Having had both consoles since release, I have reflected on my usage patterns for each the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to see where my preference lies. I have also try to determine, in hindsight, which console I would opt this generation if I could only choose one.
Which Console Do I Play Xbox One or PS4?
Generally speaking in so far as my day to day use goes, it is the Xbox One that is my go to console for my everyday entertainment needs rather than the PS4. It’s surprising given it is clearly acknowledged in the sector the PS4 is the superior console and I thought it would be the PS4 that dominates my time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan boy either way and love both consoles, but the Xbox One has stuck with me like the PS3 did for me as opposed to the Xbox 360 last generation.
Do I use the Kinect?
One of the main reasons for this is owing to the Kinect. And no, that does not mean I am playing Kinect Rivals on a day to day basis. No, instead, it’s the voice recognition system that has been the primary difference for me. Whilst the PS4 does have a camera and voice commands, it’s nowhere near as practical and feature rich as the Xbox One’s Kinect. The voice recognition system on the Kinect, whilst temperamental at times, is extremely useful in my opinion once you get the hang of it and know how to use it to navugate the dashboard and Apps without the controller. You can see my full Xbox One review here and for completeness my PS4 review here.
An ordinary day for me typically runs in this order of events, I will walk in to my room and speak “Xbox One”. I sometimes say this as I’m walking up the stairs if my door is open. Before I’ve even put my belongings down and taken my jacket off, I’m in my dashboard ready to go.
I would the command “Xbox Go To Destiny” or whichever game and be in ready to play within seconds of walking in the room.
When I’m not playing games, I would proceed to voice “Xbox Go To Netflix” (or YouTube depending on what I want to watch) and I can select any film or TV programme I want without even pulling out my controller by voicing “Xbox select (number)” and then “play”. It will continue Breaking Bad for me from where I’ve left off the night before and its all done within seconds.
As I use Netflix, YouTube and Twitch quite frequently, this single feature and difference makes the Xbox One so much more convenient to use for my entertainment needs. I actually feel I’m in next gen when I’m shouting voice commands and it is so convenient to use.
Why I don’t use the PS4
The PS4 on the other hand whilst obviously well ahead in install base and hardware superiority feels like the next upgraded PlayStation. PS3.5 so as to speak. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing – I loved the PS3 and Sony have been praised for sticking with gamers rather than trying to appeal to the masses by creating a dedicated gaming console.
But for me I think that’s the issue. It’s essentially a PS3.5. I don’t mind something a bit new and different and indeed I think I was anticipating it pre release of both consoles. And I think that’s why the Xbox One seems to be my console of choice as the PS4, whilst a competent gaming consoles, lacks any innovation.
Differences in Games
Whilst Sony have not massively innovated the way we use consoles, it does it’s job as a gaming console very well. And I do like it. But early on, games were thin. And even now, though games are trickling in, the library is lacking. The Xbox One in all honesty is no better either.
I have played most exclusives on both consoles and whilst I can’t really say either one has the flat out edge, I feel that I couldn’t have done without the selection of exclusives on Xbox One more so than the PS4. That’s only my position to date with the releases so far. I had to have Forza 5 and I had to have TitanFall.
PlayStation only had infamous that I had to get and since then the last of us remastered. PS4’s DriveClub was delayed which didn’t help them and really they only had Kill Zone: Shadow Fall for release.
I have no doubt however with Uncharted 4 coming out soon, I could not have lived without the PS4 for long had I not already bought it.
Which Console Should I Buy in 2015
If you have not purchased a next gen console yet, your decision is likely to be influenced by the upcoming games. Halo should be an Xbox One system seller whereas the Uncharted 4 is the game that will be Sony’s big release. Bloodborne is also set to be a highly anticipated release. However I would seriously consider whether you think you would benefit from the Kinects voice commands. Don’t get me wrong, it’s function for games is naff. I really do not like the Kinect for gaming, but for me, personally, it’s worth picking the Kinect bundle just to have it for voice commands.
However aside from games, looking at Microsoft and Sonys developments to their system I would have to say the Microsoft have iterated their system interface from the state it was on day one the most though that could be representative of the fact that Sony had less to do.
Either way, both are making improvements so it is likely to come down to preference.
Graphics, Resolution and Frame-rate
We’ve already mentioned its unquestionable that the PS4 is in front here and so I won’t go into to much detail on the differences other than to say the PS4 does look that little sharper. However, this difference is so unnoticeable at this stage of the console cycle that I would disregard any differences as they are so neglible. As time goes on however the gap may be more noticeable and the PS4 may pull further ahead in the same way the PS3 pulled ahead towards the end of last generation.
As both consoles have a similar architecture however my guess is that the gap in graphical fidelity will remain marginal between the two though make no mistake the PS4 does have flat out more raw horsepower!
I said I would try to come to a conclusion on which console I prefer and which I would buy if I could only by one. My honest answer is I would wait and stick with a good PC. But if I chose to make the leap, I would opt for the extra functionality offered by the Xbox One. Both are great consoles with marginal games libraries and new releases are going to influence choices. But all things being equal, in my view, the Xbox One has an advantage through the Kinect.
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