With both Sony and Microsoft revising console hardware last year, gamers now have far more choice over what to buy. Do you want the cutting edge in performance, or something lower cost that can still play everything? With new top of the line consoles in the form of PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, hardcore gamers are catered for, but if you’re looking for something cheaper but still capable, we’ll take a look at the One S and PS4 slim here.
The PS4 Pro is a solid upgrade over the PS4, capable of upscaling specific games to 4K using a sophisticated checker-boarding technique. It can also enhance performance using the newly implemented Boost Mode with increased frame rates across multiple titles.
Xbox One S, on the other hand, is a smaller, more refined machine complete with a 4K Blu-ray player and HDR support. These are impressive machines, yet both pale in comparison to Xbox One X.
The Xbox One S changes the game somewhat. It’s essentially the machine the Xbox One should have been at launch. It’s smaller, more attractive and comes with some serious benefits, such as 4K video playback, support for HDR TVs.
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There are plenty of reasons to pick up either console depending on your personal preferences. PS4 tends to offer superior performance over Xbox One when it comes to third-party games. Xbox One owners have access to a library of IP not found anywhere else. Halo, Gears of War, Forza and more will forever be at home on Microsoft’s system.
Sony has its own set of exclusive games which won’t be available on the Xbox One. Uncharted, Gran Turismo Sport, God of War, Death Stranding, Persona 5, Street Fighter V and The Last Guardian to name just a few.
Based on Windows 10, Xbox One’s unique interface – which aims to bring together a multitude of media connections into a single channel – is also worth taking into account if you want a console which is the centre of your entertainment world.
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In this article we will explore the price differences, exclusive games, design and the all-important controllers.
PS4 vs Xbox One Price: How much do they cost?
These days, it’s easy to find both consoles at a bargain price bundled with a couple of games and a sizeable hard drive.
The Xbox One has been discontinued, but some retailers will still sell the older hardware to shift stock. But the Xbox One S, thanks to the launch of the One X, is now available for incredibly cheap prices for decent bundles. It’s quite possible to get a One S and a game or two for just £200. Also if you’d like to expand the storage capacity, Xbox One consoles support the use of external hard drives which are available for good prices too.
PS4 Slim, which is now the standard model going forward, retails for £249 with a 500GB hard drive as standard. As is the case with Xbox One, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding bundles that throw in a couple of games. Larger memory variants can also be found, or you could upgrade the PS4 hard drive yourself.
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PS4 Pro is a little more pricey, currently sitting at £349 with a 1TB hard drive. The console itself is twice as powerful, so a £100 premium isn’t bad at all. Unfortunately, stock at most retailers has been intermittent at best since launch, so you might need to shop around.
Xbox One S is naturally more expensive than the original model, with the limited edition 2TB version (now entirely sold out, according to Microsoft) costing £349.99. The 500GB and 1TB models are noticeably cheaper, costing £249.99 and £299.99 respectively.
PS4 vs Xbox One: Specs
When comparing all four consoles there are plenty of differences to take into account. To make things easier, we’ve compiled them into a single table:
|PS4||Xbox One||PS4 Pro||Xbox One S|
|CPU||1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar||1.75GHz 8-core AMD custom CPU||2.1GHz 8-Core AMD Jaguar||1.75 GHz 8-Core AMD Custom CPU|
|GPU||1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon||Integrated AMD graphics clocked at 853MHz||4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon||Integrated AMD Graphics clocked at 914MHz|
|Memory||8GB GDDR5||8GB DDR3||8GB GDDR5 1GB||8GB DDR3|
|4K||No||No||Yes||Streaming content only, gaming upscaled|
|Storage||500GB & 1TB (upgradeable)||500GB & 1TB (supports external||1TB Hard Drive||500GB/1TB/2TB|
|USB||2 x USB 3.1||3 x USB 3.0||3 x USB 3.1||3 x USB 3.0|
|Wi-Fi||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5.0GHz)||Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi A/B/G/N 2.4GHz and 5GHz||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5.0GHz)||Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi A/B/G/N/AC 2.4GHz and 5GHz|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0|
PS4 vs Xbox One: Dimensions
We could go into the ins and out of the differences between the designs of the PS4 and Xbox One, but if you’re the type of person that loves a snazzy looking piece of kit on your shelf, here’s what you need to know:
The original Xbox One is a lot larger than the PS4, measuring up at 7.9 x 27.4 x 33.3cm compared to the PS4’s 5.3 x 27.5 x 30.5cm dimensions.
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PS4 vs Xbox One – Controllers
Before we go into any major detail, check out the two controllers in all their splendour below:
Both bear 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, and as such the Xbox One pad is more of a tweak than a full redesign.
There are two main changes. The Xbox One pad has rumble motors built into the triggers to give greater feedback when, for example, shooting guns. But those rumble triggers easily make the Xbox One the better console to play racing games on – sorry, DriveClub and Gran Turismo Sport.
Microsoft has also made huge improvements to the D-pad. The mushy Xbox 360 D-pad has been switched for one more clicky and responsive, and already works wonders on the likes of Killer Instinct and Mortal Kombat X.
Sadly, the Xbox One controller still requires a pair of AA batteries as standard, rather than being rechargeable like the PS4’s DualShock 4. You’ll probably want to buy the Play and Charge kit separately for each controller for £19 a go.
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However, if you do stick to AA batteries, you’ll definitely see your Xbox One controller pack a longer play time than the PS4 controller, which requires regular charging via micro-usb.
The DualShock 4’s changes are more marked. It’s chunkier than the previous DualShock controllers and a lot heavier too, giving a firmer feel than the last-gen DualShock 3 pad.
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.
There’s also the Xbox One Elite Controller to consider, which is available now – albeit in limited quantities. If you’re willing to pay the staggering £120 you can get yourself this customisable controller. It’s just perfect for those looking to get a more professional gaming experience from a pad.
Swappable D-pad and analogue sticks, Hair Trigger Locks, interchangeable rear paddles and a rubberised diamond grip and customisable inputs thanks to a companion app for Xbox One and PC; you pretty much couldn’t want any more from a controller.
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To make your purchasing choice even more difficult, it’s worth mentioning that the revised Xbox One S controller brings improvements to the table, too. It boasts a new textured grip, swappable covers, an extended operational range and Bluetooth built-in, which means you can use it with your PC.
PS4 vs Xbox One – Exclusive Games
Each console has amassed a hugely impressive library of games since November 2013, many of which you can’t play anywhere else. The best selection is down to your personal taste, with each company hosting a variety of essential first-party talent.
We’ve put together some of our favourites below, all of which are worth checking out.
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Best PS4 exclusives
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Nathan Drake’s swansong is an utterly captivating adventure that tells a heartfelt story while thrusting you through a series of explosive set-pieces.
The Last of Us Remastered – Yet another masterpiece by Naughty Dog, Joel and Ellie’s post-apocalyptic tale sets a new benchmark in gaming storytelling that isn’t to be missed.
The Last Guardian – After ten years of waiting The Last Guardian is finally here. Team Ico’s latest effort is a beautiful tale of companionship propelled by its mystifying world.
Bloodborne – This could be From Software’s finest work yet, transcending the masterful Dark Souls with a dark, gothic setting and truly brutal combat.
Yakuza 0 – This hugely underrated series features varied combat, hysterical minigames and a genuinely compelling narrative based on the Japanese Mafia.
Ratchet and Clank – Acting as a complete remake of the original platformer, this is easily one of the best-looking titles on PS4. It’s also a lot of fun!
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Best Xbox One exclusives
Gears of War 4 – Marcus Fenix is back with all new characters and enemies in Gears 4. The gruesome mixture of cover-based movement and melodic shooting is arguably better than ever.
Halo 5: Guardians – 343 Industries has done an excellent job with The Reclaimer Trilogy thus far, with Guardians acting as solid middle chapter in Master Chief’s journey.
Ori and the Blind Forest – This gorgeous platformer will make you cry like a baby and scream in frustration with its touching story and challenging gameplay.
Rare Replay – Compiling over 30 games from the legendary developer, Rare Replay is a nostalgic trip well worth taking. I mean, who can say no to Viva Pinata?
Forza Horizon 3 – One of the finest racers of this generation, Horizon 3 is absolutely packed with hundreds of cars, events and a blistering open world to explore.
Quantum Break – This time travelling shooter boasts some commendable star power alongside its range of time-bending abilities.
PS4 vs Xbox One – Conclusion
PS4 is a multi-faceted console with plenty of unique features and a bustling library of worthwhile exclusives. Players looking for expansive JRPGs and niche experiences will find so much to love PS4, as well as gaining the upper hand in performance with the majority of third-party titles.
PS4 Pro has come into its own since its release, offering benefits beyond its 4K upscaling with its newly introduced Boost Mode. PlayStation VR is the cherry-on-top for PS4 owners, so long as you’re willing to invest in the fancy new peripheral.
Xbox One is also a brilliant option to consider, boasting the likes of Halo, Forza and Gears of War under its blockbuster umbrella. Ever since Phil Spencer took charge of the brand we’ve seen the focus shift towards games, despite the cancellation of high-profile exclusives like Scalebound.
You also have Xbox Play Anywhere, a service that gives you 2 digital games for the price of one across Xbox One and Windows 10. The recent release of Xbox One S will more than certainly keep us entertained until the arrival of Project Scorpio later this year.