Xbox One vs PS4: Which should you pre-order?
Xbox One vs PS4 Both Microsoft and Sony's next-generation games consoles are now out in the open. Factor in day one game purchases, accessories and the as yet undisclosed price of the consoles themselves and you have one expensive day at the shops.
So unless you are Bruce Wayne, you likely won't have the spare cash to splash on the two. So which is the console for you? Read on to find out how the Xbox One and PS4 square up against each other.
There really isn't that much in it when it comes to processor differences between the two new consoles. This is a good thing as it means multi-platform titles should look very much the same on both Xbox One and PS4.
Sitting inside Sony's unit is an 8-core x86 AMD Jaguar processor, while the Xbox One also uses an 8-core system on a chip. Clock speeds for both are yet to be confirmed, but clearly the Xbox and PS4 are seriously closely matched.
Both the Xbox One and PS4 feature a Blu-ray optical drive. This is a big deal as previously Blu-ray was exclusively on PS3 when it came to games consoles.
Now you have Blu-ray capabilities on both Sony and Microsoft's offerings it should mean pretty much every game can be crammed on to a single disc, thanks to the amount of data they can store. Another evenly matched category.
The PS4 features 8GB of DDR5 RAM. This is about as quick as it gets right now when it comes to RAM and should mean that the new Sony console is as rapid as anything for multitasking.
The Xbox One has 8GB of DDR3 memory to play with. This puts it slightly behind the PS4 when it comes to the sheer speed of its RAM. Whether this will translate to any real world technical difference remains to be seen.
Microsoft has built on the previous successes of Kinect with the new Xbox, introducing a brand new and bundled sensor with the console. Boasting wide viewing angles and a Full HD 1080p camera, it is a big step up on what Kinect offered before.
Microsoft is promising that it is so accurate, that the new Kinect will be able even to recognise heartbeats. Six-player support is also possible, with one Kinect unit processing movement from six different people.
Sony's PS4 will ship with a new version of the PlayStation Eye that works in tandem with the DualShock 4 controller. Details on the new PlayStation Eye remain pretty thin, but Sony did show off the technology with a fairly incredible demo put together by Media Molecule (the people behind Little Big Planet)
Hard drive and cloud support
The amount of internal storage is yet to be confirmed for the PS4, while the Xbox will have a 500GB hard drive straight out of the box. Both are going to be heavily integrated with the cloud, which should mean a large amount of web-based storage.
Read: Xbox One, the games
Interestingly, both will also create back-up videos of your gameplay, so that you can view, share and edit them via the web. All will be stored in the cloud, freeing up internal space within the console.
Sony and Microsoft have both opted to go with the latest version of USB 3.0 with their consoles. This means rapid data transfer between console and device.
Spotted on the back of the Xbox One was a HDMI input and HDMI output, the former presumable for receiving TV content. The PS4 will also have component, RCA and optical outputs. The Xbox One will be optical only. Crucially both support 4K signals, which is a big deal.
Second screen experience
A big selling point of the next -generation consoles is the second-screen experience they can offer. Sony's uses the PS4 as a means to game remotely, which is very cool indeed.
The Xbox can take advantage of the SmartGlass app for second screen control. While not quite as good as the ability to game on another device, SmartGlass is still a very good app and it runs on both the iPhone and iPad, as well as Android and Windows Phone handsets.
It's also important not to forget Snap View, which is Microsoft's way of letting you multi-task while gaming. Snap View can run apps like Skype at the same time as you watching TV.
Xbox Live is a big deal. Microsoft knows this and as such has boosted its server count from 15,000 to 300,000, meaning there is a lot more space for people to game online with the Xbox One. It should make for a class-leading multiplayer experience, with things like integrated Skype calling and gameplay videos being particularly exciting.
Do not however overlook the PS4 in this respect. The new console is also able of recording video, making video calls and instantly hopping in and out of multiplayer games. The PS4's controller also comes with a dedicated "Share" button that should allow you to send snippets of recorded video straight to friends. This is something Microsoft definitely doesn't have.
It should be a very close call between the two consoles but until we know more about the niceties of their online experience, it's hard to pass judgement. D
Right now Sony hasn't let anyone see what the PS4 looks like. Short of a few lines, blobs and vents, it is unclear just how Sony's new console will appear. Judging from the brief flickers of hardware in Sony's teaser video, expect the usual design flair you see with the rest of its products.
The Xbox however is one hell of a beast. It is a big black gloss and matte box which weighs more than the Xbox 360 at 3.2Kg and is 10 per cent bigger. Great if you want to put it in your AV rack and forget about it, not so good if you fancy putting it on show. Oh, and it won't stand up straight.
Last but by no means least, what about the games available on each platform? Microsoft has promised 15 Xbox One exclusives, eight of which will be brand new franchises. That means a lot of new games to enjoy and, lest we forget, Forza 5 is going to be a launch title for the console. Quantum Break is also set for release although Microsoft's trailer was incredible cryptic.
With the PS4 Sony has also gone exclusive-tastic. Media Molecule is putting something together, although we don't yet know what. Then there is Killzone Shadow Fall and Drive Club. For the most part though, launch titles will be the same on both platforms. This means a new Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty.