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Xbox One vs PS4

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Which Console Should I Buy?

Both the Xbox One and PS4 have been around for enough time to give us a solid grounding for the strengths and weaknesses of each. Whether you go for the people's favourite, the PS4, or opt for the potentially more well-rounded Xbox will be decided on your preferences. The decision is not clear cut. To help you work out which console is right for you we've compared each aspect so you can safely decide between the PS4 or Xbox One.

As well as covering all the hardware angles we'll also checking out the games that are already out and the games coming to the two consoles thanks to E3 2014.

Xbox One vs PS4 -Video Comparison

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If you want to see both the PS4 and Xbox One in action then check out our video comparison:



Xbox One vs PS4 – Price and Release Date

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In a suprising, but honestly refreshing, turn of events Microsoft has made some major changes to the way it has been marketing the Xbox One. There were a few new things to note If you were looking to buy a PS4 or Xbox One a while back.

Most shocking of all is that the Kinect is no longer tied to the Xbox One - Microsoft has announced its plan to release a Kinect-free console for £349. That’s the same price as the PS4 without any games.

Whereas before the cost factor was a major issue when choosing between the two consoles, now they have reached parity.

Some of the restrictions that seemed to penalise Xbox One owners have also been restricted. You don't have to purchase and Xbox Live Gold membership to access things like Netflix, which is a big bonus for those looking to make their console act as a home entertainment unit.

The Xbox One is now a lot more like the PS4. And in this case, that’s a good thing.

The Xbox One's original ‘RRP’ was £429, where the PS4 has sold for £349 since it launched November.

However, we have already seen a bit of Xbox One price erosion, where most places still seem to sell the PS4 at its original price. Amazon currently sells the Xbox with Kinect for £379, just £30 more than the proposed price of the console without Kinect. We'd probably take the Kinect for just £30.

Of course, most of you will likely want to buy a console along with a game, and that changes things significantly. Here are the current bundles you can order with the consoles:

bundles
Prices are based on what we could find from reputable retailers at the time of writing

Lots of the launch bundles are becoming scarce as they are replaced with newer games. The logic is pretty obvious – once a game’s price drops a few months after launch, it loses its bundle appeal.

The most up-to-date of the game bundles are the Titanfall Xbox One package and the Watch Dogs PS4 deal. Until recently the Xbox Titanfall package (which includes Kinect) was available for £349, but most of those deals have dried up.

Where are the very best current deals from? At the time of writing, Tesco offers the InFamous: Second Son PS4 bundle with a 90-day PS Plus subscription (worth about £12) and an Amazing Spider-man Blu-ray for £385. You essentially get the PS Plus and movie add-ons for free.

Gamestop offers the Xbox One with two games for £399, another solid deal.  There’s a fairly wide selection of titles too. However, right now there are no stone cold console bargains.

SEE ALSO: Best Games of 2014 Round-up

Xbox One vs PS4 – Best Current and Future Games

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The most important factor with any game console is games. Forget graphical fidelity and looks, above all else, you should go with the console that has the games you want to play.

Many of this generation’s games will be available on both consoles which makes choosing between them that much trickier. This was true with the last generation too, but the Xbox One and PS4 make it easier than ever for developers to produce games cross-platform.

Let’s have a look at the top games that are already available, and those that are coming out for each console.

Best Future Xbox One Exclusives
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Halo 5: Guardians
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PS4 games 4What is it? Halo, naturally
Release date: 2015

At the moment we know very little about Halo 5: Guardians, aside from the name and that it's coming to Xbox One next year. It'll serve as the sequel to Halo 4, and be one of the leading Xbox One games for 2015.

The story is largely a mystery, but you can expect to see the same sort of fast first-person action seen in all the previous core Halo games. Are we excited? Yes. Do we need to know more about Halo 5? Definitely. We'll be back with more details soon.



Halo: The Master Chief CollectionBlue line

Halo collectionWhat is it? Old Halo, made new
Release date: November 2014

As a way to bridge the gap between now and the release of Halo 5, we have Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It’s a pack of the four previous ‘core’ Halo games, all revved up for the Xbox One with 1080p, 60fps visuals.

The multiplayer has been reinstated too, including absolutely reams of maps from all four games. As part of the collection, you’ll get beta access to Halo 5: Guardians too, making it a must for Halo die-hards.

Forza Horizon 2Blue line

PS4 games 5What is it? Open-world racer
Release date: September 30 2014

The Forza series has split into two halves. There are the core Forza Motorsport titles and the rather less serious Horizon games, which have a free-roaming element.

Forza Horizon 2 takes place in Southern Europe, letting you roam in the area around a music festival, taking part in the usual dazzling array of races. This should prove to be a good visual showcase of what racers should look like on Xbox One, more so than the early Forza Motorsport 5.

Project SparkBlue line

PS4 games 6What is it? Game-creation tool
Release date: TBC

Project Spark is an intriguing game creation tool that will let you make full games, by the looks of it. Think of it as Xbox One’s alternative to Little Big Planet 3 and you won’t be too far off the mark.

It appears to let you make 3D adventures, 2D platformers, racers and puzzle games. But will it give you real scope? Will it be too difficult and time-consuming? Either way, we’re looking forward to finding out. While an Xbox One console exclusive, Project Spark will also be available on Windows 8.1.

Sunset OverdriveBlue line

PS4 games 8What is it? An OTT action game
Release date: TBC

People have been turned into mutants, thanks to an evil energy drink. The city is in chaos. And you are the hero who has to sort it all about.

Sunset Overdrive is a bit like Infamous, but with a sense of humour and a proper colour palette. This game could be bags of fun, especially if you’re after a game whose focus is pure fun, but that isn’t just aimed at kids.



Best Future PS4 Exclusives
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Little Big Planet 3
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PS4 gamesWhat is it? A platformer and game creation tool
Release Date: November 2014
 
Little Big Planet has become one of the defining series of the modern PlayStation era. And while it no longer attracts as much attention as something like Uncharted, it attracts kids and adults like almost nothing else.

It’s a cutesy platformer, but also a full game creation tool. You can really let your creativity rip with this Little Big Planet 3, and make games with no real knowledge of coding. To an extent it’s more of the same, and LBP3 is compatible with levels already in the LBP universe – of which there are more than 8.5 million

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s EndBlue line

PS4 games 1What is it? The PS4’s lead adventure title
Release Date: 2015

A Thief’s End is the first Uncharted game to come to PS4, and once again it’s a Nathan Drake Adventure. The Uncharted series offers some of the most cinematic experiences in gaming, and Uncharted 4 is no different.

It’s a “globe-trotting” adventure in which you’re looking to uncover a “historical conspiracy”. We don’t know a great deal about Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Yet. But we expect great things. Sony says it’ll have more to tell us in the coming months. 


BloodborneBlue line

PS4 games 2What is it? A game from the makers of Dark Souls
Release Date: 2015

We don’t know much about Bloodborne yet, but there’s a reason to be excited already – it comes from the man behind the Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls games – Hidetaka Miyazaki.

As you’d expect from the creator of those grim classics, Bloodborne is not a barrel of laughs. It’s about a virus transmitted through the blood, something that turns people and creatures into horrific things. And it is horror, rather than fantasy, that is the theme this time around. For many, this will be one of the most exciting games of the next 12 months. 

The Order 1886Blue line

PS4 games 3What is it? Action-adventure set in London
Release Date: 20 February 2015

It’s not often we get to see games set in London that aren’t racing titles. The Order 1886 is set here, and it’s an action adventure where you play a knight who is part of an order tasked with taking down a horrible breed of werewolf-like creatures.

Expect bad English accents, lots of moody, foggy environments and loads of shooty action. It’s getting pretty positive previews at present, although as a new IP we’ll have to wait to see if this is the real deal.




Best Current Xbox One games
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PS4 and Xbox One games 8
Titanfall
Available: NOW

The most exciting early Xbox One console exclusive is Titanfall. It is a sci-fi shooter, and it’s not afraid to be grim and serious, with a darker tone than the cross-platform Destiny.

Unusually, there’s no single-player mode in Titanfall, but there will be single player-style story elements weaved into the action to give play more meaning than the average multiplayer blast-fest. It sold 700,000 copies in its first week, but some have criticised it saying it looks like a last-gen game.

9/10 - Read our Titanfall review

PS4 and Xbox One games 1
Dead Rising 3
Available: NOW

Like the previous Dead Rising games, Dead Rising 3 is a third-person action game set around a zombie invasion. Its world is much larger than that of the last two games, though, based in a city rather than a specific location within a city.

It’s not the best showcase for next-gen graphics and it doesn’t have quite the spark of inventiveness seen in the former games. But it’s a launch line-up highlight, and something a little different.

7/10
- Read the full Dead Rising 3 review


PS4 and Xbox One games 3
Forza Motorsport 5
Available: NOW

The game that marks the Xbox One as the racer’s favourite at present, Forza Motorsport 5 is a semi-serious racing game that looks and feels great. Match it with something like the Mad Catz Pro Racing wheel and you’ll be in heaven.

However, it’s not the ultimate racing game, lacking some of the structural brilliance of the last game in the series, Forza 4. Still, for now it’s the best next-gen racer if you don’t want a pure arcade experience.

8/10 - Read the full Forza 5 review


SEE ALSO: Best Xbox One Games

Best current PS4 games
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PS4 and Xbox One games 6
Killzone: Shadowfall
Available: NOW
The single notable ‘gamer’s game’ that the PS4 had over the Xbox One at launch was Killzone: Shadowfall. It’s a grim first-person shooter set in the future, and a pretty good way to see what your shiny new console is capable of, compared to the PS3.

It’s not a shooter you’re likely to have fond memories of for years to come, but it’s a good job the PS4 had it to rely on given how many of the console’s other games were pushed back into 2014.

7/10 - Read our full Killzone: Shadow Fall review

PS4 and Xbox One games 5
Infamous: Second Son
Available: NOW
Infamous is a superhero game that’s not tied to a superhero license, and that’s a good thing in this case. You’re not tied to a famous character’s intentions, letting you play the good guy, or the bad guy. And your actions dictate the sort of powers you develop.

In style, it’s similar to the previous Infamous games, giving you an ‘open world’ city in which you can wreak havoc. This is the first major 2014 PS4 exclusive, and it has us a good deal more excited than Killzone: Shadow Fall.

9/10 - Read our full InFamous: Second Son review

SEE ALSO: Best PS4 Games

Best cross-platform games
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PS4 and Xbox One games
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Available: Now

One of the most-anticipated recent games is Call of Duty: Ghosts. It’s a first-person shooter, just like the other games in the series.

If you don’t like the genre, or have been unimpressed with the previous CoD games, it’s unlikely you’ll get on with this one. However, for fans of the series it’s a treat. It’s just not a particularly inventive or dynamic entry in the Call of Duty line. The ‘ghosts’ of the title are a special band of US forces who have to combat a group of terrorists trying to use a galactic superweapon to try and take down the US. It’s also the first Call of Duty game to feature a dog as part of your squad.

7/10 - Read the full Call of Duty: Ghosts review

PS4 and Xbox One games 7
Need for Speed: Rivals
Available: Now

The Need for Speed series has some serious ups and downs, but we’re happy – and surprised – to report that Need for Speed: Rivals is a highlight. As with the other games in the series, it’s an arcade racer rather than one that tries to be in any way realistic.

Its world is open, and it blends multiplayer and single player modes into a single environment for a seamless feel. It’s bags of fun, and the game that ensured neither console was without a good racer at launch.

9/10 - Read the full Need for Speed: Rivals review


PS4 and Xbox One games 2
Destiny
Available: September 2014

Destiny is a ‘new IP’, a game not based on an existing series. People are still extremely excited about it, though, because it’s made by Bungie, the development studio behind the first Halo games.

It’s a science fiction shooter that merges multiplayer and single player play styles – something we’re likely to see an awful lot of this year. What’s getting us more excited, though, is that it looks fantastic and offers grand vistas to explore. This game will come to previous-generation consoles as well as the new guard.

Read more about Destiny


Games – Conclusions

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At present, the Xbox One has a slightly better game line-up, and in the near future it has more significant exclusives. However, the series that came to define console exclusives in the PS3/360 era will remain the same. So if Uncharted means way more to you than Halo ever will, think carefully before dismissing the PS4.

We'll find out a lot more about the future games coming out for these consoles during E3, which takes place in June.


Further on this feature we'll look into every bit of each console in depth, but if you want a quicker read, here are the top reasons to buy each console.

SEE ALSO: Red Dead Redemption 2 release date, news and rumours

Top reasons to pick an Xbox One
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Larger size may mean it’s more reliable long-term
The huge console size of the Xbox One gives air more room to circulate, which is likely to ensure the console does not overheat even when under strain for prolonged periods.

Kinect is undeniably cool
Not everyone likes Kinect, but it has serious potential that you don’t get with the PS4 camera. For example, you can use it to control the console, swiping in the air to perform commands.

Wider distribution of Kinect will mean for more interesting motion gaming
Now that the Xbox One will ship without the Kinect in some bundles this might not be as much of a benefit, but the Kinect sensor means that developers will be able to more confidently put Kinect features into their games.

It acts as a hub for your other home entertainment gear
You can plug another piece of hardware into your Xbox One using its HDMI input. This lets you switch between, say, your digibox and the Xbox One, using the Xbox interface. There’s only one input, but if you use a receiver it’s all you’ll need.

Titanfall is an Xbox One console exclusive
One of the best next-gen games is Titanfall, a game made by some of the sharpest minds behind the Call of Duty franchise. It’s apparently going to be a PC/Xbox exclusive ‘forever’, so if you want it and don't own a PC, you'll want an Xbox One.

SEE ALSO:
Destiny release date, news, gameplay and trailers round-up

Top reasons to pick a PS4

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It’s much smaller than an Xbox One
If you have a cramped lounge/bedroom, the smaller size of the PS4 will come in handy. It is much, much smaller than the Xbox One.

It doesn’t have a separate power brick
Also important, the PS4 incorporates its own power supply while the Xbox One has a separate power brick. This is a big win if you want to take the console around a friend’s house as it’s a good deal lighter.

The PS4 is more powerful
The PS4 has a significantly more powerful GPU – graphics processing unit – than the Xbox One. It’s about 50 per cent more powerful.

Remote Play for Vita is awesome

This one only matter for PS Vita owners, but the PS4’s Remote Play is pretty neat. It lets you play full PS4 games on your Vita over your Wi-Fi connection.

Playstation TV will let you play your PS4 elsewhere in the house
The Playstation TV announced at E3 2014 will let you stream and play games on any TV in your house. There's a bit of lag and the graphics lack some detail but it's super-useful if your main TV is often taken up by couch potatoes watching soaps. The Playstation TV will retail for $99 when it goes on sale.

PS Plus’s free games plan is great
The PS Plus service costs about £40 a year, but it gets you free games every month. And at present it’s better than the freebie games offering you get with an Xbox One through Live Gold.

The PS4 controller is better

We think the PS4 controller is better than the Xbox One’s. This one will divide opinions, but we’re not fans of the clicky triggers on the Xbox One pad.

SEE ALSO: Best Android Games Round-up


Xbox One vs Sony PS4 – Designblue stick

Xbox One

Xbox One – 10 per cent larger than 360, 'big black box' design, 3.18kg
PS4 – Slanted design, 2.8kg

In terms of design the Xbox One and PS4 are completely different prospects.

Microsoft’s Xbox One is far, far larger – an imposing black monolith of the living room. The PS4 is sleeker, slimmer and less likely to dominate your under-TV space.

Both keep the severe, black and masculine style that’s common to games consoles, though.

PS4The Xbox One is 10 per cent larger than its predecessor, the Xbox 360. It weighs around the same as the last console, though, at roughly 3kg.

The PS4 is only marginally lighter, at 2.8kg. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise, though, as they both have to fit in similar components.

Why the extra size in the Xbox One? It’s likely that part of the internal volume of the Xbox One’s case is there to aid cooling.

Overheating was a significant problem in the Xbox 360, responsible for causing many of the red ring issues that plagued the console’s earlier years.

We'd rather have the smaller PS4 in our living rooms, but the Xbox One may end up being more reliable in the long term thanks to that extra cooling.

SEE ALSO: Best iPad Games of 2014

Xbox One size
This picture demonstrates the size difference very well.

PS4 vs Xbox One - Interfaceblue stick

Here's a quick look at what the interfaces of the Xbox One and PS4 look like in use:

Xbox One

Xbox One interface

The look of the Xbox One software is heavily inspired by elements of Windows Phone and Windows 8. Microsoft clearly wanted to reach a certain level of parity between its platforms.

It has a modern look, but many people have criticised the software for its glitchiness and bouts of odd behaviour. At present it doesn't quite feel right - it's something that Microsoft is likely to address in time, but is something to consider if you want to do more than just play disc-based games on your console.

PS4 interface

The PS4 has a simpler, somewhat less ambitious user interface. As it leaves you scrolling in just one direction most of the time, we find it a more intuitive experience than the Xbox One's software.

There is room for improvement, though. For example at present you can't bring out the Netflix app to the top 'recently used' layer of the UI, even though it's a PS4 favourite for many people.

PS4 vs Xbox One - Which is more powerful?blue stick

If you're a hardcore gamer, there's a good chance you care about how your games look. And that's all down to the power a console has on tap.

Which of the new consoles is more powerful? The simple answer is the PS4. We'll look deeper into the technical reasons why in a minute.

What this means in practice right now is that some cross-platform games, such as Battlefield 4, run at a lower resolution on the Xbox One than they do on the PS4. This may equalise over the life of the consoles as developers learn more about each consoles, but the PS4 definitely has a slight edge at launch.

SEE ALSO: Steam Machine Specs and Prices
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Xbox One vs PS4 – CPU
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Xbox One – AMD 8-core Jaguar CPU
PS4 - AMD 8-core Jaguar CPU

The Xbox One and PS4 use extremely similar CPUs made by AMD. Both use an APU setup, which links together both CPU and GPU into one package.

The CPUs are 8–core chips using ‘Jaguar’ cores – a term picked by their maker AMD to denote their chipset generation. The Xbox One runs at 1.75GHz, which was bumped-up from their original spec of 1.6GHz. Sony's runs slightly cooler at 1.6GHz, which may make some of you think the Xbox One is more powerful. This is not the case. The power of the GPU is much more important here.

SEE ALSO: Steam OS Guide: Steam OS and Steam Machines Explained


PS4 vs Xbox One – GPU and RAMblue stick

Xbox One - Comparable to Radeon HD 7000-series, 8GB DDR3 RAM and 32MB eSRAM
PS4 - Comparable to Radeon HD 7000-series, 8GB GDDR5 RAM

The PS4 and Xbox One both use an AMD GPU.

AMD logoAt first glance it seems like their GPUs may be identical, but they are not. On paper the PS4 graphics processor is 50 per cent more powerful, with 1,152 shader processors against the Xbox One’s 768.

Realising that this sounded pretty bad, Microsoft worked on upping the One's power a bit and on 2 August announced that its GPU speed from 800MHz to 853MHz. It's a nice tweak for the tech heads, but doesn't see the Xbox One match up to the PS4.

Having extra processing power will let the PS4 perform more tasks simultaneously – which should in theory allow for more impressive visual effects.

A more impressive GPU is matched with more impressive-sounding RAM. The PS4 uses GDDR5 RAM, while the Xbox One has more conventional DDR3 memory – and both have 8GB of the stuff.

GDDR5 has much higher bandwidth than DDR3, designed for intensive applications such as in graphics cards, while DDR3 is ‘bog standard’ system memory.

If DDR3 was all the Xbox One had, it’d be in serious trouble. But it also has an eSRAM buffer that should help to bridge the 100GB/sec bandwidth gap between the two RAM types. It has a 32MB chunk of eSRAM that will function as a frame buffer.

The news that the Sony PS4 is (almost) categorically more powerful than the Xbox One is one of the reasons why the PS4 pre-order sold out before the Xbox One's.

Read our full strip-down of the Xbox One and PS4 graphics hardware

With a more powerful GPU and, seemingly, faster memory, the PS4 is clearly out in front on graphical specs.

But how do they pan out compared to PC graphics cards? The Xbox One is said to be on-par with a Radeon 7790, the PS4 a Radeon 7870. Unless you're a PC gamer, that's really not going to mean much.

Let's reduce it to cold hard cash. That the Radeon 7790 costs around £100 and the Radeon 7870 £150 tells you all you need to know.

However, EA’s chief technology officer Rajat Teneja claims that the consoles are a whole generation ahead of the top-end PCs on the market. To some that’ll seem like a ridiculous statement when top-end gaming PCs cost thousands of pounds, and these consoles will cost a few hundred.

What’s less contentious is that the Xbox One and PS4 are around 8-10 times as powerful as the previous-gen Xbox 360 and PS3. However, let’s not forget that an increase in graphical fidelity requires an exponential increase in power – so we won’t be looking at games that look 8-10 times as good.

Xbox One vs PS4 – Graphicsblue stick

One of the main reason core gamers have chosen to favour the PS4 over the Xbox One is its categorically better graphics hardware. But does it translate to better graphics in games?

In quite a few cases it does. It’s not necessarily a case of missing effects, less complicated shadows and other such obvious cut-backs, but output resolution. With many games, the PS4 renders at a slightly higher resolution than the Xbox One.

Here are some of the examples we know about so far:

Xbox One vs PS4 3

If you have a good 1080p TV, you will be able to see the difference if you get up close and personal. However, in the current wave of games there is not really a gigantic difference between the two.

Here are a few grabs from some of the many graphics comparisons that have been made online:

Xbox One vs PS4 1
via IGN

Here it looks as though there's more detail in the Xbox One shot, however, the PS4 details are actually obscured by an environmental dust effect. The PS4 footage is also a lot higher-contrast, which is seen consistently in graphics comparisons.

Xbox One vs PS4
via NowGamer

Once again, there's higher contrast in the PS4 footage, and there appears to be a bit more texture information in the road surface.

Digital Foundry performed a very interesting test to see the difference between the hardware available to the two consoles. It specced-out  PCs with roughly the same GPU hardware as the Xbox One and PS4, and found that the PS4 performed roughly 24 per cent better in benchmarks.

Xbox One vs PS4 2
via Digital Foundry

We’re already seeing the PS4 perform better in current games, and this is only likely to continue as more ‘new-gen’ titles are released.

SEE ALSO: Uncharted 4 release date, news and rumours

Xbox One vs PS4 - Apps
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If you want functionality other than what comes pre-installed with an PS4 or Xbox One, you need apps. These give you access to streaming services like YouTube, Netflix and so on.

The Xbox One currently has a slightly stronger apps line-up. It has Sky's Now TV and Sky Go services, and - more important for many - 4OD. These are missing from the PS4, although they are on the way. Here's how the roster of the consoles' main apps pans out:

Xbox One apps
If you want the game console to work as your primary entertainment station, the Xbox One is clearly superior at the moment. The downside is that you need an Xbox Live Gold account to view these services - you don't need the equivalent (PlayStation Plus) with a PS4.

Xbox One vs PS4 - Controllersblue stick

Which is the better gamepad? The DualShock 4 or the Xbox One pad? It's not an easy one to call. First, let's have a look at the pads. 

Xbox One controller

Xbox One controller

DualShock 4

Dualshock 4

Both have the genetic material of their forebears, but the DualShock 4 feels like more of a change. Microsoft has stuck with what worked so well in the Xbox 360 controller with the Xbox One pad, and as such it's more of a tweak than a full ground-up redesign.

There are two main changes. The Xbox One pad has rumble motors built into the triggers to give you feedback when, for example, shooting guns. Microsoft has also made huge improvement to the D-pad. The mushy Xbox 360 D-pad has been switched for one that's much more clicky and responsive. It'll work wonders on Street Fighter-style fighting games.

The DualShock 4's changes are more marked. It's a bit chunkier than the previous DualShock controllers and a lot heavier too, giving a firmer feel than the last-gen Dualshock 3 pad.

Sony has also massively improved the analogue sticks in the DualShock 4. Where the DualShock 3 wasn't really much cop for first-person shooters, the new pad is great for almost all types of console games. There's also a new touch pad on the front, between the sticks and the main buttons, and a Share button to make uploading your gameplay videos easy.

After all that, have we really found a victor? Not as such. If you loved the Xbox 360 pad, you'll probably prefer the Xbox One controller. However, the DualShock 4 has a robust feel that previous PlayStation pads simply haven't had.

Xbox One vs PS4 - Accessoriesblue stick

There aren't all that many official Xbox One and PS4 accessories available yet. Here's which Official Sony-made accessories have been announced:

PS4 accessories

Things to take note of include that there are currently no first-party steering wheels available for either console, and that Sony does not offer a media remote for the PS4 yet. Sony has, however, announced a rather more exciting product - Project Morpheus.

This is an Oculus Rift-style gaming headset that offers a virtual reality-like gaming experience. We currently have no idea when it'll arrive, though. It probably won't be in 2014.

Want a steering wheel? There are officially sanctioned third-party wheels available for each console. Here's a quick look at each.

For PS4: Thrustmaster T80 DriveClub edition (£69.99)

PS4 wheel

This is an entry-level wheel with plastic pedals. It also lacks true force feedback, which is a must for any remotely serious racing wheel. It's not really a wheel for the enthusiast. However, we believe that most existing wheels that will work with the PS3 should be able to function with the PS4. Check out the Logitech G27 if you want a real racing wheel.

For Xbox One: Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition (£249.99)

Thrustmaster F80

The Xbox One is far pickier about which wheels it will work with than the PS4. It's good to see that the one wheel recommended on Microsoft's Xbox website is a high-end one. The Thrustmaster TX Ferrari 458 Italia edition has a proper force feedback motor, metal pedals and a detachable steering wheel.

Xbox Live Gold vs PlayStation Plusblue stick

Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus are the paid-for premium parts of the Xbox Live and PSN online services. If you don’t look for a bargain deal online, a year’s subscription to each costs you £39.99. Shop around and it’s easy enough to find a deal for £29.99 a year.

The more important issue – what does that get you?  Traditionally, Xbox Live Gold was thought-of as the much stronger service. It has always had a stronger community. But that is starting to change.

While Xbox Live Gold still makes much more of the social side of the service with things like visual avatars, a stronger achievements system and much clearer notifications of when your friends are about, you get better freebies with PlayStation Plus.

At present, PlayStation Plus offers around 10 free games for PS3 and PS Vita – and a handful are rotated each month. Unless you’re a hardcore gamer, this free stash may be enough to keep you busy year-round. Xbox Live Gold has done its best to emulate this, by offering two free games a month. However, the games selection and the number of titles on offer haven’t matched PS Plus’s.

From June, Microsoft will offer free games each month for Xbox One and well as Xbox 360, though.

PS4 Remote Play
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One of the neatest new software/hardware features of the PS4 is how it works with the PS Vita, Sony’s gaming handheld. You’ll be able to play PS4 games on your PS Vita, streaming them over your home broadband connection or using a Wi-Fi Direct connection between the two boxes.

It’s a free feature, and one that makes the Vita handheld suddenly seem a lot more attractive. The PS4 automatically downscales the video to match the Vita’s screen, making it much less data-intensive than a full 1080p stream. The Vita has a 960x544 pixel screen, which is a way below even 720p.

Vita Remote Play in itself is nothing new, however support in the PS3 generation was very poor, making few people even realise it existed. The PS4 also has separate hardware components to handle video conversion and streaming, meaning sacrifices don’t have to be made elsewhere.

There’s just one limitation – you can’t use Remote Play for games that need the PS4 camera. While the Vita has its own cameras, the extra processing that would be required to process the separate input wirelessly makes it completely unfeasible.

Of course, there’s no equivalent for the Xbox One. It offers some Xbox integration through the Windows Phone mobiles, but there’s nothing quite like Remote Play on offer.

Verdict
blue stick

There's no particular 'wrong choice' to be made between the two consoles at present. However, the PS4 seems to be the gamer's choice. Its PlayStation Plus service is great, it's significantly more powerful and we think the controller is a bit better. If you want to save some money, though, you can get far better deals for the Xbox One at this point.

Next, read more about PS4 backwards compatibility

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