
Both the PS4 and the Xbox One have similar hardware specifications, and so they will also also have similar performance when it comes to running games. Console exclusive games are very rare that you can’t simply buy a certain gaming console just because of one game, especially since almost every game are released on multiple gaming consoles and gives the same experience anyway. It all comes down to how user friendly a gaming console is, and that’s what we will use to judge which one is the smartest choice.
The PS4 is the best choice as of this writing for these reasons:
– no internet connection required to play (of course you need the internet to play online games).
– you can easily share, sell, and trade games.
– you can buy foreign made games and play it on your PS4.
– the price is $100 lower than Xbox One despite having similar hardware specifications.
– majority of games are multi-platform, so non-exclusive games on Xbox One are also on PS4.
Gaming is about playing games, may it be on your own or with other people. It’s about having a fun time, which can sometimes mean taking a game with you to a friend’s house to play or bringing along your gaming console with you on a vacation. The lack of an internet connection should not be an obstacle for you to enjoy the games that you bought. Sony’s PS4 provides everyone a gaming console that lets us enjoy gaming as human beings and not simply as robotic tied-up subscribers to a service like what Microsoft’s Xbox One seems to be aiming for.
If you’re looking for great value, a gaming console that lets you play it anytime, anywhere, with or without an internet connection, and something that would let you actually have fun with your friends, then the PS4 is the one for you.