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The Differences Between The Xbox One and PS4, As Far As We Know

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The Xbox One and the PS4 aren't the same type of system. That much is obvious. But now that Microsoft changed a number of its policies on the Xbox One, those differences have dwindled a bit.


Let's recap.

  • The Xbox One releases sometime in November for $499, while the PS4 will cost $399 and will be out sometime later this year.
  • The Xbox One requires a Kinect. The PS4 Eye is sold separately, which is partially why the PS4 is priced lower than the Xbox One.
  • The Xbox One has a "one-time system set-up," but after that, no internet connection is required. The PS4 does not require you to have an internet connection to start playing your games, although we don't know if it will have a day one update—or if it will also require a "one-time system set-up."
  • Indie support on the PS4 seems much stronger than on the Xbox One...but the Xbox One has Minecraft.
  • The PS4's controller has a touchpad, unlike the Xbox One's. The Xbox One has rumbling triggers, though.
  • The Xbox One has a new, expanded achievements system. We don't know anything about the trophy system on the PS4.
  • Both consoles support second screens. Xbox One utilizes "SmartGlass", which takes advantage of various phones and tablets. Sony's second-screen support also involves the PlayStation Vita, which you can use for PS4 remote play.
  • The Xbox One has a strong focus on other media, like television—it's aiming to be your go-to device in the living room. To that end, it has a fancy "snap-mode," which allows the system to multitask. Sony discussed television a bit at E3, but the system seems to primarily focus on games.
  • You have the option to download a game's multiplayer or single player first on the PS4, in case you'd like to jump straight into a specific portion of the game.
  • Neither system is backwards compatible, although Sony announced a plan to support PS3 backwards-compatibility through Gaikai, a streaming service, sometime in 2014.
  • Xbox One exclusives include Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Quantum Break, Killer Instinct, and Sunset Overdrive. PS4 exclusives include inFamous: Second Son, Knack, The Order: 1886, Killzone: Shadow Fall.

And that's the quick and dirty list of the differences between the two systems, without getting into the spec differences. What do you think? Do any of these things predispose you toward a particular system, or do you see yourself getting both—especially now that the Xbox One doesn't have as strict DRM policies?