The runup to Christmas is always an exciting moment for gamers, with new consoles launching almost every year. 2013 promises to be one of the biggest we’ve ever seen with the battle of Xbox One vs PlayStation 4, both launching in November.
Last year, Nintendo’s release of the Wii U late may have given it the edge but this Christmas the big names of cutting-edge high definition gaming, Sony with the PlayStation and Microsoft with their Xbox, will be going head to head with almost simultaneous launches of new models. Their aim of course is to get their products into your homes and your cash out of your wallets. So which should you pick?
It can be a struggle to understand all of the features and figure out what to get, especially if gaming is not your thing and you’re buying it for the kids. So here’s the lowdown on the basics a non-gamer needs to know to choose between the PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One.
It’s finally time for the Xbox 360 to move over. Microsoft’s Xbox One launches with full fanfares on 22nd November and the shops are pretty sure to sell out.
With a sleek design, awesome graphics and a hugely powerful processor, it’s sure to be featuring big in a lot of letters to Santa this Christmas.
The Xbox One is promoted as being a lot more than your average video game console. It has the capability to become a full media centre including showing live television and sports events. Naturally there’s a full lineup of triple-A games, a lot of which are already on sale. Some of the titles used to be PlayStation exclusives, now snatched out of Sony’s grasp so that Xbox players can enjoy them too.
There’s also a much improved new Kinect camera (the Kinect is included in most packages), and the Smart Glass app allows a wide range of mobile devices to become linked Xbox One accessories so that you can browse and even unlock additional features in and out of game playing.
But nothing’s perfect! The downside here is that the Xbox One requires a first time online check-in to function properly, although it’s not an ‘always-on’ system. The other thing that has come in for criticism is that you cannot turn off the new Kinect’s camera feature.
Sony’s PlayStation is well known for its high-performance hardware and anyone buying the PC-styled powerhouse mega-console PlayStation 4 will experience some of the best graphics processing capabilities ever seen in console gaming.
The official release of the PS4 has been announced for 15th November in the USA – a full week ahead of the launch of the Xbox One – but in the UK it’s not coming out until the 29th, while Microsoft are holding to their 22nd November date in both countries.
The PS4 boasts a stunning camera for enhanced play. The controller has been completely redesigned. As for additional features, it has gameplay streaming and recording directly from the console, and an app to interface with tablets and smartphones. If you have a PlayStation Vita you also get a lot of remote play and viewing features.
On the negative side, the ability to play in multiplayer mode online, which was free with the PS3, is now restricted to Sony’s paid premium service PlayStation Plus. There’s virtually no backwards compatibility of games, so a game bought for the PS4 is unlikely to play at all on the PS3. The other way around will usually work, but without the full PS4 features. This is annoying for gamers who want to swap games with their friends, although understandable from Sony’s point of view.
The release of these two super high powered consoles gives gamers a lot to look forward to this Christmas. In the battle between the Xbox One vs PlayStation 4, only time will tell which of them will be crowned the king of the consoles – but whichever you decide to get, your kids are pretty sure to be happy!
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