PS4 VS Xbox One: Differences Explained

By Aaron Potter | | | |

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. 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 Note, both consoles have since been replaced by their respective hardware iterations: the PS4 Slim and Xbox One S – these are the units we’ll be comparing.

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.

Specs Xbox One S PS4 Slim
Storage Capacity 1TB 1TB
Supports 4K Yes No
Power 1.4 teraflops 1.8 teraflops
Memory 8GB 8GB
USB Ports 3 2
Backwards Compatible Yes No
Noise level 46 decibels 55 decibels

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

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

Design

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.

PS4 vs Xbox One Design

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. This makes it the smaller of the two consoles being compared here, but it’s still sleek enough to slot anywhere in your setup.

Winner: PS4

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.

Winner: PS4

Limited Editions

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.

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 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.

Winner: 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.

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    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.

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    Winner: 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.

    Winner: PS4

    Our verdict

    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.

    Winner: Tie

    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.