It’s been a couple years since the PS4 and Xbox One were released – and man, have the consoles evolved since then. Let’s take a look at where they stand now, who has the better games, and which is more worthwhile for you to buy in our PS4 vs Xbox One comparison.
Price and Availability
When the Xbox One first came out, the price alone caused many to favor the PS4: That price has since dropped dramatically as Microsoft untethered the Kinect and made some drastic marketing modifications. As a result, you can now find both the Xbox One and PS4 bundles for around $350 – price no longer has to be a deciding factor!
In terms of availability, don’t worry about finding either console, either online or in stores (the exception here is the Xbox Elite version with improved hardware, which has had a more limited release). From a global perspective, the PS4 has sold far more than the Xbox One – estimates put Sony about 16 million sales ahead for now – but both consoles remain easy to find, at least for now.
When it comes to games, there are three important factors: Exclusives, exclusive offerings, and indie titles. Exclusives refer to the games that are only available on one console, at least for the first several years. The PS4 traditionally has Uncharted, The Last Guardian, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Xbox One has franchises like Halo, Gears of War, the Forza racing games, Mass Effect, and Quantum Break. Xbox tends more toward shooters, while PS4 tends more toward platforming and RPGs – although both consoles have seen a great amount of diversification in recent years.
Exclusive offerings mean that a game is released on both platforms, but gets more content on one console than the other. Examples of this include Destiny, which had more content on PlayStation, and the Elder Scrolls games, which has switched exclusive offerings between consoles throughout the life of the franchise.
Finally, indie games are lighter, innovative offerings from small-time developers with big dreams. PS4 has more of these indie games, but Xbox generally tries a bit more to guarantee indie title quality. Both have plenty of exclusives and unique launches.
On standard consoles, the PS4 continues to have an edge over the Xbox One with several specs. It has a more effective GPU, a better class of RAM altogether, and is generally faster overall. The Xbox, however has better compatibility with external devices like hard drives. Not much has changed here over two years, although both consoles have more advanced versions out – The Xbox One Elite model in particular comes with a faster hybrid SSD and more storage. That said, there are rumors of upgraded 4K gaming capable consoles from both Sony and Microsoft in the works.
Microsoft has been adding new features to the Xbox One over time – notably, free backwards compatibility with a growing roster of old games, support for apps like Sling TV and many others, and a new initiative to make multiplayer games compatible with players on other platforms. This is in addition to the cable/TV/receiver controls that the Xbox One already had, making it formidable when it comes to overall entertainment. The PS4 hasn’t changed nearly as much, but it does have one very interesting addition – PlayStation Vue, the streaming TV service that can replace your cable if you’re willing to pay for.