Playstation 4 vs Xbox one
January 26, 2014 7:03 PM   Subscribe

I need help deciding on which system to buy. I would like some opinions. I have googled it and see that PS4 has better displays renderings and such but Xbox's social network has always been better in my experience.

We have owned both the Xbox 360 & PS3 but the Xbox was always the go to machine.
I'm trying to break down the points to help make a decision.

Most of the new people I have meet recently have all purchased PS4 and I now have the itch.

Media playback is not a selling point for me. (I use other devices for that)

Most of my family and old friends are on Xbox. ( I want to be social while gaming and do it with people I know and care to chat/game with)

Playstation looks better physically as in the hardware. ( lol hey, I like the way it looks!)

I keep reading that the PS4 is better graphics wise, and in person I have to agree.

I used to like the "Xbox only" titles and that was a selling point for me but I think most publishers are going to multi platform?

Halo!!! (Even though the new bungie game is cross platform)

Your feedback is greatly appreciated. And thank you in advance!
posted by Doubleosix to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've taken the advice thusfar and have waited. It is still to early to call, though I lean PS4 based on some of the upgrade capability that is absent from the XBOX1. Buying a system that is first gen and 'as is' seems tough to swallow for me personally. Over the holidays I believe PS4 also decisively outsold the XBOX1.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:14 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I made the switch from Xbox 360 to PS4 (via a delightfully unexpected Christmas gift), and I like it quite a lot. My primary reason for switching was having zero interest in the Kinect or voice controlled... anything.

I don't play a lot of multiplayer (but I am sorely tempted by Destiny!), so losing a chunk of online gamer friends wasn't a factor for me. I didn't have a PS3, so Playstation Now is very appealing to me--I might finally get to play The Last of Us! I appreciate them not putting Netflix/other apps behind the subscriber wall. PS+ offers a lot of free games (not so much for PS4 yet, but judging by the PS3 offers, that will only improve down the line).

Downsides currently are: not a ton of games out yet (same's probably true for XB1). PSNow beta starts soon, but won't be publicly available till summer. The DS controller is very nice, but has a fairly short battery life (it's rechargeable though, so I just plug it in after I'm done playing at night). The 'share' feature is something I'm excited about, but it currently only shares to Facebook (blech) or twitter (though they say that will change).

The hardware is very sleek and nice. I like that it's easy to upgrade the hard drive (which will definitely be necessary down the line).
posted by lovecrafty at 7:26 PM on January 26, 2014

There are some architectural issues with the Xbox One design that are going to hamper its ability to maintain graphical parity with the PS4. Couple that with the... poor decisions... that Microsoft has been making lately and you've got a weaker system that seems to be a grab for TV/home entertainment advertising space.
posted by Benjy at 7:31 PM on January 26, 2014

I'd wait until there are at least a couple of games on each platform you can't live without before taking the plunge. I have an Xbox One ( borrowed from work ) and it is mostly a netflix box right now. I am probably leaning towards PS4 long term, but I am waiting to see how the games shake out. Looking at the number of solid to exceptional current gen games I haven't played, I don't think I would mind being a generation behind for a good while. If they can crack playing previous gen games on the PS4 for cheap that's a clear winner for me.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:32 PM on January 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you like some of the non-gaming stuff --- as an entertainment hub, the XB1 is vastly superior. I run my TV through it and between that and the video apps on the XBox I watch everything through that, it is super easy to switch between games and video entertainment, and Kinect voice control is really nice.

Cloud sync is so much better on XB1. On PS4, if you go to a friends PS4 you have to manually sync game saves and such, XB1 works automatically and is very slick.

Game performance on both is about the same. PS4 may be slightly better but I have both and don't think the difference is that noticeable. Sales figures for both are about the same, so popularity is mostly a wash (XB1 sold about 3 million over holidays, PS4 4 million) and is really hard to know the future since it will depend on future launches, etc.

Biggest factor for me is usually "what are my friends playing on", so if your friends/family will be on XB1 or PS4 that would be a good deciding factor. For just playing games, I see very little difference (have been using both since launch).
posted by wildcrdj at 7:33 PM on January 26, 2014

As i've commented in other threads, i know several people as IRL friends who are in the game industry, and several more as social networking acquaintances.

Several different people either advised me when i made an offhanded remark about the new systems, or have made general comments or tweets/fb statuses/etc about how either they weren't buying until after february, or that i or other friends shouldn't.

No one has gone in to great detail, but i'm operating under the assumption that a price drop is about to happen. And even if it isn't, i would wait until then. I also get the feeling that a hardware revision on both machines is going to happen soon. Not a redesign/"slim" model, that's not coming for years, just a slight Rev. B tweak of the innards.

My main reason for waiting is the price drop though, the likely revised system around that time(which may not be then, and may actually be later in the year) will just be gravy. Buying now at the $4-500 price point of either is like paying for a top of the line graphics card to play PC games. The price drops will come quite soon and likely knock $100 off, and then you'll just be left wondering why you bought it at the silly early adopter price. The xbox especially is complete highway robbery at $500, when you know that by next black friday or christmas it'll be $350 to match the PS4 at that price or even $300.
posted by emptythought at 8:03 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all very much for the comments so far! I think you have each made valid points. I'm going to try and hold out, see what the game releases looks like and hope for a price drop.

But I do think the PS4 is tipping the scale...
posted by Doubleosix at 8:36 PM on January 26, 2014

nthing wait. The launch titles haven't set the world on fire, and we're still at the "games as tech demo" stage of the lifecycle, where first-party developers are both finding their way around the hardware and trying to show off its features. Things will get more interesting later this year: if you resist the itch till then, you'll not only benefit from any price drop, but also see how developers are adapting to the new platforms and how the ecosystems are faring.

I agree with John Siracusa's comments: the PS4 is set to be the purer gamers' machine, while the Xbone is going to be the general purpose living room hub. MS has always had advantages with online services and social gaming that Sony hasn't quite cracked, and you'll only know if they've finally cracked it over time. The other point that Siracusa made: most hardcore gamers are too young to remember the early days of the XB360 and PS3 (and the older ones have forgotten them!) so it's weird being at the start of the lifecycle.
posted by holgate at 9:33 PM on January 26, 2014

Oh, as another random tidbit of my thoughts on this: my PS3 had a dead hard drive. I actually bought it that way intentionally because it was super cheap, but that's beside the point. Microsoft charges out the ass for these, as do sketchy ebay sellers who sell unofficial ones modded to work with xboxes. PS3s and PS4s can just take any old random drive if it fits(which is generally ANY drive that isn't abnormally thick like 1.5 and 2tb laptop drives)

I pulled a drive out of a broken laptop someone had ditched at my office and popped it in. Pushed X on the controller a couple times, and i was up and running again.

Total cost $0, repurposed something that was 100% either heading to a recycling center or that warehouse the ark of the covenant ended up at in indiana jones. It works freaking great, haven't had a problem since.

The fact that this is still possible with the PS4 is swaying me heavily, if and when i buy a next gen system. Hard drives die all the time, especially the bottom of the barrel super cheap laptop drives they throw in consoles, which are generally of the same tier as netbooks as $300 costco laptops. I can't even count the number of times someone has come to me with a dead laptop HDD. To the point that i have a complete routine set up where i just blow a couple holes in them with a drill press and throw it in the trash.

Microsoft will be a penis out of warranty and go "bend over", and you'll be stuck with the options i outlined above of either paying them or paying a sketchy ebay seller. With a PS4, you'll just be able to buy whatever big 2.5in drive is on slickdeals at the time for pennies and slap it in there.
posted by emptythought at 10:07 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I agree also about PS4 as a game machine and the Xbox wanting complete control of your living room. I really don't care about the voice command remote at the moment, and I use Apple for everything else media wise anyhow.

And the swappable hard drive is definitely a huge bonus. I've been witness to many "red rings of death" with Xboxs.
posted by Doubleosix at 10:43 PM on January 26, 2014

I'll probably be buying a PS4 (after being a 360 owner, and a PS2 owner before that).

I'm really not interested in Kinect, nor do I want to talk to my TV until the technology gets a lot more advanced (so many demo videos I've seen online make the new Kinect seem clunky). Right now I'm not really interested in having some universal multimedia box either... all I ever use is Netflix streaming for my entertainment, and my TV already has a great app built in.

So, like many people, I'm leaning toward Sony.

But history says that buying a console now is a chump decision. Consoles don't really get rolling until about 2 years in, where hardware issues start getting solved, and developers start to learn how to push the limits of the console.

See this Metacritic list as an example of what I mean: you don't see very many 2006 or 2007 games in that top list. Right now, we are still at the equivalent of early 2006.

I figure I will keep an eye on PS4 prices, and maybe buy one in the next 12-14 months, if hardware and software get updates, and if there are at least 10-15 more quality games out. But I may even wait until 2015 some time.

Last time this strategy somewhat paid off for me. I knew I was more interested in a 360 due to console exclusive games, but I held off for about two years until the hardware issues got solved. Even then, that first box died within two years and was still poorly made. It wasn't until the black redesigned 360 was released in 2010 that Microsoft finally had a quality design. The one I bought then has lasted perfectly ever since, and that was almost 5 years into the console cycle.

So, no hurry.
posted by Old Man McKay at 11:52 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I bought a XB1, and I'm underwhelmed in the best case scenario, gravely disappointed as a worst case. It does very little it was sold to do, the kinect is terrible and unresponsive, voice commands are laughable at best. I can be watching a video on Youtube, my daughter walks in and it immediately stops the video, signs me out and signs her in flooding my what to watch next suggestions with Katy Perry videos. We are getting her a burka she'll have to wear when she enters the family room to remedy the problem.

It doesn't however recognize my other daughter, ever, who incidentally is the identical twin to the one it loves to recognize.

When the kids play Just Dance it frequently recognizes the coffee table as a player however, so good for it encouraging people, or furniture to get up and be active.

Games are slow to load. Voice commands unusable if there is even a hint of background noise.

Today I discovered media doesn't play from the USB ports. Which seems poorly thought out for a machine that wants to be the centre of my home.

SO it's basically total crap.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:50 AM on January 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Xbox's problems are with its hardware (slower memory, weaker processor, complex architecture), and they aren't going away. Its advantages are with its online support (apparently it does some sharing and media stuff better than the PS4, especially if you're in the US), but there's plenty of time for Sony to catch up on that. Then there's Kinect, which you may or may not consider to be an advantage.

I think waiting is a good idea, though.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:47 AM on January 27, 2014

The new Halo game is still an Xbox exclusive (but it's not made by Bungie). Bungie's next game, Destiny, is cross-platform (and looks great).

I'm not a fanboy, though I've always enjoyed the Xbox exclusives more than the PS exclusives--I don't like racing or RPGs/JRPGs at all, which seem to be where PS has had some of their significant exclusives. I was tempted by Last of Us and the Uncharted series (both Naughty Dog games), though.

I think Microsoft totally screwed the pooch with the Xbone. It's more expensive for an underpowered system that is designed to do stuff I don't want or need (voice, Kinect, media hub). Given that neither system has any backward compatibility, I'll just keep my Xbox 360 for my legacy games, and switch to a PS4.

That said, I don't think there is a single game currently on the PS4 that I care about. The games I want are the cross platform big hitters coming later this year--Destiny, the District, Watch Dogs, etc. If I bought now, I'm sure I'd regret paying the early adopter premium for a lackluster slate of games. By waiting, I'll get the better price and better games.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:58 AM on January 27, 2014

I have the PS4. I would highly recommend that over the XBone, except for this:

"Most of my family and old friends are on Xbox."

Now if you get the Xbox, you won't be able to play with your friends/family who have a 360, but at the very least you keep your friends list, chat, etc.
posted by kuanes at 5:19 AM on January 27, 2014

Edit: I meant the Division, not the District. And I forgot Alien: Isolation! Xbone just announced it's getting an exclusive on Gears, which I don't play. PS4 for the win!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:59 AM on January 27, 2014

I have one of each (I make poor decisions with my money).

After a few months of use, they're fine - nothing special about either.

My advice is to go with the one where you'll have the most friends - friends on the same newer console, that is, not the older consoles. There's just not enough difference between the two to justify picking one over the other on technical terms, unless you're really into things like framerate and resolution.

Secondarily, if there are any games that will only come out on one system. If you can't live without one game or another, consider picking that console.
posted by owls at 9:02 PM on January 29, 2014

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