Which console?
September 1, 2016 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Xbox or PS4?

I realise that this question has come up in a number of forms over the years, but bearing in mind my particular preferences, I would like your views and advice on which console is preferable. We’ll be getting the kids a console for Christmas, and it’ll be either a new PS4 or Xbox One, plugged into a decent TV and internet connection. The kids are 10 and 8.

Primarily, I’m unsure what are the differences in games offerings, which has a better range for my wants. Personally I’m very keen on Halo franchise having owned an original xbox, but I’m mostly against the idea of FPSes for the boys at this age, while the wife is dead against them. We definitely want to look for creative, constructive, strategic, problem solving, cooperative and whimsical/indie games (if there is such a thing). PG or G rated unless it’s really cartoony violence. Also cheaper games (so I guess backwards compatibility for older releases) because I’m tight. Also some party/interactive games - music, sports (soccer, rugby, cricket, not NFL or NBA). From my limited understanding all of the above would favour a PS4? The vibe I get is that xbox caters for more serious shooters etc.

Long RPGs aren't on the table because we wont be giving them enough regular access. If it was just me I would definitely go the xbox but I have to remind myself that it's not for me.

Separately, would either of these consoles work effectively as a media centre for storage and play of my digital music collection? I have a great old Archos 5 that I know will one of these days die in the arse, and I would like to have a backup plan for that eventuality.
posted by wilful to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total)
Well...either one will play minecraft, which is pretty much all they will want to do ever, but I'd go with the ps4...sony just makes a better, more robust console.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:40 PM on September 1, 2016

Response by poster: Minecraft is no longer cool. Terraria has been their mainstay on the PC for the past year. Apart from that it’s mostly been flash based tower defence type games. They can do better I’m sure.
posted by wilful at 8:45 PM on September 1, 2016

Best answer: This is practically a religious question, as there is obviously no "right" answer.

I have both (and a Wii U and everything else).

They have almost exactly the same games. Every kind of game you list is on both consoles, and very few games are exclusive to one console anymore. So that doesn't really matter.

The main difference is the UI feel of the console and the controller. For me, this heavily favors XBox. The PS4 menu system is annoying, and the controller is much much less comfortable, but obviously this is subjective.

The other deciding factor would be if their friends (or your friends) are all on one system or the other, as you usually can't play with people on the other system even if the game is on both (with very limited exceptions).
posted by thefoxgod at 8:47 PM on September 1, 2016

Best answer: Oh, forgot. The other big difference is the online component. Again XBox wins here.

On XBox, even with a non-paying membership you get cloud saves and seamless login/save sync when going between consoles. On PS4, you can only sync to the cloud if you buy PSPlus, and even then its a much more annoying process. The XBox server integration is more seamless (you basically never have to think about it).

On both consoles, you have to buy the membership to play online with other people, however (in the vast majority of cases).

I buy all my multiplatform games on XBox, and only use the PS4 for a few exclusives (mostly Japanese games that don't release on XBox because it basically doesn't exist there).
posted by thefoxgod at 8:50 PM on September 1, 2016

Response by poster: What about peripherals? Kinect or PS camera? Worth it, and is one better than the other?
posted by wilful at 8:57 PM on September 1, 2016

Best answer: Only the xbox has any meaningful backwards compatibility.

Otherwise I would recommend talking to your kids' friends' parents to see what console, if any, they have and go with whichever one the most of their closest friends use so they can play online or at least see each other on friend lists and whatnot. Neither console has a very compelling set of exclusives.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:00 PM on September 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't think either Kinect or PS camera is worth it. I mean, I use my Kinect for voice commands but its not terribly well supported. Neither Kinect nor PS camera have any real support in games anymore (early XBox One games all had Kinect "features", but once they stopped bundling it games stopped caring).

In general, any peripheral you have to buy separately (PS camera and now Kinect) is only worth getting if you have a very specific game or games you want to play with it.
posted by thefoxgod at 9:05 PM on September 1, 2016

Best answer: Xbox One. We set my son's laptop and Xbox up on Microsoft Family and can monitor what he plays, and for how long. We can even set up a window of times he can use them, and a limit of screen time he gets, whether or not he has Xbox Live Gold. If he goes outside the window, he has to "ask" and we get an email approving/disapproving his request.

Additionally, if you set the XB1 to be the "home" console, you can all have Xbox Live Gold accounts, sharing the same console..yours is the master account, and they get the same benefits as long as they are on the Home console. So when the kids are asleep, you can Halo, or Destiny, or CoD to your heart's content.
posted by Master Gunner at 10:07 PM on September 1, 2016

Sony is holding a press event on September 7th. They'll probably announce their PS4 Slim, the equivalent of the XBox One S, and maybe their new console codenamed "Neo" (although this most likely won't be out before Christmas). It seems like you're leaning towards Xbox, but I thought I'd give you a heads-up to wait to see if the event brings up anything new.
posted by bluecore at 10:10 PM on September 1, 2016

Best answer: I had a Xbox360 and loved Halo. My personal opinion is the Halo franchise has degraded post Halo 3 and is no longer enough justification to go Xbox. I bought a PS4 and have no regrets.

The vibe I get is that xbox caters for more serious shooters etc.
I don't think this is true. All the major shooter games (except Halo obviously) are released on both systems now.

Regarding cheaper games, shop used at Game Stop or Ebay.

Find out what consoles their friends have! This is probably the most important information to know as the online functions of the games are not cross platform.
posted by LoveHam at 4:48 AM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah you are going to find strong feelings on both sides of this. I used to be Xbox but now I hate hate hate it and am PS4 all the way. I like the UI and some of the PS4 specific games that you can't play on Xbox. For your kids though I absolutely agree you should see what their friends have. This way they can all play together on the same platform. This is probably the most important thing.
posted by FireFountain at 5:58 AM on September 2, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your responses. Think I'll be going the xbox - particularly since the kids friend I like has one, while the one I don't like has a PS!
posted by wilful at 6:34 AM on September 2, 2016 [4 favorites]

the kids friend I like has one, while the one I don't like has a PS

That may be the best reason to choose between these two very similar consoles.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:43 AM on September 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Sony generally does a lot better in making weird indy games happen; I got a PS4 this generation because I felt like I was hearing about a lot of gorgeous games that were PS3 only back when I had an Xbox 360.

But if you want them to play online with their xbone-owning friend, then yeah, xbone.
posted by egypturnash at 8:48 AM on September 2, 2016

If you're going Xbox, the Xbox One S is the console you probably want. It's the newer hardware revision with a built-in power supply rather than external one, as well as other such refinements.
posted by bluecore at 11:38 AM on September 2, 2016

The PS4 is a better console for hardcore gamers like myself, but the Xbox is definitely better for kids. There are tons of backwards-compatible games from the Xbox360 that you can get for cheap.
posted by tacodave at 2:31 PM on September 2, 2016

Sony announced the PS4 Slim today - $299, out Sept 15th.
Also, the PS4 Pro - $399, out November 10th. Better graphics, supports 4K and HDR displays.
posted by bluecore at 1:10 PM on September 7, 2016

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