Come November, the difference between One and Four will be much greater than Three.
At the Electronic Gaming Expo (E3) held June 11-13 in Los Angeles, Microsoft and Sony set up displays across the walkway from each other highlighting the features of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Both companies made keynote speeches at the expo.
Microsoft took the stage first, using huge speakers and gigantic screens to show games that will be available with the Xbox One. The graphics did not appear to be extremely different from the current Xbox, but the ability to display 60 screens per minute makes the game more interactive and in-depth.
Sony followed six hours later highlighting the sleek design of the new PlayStation 4. Games and capabilities were the focus of their February announcement, so to add to their appeal they added another important detail – the price.
The PlayStation 4 will cost $399, while the Xbox One, bundled with a second generation Kinect, will cost $499. Microsoft has set the release date of the Xbox One for November, but Sony has said only that the PS4 will be available during the holiday season.
Aside from price and games, the two systems are not extremely different. They operate on eight-core processors, use custom AMD graphics processors and have built-in Blu-ray players.
Their different memories – GDDR5 memory for the PS4 and DDR3 RAM for the Xbox One – give the PS4 a slight graphic advantage, but it may not be enough to push gamers in one direction over the other.
Though the first generation Kinect did not make a significant difference for Microsoft, the second generation steps up its game. Not only can the machine now sense movements, but it can recognize voices and detect heart rate. By simply saying “Xbox on,” the machine will power up, and facial recognition will log users into their accounts.
Sony will combat the Kinect with its Eye, but specific details of its capabilities have not been released. It will not be bundled with the PS4 and is priced at $59.
While graphics and games are a big concern for gamers, how they connect through those games is equally important. Days before E3, Microsoft reversed its decision to have users connect to the internet at least once a day to protect against game piracy. They also retracted their original policy on sharing games, allowing users to trade-in, lend, resell, gift and rent games like they currently can on the Xbox 360 instead of limiting them to sharing each game only once.
Sony allows users to share games in the same way and requires no Internet connection.
If users do choose to connect to the Internet for multiplayer games, however, they will be charged a fee regardless of the machine they choose. A yearly subscription to Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus will cost around $50. Both services give gamers access to a variety of free titles, but currently Plus has the added advantage of discounting Playstation games and offering beta programs.
Overall, it does not appear that either company will make a great enough change to convert its loyal fans. Xbox lovers will probably go with the One, and PlayStation fanatics will probably stick with the PS4. Both devices are great improvements over the past but not great improvements over each other.
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