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Xbox One versus PlayStation 4: How the new consoles stack up so far

Consumer Reports News

The next generation of video-game consoles is almost upon us. Since some details on the upcoming Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One have been revealed, we wanted to speculate how the two stack up against each other so far.

Controller. Both Sony and Microsoft have redesigned their controllers. In this category I would give the edge to Sony: Adding a touch pad and speaker makes the PS4 controller a bit more versatile than that of the Xbox One.
Winner: PlayStation 4

Motion control. PlayStation never really made a big impact with its Move controller, but the Microsoft Kinect made a big splash. The Kinect 2 will be packaged with the Xbox One, and Microsoft is taking full advantage of its features. The Kinect 2 has enhanced sensitivity, allowing you to use gestures such as "grabbing." Microsoft claims it will even detect your heartbeat as you play fitness games[[link]]. The new PlayStation Eye Camera, which will also be packaged with the PlayStation 4, may have some of these capabilities—but the extent of them or how they will be implemented has yet to be seen.
Winner: Xbox One

Voice control. Microsoft seems to be planning to use voice commands for just about everything. You can switch among watching live television, surfing the Web, and playing a game, by simply telling your Xbox to do so. Sony has not yet announced anything about voice control.
No winner yet.

Product design. While the Xbox One looks to be a bit on the large side, at least we've seen it. Sony has not yet shown us what its new console will look like. We'll hold off on declaring a winner here.
No winner yet.

For more reviews, tips, and news, check out our guide to video games, consoles, and tech toys.

Games. Microsoft spent a lot of time during its Xbox One announcement describing it as the center of your home theater. While the few games that were shown, such as Forza Motorsport 5 and a few new titles from EA Sports, looked great, we didn't see much. Sony, on the other hand, is touting the PlayStation 4 as a game console: Much of the time at their event was given to highlighting new titles such as Watch_dogs and exclusive franchises such as infamous and KillZone.
Winner: PlayStation 4

Online: Both consoles will have a strong online presence with focus on social elements. On both consoles, you'll be able to record segments of gameplay and share them with friends. PlayStation 4 gets this category because of interesting announced features, like the ability to let a friend remotely take over your game and help you through an area where you are stuck.
Winner: PlayStation 4

Both consoles look to have similar specs, and both companies claim 4K support (new high resolution capability for TV's and other video devices), at least for photo and videos.

For now, we'd give the Xbox One a slight edge in the ongoing console wars, mainly because Microsoft showcased many more features of its console than Sony did. But Microsoft may be relying too heavily on the new Kinect and on the Xbox One being an all-in-one entertainment device, and not enough on gaming—though it's tough to argue with a live-action Halo TV series, especially with Steven Spielberg behind it.

While Microsoft and Sony still have a lot to unveil, including pricing and release dates, we hope to have a much clearer picture after the E3 video-game trade show coming up in June.

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