All the commotion about the next-gen consoles has finally simmered down as both Sony and Microsoft have unveiled their consoles. Proponents of both sides are already drawing comparison and making claims that their supported console is superior to the other. While both PS4 and Xbox One share some similarities when it comes to hardware, such as, 8 core CPUs and 8 GB of RAM, however PS4 houses 8GB of GDDR5 RAM where as Microsoft decided to opt for DDR3 variant, giving Sony a slight edge when it comes to speed.
The objective of this article is to jot down the salient features of both the consoles and instead of giving our own verdict, let you decide for yourself. So, without further ado here it goes:
Looking closely at the specs of Xbox One, it’s apparent that it is an impressive piece of machinery. It has 8GB of RAM which will be shared between CPU and GPU, 64 bit processor, 500 GB of Hard Disk Drive, Blu-Ray optical drive and integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi. Microsoft has not revealed many details about the processor and the GPU used in the Xbox One, except that it is being developed by AMD.
Unlike its predecessor, Xbox One requires games to be installed on its Hard Disk Drive before they can be played, which makes the afore mentioned 500 GB Disk look rather small. But luckily, Microsoft has included support for USB 3.0, so that users can plug external Hard Disks to the console to extend its memory.
Xbox One will ship with a new version of Kinnect sensor. Kinnect 2.0 will pack a very wide 1080p camera and a much larger field of view. Kinnect 2.0 will also be able to track six persons at once and it can even detect user’s heart rate. The new Kinnect sensor and Xbox One will be fully voice activated, means, users can turn on Xbox One by simply saying Xbox on.
According to Microsoft, Xbox One runs three different operating systems at the same time. The main OS which boots up when the console turns on is based on Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor technology which in turn boots up the other two Operating systems, one of which is called Xbox OS which is responsible for running the games, and the other OS is a Windows 8 variant mostly used for running apps like Skype and other non gaming applications.
Xbox One features full TV integration allowing users to view live TV from cable or satellite set-top box. Another interesting new feature that Microsoft has implemented is the Snap mode which grants users’ access to multiple windows simultaneously e.g. games, skype, TV etc.
Xbox One is built to take full advantage of cloud computing to enhance its capabilities. Director of development of Xbox One, Boyd Multerer said, “[As a developer] I can start doing things like shifting latency insensitive things to the cloud. You may have a limited number of transistors in your house, but you have an unlimited number of transistors in the cloud”.
Microsoft has revealed that Xbox One games will require regular mandatory authentication checks and the console will have to be connected to the internet once every 24 hours.
Similar to Xbox One, Sony’s PS4 will house relatively standard PC hardware like an x86 processor, a custom made graphics processor, 8 GB of high speed of GDDR5 memory along with USB 3.0. PS4 will also have a new and improved Blu-Ray drive with up to 6x speed which considerably cuts down load and install time. It will also feature a motion tracking and camera device called PS4 eye. PS4 eye has two cameras both of which support resolution of up to 1280 x 800 along with four microphones and a field of view of 85 degrees.
Sony Worldwide Studios President, Shuhei Yoshida, has stated that both the cameras used in PS eye perform specific tasks; one camera is used for capturing the setting and ensuring a quality picture and other one is responsible for motion tracking.
As with Xbox One, PS4 has a strong online infrastructure; the console is capable of updating itself and downloading games while still being played. Gamers will also be able to stream their gaming session and record video clips to share with friends via PS network. They will also have the ability to play PS4 games remotely by taking advantage of its cross platform functionality with PS Vita.
Sony has revealed that PS4 will play 4K mega HD videos, however, it is incapable of playing games at the same resolution.
It has been confirmed that PlayStation Move will be a big part of PS4 and in combination with the PS3′s Eye, the Move can be a highly accurate device, however, it is not yet known whether PS4 will come equipped with either a PS eye or a move controller.