The Xbox One was just announced and the specs and features Microsoft has packed into the console are outstanding. But how do they compare to the PlayStation 4 — which was announced by Sony on February 20, 2013? Let's analyze the information we know so far.
The specs for the Xbox One and the PS4 are very similar. Both the Xbox One and the PS4 will have a Blu-Ray disc player. This is a much needed addition for Microsoft; Sony introduced a Blu-Ray player back in 2007 with the PS3. The Xbox One and the PS4 will both sport an AMD Jaguar processor, but the Xbox One will have an 8-core processor and 8 GB of RAM, almost identical to the PS4. The Xbox One will also have USB 3.0 ports, 500GB of hard drive storage (which won't be utilized that much since much of the storage will be done through the cloud), Wi-Fi Direct for interacting with the controller and other accessories, and five billion — yes, billion — transistors.
Engadget writes that the Xbox One will have more transistors than the average Intel or AMD chip, which only have about 1.4 billion. In addition, Engadget notes that the "x86 PC-style architecture" means that the Xbox One won't be backwards compatible (neither is the PS4).
There are some important differences between the Xbox One and the PS4, though. Both systems will have 8GB's of RAM, as we previously mentioned, but the Xbox One will be DDR3 vs the PlayStation 4's GDDR5. The GDDR5 is supposed to be faster, but the DDR3 is no slouch either. Both systems support 1080p and 4K video, as well as 7.1 surround sound, so Microsoft and Sony are virtually equal there.
Microsoft says that the Xbox One won't use discs that much — simply to download games on to the HDD and then store everything on the cloud.
So who wins? It's hard to say. A lot of the specs have to do with the design...and we haven't seen the PS4 yet. As you can see, the Xbox One looks like a more modern version of a standard VCR player. Not only that, but neither Sony and Microsoft have released the full specs on either the PS4 nor the Xbox One. So, based on the information we have right now, we'd have to call the systems relatively even. Both are very, very, powerful systems and are basically computers in your living room. Spec-wise, you can't go wrong with either device.
Features for the two consoles are a completely different story. In my opinion, the Xbox One has a number of more features that make the next-gen Xbox a must-buy. Sony and the PS4, on the other hand, had a very average features and new software additions, but nothing mind blowing. Let's break it down.
The Xbox One is filled to the brim with cool and innovative features. The most interesting? TV on the Xbox One; you'll be able to navigate and watch live TV (as long as you have cable set-top box), through your Xbox One. The Home screen can now be activated by simply saying "Xbox, On" and can be customized to your preferences — meaning you can add your favorite TV shows, games, and entertainment right into the Home screen of the Xbox One. The "Snap" feature basically splits up your screen. Microsoft said about Snap in a press release, "Use Snap to jump into a multiplayer battle while watching your favorite movie, talk with friends on Skype while watching live TV, or track your fantasy team on TV as you watch the big game and more.
Trending and OneGuide allow you to both keep track of what shows are popularity among your friends and the Xbox community and offers a TV-Guide-esque menu where you can search by network, name, or time, just using your voice. Both features look like they could be very useful.
Sony, on the other hand, is a little light on the features for the PlayStation 4, but plan to "expand and evolve" services throughout the lifespan of the PS4. The PlayStation Netwrok will let players access a number of cloud-based services, including Sony's Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited subscription services. Similarly, Customers can browse through titles and stream games through Gaikai to test the out almost instantly. Sony opted to concentrate on the social aspect of video gaming. The new DualShock 4 controller will have a SHARE buton, which will allow players to cycle through the last few minutes of gameplay to share a clip with your friends. Videos can be uploaded directly from the console to various websites or PSN. You can switch between using your friends with your real-life friends and a screenname with anonymous online buddies. But, other than that, Sony hasn't announced many other features on the PS4.
So what's the verdict? Well, it should be pretty clear: the Xbox One has some innovative and potentially revolutionary features. The question is: Could the Xbox One become the center of home entertainment in the future? No one is even asking that question about the PS4. It seems like Microsoft has the perfect blend between interactive, useful, and futuristic (controlling something in your living room by just speaking?!) features so that Xbox One owners can have a console that'll last years and years, not just until the new console is out. The Xbox One manages to combine various aspects of home entertainment — video games, television, movies, and streaming services — while still packing in amazing hardware specs. So, in my opinion, with the fantastic and comprehensive features packed into the console, the Xbox One is a better buy than the PS4.