The console wars are real ya’ll, well sort of. Microsoft and Sony fanboys are very serious about their console of choice and they can be very venomous towards the other.
Other than Nintendo, because they make the most fun first party games, I’ve never really been a “fanboy”. I believe that competition is healthy for business and creativity (just see what the WWE has become without WCW) and I don’t really want to see any of the big three disappear, and in that same vein I think the industry would be better off if Sega was still there as well.
Almost a month ago I finally picked up a PS4, my reasoning for getting the Xbox One at launch was because it had more exclusives coming out that I wanted to play more than anything that the PS4 was offering, and I bought a Wii U because Nintendo.
So now that I have them both and I’ve played a lot of my PlayStation 4 I feel I’ve done enough of a deep dive to compare the two systems.
First up I’ll address the power in the hardware. Obviously the PS4 is more of a beast than the One. Most PS4 games run at 60 frames per second (fps) while Xbox One games run anywhere between 30 and 60 fps. Here is the thing though, most people (including myself) can’t really tell the different in frame rates, even when it’s side by side, unless it really drops off. So far I haven’t really noticed a huge difference between the two systems. I will say this as a caveat though, Star Wars: Battlefront looks gorgeous on the PS4 and runs a lot better than it did on the Xbox One, though the One is no slouch either.
As far as my latest obsession is concerned (Tom Clancy’s Division) I played the open BETA on the Xbox One but ended up buying it for the PS4 (because more of my friends bought it for the PS4). One thing I did notice, was the BETA ran a little bit smoother on my Xbox One than the full game has run on my PS4. This could be for a number of different reasons.
One, the BETA was really close to release and was probably more of a final product than an actual BETA and the BETA was probably more or less to test the network. Given this, there probably wasn’t as many players in the BETA as there are playing currently and this is an online only game where friends can drop in and drop out and you can team up with strangers on the fly. That could easily explain why the BETA seemed to run smoother.
Also, Microsoft seems to have cut a deal with Ubi Soft and are getting DLC 30 days earlier than the PS4, this could me the game was developed on the Xbox One and ported to the PS4 (my speculation) and it seems when games are developed this way they seem to run better on the Xbox.
With this said, there are very few instances of lag with The Division, however, I have found I’ve gotten disconnected from the game more often than I’d like. However, this could be a larger problem with the way the PlayStation is set up for wifi.
In the end, the PS4 is a beefier machine with slightly better graphics and a better processor. As long as the Xbox is running above 40fps its hard to notice a difference, but the PS4 running at 60fps is a very nice feature, especially online.
We’re in the modern era of internet and wifi with many of us having dual or tri band internet. I have a dual band through Fios with the standard 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz respectfully. Mostly all of my devices can connect through either one (xbox, laptop, iPhone, iPad, Wii U), however, neither one of my PlayStations (3 and 4) can connect through the 5 G. I looked into this and the PlayStation is just not set up for 5G wifi, which for me is inconvenient because my 5G runs a lot faster than my 2.4 so I have noticed playing multiplayer, as well as downloading games, is a lot faster on my Xbox One.
Why Sony wouldn’t include this on the PS4 is perplexing. Does it lessen my enjoyment of my PS4? No it does not, but it could explain why I’ve gotten disconnected from the Division more than I’d like.
As far as online enjoyment, I always lean towards Microsoft’s Xbox Live. On the 360 it seemed almost perfect and with each update it got better, especially after they introduced Party Chats (something Sony would eventually follow). This generation is no different, Xbox Live is still the standard barer when it comes to online play for consoles, though the interface change to integrate Windows 10 into XBL makes it seem less seamless than it was a generation ago. I will say this though, the PlayStation Network is a lot better than last generation, and it didn’t drastically change from what it was like XBL, it just improved on it’s older interface.
This one right here comes down to someone’s personal taste. Me, I’ve always loved Halo, Forza, and Gears of War so right there that was a huge determining factor for my purchasing of an Xbox. Also Sunset Overdrive seems like a really cool new IP (and it was), as far as the PS4 there wasn’t anything out at launch that got me excited, there were future games I knew I’d eventually want to get a PS4 for, such as Uncharted 4, and then later it was announced that Street Fighter V would be a PS4 exclusive, so that kind of sealed the fact that I’d eventually get a PS4.
Since the launch window, for me anyways, the Xbox still has the edge in exclusives, like Rise of the Tomb Raider (timed exclusive) and Gears of War 4.
In the end I can’t say either one is better. Yes the PS4 is more powerful and yes the Xbox One can hook up to your 5G wifi, in the end it all comes down to which machine is more fun and for me at least, they’re equal. I have the most fun with a video game system when I’m playing online with my friends. Whether it’s co-op or competitive I just want to get online and play and both these machines do it quite well, and shoot if Sony decides to play nice with Microsoft’s open network (along with game makers) it won’t even matter what system you have. You have the Division on Xbox, I’ve got it on PS4, who cares, let’s team up and take down the Cleaners!
As far as which system you choose shouldn’t come down to hype or internet fanboy rage, it should come down to a handful of things. If you like playing with friends, what system do they own? How much money you want to spend, Wii U $250, Xbox One $299, and PS4 $349, and lastly which system has the games you want. Remember these things are supposed to be fun.