PCR takes a look at who's leading the charge as the Xbox One and PS4 prepare to launch

Xbox One vs PS4: Who’s on top?

As Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4 both near release, PCR is taking a look at the latest news and details about both.

The Release Date

Sony announced at Gamescom that the PS4 would be launching in the UK on November 29th. Having taken longer to finally announce the release date of of the Xbox One, Microsoft has now said that it will release one week earlier, on November 22nd.

The Price

Both Sony and Microsoft announced prices at this year’s E3 convention. Sony’s PS4 comes in the cheaper at £349, but doesn’t include Sony’s Kinect-like camera and motion-controlling device – the Playstation Eye. You might struggle to find a PS4 on day one though, as Sony reported this week that the Playstation 3’s successor was outselling both PS2 and PS3 preorders. Meanwhile, the Xbox One sits at £429, but includes the Kinect – despite the device no longer being necessary to operate the Xbox One. For those who preorder the Xbox One, Microsoft is also offering a free copy of FIFA 14.

The Specs

In terms of weight,the first thing you’ll notice when you "pick up" either console, the Xbox One is the slightly heftier black box of the two, weighing in at a solid 3.1kg over the PS4’s almost-as-solid 2.8kg.

Despite almost similar weights, however, the Xbox One is much larger dimension-wise than the PS4, coming in at 10 per cent bigger than the Xbox 360. Both have a more straight-edged design than their respective curvy predecessors; the PS4 adopting a ‘laid-back’ rhombus position compared to the Xbox One’s attentive 90-degree corners.

Inside the boxes, both the PS4 and Xbox One have very similar AMD 8-core Jaguar x86-architecture CPUs, although the PS4’s 2GHz processor is clocked slightly above the Xbox One’s 1.6GHz offering.

The Graphics

Graphics capability – a popular detail to butt horns over for Xbox 360 and PS3 fans – for both the PS4 and Xbox One at first appears to be almost equal. Both use GPUs comparable to Radeon HD 7000-series offerings, but the PS4’s GPU actually clocks in at 50 per cent quicker, despite Microsoft’s efforts to speed up the Xbox One’s graphics processing following the initial announcement of the consoles.

To assist the GPUs in making games more beautiful than ever, both consoles are equipped with a serious amount of RAM – 8GB each, with the Xbox One also holding 32MB of eSRAM in reserve to buff up the framerates of games. Again, initial similarities are dissolved by closer inspection, as the PS4’s RAM is high-bandwidth GDDR5, while the Xbox One’s is the more common DDR3.

What is common between both is that either is roughly ten times more powerful than the last generation consoles, with the chief technology officer at EA, Rajat Teneja saying that both the PS4 and Xbox One are a generation ahead of high-spec gaming PCs, despite what PC manufacturers say. Both also come equipped with bluray drives, and following Microsoft’s changing of DRM policies, have similar approaches to online requirements, which includes the requirement of Sony’s monthly subscription ‘Playstation Plus’ to play online on the PS4, which was free on the PS3.

The Games

What we’re all here to play. The PS4 has exclusive offerings of Victorian-era steampunk shooter The Order: 1886, free online racing game Drive Club and sequels inFamous: Second Son and Killzone: Shadowfall.

The Xbox One, on the other hand, is the only place to find multiplayer mech-battler Titanfall, the mysterious next game from the Alan Wake and Max Payne creators titled Quantum Break, as well as popular racing series followup Forza 5 and, naturally, the next Halo game; Halo 5.

The Verdict

The true winner (if there is one) of the next-gen console race might be revealed in November, or it might take a year or two to truly recognise if the games and services offered by Sony or Microsoft are bettering their rival. Regardless, for gamers on either side November is going to be a very exciting time.

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