If you’re in the market for a new gaming system and just joining this console generation, you might be a little lost. At this point, there have been three main models of the PlayStation 4, and four of the Xbox One. Knowing which version of the console to get is almost as hard as picking which brand you want to go with. That’s where we come in. Here, we break down the differences between the PS4 and Xbox One, and help you decide which model of each console is best for you.
Should I Get an Xbox One or PlayStation 4?
At this point, the argument between whether PlayStation or Xbox is better is two decades old. Here, at the end of this console generation, we can look back and judge what the PS4 and Xbox One’s strengths and weaknesses are, but to a certain degree, it comes down to personal preference.
If we go by the number of consoles sold alone, the PS4 wins by over a 2:1 margin. Sony has consistently offered the PS4 cheaper, and the console has had the most and the best exclusives this generation. However, choosing between the two consoles isn't as simple as all that.
Which Console Has the Better Games?
This is an entirely subjective question, but the consensus from critics tends to favor the PS4. Sony’s console has fan-favorite games like:
- Days Gone
- Death Stranding
- Final Fantasy VII Remake (upcoming)
- God of War
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- The Last of Us Remastered
- The Last of Us Part 2 (upcoming)
- Persona 5
- Until Dawn
- Yakuza series
Xbox, on the other hand, has had a lackluster exclusive lineup this generation. Halo only received one title for the Xbox One, and besides Gears of War and Forza, there aren’t many unique titles for Microsoft’s console to get excited for.
Is the PS4 or Xbox One More Powerful?
Setting aside software, the PS4 and Xbox One are two very similar machines. The base model of the PS4 edges out the performance of the Xbox One in most cases, but when you look at the two company’s pro line of consoles, the opposite is true. The Xbox One X is the most powerful console available right now and offers true 4K video with some titles. The PlayStation 4 Pro, meanwhile, only offers 2K upscaled to 4K via checkerboarding.
Compared to the PS4, the PS4 Pro is a more modest update. The Xbox One X, on the other hand, is much more capable than the base Xbox One and includes capabilities like FreeSync support that Sony doesn’t match. Furthermore, Sony inexplicably passed on including a 4K Blu-ray player on the PS4 Pro, but the Xbox One X (and Xbox One S) includes one, which gives the console some hidden value.
Getting into technical specs, both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X have AMD Jaguar octa-core CPUs. However, the Xbox One X is clocked at 2.3GHz, versus the PS4 Pro at 2.1GHz. The Xbox One X has a faster GPU with more compute units than the PS4 Pro, and it also has more RAM at 12GB vs. 8GB.
If your main concern when choosing between Sony and Microsoft is which console is the most powerful, then the Xbox One X is the machine for you. Additionally, if you’re not really interested in any of Sony’s exclusive titles, the Xbox One X is a better value than the PS4 Pro.
Do the PS4 and Xbox One Support VR?
If you’re looking to break into the world of VR with your console, there’s only one choice: PS4. PlayStation VR is the only headset currently compatible with a console, and it’s only supported by the PS4.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to use a VR headset with the Xbox, so that kind of takes them out of the competition by default. PSVR is one of the cheapest ways to get into virtual reality, and if that’s your main interest this console generation, then go for the PS4.
Which Console Is the Better Value?
Considering you can regularly find the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro priced around the same $350, you’re getting more bang for your buck with the Xbox One X. It’s more powerful than Sony’s offerings and includes a 4K Blu-ray player. The Xbox One also has much better native backward compatibility than the PS4. So, with the purchase of an Xbox One, you can look forward to playing a plethora of original Xbox and Xbox 360 titles.
If you’re looking at base model consoles, the Xbox One S also wins out over the PS4 Slim in value, again because of its inclusion of a 4K Blu-ray player.
So Which Is the Better Console?
The PS4 vs. Xbox One debate really comes down to whether you care about exclusives or not. There are a ton of amazing games on PS4 that you can’t play on Xbox One. On the other hand, many of the best Xbox One exclusives are also available on PC.
If you’re looking to experience all the best games this generation has to offer, the PlayStation 4 Pro is the best console to purchase. But if you’re not interested in exclusive titles and just want the most value out of your console, the Xbox One S or Xbox One X is likely the machine for you.
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