By: Stephen Duetzmann, Editor in chief
Question: We are going to be inundated with marketing for the PS4 and Xbox One over the next few months. Can you explain the differences between these two systems?
The birth of a new generation of consoles is thrilling for gamers like me, but it can be frustrating for parents who are not as connected to the industry. I’ve actually gotten a fair number of questions like this one. Below is a list of some of the important areas to consider when making your decision.
1. The hardware specs don’t really matter.
I could spend time copy and posting the specs from each of the two websites, but it just isn’t worth the space on the screen. The two systems are similar enough that the hardware specs don’t matter. They are both very powerful machines that will pump out some amazing graphics. Certain games might be better in some small ways, but these differences are difficult to perceive for the average user.
2. Both of these consoles will have an impressive lineup of games on launch day.
The good news is that there will be great games available for purchase whether you buy the Xbox One or the PS4. Many games, like Skylanders: Swap Force and Lego Marvel Super Heroes, will be available on both of these systems as well as the PS3, Xbox 360, and WiiU.
3. Microsoft and Sony both have exclusive properties.
The vast majority of games that are released will come out for both platforms. However, each company has a stable of exclusives that might make the difference.
Sony has a big of an advantage when it comes to having more family friendly exclusives because they have LittleBigPlanet, Ratchet and Clank, and Sly Cooper. The issue we run into is that Sony doesn’t have any of these properties available for purchase on the PS4 at launch. Instead, they have the platformer Knack.
Microsoft may not have much in the way of exclusives to compete with that, but the vast majority of the games that are released for use with the Kinect sensor are family friendly.
4. Price. It always comes down to price.
Price is obviously a huge factor when deciding what console to buy. I can’t report that either of them is “cheap,” but both of them present a reasonable value for their cost.
The Microsoft Xbox One is priced at $499.
The Sony PlayStation 4 is priced at $399.
The cost difference is the result of the Kinect sensor that comes packaged with the Xbox One. That drives the price up a bit since it is a fairly sophisticated piece of technology.
5. Which one should I buy?
It is really hard to argue with either console right now; they both pack a lot of potential. I would give the edge to PS4 right now because of the lower price point in spite of similar specs. There just aren’t enough family oriented Xbox One exclusives to overcome $100.