The Differences Between The Xbox One And PS4, As Far As We Know

The Xbox One and the PS4 aren't the same type of system. That much is obvious. But now that Microsoft changed a number of its policies on the Xbox One, those differences have dwindled a bit.

Let's recap.

  • The Xbox One releases sometime in November for $599 in Australia, while the PS4 will cost $549 and will be out sometime later this year.
  • The Xbox One requires a Kinect. The PS4 Eye is sold separately, which is partially why the PS4 is priced lower than the Xbox One.
  • The Xbox One has a "one-time system set-up", but no internet connection is required after that. The PS4 does not require you to have an internet connection to start playing your games, although we don't know if it will have a day one update — or if it will also require a "one-time system set-up".
  • Indie support on the PS4 seems much stronger than on the Xbox One... but the Xbox One has Minecraft.
  • The PS4's controller has a touchpad, unlike the Xbox One's. The Xbox One has rumbling triggers though.
  • The Xbox One has a new, expanded achievements system. We don't know anything about the trophy system on the PS4.
  • Both consoles support second screens. Xbox One utilises "SmartGlass", which takes advantage of various phones and tablets. Sony's second-screen support also involves the PlayStation Vita, which you can use for PS4 remote play.
  • The Xbox One has a strong focus on other media, like television — it's aiming to be your go-to device in the living room. To that end, it has a fancy "snap-mode", which allows the system to multitask. Sony discussed television a bit at E3, but the system seems to primarily focus on games.
  • You have the option to download a game's multiplayer or single player first on the PS4, in case you'd like to jump straight into a specific portion of the game.
  • Neither system is backwards compatible, although Sony announced a plan to support PS3 backwards-compatibility through Gaikai, a streaming service, sometime in 2014.
  • Xbox One exclusives include Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Quantum Break, Killer Instinct and Sunset Overdrive. PS4 exclusives include inFamous: Second Son, Knack, The Order: 1886 and Killzone: Shadow Fall.

And that's the quick and dirty list of the differences between the two systems, without getting into the spec differences. What do you think? Do any of these things predispose you toward a particular system, or do you see yourself getting both — especially now that the Xbox One doesn't have as strict DRM policies?


    Thanks a lot Internet, you just turned the Xbone into the PS4. Happy now?

      and the world was better for it, now Microsoft just needs to realise they can't be complete capitalist scum and not let indie devs self publish, then we will have unified gaming world where everyone can experience everything and its wonderful.

        We can have a unified gaming world by simply killing the exclusives. Sure Sony and Microsoft pay big money to get a game exclusive to their system but if every game could be played on all systems then we could really be on something amazing. True Cross-link play between consoles and PC no bad blood just everyone being able to play every game that is true unity.

          Well thats the next step isnt. But don;t go saying anything, the NGWO (New Gaming World Order) will not take kindly to their plans being exposed.

          God, if only... That kind of world would be some absurd kind of utopia.
          A version for all platforms, all talking to each other, any control system you like... (except FPS/RTS where you need a KB&M unless you feel like being part of the rofflestomped underclass who cleans my boots).


        Wait, you don't like competition?

        Why would Microsoft & Sony even try and make a system that is better than their competitors if they were restricted by the same rules.

        Competition in this industry is vital in order to get progression.

          I don't like competition in hardware no, sorry I don't play games to have the biggest beefiest machine to play them on. I play games because I enjoy playing games, and some of the best experiences in the last few years could be played on machines much older than currently available.

          It's quite clear what competition in the console market means, it means more non-game related shit, tv, multimedia and social shit. No thanks.

            Or.... as we've seen at E3, a bunch of exclusive titles in both camps.

            Have a look at any industry, competition fuels innovation. If you have one dominant leader then things get stagnant and it becomes a monopoly.

              Oh yeah I forgot how pixel pushing makes for such great games. I love how my comment has been voted down so much, instead of being the inaudible masses explain how beefier hardware has ever been congruent to better games? and what technology of the last generation has created better game experiences, motion controllers? My ass.

                Beefier hardware isn't just about pixel pushing - more power can go into gameplay systems as well. I can think of countless games that wouldn't be possible on older, less powerful systems. And by not possible, I mean that even if the graphics were dumbed down, the gameplay wouldn't be possible without the extra grunt of newer systems. Better AI, larger worlds, physics simulation - there are heaps of things that can have a huge effect on gameplay.

                I remember watching a lecture over a decade ago about how games had reached their zenith, and the presenter gave the example that all they could do if they got beefier machines was put hair on their characters and simulate cloth, but how the game itself wouldn't change. The presenter lacked imagination, and couldn't at that stage see how more power could realise the open landscape of Red Dead Redemption, or the physics interaction of Half Life 2's RavenHolm, or the allow the time rewinding mechanics of Braid. Minecraft might look old school graphically, but you couldn't run that on a SNES, or an N64, or probably even a Wii.

                Having said that, I do think there is always more innovating and amazing gameplay opportunities to be found within the current and even older hardware limitations - some of the best new indie games can be run on older hardware, and my favourite game I'm currently playing, The Last of Us, is on a 7 year old machine. It's too easy for developers to just add in some ambient occlusion and dynamic tessellation when they get extra power, instead of thinking about ways in which that power can be used to improve the actual game.

        How is the world better? We now have 2 consoles with little to no innovation at all. At least Microsoft was trying something out. People may not have a agreed but it was attempting to advance console gaming.

        BTW improved hardware isn't innovation.

      Actually this is completely incorrect. The PS4 brings many innovations in gaming, the touch pad alone is a great new innovation that developers are excited to utilise. The PS4 is also pioneering console DVR, the video sharing features are a lot more robust than those they have tacked onto the Xbone. It also has improvements to the social networking aspect of the console, as well as the ability to play your PS4 games on the go using remote play. You can also access your console's contents and buy/download games from the smartphone app from anywhere.

      The Xbone is now just a hardware update from the 360, with a few minor bells and whistles, not counting the TV features.

      This announcement has basically reset the Xbone back to what it was after the initial reveal, as it was E3 that destroyed it.

      Last edited 20/06/13 11:59 am

        The PS4 is going to be awesome, and all those features you mentioned are great. But to say the Xbone is just a hardware update from the 360 is really dumb. If anything I think it has more new and exciting hardware features than the PS4 does. The standardisation of the new Kinect, cloud computing and HDMI in are not something to be dismissed.

        The new Kinect will have a huge impact on game development - if you don't think so it's because you're just imagining the shitty Kinect games that exist now, and not the possibilities that will exist once developers can be sure that each Xbone will have one.

        Cloud computing is also something which has the potential to be a big advantage on Microsofts side (and no, contrary to what they said, Sony does not have a cloud the way MS and Google do).

        I'll be buying both. As a indie developer I am more excited about the PS4 because I might actually have a shot at getting on there, but as a gamer I'm excited about both equally for very different reasons.

      I'm a bit disappointed that Microsoft went back on their plans - now they have to call it the Xbox 180. I think they were very forward looking and their biggest mistake was not communicating the benefits properly. They should have just said - "It'll be like Steam".

      At least they're not going back on the Kinect requirement, developers need a standardised platform to get the most out of a system.

      I know a lot of people didn't like the proposed plan. Quick question though - would it have actually effected you personally, or did you just not like the idea of it? For me there was only upside.

      Last edited 20/06/13 12:01 pm

        Except Steam doesn't make you check in every 24hrs or it locks out your games.

        That was really Microsoft's stupidest move and if they'd pulled that ONE 'feature' (how the fuck did that add value, again?) they could've done much better. Saying that if you purchase/downloaded a game digitally, you could do the fancy sharing stuff? Would've been even better - maybe even a massive coup. As it is, they've won SOME goodwill, but still managed to piss people off.

          Yeah fair enough. But seriously, on that question I asked before - would it have actually effected you in any way?

          I actually would have preferred if the console had a permanent internet connection required all the time, because of the advantages that could have given to developers knowing that the cloud was always available, and the possibility of more integrated and subtle multiplayer elements (like Dark Souls / Journey etc, but even deeper because it was a requirement of the game). I know this would have been impossible with the state of some people's internet, but it could have led to some exciting developments in games. I'm not trolling by saying this, honestly. I'm just looking into the future and I'm a bit sad that it won't be the next generation of consoles that finally does away with discs and offline play.

          Edit: It kind of feels like the early days of the ipod, except that Apple decides that it will be a good idea to keep a tape player in the device because some people haven't adapted to mp3s yet and they don't want to alienate those people that still use cassettes.

          Last edited 20/06/13 12:37 pm

            Ugh. No, no always-online would be good, either. I think the wii proved fairly conclusively that just because the developers could 'count on you always having' motion control didn't mean they were always (if ever) going to do anything good with it. More often than not, it meant they were going to do something terrible with it that would've been done better with standard controls, because they felt some sense of obligation.

            An online-only box would've affected me in a limited way, personally. I'd have been forced to rig up my internet to reach the entertainment unit away from the study. (Ugly cables, expensive second port/service, or dodgy wireless. There's a reason I haven't done it yet.) But once it was done, it'd have been done. And when the Internet DOES go down, the console is actually my backup - at the moment pretty much the only time I fire it up is when the net is down. Fancy, shiny new console exclusives could change that.

            But it's also the principle. What'd it take to get Ubisoft to drop their always-online DRM? Lowering sales. And that WAS inconvenient. Damned inconvenient. EA and Online Passes - same deal. They've pretty much said they don't want to be the most hated company in America anymore - you better believe it's because of the weight that carries for their bottom line. But they're always trying to find a way to fuck you if you'll let them, instead of just focusing on making something really great and letting our gratitude pay for it.

            Microsoft didn't have to go full dark-ages just because they couldn't get their precious DRM in. There were many alternatives they could have gone with to try and entice us into the benefits of the digital while retaining the existing functionality of the physical. This is just a sniping, passive-aggressive dummy spit from them, claiming we're obviously not ready for the 'future' because their vision of the future involved poking us in the eye.

              You're right about the Wii waggle and Ubisofts DRM being a pain... and EA's SimCity just recently... what a hassle. Perhaps I'm just thinking too optimistically about the potential upside, and not being realistic about the negatives.

              One of the reasons is because I remember when everybody absolutely hated Steam, just hated that you couldn't play HL2 without it, and how it was so restrictive that you had to go online before you could play a game, and that was with the internet infrastructure of 9 years ago. But Valve took a gamble on what the future of PC gaming could be, and it paid off for them and for gamers.

              I also do think the new Kinect has a lot more potential than the Wii waggle (the potential of which was pretty much mined out in the Wii Sports bundle title) - time will tell though if developers get as much out of it as I hope they do.

              Last edited 20/06/13 1:10 pm

                There are parts of xbone's vision which are AMAZING. Things I want to see happen. I just don't want to see it saddled with all this blatantly anti-consumer protectionist stuff. So I rail against it - loud.

                Diablo 3 was the first big cause of it for me. I only ever played D1 and D2 as single-player games or a 2-player LAN co-op. There was really no reason for it to be always-online except to say, "We're going to diminish your experience so we can protect ourselves against pirates." No longevity-improving mods or cheats, a loot table tweaked toward forcing you to the AH to meet your gear checks (because the stuff never dropped without repetitive grinding - which they also implemented locks against, in later patches, so they didn't really want you to grind, either).

                Protecting yourself? Cool. Protecting yourself, at the cost of the paying customer? Not cool. That was one of the first times I saw a company I previously respected openly telling me that they thought protecting themselves was more important to them than me enjoying my experience. And it sucked. I liked those guys, up to that point.

                Any time a company tells me their needs are more important than mine, they stop getting my money. I think that even if people didn't know how to articulate it, that self-serving attitude is what drove the almost irrationally-offended reaction.

                Maybe someone can borrow/steal Microsoft's more brilliant ideas. Maybe they'll do it themselves, slowly and tentatively introduced piece by piece to focus test what specifically draws the ire of the Internet. But I'm pretty confident that anything they introduce to benefit themselves and disadvantage customers? The pitchforks'll come out again. Maybe they're hoping to slip it in after everyone has already bought in to the brand and they can exploit the Endowment Effect the way they have been with the current generation. (See: - fascinating stuff that explains a LOT about how some things have slipped past us.)

    also the ps4 has a dedicated share button

    Ive always been a fan of thr previous xbox's but in my opinion consoles should be focused on gaming so I tend to be leaning towards the ps4. Plus itll be nice to play some of the nice looking exclusives

    I really don't know what all the fuss is about, just buy one play it and enjoy. Our just buy both.

      Yep buy both for same price as ps3 when released.. solved

      but my gaming experience on my PS4 will be ruined if you buy a Xbox One

    But have you seen Titanfall?

    You'll hear this a lot I guess but the main thing that had me leaning towards PS4 was its lack of DRM and what not; I've really enjoyed Xbox since switching to the 360, but if there was going to be so many restrictions etc when I have shit internet as it is (and my town's not even listed on the NBN rollout yet), I was going to go back to PS for the 4 (and so were a lot of my mates) for the convenience of being able to share games freely and by using the actual discs, not having to spend hours downloading a game every time I wanted to take it to a mate's house for a game. Now that the DRM crap is gone I'm happy to stick with Xbox at this stage, and so are a few mates.

    Remember when people from 25 and up with good jobs were excited about what this would mean for gaming. Thanks 12 year old flamers for ruining it.

    A couple of notes: we're still not sure how the Xbox's television support will translate outside of North America, and I'm pretty sure there's also a Sony second screen app of some kind that's available on platforms other than the Vita.

    The creators of Minecraft actually dislike the Xbone. Don't be surprised if it comes to the PS4.

      Any proof regarding that? Because all I see is a recent Physical Disc release of Minecraft for Xbox 360 and an expanded version for Xbox One.. Yeah they must really hate Ms.. Or mojang just really loves $$$

      Fkn idiot

    Still going to be buying the PS4. Microsoft has an aggressive strategy for DRM, we may have slowed them down for the time being, but they'll find a way to force it down our throats. Thats not to say Sony won't do that, I just believe Microsoft will always be closer to doing that than Sony.

    Microsoft are getting very arrogant in forcing stuff onto consumers. Windows 8: Don't have a touchscreen at home? Doesn't matter, we'll make it hard for you to work from the old desktop. You'll love it.

    Sony actually listened to gamers and acted accordingly. Microsoft have listened to gamers but only after it was made quite apparent to them that they might lose sales. They're not acting for the good of the gamer, they're acting on damage limitation and trying to protect their profit margin. Don't get me wrong, Sony will do that as well, this is capitalism after all, but the way they've acted, Sony are the ones who've shown they care more about the actual gaming experience on their system

      You have this situation all wrong buddy... All Sony did was unprofessionally slander Microsoft at e3... They had no idea about the plans for Drm features or anything it was all post ms presentation propaganda, Sony dont listen to gamers haha that's like saying apple care about their customers they are all the same all they want is $$$ it's business

      Because clicking on the desktop tile..... is hard somehow?

        it's not, but they're forcing something that was optimised for touchscreen use onto traditional desktop users and it was only after people complained about it enough that they started to do something about it. Notice the theme here?

    If you have an Xbox 360, you can plug that into the HDMI-in on the Xbox One and play it through the Xbox One. Although you'd end up with lots of controllers to juggle. Not sure how you can have a Gamertag on the 360 and One at the same time either.

    What's the difference between a 360/PS3 and a Xbone/PS4 is probably more telling....

    I'm seeing... Nothing? Hi-res sequels...

    "Indie support on the PS4 seems much stronger than on the Xbox One… but the Xbox One has Minecraft.
    The PS4′s controller has a touchpad, unlike the Xbox One’s. The Xbox One has rumbling triggers though."
    For the note, the PS4 also will have Minecraft, and the PS4's controller is very much like last gens, but more comfortable.

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