The Xbox One and Playstation 4 have both been available for purchase for around 2 years now. With the PS4 having 70% of the U.K market share it is currently winning in terms of sales, however both are still popular among gamers but this does not say which one is ‘better’, if anything it just shows that they are both quite different consoles; they both have similar features, but also some standout platform exclusive features.
The Playstation 4 has been outselling the Xbox One for quite some time and this trend is likely to continue of the run-up to Christmas however Microsoft does have a few tricks up it’s sleeve which could boost Xbox One sales just in time for Christmas; sales for both consoles are going strong and with backwards compatibility coming to the Xbox One next month it’s popularity should increase a little bit as players can play their Xbox 360 games through the new console. Backwards compatibility for games is not currently available for the PS4, instead Sony’s Playstation Now service is now in full access allowing users to rent older games which does mean you’ll need to pay again for games if you already bought them for the PS3.
When the Xbox One was first announced it was described a “media device” and it truly is, the console offers more apps such as ESPN and Skype whereas the Playstation 4 is a lot more limited in this area; this doesn’t mean this is going to stay like this since new apps are expected to be added over time and more niche apps should be coming to both consoles. Both of them offer access to Netflix and Amazon Instant Video so this doesn’t even need to be considered when considering which one to get.
While both consoles have plenty of features away from gaming such as streaming, movies, music, apps and more the gaming aspect is the most important for a gaming console and both have pretty strong gaming sides; the PS4 may be better in this aspect as it has a larger selection of games currently available and based on E3 2015 there’s plenty more games to come. The Xbox One has not been left behind in this area though and there are plenty of great games available on this platform while also having a decent line-up according to E3 2015 with lots of promising games to come.
Last generation only the Xbox 360 demanded users pay money to play online with other people, this generation both the Xbox One and PS4 demand their users to pay a subscription fee to play multiplay with their friends and others online; there’s no way around it this time so owners of either new console will need to pay extra monthly if they wish to play with their friends or play games online. There is also no cross-platform play meaning if you have friends with games on the other console you cannot play online with them, it’s annoying but something that should be expected now; Microsoft is bringing the Xbox One and their Windows PC systems closer together allowing Xbox One users through an Xbox Live app built into Windows 10. In the future Microsoft will be bringing out a unified store on the PC also which will one day mean developers and publishers will be able to upload a single game that will run on both PC and Xbox One. PC owners will also be able to stream games from their Xbox One to their PC so from a casual PC gamer’s point of view the Xbox One could be the one to go for.
Both consoles have their own camera that works with some games; the Xbox One with it’s connect and the Playstation 4 camera. The Xbox kinnect technology looks to be very promising and can track up to 6 people at once while monitoring heart rate, facial expressions and 25 joints including the thumb; it’s certainly powerful but it’s limited currently as there’s not many games that work with it. Unfortunately the PS4 has less games currently available for their camera, even less games require the camera in order for the game to work correctly; in the future the PS4 camera should work with Project Morpheus for virtual reality. Alien Isolation is one of the few games that can use a camera and it does so very well, having the camera active is an extra option in the game to make it much harder as it means the Alien can hear you in real life and responds accordingly so it’s best not to play this mode when you have company over.
The graphics on both consoles look fantastic and the debate over which is better tends to be pretty strong for both sides however the PS4 does appear to be better in this respect. PS4 games seem to achieve a 1080p resolution at 30 or 60 frames per second while the Xbox One versions usually run the same game at 720p or 900p. Some games on PS4 also have a higher fps count such as Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition which had 60fps on the PS4 and only 30fps on the Xbox One. Any difference in graphics shouldn’t be an issue as it’s hardly noticeable even when the images are compared side by side not to mention Microsoft has promised a new preview version of its Direct3D 12 graphics toolset by the end of the year which could certainly make up for the slower RAM in the Xbox One. The upgrade in graphics between this generation and the last is noticeable and it’s a great improvement, Microsoft seems to be keen on competing with Sony in this area also so hopefully improvements will be seen in both consoles.
The specs of both have been massively upgraded; currently the PS4 specs are better designed for more powerful graphics than the Xbox One which may be reflected in the slight graphics difference. The amount of RAM the consoles use is pretty different as well with the PS4 having a distinct advantage with it’s faster 8GB GDDR5 memory while the Xbox One has a slower 8GB DDR3; however all the RAM isn’t just allocated to game developers some is used to run the operating systems. The PS4 reserves up to 3.5GB for this and the Xbox One takes up 3GB making them pretty similar and their AMD based architecture is also similar, there’s no real winner in this area and only game developers will be the real judge of the consoles specifications.
The differences between the two consoles are not very big and so far neither of them are really better than the other despite what hardcore fans will tell you; Xbox One is certainly better in terms of how much it can offer with it’s apps and other non-gaming features but the Playstation 4 does have slightly better graphics and it’s specifications are a little better for gaming. Instead the biggest factor to consider is probably going to be what you’re friends have as there’s no cross-platform play unless you’re looking for a way to extend your PC gaming habits then the Xbox One is certainly better for that. The Playstation 4 is going to be more linked in with Project Morpheus, the VR headset from Sony so for those interested in VR without a PC then the PS4 could be a better choice. For the most part it’s just a matter of personal taste as opposed to one being much better than the other; improvements should be coming for both consoles so this could change greatly over the next few years.
Top 3 Xbox One games
The top 3 list for Xbox One games will depend on where and when you search however these three games are certainly in the list of top Xbox One games sold this year:
1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
The latest Metal Gear Solid received a lot of attention due to the Kojima and Konami fallout and the consequences of that but this doesn’t take anything away from the game, this game is considered to be one of the best released this year regardless of platform but is rated especially high on the Xbox One.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the final instalment in the Metal Gear series featuring as a direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and a prequel to the original Metal Gear game. It follows mercenary leader Snake and he ventures into the Middle East to exact revenge on the people who destroyed his forced and almost killed him in Ground Zeroes so it is a direct continuation from the last game.
The game was praised by critics for it’s gameplay mechanics, story, mature themes and graphics; it was so highly acclaimed that many reviewers gave it perfect scores and some even described it as the greatest game in the Metal Gear series
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The latest instalment to The Witcher series and the last following the story of Geralt of Rivia is one of the highest rated games of the year so it’s no surprise that it was immensely popular on the Xbox One.
The world of The Witcher 3 is huge and contains around 100 hours of gameplay; while it may link to the previous games in the series it is certainly not a requirement to have played the previous games as the story is a standalone adventure allowing new players to explore the world without getting confused. The Witcher 3 is perhaps one of the greatest RPG’s created and is certainly the best to be released this year; it offers a lot to it’s players including a living economy that makes sense in the world, gritty dialogue and even choices that impact the world. If this doesn’t sell the game then there’s also a realistic beard growing mechanic.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is considered one of the best games of the year and was critically acclaimed by many reviewers, also receiving several perfect scores. This is a must have game for Xbox One (or for any other console) for fans of RPGs.
3. Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest is a stunning platform game created by a small independent studio for Microsoft Windows and the Xbox One. The game is a Microsoft exclusive and sold very well on the Xbox One for some good reasons; the graphics are beautiful and the game’s story was inspired by The Lion King and also The Iron Giant while some of the gameplay elements were inspired by the Rayman and Metroid franchises.
This is a 2D open worlded platform game filled with puzzles that need to be solved in order to progress. To save the game the player must find a save point scattered through the game or they could create a “soul link” which acts as a checkpoint; while it’s not quite a hardcore system this could be a little frustrating at times for some players.
Upon it’s release the game was praised for pretty much all areas of the game: gameplay, artstyle, story, environmental design, the list just goes on. It was also a huge success with the game being profitable for the developers just after a few weeks after it’s launch. Being in the top 3 games on Xbox One is certainly well deserved for this wonderful indie game and is worth getting if you own the console.
Top 3 Playstation 4 games
Playstation 4 isn’t always that different to the Xbox One especially in terms of it’s most popular games as these tend to be pretty standard across all platforms. These are the top 3 rated games however of the year on the PS4:
While Destiny is available on Xbox One it does have more content on the Playstation 4 and is certainly more popular on this console. Destiny is a first person shooter game at it’s heart with almost MMO qualities; the world has a “mythic science fiction” theme, the multiplayer world is shared with other players and there are plenty of role-playing elements. Destiny was developed by Bungie who also developed the Halo series and is their first new console franchise since the Halo series.
Destiny combines first person shooter and MMO elements well but the game is not branded as an MMO but a “shared-world shooter” as it lacks many traditional MMO characteristics. There’s PVE and PVP area’s along with the potential for raids, clans and timed events throughout the world of Destiny. For MMO fans this will all feel very familiar but those new to the idea of MMO’s it could feel a little strange at first. DLC is available for purchase for Destiny which adds even more content to the game such as new story missions, equipment, maps and raids which will extend it’s playability even once you complete the main game.
Destiny received some pretty mixed critical reception upon it’s release with some comments that the story was weak however the praise for the graphics was high along with the competitive multiplayer modes. When the game launched it had the most successful new gaming franchise launch in history and within a week there was over 11 million gameplay sessions within North America. Whether or not Destiny deserves a spot in the top 3 Playstation games could be debatable but it’s unique blend certainly makes it a noteworthy game.
Journey is an indie game exclusive to Sony’s Playstation which received many “game of the year” awards along with several other awards and nominations, most notably for it’s soundtrack. The player controls a robed figure in a vast desert travelling towards a mountain in the distance; other players on the same journey can be discovered and the two players can meet to assist each other but they cannot communicate through speech or text but instead they use musical chimes. The chimes affect the game world and allows the player to progress through the levels.
The game developers wanted to produce feelings of smallness and wonder in it’s players while encouraging them to form an emotional connection to the other anonymous players they meet along the way. The story in journey is told wordlessly through the gameplay and the cutscenes; in each level the play may come across one other player and meet many different players as they progress through the game.
Journey received critical and commercial success worldwide on it’s release; it became the fastest selling game to date on the Playstation Store in both North America and Europe. The beautiful visuals and the incredible dynamic soundtrack certainly won over reviewers and it’s players.
Bloodborne is a Playstation exclusive which was highly popular when it was released and was compared heavily to the Souls franchise. The game was highly anticipated and it didn’t certainly disappoint players when it was released.
Bloodborne pits the player in a fictional Gothic city where the inhabitants have been afflicted by an abnormal blood-borne disease and the player must fight through the abominations to search for the truth and finally a way back home. The gameplay is focused heavily on the weapons based combat and exploration of the city; the enemies are vastly varied and there are many different weapons including swords and firearms. Much like the Souls franchise, Bloodborne is notoriously difficult to the point where it could almost be considered ‘brutal’ due to how much it can punish new or less experienced players which can either be a huge bonus to some players or horrific to others.
The game was extremely well received by reviewers, scoring top marks for it’s graphics, gameplay, story, music and more. The cross between a lovecraftian horror themed world and story with the well loved Souls franchise difficulty and gameplay style won over game reviews and players worldwide; at the 2015 Golden Joystick Awards Bloodborne was nominated for many areas and won “Best Original Game” along with “Playstation Game of the Year”. Bloodborne is a great Playstation 4 game and offers it’s players with a lot of content and playtime; for those brave enough to try the difficult game you certainly won’t be disappointed with it.