Game Face, On!: Sony's PlayStation 4 versus Microsoft's Xbox One
The year was 1981. Ronald Reagan was president of the US, MTV just debuted on television, and video games were slowly becoming a crucial part of every generation. Back then, choosing a video game system was easy, as the Atari 2600 was peaking in popularity the world over.
Sure, the graphics were 8-bit like, the casing was an eye sore, and the controllers only had a few simple buttons compared to today's, but it was a hit because it allowed people to play games right in the comforts of their own living rooms. It gave everyone, as an Atari commercial said, "hours of fun for the whole family."
This holiday season, however, buying a video game system has become more complicated. It's a battle that makes the Samsung Galaxy versus the iPhone, Oasis vs. Blur, and Chrome vs. Firefox look tame and silly. PlayStation and Xbox, the two biggest names in the world of video games, are going head-to-head as the new consoles hit the market.
Aside from the improvement in graphics, new features and services are part of the bundle, and there's the promise of "hours of fun for the whole family." The question is: which ones are the must-haves? Here's a quick guide of the highs and lows to help you out.
The new Xbox One costs $100 more than $399 PS4. This is because the newly designed Kinect now comes in every unit. This means more than the silly hand gestures, though. The Kinect's voice recognition system is a cut above the rest. You can't ask questions and get a snarky response like Siri, but it can do many other things. "Xbox: On" turns on the unit and the TV, provided you install it properly.
PS4 is Need-for-Speed Fast. Xbox is Mario Kart Fast.
Both consoles boast an impressive 500 gig hard drive, 8 gigs of Ram, an 8-core processor, and a Blu-ray player. When using them, though; startup, switching between apps, and other tasks is noticeably faster on Sony's console. This is probably because of the next point...
Xbox's All-in-One App
The "One' in Xbox refers to Microsoft's hopes that its new gaming device will be the only one device for all your media needs. Aside from a video game console and a way to browse the Internet, it's also a TV. It has live TV incorporated, as well as other functions similar to TiVo.
This is Xbox One's biggest leverage over the PS4, which doesn't have this feature. This could also be the reason the Xbox One runs slower compared to the PS4, because in essence, it's always managing something.
Amazing Improved Controllers
Last generation's Xbox 360 controller pretty much became the gold standard for gamers compared to the problem-ridden PS3 Dualshock 3. Sony came to play this time, though, with a sturdier, more 360like controller that is the Dualshock 4. Both console controllers can use their own cameras motion control. The Dualshock 4 features a gamepad for finger-swipes, which works well with a number of first/third person action games. The One's new controller hasn't changed much since it was pretty much perfect already. The triggers on both console controllers have also been fine-tuned.
A Modern Art, a Box Art
Both consoles feature box-like designs, but one looks like a piece of art while the other looks like a box art.
From a purely plastic box point of view, Sony's angled monolith is a sight to behold. The small light that turns blue and then white when powering up is amazing to the nth degree. The One, meanwhile literally puts the box in Xbox, with its large rectangular shape similar to an old VCR. Both weighing in at 6 pounds, the PS4 can stand vertically just like its predecessor the PS2, while the Xbox One only goes horizontal.
Both consoles are impressive feats and give you the feels like the future has arrived. The bottom line is, any of the two will make a great present this coming holiday season. It'll all depend on who you are buying for and how much you're willing to spend. The PS4 will give more hours of fun for the gamer in you, while the Xbox One is the one to get for the "hours of fun for the whole family."