PS4 vs Xbox One: Which is the better console and why
While it might feel like a lifetime ago right now, 2013 was a year that gifted us with two glorious new consoles in the Xbox One and PS4. Both do well in letting players experience all that current-generation gaming has to offer, but it’s only natural to assume that most people will only be able to afford one and not the other. What are you to do in this particular PS4 vs Xbox One predicament? Undergo research, of course! But thankfully, we at Console Deals have made doing this a little easier thanks to this helpful PS4 vs Xbox One advice guide. Here’s what we cover:
So whether you’re wondering which has the best specs, internal hardware or graphical ability in order to best inform your purchase decision, we’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to. Even if you’re wondering which console is best used as a family-friendly hub, we’ve got it covered. With that said, here’s everything you need to know when weighing up the PS4 vs Xbox One debate. Note, both consoles have since been replaced by their respective hardware iterations: the PS4 Slim and Xbox One S – these are the units we’ll be comparing.
PS4 vs Xbox One: Price
At the time of writing, PS4 is outselling the Xbox One by quite a margin. However, this works in favour of anyone thinking about picking up the latter, as to compensate for this disparity in sales numbers the Xbox One S is much more affordable compared to the PS4 Slim. The RRP of an Xbox One S currently sits at around the £199.99, while a standard PS4 Slim is roughly £50 more than that. It’s not a huge difference in the grander scheme of things but might be enough to sway you to one or the other.
Of course, the price of both can be offset somewhat by picking one up during a sale or as part of a bundle. The more games included in the latter helps to improve the value – the conversation then becomes more about which platform has the best games that interest you, which brings us neatly onto the next section of the PS4 vs Xbox One comparison.
Xbox One Price
Winner: Xbox One
Picking up a new Xbox One or PS4 doesn’t have to be a costly endeavour. In fact, there are plenty of routes to saving money. One of the most popular is to pick up an Xbox One bundle or PS4 bundle, which will come packaged with a great game that is ostensibly free and would save you buying it separately. However, a significant way to lower the usual price barrier is to consider a second-hand Xbox One or second-hand PS4.
There are plenty of trusted UK retailers that specialise in refurbished and pre-owned video game consoles, with Music Magpie, CEX and GAME being just a few of the heavy hitters. Each have their own trade-in process that serve to benefit new purchasers, gifting you at least one year’s warranty as well as an Xbox One or PS4 that is significantly less money than if you were to buy one new. Of course, you’ll need to consider the quality of the console your buying and work out if it’s worth the price. Below we’ve broken down some of the current second-hand console prices:
Second-hand PS4 consoles
Second-hand Xbox One consoles
Winner: Xbox One
PS4 vs Xbox One: Specs
Here’s a quick glance at the basic specs of the PS4 vs Xbox One. We’ve kept it jargon free so that anybody (including none gamers) can easily compare the two consoles with ease.
PS4 (Slim) specs
- Max storage capacity: 1TB
- Supports 4K: No
- Power: 1.8 teraflops
- Memory: 8GB
- USB Ports: 2
- Backwards compatible: No
- Fan noise level: 55 decibels
Xbox One (S) specs
- Max storage capacity: 1TB
- Supports 4K: Yes
- Power: 1.4 teraflops
- Memory: 8GB
- USB Ports: 3
- Backwards compatible: Yes
- Fan noise level: 46 decibels
As you can see, there isn’t too much in it. Both the Xbox One and the PS4 has a maximum storage capacity of 1TB which is more than enough for gamers that like to download games rather than buy physical discs. The Xbox One is less powerful than the PS4, but we think the Xbox One has the edge over the PS4 due to it’s backwards compatibility. For a lot of gamers, this is a major plus!
Winner: Xbox One
PS4 vs Xbox One: Hardware
When it comes to a pure hardware perspective, both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S made some appreciated revisions to their 2013 predecessors. The Xbox One S, in particular, now does away with the annoying power brick, and comes with a 4K-ready Ultra-HD Blu-ray player. That’s providing you punt for the original Xbox One S that features an optical drive, and not the brand-new Xbox One S All-Digital edition, which will upscale 1080p games to 4K resolution. However, you will need a TV setup that can support it.
By comparison, the PS4 Slim also tweaks the internal hardware included in the original 2013 PS4, but not to the same extent. It can still be purchased with either 500GB or 1TB of built-in storage, but it’s now easily upgraded thanks to a fresh redesign that makes its innards far more accessible. The PS4 Slim can’t match the Xbox One S’s slight 4K capabilities, but every game released so far into the PS4 library will still play in beautiful 1080p quality.
Winner: Xbox One
PS4 vs Xbox One: Graphics
Both the Xbox One S and PS4 Slim don’t represent the maximum graphical quality that both platforms offer, because these particular hardware revisions have been designed to cater towards those looking for affordability as opposed to pure power. As such, both consoles reliably output mist modern video games at 900p or above, with most running at 1080p at a steady framerate of either 30fps or 60fps depending on how the game has been optimised. 1080p is considered the standard of what most will achieve, with both the Xbox One S and PS4 Slim easily facilitating this.
As already mentioned, the PS4 Slim currently lacks the ability to output games at any kind of 4K (that responsibility falls to its bigger brother, the PS4 Pro), whereas the Xbox One S can’t run any at true 4K resolution natively but does upscale 1080p games to something more resembling 4K. The Xbox One S’s cousin, the Xbox One X, is continually touted as being “the world’s most powerful console”. Both units represent a gigantic leap in quality compared to their predecessors, the Xbox 360 and PS3, but Xbox One S beats out the PS4 Slim ever so slightly in this regard.
Winner: Xbox One
PS4 vs Xbox One: Design & dimensions
The Xbox One S and PS4 Slim both slim down the initial PS4 and Xbox One designs we received in 2013, providing some slight tweaks that makes slotting both into your entertainment centre that little bit easy.
First off, the PS4 Slim sticks to the original two-tier design that means it can either be laid down or stood up on its side, doing away with the half glossy finish on the top and making it fully matte so that the console is no longer a fingerprint magnet. The PS4 Slim is also now the smallest of the major consoles on the market right now, measuring in at 10.4 x 11.3 x 1.5 inches.
Xbox One dimensions
The design of the Xbox One S also improves upon what came before, removing a lot of the heft many players had a problem with in the original Xbox One’s design. In terms of measurements, the Xbox One S comes in at a size of 11.6 x 8.9 x 2.5 inches.
The most noticeable difference with the Xbox One is the depth, at almost twice the height of the PS4 Slim. This makes it the larger of the two consoles being compared here, but it’s still sleek enough to slot anywhere in your setup.
PS4 vs Xbox One: Performance
The PS4 Slim slightly edges the Xbox One S in terms of performance, featuring a GPU that is roughly 0.4 TFLOPs larger. This doesn’t represent a large leap in power, with 1080p video games looking largely similar to one another regardless of the platform you’re playing them on – it’s only the most minimal power boost PS4 Slim has over the Xbox One. This is to be expected, considering that the Xbox One S and PS4 Slim are both the entry-level SKUs of their respective platform.
With regards to the amount of memory these machines are packing, both have 8GB of RAM. The noticeable difference comes in how the PS4 Slim features more advanced GDDR5 RAM, while the Xbox One has a somewhat less impressive DDR5. The PS4’s hard drive can also be removed, unlike the Xbox One, meaning that anyone looking to mod their console should punt for PlayStation 4.
PS4 vs Xbox One: Limited Editions
Both the PS4 and Xbox One are no stranger to offering players limited edition versions of themselves. Usually this is done to commemorate the release of an upcoming game, resulting in a completely revised visual aesthetic specific to the title being bundled in. Most special consoles of this type aren’t as limited as they sound, but it’s always preferable to pre-order limited edition PS4s and Xbox Ones to avoid any disappointment.
PS4 limited editions
Some of the most popular limited editions for PS4, for example, was the ‘Amazing Red’ variant available as a PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro, which celebrated the launch of Marvel’s Spider-Man by coating the PS4 Red and splashing a white Spider-Man logo on top of the console.
Xbox One limited editions
Xbox One did something similar around the release of Gears of War 4, drenching the standard Xbox One design into a blood red with mock black scratches that circle the franchise’s famous logo. But one of our particular favourites has to be the Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians Bundle, as shown below. Stunning, eh?
Winner: Xbox One
PS4 vs Xbox One: Games
This area is one that comes down to a lot of personal preference, but it wouldn’t be averse to say that PS4 is the home to a lot more exclusive games on a yearly basis. This is because PlayStation has under its belt a wide swathe of first-party studios making games for the platform, with developers like Sony Santa Monica (God of War), Naughty Dog (Uncharted, The Last of Us) and Insomniac (Ratchet & Clank, Marvel’s Spider-Man) each releasing critically acclaimed titles.
The Xbox One eco-system also has its fair share of exclusive games, but the majority tend to be new entries in pre-existing franchises like Halo, Gears of War and Forza as opposed to completely fresh and original intellectual properties. Both consoles provide players access to plenty of multiplatform games from the likes of Ubisoft, Activision and EA, but it’s often the exclusive titles that make or break this decision for people.
PS4 vs Xbox One: Virtual reality compatibility
If your console purchase decision rests heavily on which is best for virtual reality games, we’ll outright tell you now that PS4 is the way to go. This is simple because PlayStation 4 is currently the only home console platform that currently offers it, having released its own bespoke VR tech through the PlayStation VR headset. Xbox has toyed with augmented and virtual reality numerous times, but nothing solid has ever reached the consumer market – let alone a form of VR that’s compatible with Xbox One.
PlayStation 4, on the other hand, has firmly laid a claim to the VR crown with PlayStation VR. All you need to get started is a console, camera and then the headset itself, before you can jump into great fully immersive games like Blood & Truth, Astro Bot: Rescue Mission and Skyrim VR. Numerous accessories are also on hand to heighten your experience in VR, such as the PlayStation move controllers which work wonders for hand tracking.
PS4 vs Xbox One: Mid-generation Hardware iterations
This being 2019, it makes sense for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to introduce new hardware iterations halfway through this console cycle. After all, modern games are more graphically intense than ever, and PC components are always promising players there that this particular version is the best. That doesn’t have to be true thanks to the introduction of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X: Two mid-generation hardware iterations of the two most popular consoles. They each pack more power, letting you squeeze the very best visuals possible out of console gaming.
Xbox One X
Primarily marketed as “the world’s most powerful console”, the Xbox One X is a souped-up version of the original Xbox One that debuted in 2013, offering players native 4K to output games at the very best resolution possible. This means you’ll be able to enjoy the crispest, most detail visuals possible on a home console. But you will need to ensure you have a 4K-ready TV to go along with it. Other extra Xbox One X bonuses include improved HDD speeds for faster loading times and access to a 4K media entertainment apps.
PlayStation 4 Pro is similar to the Xbox One X in that it’s a significant step up hardware-wise from the original PS4. As before, it does improve the graphics you’ll be able to achieve with your 4K-ready TV, but the PS4 Pro unfortunately isn’t able to render games at native 4K, instead placing emphasis on improved HDR. This is a term that stands for ‘High Dynamic Range’, referencing a visual technique that lets any black colours appear darker and white tones appear brighter. Because of this, modern games will look much more realistic than they would on a standard PlayStation 4 console.
Winner: Xbox One
PS4 vs Xbox One: Game streaming services
This being the digital future, buying your games as physical discs is no longer the only method of playing them. Both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One let you download purchases digitally, but by opting for certain online subscriptions on each, you can stream and play games from a vast library for just a fraction of the usual price. PS4 offers its player base a service called PS Now, which grants you access to a library of 750+ games spanning the PS2, PS3 and current PS4 era. The service is fully compatible with PC, too.
Xbox One also has its game streaming service in Xbox Game Pass. Here players gain access to over 100 new games, including every new first-party Xbox exclusive the day it officially releases. That means tentpole series such as Gears of War, Forza and Halo can be played for way less than the usual retail price. Need more games to play? Xbox Game Pass Ultimate combines the benefits of Xbox Live Gold (online play, four free games per month) and Game Pass together in one neat package.
PS4 Camera vs Xbox One Kinect:
While not essential to enjoy most modern games, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both launched alongside dedicated cameras that make for some cool ways to interact with your console. The PS4 camera is sold separately to consoles but makes loading into your PS4 far easier thanks to facial recognition. A PS4 camera is also essential for those thinking about picking up a PSVR headset, needed to track both your head and had movements to bring you closer to the game.
Xbox One currently doesn’t offer a form of virtual reality as of yet, but every launch SKU of Microsoft’s console did come packaged with a new form of Xbox Kinect. This is a motion-tracking camera that lets you interact with the dashboard UI via hand movements, working perfectly with certain voice commands too.
PS4 vs Xbox One: Family friendliness
Of course, video games aren’t just a popular past time for teenagers and adults. No, but PS4 and Xbox One can both be popular places to play for those who are just starting out. Both platforms luckily boast their fair share of family-friendly video games that are wholesome, easy to pick-up-and-play and don’t slather the screen in lashings of gore or blood. Xbox’s Rare Replay collection, for example, is a compilation of classic titles that will have the whole family playing. PS4, meanwhile, is home to great franchises like Little Big Planet and Ratchet & Clank – both get the creative juices flowing.
When it comes to comparing the Xbox One and PS4’s catalogue of family-friendly titles, however, it will be the latter console that wins out every time. It’s where you’ll find a lot of mascot-driven franchises like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon and Moss. Xbox One does have enough that if it’s your preference you can get by, but the amount of choice on PS4 in terms of wholesome games is overwhelming. So if you want your video games console to be a hub of clean entertainment, don’t delay and pick up for a PS4 today!
Overall, both systems are worthy purchases for anyone looking to experience the joys of what 1080p current-gen gaming has to offer. While its true that the Xbox One S might have a slight edge on the hardware and technical side, all this means nothing if not for the actual games you actually will be playing on it. For this reason, the PS4 Slim still manages to hold its own in the long run.
Now you have a better idea of what the PS4 vs Xbox One debate refers to, you’ve hopefully got enough information to buy the right console for you. So why not compare today’s best Xbox One deals and PS4 Slim deals to save money with Console Deals.