If you follow gaming news, you follow E3. If you’ve followed E3 in any capacity, you should be well aware of the persistently raging “Console War” between Sony’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. If you haven’t heard, just pop the name of either console in to any search engine and see what kind of news articles pop up. However, if you’re reading this little indie blog about the console war, chances are you’re fully aware of the battle going down and simply looking for some additional information that may or may not push you to one side of the fence or the other. If you dub yourself to be of the “PC Gaming Master Race“, you really don’t care which side comes out on top because you’ll continue on your own PC rig. But, if you’re looking for that one last opinion piece to give you the final push to one side, continue reading!
DISCLAIMER: It is almost impossible to write any kind of prose on this issue without some form of personal bias. While I will strive for objectivity, I will make it known upfront that I, personally, am an Xbox Gamer and I plan to continue on as such.
Firstly and before I continue on with my own interpretation, you can refer to my previous blog post regarding the Xbox One Announcement, where I posted a link to a very clean chart from IGN, complete with cited sources. This chart is as objective as you can possibly get, since it’s simply numbers and statements and not spin or opinion. I’ll be using this chart as a point of reference for the remainder of this blog. As the title states, this will be an abridged version of the console war, so I intend to breeze over a few points.
Both PS4 and Xbox One may operate both Blu-Ray and DVD. In the current gen consoles, the PS3 already reads Blu-Ray while the Xbox 360 only reads DVDs. In the next Gen, however, Sony loses this point of exclusivity.
Here, I’m going to upset some hardware enthusiasts and say that for the most part, each system is on par with the other. Both have 8GB of Ram, while Sony’s GDDR is of higher performance than Microsoft’s DDR, but for the average console gamer I doubt there will be an noticeable difference. The same goes with the CPU. Both consoles have a 500GB internal Hard Drive, with Xbox One announcing that there will be the option for additional storage via USB 3.0. Both have some form of Cloud Storage. Neither support backwards compatibility from previous gen games.
For AV connections, it should be noted that the Xbox One does NOT support Standard Resolution screens. If you do NOT have an HD screen, you will NOT be able to play the Xbox One on your current TV.
Both consoles will have their own type of Motion Control; PS4’s “Playstation Eye Camera” and Xbox’s “Kinect“. The Kinect will be bundled with the Xbox One console, while the Playstation Camera will be sold separately. Note that the Xbox One requires the Kintect to be connected at all times for the console to operate, but may be turned off for privacy concerns. Since the PS4 will not be bundled with the PS Camera, the console obviously will not require it for operation.
Also, both consoles will have the support for a “Second Screen” feature. This can be done with the Playstation Vita or with Xbox’s Smartglass. The PS Vita is a separate Sony device that can play games on it’s own as a mobile gaming device. The Xbox Smartglass is a downloadable app for your existing smartphone or tablet. How these will be implemented will be up to the game designers, as they can serve a wide variety of functions to the game being played, such as a second mini-map, inventory control, or as a completely separate input device.
In short, DRM is a way for publishers to manage who has access to their digital products. For both PS4 and Xbox One, the idea of DRM will be left up to the publishers. As it currently stands, both camps are doing their best to spin the best PR phraseology to win consumers, and currently it seems that Sony is doing the better job of it. However, it should be noted that if you were to type in PS4 DRM in to Google you will see that this issue may not be fully resolved.
Here’s is what I will call the single most defining aspect of the Console War. Simply put, the PS4 does not require any only connection at all for it to operate. The Xbox One, however, requires a kind of “Authenticity Check In” at least once every 24hrs.
The Choice is Your’s
The intent of this post is purely educational. At this time, I will not attempt to sway anyone’s vote or opinion of either console. I will reiterate that, personally, I will be planning on purchasing the Xbox One. This decision was ultimately made up by the exclusive games for each console and if I would have access to certain games depending on which games would be offered.
Come back all this week for more E3 Aftermath Recap posts where we’ll discuss what games were revealed and why this blogger isn’t turning his back on Xbox….yet…