If you're looking to buy a home console in 2017, I've got two questions for you to kick things off:
- Do you care about your console also being portable?
- Are you willing to purchase a console just for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?
If the answer to both of these questions is "no", then we've already decided that the Nintendo Switch isn't for you. Which leaves us with two alternative options: the #PS4 or #XboxOne, and we're going to give you a quick rundown on the two giants to see which one makes the most sense for you!
Should You Get The PS4 Or Xbox One In 2017?
Let's put the Console War aside and look at these two objectively. We're breaking down some of the most important things to consider when deciding between the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, including specs, exclusives and online capabilities.
This isn't a guide designed to shift your opinion one way or the other, but to give you the information to make an educated decision about which console would be a better fit for you (and your family) in 2017.
PS4/PS4 Pro Specs
- CPU: x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores / x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores
- GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ based graphics engine / 4.20 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon™ based graphics engine
- RAM: GDDR5 8GB / GDDR5 8GB
- Storage: 500GB, 1TB / 1TB
Xbox One Specs
- CPU: 8 Core AMD custom CPU Frequency: 1.75 GHz
- GPU: 1.31 TFLOPS
- RAM: 8GB DDR3
- Storage: 500GB, 1TB
What Do The Specs Mean?
Honestly, not a whole lot. The PlayStation 4 CPU is around 10% slower than the Xbox One, but the GPU is faster. The PS4 Pro is a huge GPU upgrade over the Xbox, but it's not really a fair comparison until we know the Scorpio's specs— Microsoft's equivalent to the PS4 Pro set to release later this year.
The PS4 uses DDR5 RAM which is accessed faster than the DDR3 used in the Xbox One, but has slightly more reserved for the operating system—4GB compared to Microsofts 3.5GB, with a flexible memory that can questionably be tapped into.
In lamaence terms, there's not a lot of difference under the hood of these two consoles. Though in play-tests, the PlayStation 4 tends to have a slight edge over the Xbox One, boasting a higher pixel count.
Which Console Has The Better Exclusives?
Games sell systems, and whilst you can pick up the yearly release of Call of Duty and FIFA on either console, we're more interested in the games you won't be finding on the rival's console.
- PS VR games, Sony's VR headset
- Uncharted 4
- Ratchet & Clank
- Until Dawn
- The Last Guardian
- The Witness
- The Last Of Us Remastered
- Horizon Zero Dawn (Upcoming)
- Kingdom Hearts 2.8 (Upcoming)
- Final Fantasy VII Remake (Upcoming, in a long long time)
- Paid Backwards Compatibility
- Many More
- Kinect—Microsoft's motion sensor add-on that features games
- Sunset Overdrive
- Gears Of War 4
- Halo 5
- Sea Of Thieves (Upcoming)
- Halo Wars 2 (Upcoming)
- Backwards Compatibility For A Number Of Titles
- A few more
What Can We Tell From The Exclusives?
In sheer numbers, the PlayStation 4 has more exclusives than the Xbox One. Though your mileage with these exclusives may vary, Microsoft's Play Anywhere program lets you play Gears of War 4 and Halo Wars 2 on both Xbox One and PC with a single purchase, whereas Sony's lineup is bolstered with a lot more JRPGs.
Peripheral wise, Sony currently have a monopoly on console VR. Microsoft abandoned the Kinect shortly after its announcement, turning it into an expensive QR reader—one I'd avoid picking up.
It's in your interest to pick up the console that have exclusives that interest you, whether that's the fast-paced gag-filled insanity of Sunset Overdrive on Xbox One or Nathan Drake's final epic adventure in Uncharted 4.
What Do Your Friends Have?
What About Online?
Both consoles have a suite of online capabilities, but also feature a paywall for online access.
- PlayStation+ gives a number of free games a month for the PS3, PS Vita and PS4.
- Gold Membership on the Xbox One gives free games every month, plus some more for the Xbox 360.
What About Backwards Compatibility?
Backwards compatibility on the PlayStation 4 requires subscribing to PlayStation Now, which will give you access to a number of older titles—and comes at an additional price to PS+.
On the Xbox One, a number of Xbox 360 titles have been made backwards compatible. You'll need to complete a download to play these, but the full list of titles is extensive.
The Xbox One is a console that harks back to the past, whilst also integrating itself nicely into a Windows 10 orientated future. It has a number of exclusives and there's ample room for anyone with an Xbox 360 to enjoy games on the Xbox One, even if they're short on space for hardware.
On the flip side, the PlayStation 4 is chock full of exclusive games available right here and now, with a boat load of JRPGs and other unique titles to try and tempt gamers. If you own other Sony consoles, you benefit from free games on three systems.
Do you have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Will you be getting either?