We're sure you've seen plenty of articles describing the most important aspects of gaming's next gen machines - the Xbox One and the PS4. We're going to bless you guys with a definitive piece on the most important differences between Microsoft and Sony's next batch of gaming consoles. Here's the five most important facts you need to know about both console's major aspects.
1. Price and Release Date
2. Design, Specs and Features
3. Online Gaming and Paid Subscription Plans
Sony's PS4 won't always have to maintain a online connection just so you can use the system. However, playing online is no longer free. Users will have to obtain a paid PlayStation Plus subscription in order to play games online. But even if you don't subscribe to PS+, you'll still be able to play all of your single-player games and use the various media services offered on the console. Your PS4 membership will transfer over to the PS4.
4. Used Games and DRM
The official Xbox blog offered this simple explanation of the used games/DRM policy for the Xbox One:
Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today - There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360. In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions.
The whole DRM policy for the PS4 is still a bit unclear for gamers and even the company itself. Some say that Sony STILL doesn't have a finalized DRM plan for its upcoming console. During an interview with Eurogamer, Jim Ryan, the boss of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, did give some info on the implementation of online passes and used games as it pertains to third-party publishers:
Our philosophy remains unchanged, so don't worry about that. We will not be implementing Online Pass or any kind of variant of that for our own self-published games. If a third-party publisher wants to do something server-side with their own content, there's not much we can do about that.
Sony CEO Jack Tretton cleared up the DRM matter with Sony's first-party titles while speaking with GameTrailers:
We create the platform. We've certainly stated that our first party games are not going to be doing that, but we welcome publishers and their business models to our platform. There's going to be free-to-play, there's going to be every potential business model on there. And again that's up to their relationship with the consumer.
As for used games, Sony's stance on the issue is pretty simple - you can trade games, sell/lend them to friends and keep the physical copy of the game you purchased. However, it is known that Sony won't prevent third-party publishers from restricting the practice of used games. If the publisher wishes to stop its releases from ending up on the used games market, Sony will ultimately leave that decision up to them.