XBone VS PS4

 

With the XBox One price drop and the fresh batch of new games, I decided to take a closer look at the consoles in comparison to one another, and I quickly learnt that this is no simple task.

While there are many factors to take into account, most reviews and comparisons I’ve come across have started bias, clearly emphasising or downplaying certain features they find less relevant or more impressive, and often give misleading facts. So while it would take a lot more work to literally explain which console is better, I can at least set some facts straight and let you make up for yourself what’s more important to you!

Console Comparisons

Starting with hard disk space, that is how much storage is on each console, they both have a standard 500GB to start with, however, only the PS4 appears to be user upgradable, while the XBox One states that the hard drive is removable, they don’t necessarily state that it is recommended for the user, or if you would need to go to a local computer shop to get a specialist to have a look.

PS4 also supports SSD (Solid State Drive) which stores data a lot more securely (much harder to damage through movement) and is easier to replace if the need arises. Microsoft’s responds to this with their usual USB storage support, which any computer user will know opens up a large gateway to a multitude of storage capabilities, easily connecting to many different devices.

Being able to upgrade your storage yourself, with hard drives not yet available, or not being able to, but having the option to buy USB sticks or hard drives and, though rather impractically, using them instead if you do somehow run out of space, it’s up to you which you prefer. If you have the space or don’t mind moving some things around, I’d recommend the USB storage for it’s limitless potential, but if you just want a little extra room without the hassle, waiting for the larger hard disks may be your best, and certainly easier option.

 

Next is the CPU (Central Processing Unit). I won’t go into too many technical details, but instead give it to you straight. The CPU will make the console more powerful, especially when it comes to multi-tasking and large jobs, but this is more beneficial for “additional functionality” as games often rely more on the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) which I will get into later.

Both consoles use the same CPU design, however, while the PS4 CPU clocks at 1.6GHz, the Xbox One is ahead with 1.75GHz, making it somewhat more powerful. No doubt, some of that extra power helps with the Kinect, but looking at it plainly, it appears that Xbox Won this round.

 

Moving on to the GPU (again, that’s Graphics Processing Unit), we can note that the same type is used in each, however, while the PS4 clocks at 800MHz, the Xbox One is slightly ahead at 853MHz, but wait, there is more. Despite being slightly faster, the shaders required to handle these advanced tasks make more of a difference, and while the Xbox One has 768 shaders, the PS4 has about a 50% increase with 1152, giving it a much larger pool of power to draw upon when handling graphical processes. You can compare them by seeing that the XBox One has its GPU peak at roughly 1.23TFLOPs but the PS4 wins with a much higher 1.84TFLOPS, especially when you take into account that some of this power on the Xbox One is already reserved for Kinect functionality alone.

This states that games on the PS4 are likely to have better graphics, or at least, games with significantly advanced graphics, will perform better on the PS4.

 

RAM (Random Access Memory) is an important component in any computer, and undoubtedly, serves an important role in consoles as well. Usually depicting a machines ability to handle multitasking, the overall device speed greatly hinges on it. Put simply, a powerful CPU is pointless if the RAM is lacking. With PS4 and Xbox One, they have taken quite different approaches to handling this issue. The PS4 has opted for the noticeably more powerful 8GB GDDR5 RAM, that has an output of about 5500MHz, with an additional 256mb DDR3 for additional background tasks. On the other hand, Xbox One has gone for an 8GB DDR3, only hitting near 2133MHz, and considering that 3GB is reserved for the Kinect, it would appear as though the XBox One has fallen significantly short here. However, with a 32MB high-speed ESRAM as well, they could make up the difference. 32mb doesn’t’ sound like a lot at all, but ESRAM is far more efficient that just regular DDR3, and can be understood by comparing what the overall output is. The PS4 should have a maximum speed of about 176GB per second, but with the aid of the ESRAM, the XBox One can theoretically hit 200GB per second. I phrase it this way because the application here is somewhat more complicated. While the base speed of the PS4 should be higher, when used correctly, the XBox One can significantly outperform it, which means more pressure is put on the software designers to make the most of it, as opposed go just relying no the hardware. That, and the issue of the segments reserved for the Kinect makes it inconsistent as to which console is superior in this field.

 

Now as I mentioned earlier, the GPU is the component that should most interest gamers, but the RAM and CPU govern the consoles performance as a machine. What I am getting at, is that while the PS4 has focussed on a machine that can maximise the gaming experience, XBox One has thought more along the lines of, “current games will barely, if at all show any difference, while next generation games will only look slightly better with any more graphical focus”, instead they have focussed on the Xbox One, “The Entertainment device” that will load your data faster, perform background tasks more smoothly and create a more seamless experience. Note, that I am not saying that XBox One is a better entertainment device, or that PS4 is a better gaming device, I am simply stating that the developers seemed to have focussed on two slightly different paths, and therefore generated stats that indicate as much. This understanding that I have come to, is further supported by some of the following differences in the two machines…

 

Looking at the Display and visual output, both consoles peak at 4K, the highest available to the market right now, but the PS4 has opted for more compatibility with lower resolutions (1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p), while the Xbox One only has 1080p and 720p, in addition to the 4K. This suggest that the PS4 is taking into account the differences in their consumers slightly more, while the Xbox One team maybe thought adding all the others was unnecessary to their audience. On the other hand, the PS4 has a HDMI output only, while the Xbox One has a HDMI in/out port. This means that it can receive HD input from other devices, like your Skybox or in fact, another console (PS4 as some have shown online already). It is a feature most people wouldn’t know what to do with, but some gamers would have their mouths watering with the potential application, again, it’s up to you to decide whether such a feature is worth having.

 

The PS4 also has 2 USB ports, and supports Bluetooth (and while I was going to get to the controllers later I thought I’d add that they support standard 3.5mm jacks, making them compatible with most earphones and headphones). The Xbox One will only work with specific headsets, unless you have the adapter, and doesn’t have Bluetooth, but it does have an additional USB port (typical considering it’s USB storage support), an S/PDIF out (for homes theatre setups), and an IR-out (infrared, for wireless or remote uses), not to mention that it supports Wi-fi connectivity in place of Bluetooth, and still has to have room for the Kinect port. Another thing to note for some, is that it also supports CD reading, in addition to Blu-ray and DVD, while PS4 is Blu-ray and DVD only.

All these extra ports and inputs and readers explains the size and weight increase of the machine. To be honest, the majority of users will never even consider using ALL of these additions, and would much rather the more sleek and space efficient PS4 in their rooms, than the thick XBox One AND it’s Kinect, which goes to emphasise this point. YOU need to decide what is best for YOUR needs. From what I can gather, these additional features on the XBox One are things that many gamers would want, as well as non-gamers who will use the entertainment features more. I know that it solves some issues I’ve had with my consoles in the past. But if you’re never gonna use the Kinect, if you already lack space for setup, or you don’t even use Sky and see no reason for hooking up your rival consoles together (assuming you even considered getting both), then save the extra £50 and buy another game, though you’re still £5 short for most next generation titles, I’m sure there’s a bundle or two that’ll make up the difference.

 

You can refer to the image I’ve posted along with this report to see any more details on the literal differences between the machines, but regardless of what you’ve decided so far, don’t rush to your nearest Game of HMV quite yet, there’s at least two more fields to take into account if you’re going in, three if you have the time, so check out my other posts covering the Console’s content and accessories, The software and interfaces, and the big daddy of them all, the Games!

 

Click below to read on for:

 

Console Content and Accessories (coming soon)

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Console Software and Interface (coming soon)

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Console’s current games and exclusives (coming soon)

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