Xbox One vs PS4 - Which is best for this Christmas?

Published 
14 Aug 2014
Gallery

Which next-gen console is best for you? Xbox One or PS4? Read our head-to-head guide

The Xbox One and PS4 next-gen consoles have been duking it out since late last year, with the PS4 taking a lead in sales, outselling its rival by around 50%. We've got our full up-to-date reviews of both if you want all the nitty-gritty, head over to our Xbox One review and PS4 review for complete breakdowns.

However, if you want a rundown of the differences between the two consoles then you're in the right place, our Xbox One vs PS4 showdown. Here we're going to put the two consoles head-to-head over the most important issues, so you can work out which next-gen console is best for you, and which will be the best device to own come Christmas.

Now, it can be a lot to take in if you're fresh to the 'which is best' debate, so we've split the decision into several main categories – have a browse through to find the ones most pertinent to you, or just skip to the end for a summary.

XBOX ONE VS PS4 - PRICE

XBOX ONE Initially the Xbox One console cost £80 more than Sony's console - £349 for PS4 vs £429 for Xbox One – a difference largely accounted for by Microsoft bundling its motion-capturing Kinect controller with every console. A first price cut occurred in late February dropping the cost of Microsoft's hardware down to a slightly more reasonable £399. It also bundled must-have shooter Titanfall, which in effect brings the console down to around £360 - as most people would buy the game anyway. This deal is still available today from Microsoft, see our Xbox One deals page for more details, though that's likely to end soon as new bundles have just been announced.

Microsoft has recently given in to pressure from gamers and is finally selling the console without the Kinect peripheral, this version of the Xbox One costs £350. At Gamescom Microsoft announced three new bundles, all without Kinect. The first two both cost £350 and for that you get the console and a bundled game, essentially for free. The big seller is likely to be the Xbox One FIFA 15 bundle, but there's also a new White Xbox One bundle which comes with anarchic shooter Sunset Overdrive. Finally there's a new Xbox One with a 1TB hard disk, though it's only available at present as part of the expensive Xbox One Call of Duty bundle at £430. And if you don't like the sound of the bundled games on offer, then just sell on the download code and pickup Titanfall instead (you can get digital codes online for under £30). 

PS4 The PS4 remains at its original £349 price. There are no deals that compare to Microsoft's 'free game' bundles, which makes it effectively more expensive than its rival for the first time. An eye-catching deal at present is a Last of Us Remastered bundle which you can pick up for under £370 if you shop around. It's not a true next-gen game, but if you haven't played it then it's still one of the finest action-adventures ever made.

WILL THERE BE FURTHER PRICE CUTS? The big price move has now occurred with the Xbox One dropping Kinect and joining the PS4 on £349. With its new bundles now announced we're pretty sure that's it for price cuts pre-Christmas. Sony may be ahead in console sales, but this side of the holidays Microsoft is more than matching its rival in terms of exclusive titles, and with effectively a cheaper console we can't see the price changing again on either side.

That said, onreason to wait a little longer is because retailers bundle deals are bound to get sweeter on both consoles as we approach Christmas. Just how sweet will depend on the amount of consoles the two companies can manufacture this year. If demand is high, retailers won’t care to cut prices, but if there’s an excess of hardware to shift, then expect bigger deals. Don't leave it too late though, as a sell-out is still a possiblity this year, especially of the more-popular PS4.

BEST FOR YOU? – The Xbox One is now effectively cheaper by around £45, thanks to some great bundled games, but the price differencs still isn't great enough to make it a deciding factor

XBOX ONE VS PS4 - GAMES

You can talk hardware, controllers and operating systems all day, but it's the games that really matter on a console. Previous console generations have often been defined by their big exclusive franchises, such as Halo, Mario and Uncharted. If you really wanted to play a certain game, you had to but the console that had it.

However, this time we're not sure that exclusives will be as critical in the battle between the Xbox One and the PS4. Both consoles use very similar hardware, as we'll discuss later, and the ever-increasing costs of games development mean that Sony and Microsoft will have to splash huge amounts of cash to compete with titles that will be released across multiple formats.

MULTI-PLATFORM At present most of our most-wanted games are coming to both formats: Destiny, Assassin's Creed UnityFar Cry 4, Tom Clancy's The Division, The Witcher 3, Rainbow Six Siege and Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain. However, it's worth noting that many of these games aren't coming until 2015, with only the first three on this list confirmed for release this year

The Division

The Division looks incredible and it's coming to both consoles, but not until next year

To date, the most next-gen title on either console is arguably Battlefield 4 , with its 64 player battles matching those on the PC for scale. If you're looking for single-player thrills then Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag and the 'Definitive Edition' of Tomb Raider are both great picks and we really 'enjoyed' Wolfenstein: The New Order (it's grisly stuff at times).

To date the graphics hardware in the PS4, more on which later, has proved superior. Multi-platform games have largely looked sharper or run smoother on Sony's hardware.

EXCLUSIVE There are some exclusive titles out there, and Titanfall on Xbox One is undoubtedly the biggest. The EA-published game is exclusive to Microsoft formats, with Windows PC and Xbox 360 versions also available. The game is undoubtedly excellent, though without a single-player mode it's not for everyone, and though it's very slick it doesn't do anything technically that feels truly next-gen. You can read our full thoughts in our Titanfall review. Since launch, ex-CoD developers Respawn Entertainment have supported the game brilliantly with technical tweaks, new game modes and additional features - all for free - plus some great DLC map packs.

Titanfall

We're mainly playing Titanfall at the moment, though you'd have to be a die-hard shooter fan to buy an Xbox One to play just this

The exclusivity deal between Microsoft and EA was signed well before the launch of the next-gen consoles, when the Xbox 360 was the consoles of choice for first-person shooters. It's probably a deal that EA now regrets, with the PS4 proving more popular to date, losing the company many sales. We very much doubt that Titanfall 2 will be exclusive therefore, but after years of working to tight schedules and on endless sequels with Call of Duty, it's hard to predict when the developers at Respawn will do a sequel. Publisher EA has talked of a three-shooter rotation, possibly between Battlefield, Titanfall and Star Wars Battlefront. And that's a rotation we'd happily buy into.

The biggest PS4 exclusive to date is arguably Infamous: Second Son. This is a solid single-player game mixing some brilliant particle effects with some great brawling action. It certainly looks next-gen but the gameplay isn't really much beyond that which you'd expect from an older console. It's a good game for PS4 owners, but it's not enough of a reason to buy a PS4. Read our full thoughts in our Infamous: Second Son review. It's worth noting that the most-heralded release on the console of late has been the Last of Us Remastered, a prettied up version of one of the best games of recent years, originally on PS3.

Infamous: Second Son

Infamous: Second Son is incredibly pretty and good fun, but it's not quite a must-have

A big blow for Sony was the The Order 1886 getting delayed until 2015. We played recently at E3 and it looks superb, though we're yet to be completely convinced that there's enough breadth in the game to make it more than a very fancy shooting gallery. Other than this, we have the rather fabulous-looking, social racer Driveclub coming in October (though even that will be missing its much-hyped Dynamic Weather effects), and beyond that it's looking a bit sparse for PS4 this year.

Meanwhile over on Xbox One, Driveclub's main contender is the free-roaming Forza Horizon 2, then there's anarchic shooter-cum-free runner Sunset Overdrive, plus the re-mastered versions of the Halo series in the Halo: Master Chief Collection (which comes with beta access to Halo 5 no less). Again, not a huge line-up of 2014 exclusives, but one better than Sony has managed.

BEST FOR YOU? – It's still early days, Titanfall continues to impress on Xbox One, but we still think that multi-format games will dominate this console generation, and PS4 has the edge there

Read more

News

Sponsored Links

Disqus - noscript

Xbox, just Xbox all over. It really has the software edge and a better experience.

in conclusion you say if you don't like very much titanfall you should go absolutely for a ps4, but xbox has many good games except titanfall, halo, forza,sunset overdrive,project spark,crackdown,scalebound

What an idiot ...

"So with none of the exclusive titles yet reaching must-have proportions, and the cross-platform games looking so strong, we're edging towards the PS4 for its superior graphics power, better interface, Vita Remote Play and innovative controller."

This guy injects his bias opinion at the end of his three page article? Help us make a decision?

Xbox one has three time the amount of innovation that PS4 has. They are constantly adding more and more in updates every month. What an idiot!

Say command: "Xbox Destroy Him"

PS4> Trashbox One

XB1> piece of shitstation 4

I have them both. While I spend more time on the Xbox at the minute (the choice of games is better, but it's early days) the PS4 is a much better console. Don't get me wrong, I really do like the Xbox One, it has nicer build quality, the OS seems a little more refined and the gamepad is SLIGHTLY better, but it's just not as "cool" as the more focused, no nonsense PS4. Not to mention the fact it's more capable in the graphics department. I can see why it has appealed to more people and why sales are more than double that of the Xbox One. It's just a cooler piece of kit and the Playstation brand has a proven track record over 3 previous generations. I'm not being a fanboy here, just my opinion as a complete neutral.

ofc you are not bias and you are not talking nonsense. 3 times the amount of innovation? Can you prove that statement or are you just lying?

Most of these points are subjective. It all depends on your personal choice so get what YOU prefer.

If you are still undecided here are some few FACTS to help you. :p
1) Better selling console. PS4 (over 10m in less than 1 year)
2) More number of games. PS4
3) More number of exclusive games. PS4
4) More games under development and to come. PS4
5) Cheaper online service. PS+
6) Service with the more games. PS+
7) Service with the most recent games. PS+
8) Most popular amongst gamers by survey and sales. PS4
9) Most popular amongst developer by survey. PS4
10) Gaming feature like remote play, streaming display to different tv(with Vita TV), streaming games (ps now), VR headset, shareplay,... PS4

This a master class in how to sway an opinion towards the company that paid for the article in the first place. I will not let on who I know paid for this article, but if you read the spaces between the lines you'll find a good writer who earned their pay. I will give you a hint, all of one companies strengths are splattered throughout the piece while the other is lifted slightly differently then a 'but' enters and .... well you get it.

I like how you go "all this is subjective and down to personal choice", then shove "FACTS" down other's throats about PS4.

Have both...ps4 inferior to xbox one in every category, including power. Xbox one games are all 1080p since the june sdk update and the power of xbox ones dedicated servers, EsRam tiling development and the coming directx12 off more next gen promise than ps4.

This post is so aids.

Thanks for the news =D You forgot something ........ BEST GAMES ARE ON XBOX ONE :oooo

Number of exclusivs , REALYY ??!! F*** you & your knack !

I have both too and couldn't disagree with you more. Granted I'm playing on the Xbox One more right now due to its more appealing line up of games, but how long will this edge last for Microsoft? It's early days yet. But for any multi-platform game, the PS4 is my "go to" console and after all, multi-platforms are what we'll mostly be playing. The Xbox isn't more powerful, specs don't lie and the improvements of this June update are yet to be seen with any consistency. While I love the Xbox One, it's inferior - purely as a gaming console - to the PS4.

Yes, and you can count them if you want or I could list them...
Just for you information Titanfall, Deadrising3, Ryse, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Lococycle... aren't Xbox one exclusives.
And F*** you too! Sorry, you can't argue with facts. :)

There is a difference between subjective arguments(like best games, best controller, best exclusives, best online community) and concrete facts( sales number, number of games, cheaper online service).

We can debate and argue all we want about "best" arguments because that is a personal choice/opinion.
You can't argue with FACTS.

Seeing your posting history for me, it is highly unlikely that you have both. Recently we have had a lot of desperate xbox fanboys claiming to having both or having sold "their" PS4.

Yes, theye are exclusives for MS systems. You won't find them on PS4.

I have an Xbox but have seen many with a ps4. The xbox one is an inferior gaming system when it comes to specs and hardware. That being said it is very slightly inferior. But it is a much better entertainment system, but really only with the Kinect. Both systems are awesome, but I must say the xbox feels newer to me with the features of the kinect than the ps4. I plan on buying a ps4 in the future due to the great exclusives. I've always like xbox's exclusives more but I finally feel the need to get a sony system cause of the great games they are putting out. If the Xbox One had a lower price with Kimect I personally would say its the system to go with hands down without a doubt. That may just be me. But I understand how the price of it with kinect can sway you away. The Xbox one has and is getting much more and better features especially within the next few months. And last but not least Microsoft has been much more responsive to their customers and what they ask for then Sony has been. It makes me feel that Sony is kinda gliding along because they are selling more consoles which is a really dangerous way to play. I hope sony can step it up like they did at the launch of the Ps4, because Sony has had some real problems in the past they will want to avoid this time around

Agreed. There's no point in arguing with fanboys though, on either side. If you have chosen one over the other then great, enjoy your console, but you shouldn't bash the other console, simply because you don't own it and therefore don't have to live with it and therefore have no room to comment other than spewing irrelevant fanboy drivel.

Read it well. I said, they are not XBOX ONE exclusives. Simple fact, no need to argue it.

The difference is that Sony listened to gamers right from the start. Microsoft didn't. Even though most gamers didn't want the kinect they forced it on their system. They waited a long time before unbundling it. It may appear that sony is complacent because they do not change thing constantly (reverse policies...) but they still bring a lot of gaming features and improvements. They have announced the virtual reality headset, streaming game service, and the new share play system. They also announced new exclusive games AAA or otherwise at E3, Gamescom and will do the same at TGS.

I really don't think they are just gliding along, just the opposite actually.

I'm quite surprised this article (clearly published post Gamescom) misses out a lot of vital information. I own both consoles and there are a ton of games I want to get on both systems. Multiplayer games on XB1 (as more mates gaming on XB1), PS4 for single player multiplats (slightly better graphics) and the exclusives on each. BUT... for an article about which console to recomend for Xmas I believe XB1 wins quite comfortably.

Looking at the catagories they chose...

Price - XB1 all day long. £350 with Sunset overdrive. Then for £4 you can sign up for EA Access and in the first month for £354 You can play Sunset Overdrive, Battlefield 4, Peggle 2, Fifa 14 and Madden 14. Plus whatever 2 games 'games with gold' are offering if you sign up for a years sub. PS4 cant get near that.

Games - XB1 - Multiplats are slightly better on PS4 graphically. But most people would enjoy the game just as much regardless of the system they play it on. PS4 is also better for indie titles but if our main focus was indie then we would have just bought a PC with Steam or stayed on our previous gen consoles. So then it comes down to the big exclusives which wont be on the other console. Ryse, Titanfall, Forza 5, Forza Horizon 2, Dead Rising 3, Project Spark, Killer Instict season 1&2, Halo MS Collection, Fable Legends, Ori and the Blind Forest, Sunset Overdrive and the Kinect games. Again, I dont feel Sony can offer as wide a variety of exclusives until after Christmas

Console - I think smart answer is XB1 but can see why they say coin flip. Xbox one is quieter and less likely to suffer overheating. XB1 also edges it for me due to the HDMI input and the 'always on' functionality. Although the PS4 harddrive can be changed it is still an internal one. The beauty of XB1 is an external USB3 drive can store ALL my games and media, load them faster than either console can internally, and I can unplug that drive, take it to a friends house and play my games there immediately without needing to re-download them on his console. A massive plus. PS4 is better looking but are looks really a priority for two black boxes that sit on a shelf under a TV, it would be different if they were handhelds which would be seen in public.
Specs - Easy win for the PS4. Although the difference isn't huge, there is no mistaking both the RAM and GPU are better and on bigger screens or games which require higher FPS as well as demanding graphics there is a difference.
Multimedia features - Easy win for XB1. DNLA support for streaming, Media Player which plays pretty much ALL audio and visual formats including MKV, MP3 and MP4. It DOES have 3D Blu-Ray support despite the article claiming it doesnt. Stream TV to phones/tablets while gaming on XB1, HDMI Input for external boxes, TV Tuner (next month), Better Youtube, Better Twitch, built in Skype, Monthly updates and improvements
Sharing and Streaming - XB1 - New Xbox update adds a Facebook style blade to the homescreen to instantly share, like and write status updates. Add better twitch and youtube apps and that is the winner for me. PS4 has the excellent share button and 15min recording but nether myself or any of my friends with PS4's have needed to go back more than a few mins for clips we were after.
Controller - XB1 - I really like both controllers but there are two ultimate kickers for me. Xbox One controller last A LOT longer than my PS4 controller before it need recharging. I dont know if the battery is better, or the lightbar gobbles up battery (A lightbar which is annoying and cannot be disabled on PS4). And as the lightbar is currently underutilized but always on, XB1 takes it for me.
Accessories - Either - Both Kinect and the PS Camera do similar jobs (kinect more comprehesively though). PS4 can stream games if you buy or own the Vita, Xbox One can stream TV (sky,virgin,external boxes) if you own a tablet or smartphone... Take your pick.
Online Services - Either - Sony have really improved. PS+ is great and PSNow and PS Share Play could be game changers if they implement them right (skeptical at the moment). Similarly XB1 has always had a great online experience, Games with Gold is now a match for PS+ and EA Access could prove to be a real plus point if implemented right (again the jury is out like with Sony). XB1 from next update will also allow ANYONE in the house to use my XB1 games and subscription as if they were their own which is a massive plus for a house with several brothers/friends with XB1's as only 1 copy of the game needs to be purchased for both to play at the same time on their own gamertags earning their own achievements. Excellent feature
So based on both assessments, although I love both systems, based on games/features/hardware available (for definite) before Xmas, the XB1 is a fairly comfortable win for me.

I really wish people who write these articles understood what "exclusive" really means. Microsoft is REALLY BAD at understanding the meaning of the word.
I'm surprised people haven't figured out from the 1st xbox or the 360 that it usually means "well guys, we'll have it on our console but it'll probably be on the PC in some form or another in a few months if not the same time"
I have a PS4, I have titanfall on my pc, and now dead rising 3 is coming out to pc as well, Halo, Fable, etc.. just look at their track history.

PS4 was just confirmed to be outselling XB1 3:1 so you've got a stronger online community there as well now.

This is a list of PS4 games currently planned or released either at retail or via download.

There are currently 301 games on this list (13 of which have been confirmed as free-to-play).

PS4 Only Exclusive = 31 (2 of these are free-to-play)
Sony cross platform Exclusive = 24
Only on Sony Console AND PC or exclusive and/or timed = 78/6 (8 of these are free-to-play)
Multiplatform = 161 (3 of these are free-to-play)
Playable = 96 available to purchase (10 of these are exclusive to PS4)

This is a list of Xbox One games currently planned or released either at retail or via download.

There are currently 278 games on this list.

X1 Exclusive = 38
Microsoft cross platform exclusive = 15
Only on Microsoft Console AND PC or exclusive and/or timed = 19/6
Multiplatform = 200
Playable = 59 available to purchase (12 of these are exclusive to Xbox One)

My Baestation > your 30fpsbox1

If I can buy it for PC, it is not exclusive.

You forgot Sh!tbox 720p.

Sure you have both. That makes sense to buy a system you hate so much. No other xbots has said the xbone is more powerful because they know that would be a ludicrous statement. But you surley are not smart enough to think logically.

Tl; dr

Youre raging and looking on wikipedia, wow... dude calm down! Majority of PS4 exclusives are indie games.

-Xbox One hasn't been updated on wikipedia like ScreamRide, Qute's Natsuki Chronicle are xbox exclusives etc

It always amazes me when someone (in this case lol) delivers a well thought out argument, there is always one (in this case john smiths) who has to either swear at them or gets personal. How about formulating as retort, not typing 5 year old's tantrum.

Majority of X1 exclusives are indie or smaller games. What's your point?
But you're right looking wiki isn't the best way of looking at exclusives... Some of these "games" aren't exclusives or don't even exist.

Maybe its an age/maturity thing. Many of the xbox gamers are kids that have discovered gaming with the 360 last generation. Other gamers are generally older gamers who started with first gen PS/Sega/Nintendo and have seen a lot more of the gaming wars. Playing a cod game on a 360 can be very frustating with all the kids swearing and shouting.

I guess it's easier to just swear at people if you don't have any valid points and can't debate.
The problem for them is that it only brings a bad image to xbox gamers and neutrals aren't likely to want to join them in the xbox community.

A shame. I found it informative and well thought out, and voted accordingly.

Ts; dr

No. Sony show us with Vita that don´t listen.

Sorry, what? What are you tallking about?

Theres only more ps4 sales because people cant afford it

Cant afford the xbox one

They're the same price dude, in fact the Xbox One is now better value for money. The reason the PS4 has sold more is because it's just a cooler console. I like the Xbox One and everything, but "cool" is not a word I'd use to describe it.

the esam does actually make the xbox one more powerful but people ignore when they compare the two consoles

the ps4 has sold more because people cant afford a ps4
ok

All I know is I trust xbox to deliver me what they advertise unlike the ps4 stating higher resolutions and frame rates on games. Which is now getting sony sued for false advertisement with more suits to come from different games.

appreciated JSearUK

No it doesn't. The ESRAM can only be used in a very limited capacity, not for sustained periods - there is only 32mb of it after all. It is there to be used as a buffer when the bandwidth of the standard GDDR3 RAM bottlenecks. It's like putting a nitrous oxide boost on your car. It'll push the performance up by 50% or thereabouts, but only for a few seconds. The PS4 has far more memory bandwidth than the Xbox One when running normally and so doesn't need an ESRAM bridge.

The GGDR3 of the Xbox has a bandwidth of 64gbs, whereas the GDDR5 of the PS4 has a bandwidth of 176gbs. To put it in Laymen's terms, if you're running a game that needs, I don't know, say 90gbs of memory bandwidth to run smoothly, the PS4 will run it with ease all day long. The Xbox One on the other hand would be alternating between running smooth and then stuttering all over the place as the ESRAM kicks in to compensate for the lack of bandwidth and then runs out of steam itself and then kicks in again and then runs out of steam again.

On top of that the PS4 has a superior graphics chip with 50% more cores. So no, the Xbox One is not as powerful and certainly not MORE powerful. Facts are facts dude, sorry if this upsets you.

Really? I mean really? Did you seriously just put that in writing?

Really it's all a matter of preference I like to play multiplayer games on Xbox because it's imo better with the dedicated servers and it's where all my online friends play. While I like the PS4 for single player and exclusive games. Up until the PS4 the thing that made me hate playing on playstation consoles was the controller. Which is why I only owned a playstation until the xbox came out and never bought a PS2. I did buy a PS3 but again I hated the controller so it collected dust quite a bit of the time.

While I agree that the PS4 is more powerful most people probably wouldn't be able to tell that there is a difference to really matter to them. Now exclusive games Sony has the advantage in number of quality 1st party games. MS is pretty quick to drop an exclusive if it bombs like MechAssault when the 2nd one failed or Shadowrun because they tried to make it cross playable with PC. Both systems are awesome cso you can buy the one you like or buy both so you never miss out on any awesome exclusive.

"better value" once again is debatable. I mean the consoles by itself cost the same. If you are talking about digital copie of Sunset overdrive. Yes, if you want the game but if that doesn't interest you then you can't sell it off. Also gold membership cost more than PS+. There is extra for batteries for xbox controller...
Plus there is always the "value" aspect. Would you pay around the same price for a weaker console?
Like I said debatable...

Totally agree dude, it is a matter of preference and I don't understand why you get people bashing one or the other. They are both awesome.

I didn't get a PS2 either, but then that was out of protest. Sony killed Sega off as a console manufacturer so I bought the original Xbox instead and even got the 360 before I bought a PS3, but towards the end of last generation I started to prefer the PS3.

Not sure why, but two of my friends who, like me, have both Xbox One and PS4 prefer to play multiplayer on PS4 and it's the same for me because I obviously game with them. I'm using the Xbox mostly for single player, it's a total role reversal from last gen for me!

I'll summarise it for you:
"I'm an xbox fan but I happen to own both. For me, everything is better on X1.
PS4 has better specs but it doesn't matter. Difference isn't huge.
Online Services: Both are good but X1 has some excellent features.
Accessories: Both are good(although Kinect is better)."

Lol, thanks for that...

The ps4 also has an always on function, but that's all you really missed.

Glorious PC Master Race > Filthy Console Peasents

Once "Xbox Destroy Him" becomes a kinect command, I'll agree with this statement.

Actually the June update didn't do anything to current games, only helped Diablo III and Destiny reach 1080p. That's it. So you're lying.