PS4 vs. Xbox One: Which Console Is Right for You? (Beginner Friendly)
Growing up, I remember playing Super Nintendo for hours in the garage. I would have friends over and we would eat pizza and play Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. Over time, online gaming became more popular and players began to flock to Xbox and PlayStation for console exclusives like Halo, Spyro, Shadow of the Colossus and more.
Today, Nintendo is still a popular platform, but players continue to buy Xbox and PlayStation consoles in much higher numbers because of the large player bases, online play, and media capabilities. So which one should you buy and why? Well, there are several factors such as media app functionality and console exclusives.
When you pick up a new title, whether it will actually run is the least of your worries. Thankfully, and unlike PC, games for consoles are designed to run on specific hardware, as there aren't tons of different configurations such as CPU and GPU performance. Yes, consoles are designed to run smoothly, regardless of the title that you're playing.
There is but one difference in performance between Xbox and PS4. It doesn't have anything to do with usability or how games play, but if you sit down on the couch and you are just itching to get a game going, PS4 will boot up faster from off. Again, this won't impact usability, and probably isn't going to influence your purchasing decisions, but if you already own, or are thinking about getting a PS4, rest easy knowing that you will be able to get a game going pronto.
Support for Hulu Live Channels
As many Americans and people across the developed world have, I've chosen to ditch my cable contract in favor of a more flexible, cheaper TV option. Specifically Hulu Live Channels. You'd think that with the massive popularity of services such as Hulu and Netflix, you'd assume that an entertainment app would run the same on all platforms. So what's the problem?
Well, Hulu Live Channels doesn't run on PS4. The Hulu app does. You can watch your favorite content from Hulu and use it as it was originally created, but when you try to load Hulu Live Channels you are alerted with a message that says that you cannot watch live TV or any on-demand programs that are brought to you by the Live Channels feature. I can only speculate as to why this is but it sucks. As someone who almost exclusively uses their console for TV, Sony makes it really difficult for me and people like me to justify a PS4.
Where Consoles really shine is their exclusive titles. These are titles that have been perfected over the years, and generally, have large followings and loyal fans. Games like the Halo series or Uncharted are good examples of this but there are more. Here is a list of console exclusives for the Xbox One and PS4 and a brief description of what you can look forward to.
The Halo series has been around for as long as the Xbox. I remember being a child and playing Halo one and two with my dad and having to be close to the TV because controllers were wired back then.
Play as Master Chief or various Spartans as you fight the hoards of alien creatures known as the Covenant, who go through various stages of war with the Human race during the game series. Halo is a Science Fiction, First-Person-Shooter that takes place on multiple planets and with multiple characters depending on the game. It's fast-paced, has a large selection of weapons as well as a flourishing PvP following.
Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is an expansive, open world MMO for Xbox One and PC (with Xbox live account). Instead of being a first-person shooter, this is a pirate game. Choose your pirate from the Infinite Pirate Generator and play either solo or with friends. Explore islands, dive for treasure and sail the open seas searching for treasure and mystery.
With features like owing and customizing your own ship and working with a crew, Sea of Thieves is a unique multiplayer experience that fans of the genera will love.
God of War
God of War is one of those games that have been around for multiple generations. The newest title in the series follows Kratos and his Demigod son. After Kratos' wife passes away, Kratos embarks on a journey to spread her ashes on the highest peak of the nine realms.
The Game revolves around the dynamic between Kratos and his son Atreus and features hack and slash gameplay and characters from Norse Mythology. The game was received very well and is definitely a must play for PS4 owners.
The Persona series is one of the series in the popular Shin Megami Tensei universe and follows various groups of high school kids in Japan as they develop friendships, join school clubs and sports and defeat monsters with powers called Persona. Persona are characters from various mythology who you can contract to fight for you in battle.
Persona 5 follows a group of kids who must travel through worlds created by twisted adults who are corrupt and have committed crimes and gotten away with them. Play detective as you solve puzzles to get through each area and defeat monsters in turn by turn, party battles.
Persona 5 has hours and hours of gameplay and completionists will appreciate the wide array of objectives and quests to complete as well as the vast amount of social links that you can form with other people in the school by joining clubs and helping people.
Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus is a game that I've played a lot over the years. It's out of the ordinary and it has an ominous tone throughout the game. You aren't given much of an objective, except to defeat the colossus beasts that roam the land.
Each colossus that you face features unique challenges and ways to defeat them, giving you a sense of pride upon defeating each boss. The game isn't incredibly long, but it is definitely worth playing if you like Legend of Zelda like gameplay and huge bosses that you can climb around on.
Uncharted is in the same genera as tomb raider and features much exploration to exotic locations and ruins in search of treasure and adventure.
The play style is very heavily geared toward exploration, with some fighting. Unlike a lot of games today, fighting isn't really the main purpose of the game and only exists to further the plot and keep you interested. Fun for people who like exploration and treasure hunting.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us is a survival thriller that follows the main character through apocalyptic cityscapes and Zombie infested buildings and countryside as they attempt to find a cure, which is supposedly contained in the blood of a young girl.
The main objective of the game is to transport the girl to the people who would use her to create a cure. The Last of Us is a cinematic marvel and features emotional cutscenes and lots of zombie killing and puzzles.
There are others as well, including some indie titles, but these are popular games for both systems. As you can see, PlayStation has done a great job at maintaining a relatively diverse selection of thriving exclusives, some of which have been around for generations and have been some of the cornerstones of PlayStation's success.
Microsoft, by comparison, does not have a ton to offer aside from the Halo series, although Halo is a great series of games and almost makes an Xbox worth the cost just for the franchise. Ultimately though, Sony wins out here by fostering loyal relationships with developers and maintaining great games, along with the cross-platform classics like the Elder Scrolls series, Call of Duty, Minecraft and more.
The PS4 and Xbox have pretty different controllers. Ultimately they will both get the job done, but the PlayStation controller has a bit more going for it.
The Xbox One S controller features wireless connectivity, Bluetooth and requires either a battery pack or AA batteries to use. The connection to PC isn't awesome and in my experiece is difficult to reconnect each time that you turn it on. The battery packs for Xbox One and One S controllers aren't great and don't last a whole long time before needing a charge.
The PS4 controller also features wireless connectivity and Bluetooth. The PS4 controller also has a built-in battery that lasts a lot longer than the Xbox One controller and lastly, includes a touchpad built in that makes typing with a controller a slightly less frustrating experience.
VR is a great way to experience new and old games alike, such as the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. The problem? Xbox has no VR. This means that any new VR games that come to console will only be coming to PS4. If VR is your thing, you're going to want to pick us a PS4 and not waste your time with Xbox.
Microsoft and Sony have been duking it out for years to claim the title of the best console. Both manufacturers have come a long way since their first iterations. Some farther than others.
Xbox has pretty much been the same experience with some UI tweaks since the Xbox 360, with not many console exclusives and no hardware attachments for VR, there aren't a lot of compelling reasons to choose Xbox. Sony, on the other hand, has been doing great with their progress with VR as well as their large and diverse selection of console exclusives. Really the only negative here is that Hulu Live Channels doesn't work, but there are other options or if you are love Hulu you can just use a Chromecast.
So what do you think? Xbox or PS4? Let us know in the comments and also let us know if you are a fan of any of these console exclusives or if we left one of your favorites off the list, let us know as well as why you liked it.
- Xbox One
- PlayStation 4