Xbox One Vs PS4 – a look at some of the key features
As the dust settles on PS4 and Xbox One and their bells and whistles shows, we’ll take a look at some of the key features for each machine to help you work out which one is for you
As the dust settles on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and their bells and whistles shows at E3 in LA, we take a look at some of the key features for each machine to help you work out which one is for you.
We'll also give you the latest on Microsoft's decision to drop policies regarding internet connections and pre-owned disc-based games.
The meat and two veg - what's under the
Neither Xbox One nor PS4 is going to win any Miss World pageants anytime soon. Both are square, boxy and boring looking.
However, as our mothers always told us, 'beauty is only skin deep; it's what's inside that counts'. And that's certainly the case with these two behemoths of next-generation engineering.
Both feature custom AMD chips and eight-core CPUs with 8GB of RAM.
However, there's a slight difference in the type of RAM they use, with Sony fitting PlayStation 4 with the kind found in PC video cards - GDDR5.
Experts at Digital Foundry also said the GPU in PS4 has the slight graphical edge - however both consoles have already shown they're capable of providing scintillating, jaw-dropping graphics.
Internet connections and used games -
Xbox changes tack
Microsoft had originally said that when playing games Xbox One needs to connect to the internet every 24 hours. However the company has now dropped the policy, along with its restrictions around pre-owned disc-based titles.
Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment business, said in a blog post that an internet connection will no longer be required to play games on the Xbox One after its initial set-up, and users can share and play games like they have on the Xbox 360.
He said in the statement: "You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc.
"The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world."
The statement added: "An internet connection will not be
required to play offline Xbox One games - after a one-time system
set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game
without ever connecting online again. There is no 24-hour
connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you
want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
The statement also made clear there will now be no limitations on sharing disc-based games for Xbox One.
"Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today - there will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360."
During its press conference at E3, Sony revealed PS4 does not need to be connected to the internet to play games.
PlayStation 4 doesn't impose any new restrictions on how owners
trade their PS4 game discs, either.
Sony says: "When a gamer buys a PS4 disc, they have the rights to use that disc. They can sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever."
Move your body - motion sensors
Both Xbox One and PS4 were launched with motion sensors, but with Xbox this comes as standard - hence the price difference.
When you buy Xbox One an enhanced Kinect sensor comes as part of the package. We've been getting ourselves in a right lather over the new Kinect - Microsoft says it's sensitive enough to read our heartbeat and the slight rotation of a wrist or shoulder.
Those opting for PS4 will have to buy its Eye camera and move controller separately.
The Eye's camera bar is made up of two 1280x800 cameras, while it will work in harmony with the new light-bar-equipped PS4 controller.
Games, games, games
When Microsoft launched Xbox the presentation talked it up as an all-round living room entertainment hub, as happy with telly and tunes as it was games.
After the show disgruntled gamers asked: "Well, where were the games?" Microsoft told them E3 would be "all about the games" - and it was.
Microsoft showcased a stack of new titles - some with the exclusive tag - during its E3 show.
Among the new Xbox One titles that have gamers hot under the collar are Ryse, Son of Rome, which puts you in the boots of a soldier of the Roman Empire. Project Spark and Dead Rising 3 are among others to have captured the imagination.
Some gaming journos have since said Xbox is in the driving seat when it comes to games we've actually seen.
This may or may not be the case, but either way the PS4 is certainly no slouch when it comes to its range of new games.
At the E3 launch of the console Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Andrew House said "delivering breakthrough gaming experience" is at the core of PS4.
We feasted our eyes on trailers for Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Order, Driveclub and several others. Gaming bods at the Guardian have suggested first-person shooter Killzone will be the "key title" which "everyone buys".
All round entertainment - Xbox One
But as Microsoft's initial presentation for Xbox One told us, next-gen gaming isn't totally about the games.
For Xbox One, gaming is just one slice of a tasty multimedia pie.
As we were told in May, the box is aimed at becoming the entertainment hub of our living rooms - whether we want to play games, watch TV, check out a DVD or have a boogie to some tunes.
All you need to say is 'Xbox, on' to get you up and running - while the machine recognizes your face and takes you straight to your personal profile.
These speech and motion controls also mean when you want to switch between playing a game and watching the TV all you have to do is say - shouting 'Xbox, game' or 'Xbox, TV' to move from one to the other.
It's also a pretty sociable beast. Video calling service Skype is baked in, and when not using Xbox One to chat to friends you can use it to at least see what they're doing with a trending feature which shows the games and films they're checking out.
Something else underpinning the multimedia, all-in-one vibe of Xbox One is snap mode, which allows two programmes to run simultaneously on your screen - surfing the web on one part of our screen while watching a movie on another.
When it comes to TV, you'll be able to run your set-top box through Xbox One and there's likely to be streaming services for your favourite movies and TV series.
With the Twitch feature you're also able to broadcast your gameplay to friends.
Share and share alike with PS4
PlayStation 4 has made a big push to attract the hardcore gamers, however it will also likely offer video streaming through its own service and third-party providers. There's been no mention of live TV being integrated a la Xbox One, but PS4 will be more sociable than Rod Stewart in 1974.
The biggest advancement here is the new controller, which features a share button.
Press it and you're able to record your gameplay and send it to your pals - no more having to try and convince them that you smashed that smug bloke from work on FIFA.
As well as recording your joypad mastery, you can broadcast it live and take stills.
It seems these days everyone and his mum is on Facebook and Twitter - and now PS4 is too. The social network will be baked into PS4, keeping you abreast of what your pals are up to in the world of PlayStation.
Next time you're stuck you now have an alternative to throwing your (pretty damn expensive) joypad at the wall.
If there's a level you just cannot get past, let one of your online friends log in to your game and do it for you - from the comfort of their bedroom or sofa.
So there we have it - the key features of each console.
This may sound strange to be factoring into a blog about a new games console, but a key element of making your mind up between Xbox One and PS4 will be just how much gaming you plan on doing on it.
While Sony has focused more on gamers thus far, Microsoft has highlighted how Xbox One can become the centre of your living room entertainment system - as well as running jaw-dropping next-gen games.
The big question then is Xbox One or PS4? Tell us
which one will be for you and why in the comments section