PS4 vs Xbox One: which is better?

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 11, 2013
Updated • May 22, 2018

Now that both Sony and Microsoft have revealed their next gen gaming systems to the world on this year's E3, it is time to look at which of the consoles is better. Better depends of course on what your priorities are. Are you interested in price, games, general availability, backwards compatibility, DRM, non-gaming features?

Better is always a relative term, at least when it comes to gaming. Some gamers may not mind the Xbox One's 24h connection requirement as long as they get to play the next Halo, while others see it as a no-go and won't buy the system exactly because of it.

Lets take a look at a direct comparison:

Playstation 4 Xbox One
Price Console $399 $499
Extras 1 Controller 1 Controller, Kinect 2
Other fees PS Plus Membership $50 for online play Xbox Live Gold membership $60 for online play, Media apps
Backwards compatibility From 2014 on using Gaikai streaming technology No
Region lock No Yes
Buy used games Yes Limited if at all, see below.
Resell games Yes Only if publisher allow it, and then only at participating retailers.
Give games Yes Only if publisher allow it, only once per game, and only to Xbox Live friends of 30-days or more.
Lending games Yes Not available on launch. May come in the future
Offline gaming Yes 24 hours max

As far as games are concerned, the following exclusive titles have been confirmed so far for Xbox One and Playstation 4:

Xbox One: Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, Quantum Break, Killer Instinct, Project Spark, Crimson Dragon, Halo 5, Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, D4, LocoCycle, Kinect Sports Rivals, Zoo Tycon

PS4: Basement Crawl, Dark Sorcerer, DriveClub, inFamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, The Order: 1886

Xbox 360 Games Montage

Playstation 4

PS4 Indie Game showcase

A lot speaks against Microsoft when it comes to the next generation of gaming systems. You give up lots of rights that gamers had for a very long time ever since the first gaming systems were released thirty or so years ago.

Not being able to sell games, buy used copies of games or even lend them to friends are big restrictions that benefit Microsoft and the publishers while they affect many gamers negatively.

The online DRM is terrible for a number of reasons. First, you cannot play your games for more than 24 hours in a location with bad or no online reception even if you are playing a single player game. Second, even if you have a great online connection you may not be able to play games if Microsoft's server infrastructure goes down.

Just imagine what a successful hacking attempt just like the one on Sony's infrastructure would have as a result. No gamer would be able to play games for weeks until Microsoft would resolve the issue. And that is not even taking into account smaller maintenance shut downs or even restarts of the server infrastructure.

It does not stop here though and even if you do not mind a Kinect that cannot be turned off completely, you also won't be able to play any of your Xbox 360 games, provided that you own one right now. While Sony's streaming service is not here yet, it will eventually be available so that you can play PS3 games on the system.

Sony's E3 presentation was not breathtaking by any standard, but the company appears as the clear winner in a direct comparison. Not because it has the more powerful system, better games or is more innovative, but because it is not following Microsoft in restricting gamers with what they can and cannot do with their system.

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PS4 vs Xbox One: which is better?
Now that both Sony and Microsoft have revealed their next gen gaming systems to the world on this year's E3, it is time to look at which of the consoles is better.
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  1. Kelly Fiddelke said on December 7, 2013 at 8:10 am

    hehe bookmaked. Keeping this for future reference thanks heaps bro. definatly ps4 has more power but xbox is going to expand widly coming year

  2. Xbox better than ps4 said on June 24, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Xbox One: Informing the Misinformed Rant

    If you are not interested in video games just stop reading now!

    So you hate the Xbox One? I bet I can change your mind! If not I don’t really care because I’m buying a PS4 as well just later on so need need to talk shit.

    I am an owner of both a Xbox 360 and PS3 console. I feel like there’s minimal difference between the two. If I had to choose between systems it would be the Xbox 360. Although most of my better friends are on PS3, I have had Xbox Live for 7 years now.

    Rest here:

  3. Jay said on June 19, 2013 at 10:38 am

    The Dark Sorcerer wasn’t a game, it was a tech demo so that needs to be removed from the exclusive titles list.

  4. Doc said on June 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    “From 2014 on using Gakai streaming technology” *Gaikai*

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks, I’m always getting that wrong.

  5. Adam said on June 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    There’s only one thing that can save Microsoft this holiday season: A crippling shortage of PS 4’s.

    As long as a $400 PS 4 and a $500 XBone are side by side on a shelf, casual users are going PS 4. The hardcore users who were watching E3 have already stated they are going PS 4.

    The profile of the person who would choose the XBone over the PS 4:

    1.) Doesn’t mind spending more money.

    2.) Isn’t concerned about privacy issues.

    3.) Loves obtuse and restrictive DRM.

    I’m sure those 3 people will be happy with their purchase.

    If you want more Info on the ‘Clash Of The Titans’ then Check Out My Website:

  6. shamu726 said on June 12, 2013 at 3:53 am

    The video under “Xbox One Games Montage” is for Xbox 360 games, not box One.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 12, 2013 at 4:29 am

      You are right, corrected. There is no Xbox One trailer mix available from what I can tell at this time.

  7. beemeup2 said on June 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    It’s not all rosy on the PS4 side. Sony can only guarantee the restriction-free model on their own in-house games. Otherwise it’s up to the individual publisher’s discretion, just like with the Xbox One:

    Still, as a whole, the PS4 appears to be a far better deal than the Xbox One, though I have never owned any console other than a Gameboy Advance and a Wii (both were gifts). I’m more of a keyboard-and-mouse kind of guy.

  8. hoffmanlenses said on June 11, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Xbox 1 – PlayStation 4

  9. Nebulus said on June 11, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I was always a fan of Sony Playstation (not necessarily a fan of Sony as a corporation, but that’s another issue) so I wouldn’t even consider buying an XBOX One. As for PS4, even though it seems to be far better (from what I read about it), I will wait at least 2 or 3 years after the release before I buy it, in order to see if I’m interested in any of the games that will be released.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      It is usually a good idea not to buy on launch unless you really really want to play a particular game that comes out.

  10. RG said on June 11, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Between the two I choose productivity (ie neither) ;)

    1. anon said on June 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks for sharing your thought during your productive time with us.

  11. iron2000 said on June 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Never had any interest in the 3 Microsoft consoles.
    Not interested in the type of games they carry.
    Plus the X1’s online reliance and used games policy made a bad impression on me.

    Always had interest in Sony and Nintendo stuff.
    For PS4 I’m interested in the plots of Kingdom Hearts 3, FF XV and possibly any future Super Robot Wars title on the console.

    But I’m not interested in all those social stuff they added in for both consoles.
    To me games consoles should just play games, put in game media and play.

    But I feel that I’m more or less done for gaming, now I only game occasionally on my PSP.
    I kind of stopped around the time when the industry went big on the DLC concept.

  12. ilev said on June 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Xbox one : games must be installed on a none removeable/replaceable hard disk.
    PS4 : games can be run from optical device. Hard disk can be replaced with SSD/ upgraded.

    1. ilev said on June 11, 2013 at 10:45 am

      p.s Kinect 2, marked as a surveillance device in Germany and Australia, is mandatory.

      1. ilev said on June 12, 2013 at 11:26 am

        And yes, PS4 is region free !!!

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

        What I find puzzling is that you cannot disable it.

  13. solidstate said on June 11, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I hope that was sarcasm imu. The Ouya isn’t doing jack against either of these two consoles. It won’t even outsell the WiiU.

  14. Taomyn said on June 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Agreed – I’m not buying either as I have an Alienware X51 which is better than both these even though it’s one year old.

    I also agree that at the moment the PS4 has my vote (not that I would ever buy Sorny kit ever again), until such time as MS get their heads out of their own backsides and dump restrictions like 2nd-hand/always-on/region-locking. What numpties decided these would go down well!?

    1. Lindsay said on June 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      “What numpties decided these would go down well!?”

      You’ve heard of Microsoft, right? :P

  15. Lindsay said on June 11, 2013 at 8:35 am

    It’s pretty much checkmate Sony isn’t it?

    PS4 doesn’t watch everything you do either. :)

    I’ll stick with my PC.

  16. LarryCooper said on June 11, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Microsoft sucks. They just lost millions of gamers. PS4 all the way.

  17. ph said on June 11, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Not that I know anything about consoles, but Minecraft is most certainly not an “Xbox exclusive” title. I think “won’t be coming to PS in the near future” is more accurate here.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2013 at 7:34 am

      Right. Maybe they mean console exclusive. The same is true for Titanfall by the way which will also be released on PC.

  18. ghostwind said on June 11, 2013 at 7:12 am
  19. anon said on June 11, 2013 at 7:09 am

    So, they’ve been saying that a dollar 5-minutes game and occasional serious game (which is mostly port) will kill Console/PC behemoth for how many years now?

  20. greenbeansoup said on June 11, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Ps+ costs 50$ a year.
    “Less than $5 a month”
    60$ is exacyly 5$ a month

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2013 at 7:10 am

      You are right, corrected.

  21. imu said on June 11, 2013 at 7:02 am

    Oh I see..I thought you use ProXPN don’t you? I personally am very happy with Media Hint :)

    Best Regards

  22. Josh said on June 11, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Oh and you will be able to lend your friends the game, and your games can be played by any family member on any account on that xbox.

    1. ilev said on June 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

      You can play at your friends, but have to check DRM every hour.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2013 at 7:14 am

      Oh, and a source for that too. I understand that you can have up to ten people play in your home, but that is not really something new, right? I mean, the xbox 360 and any other console does not limit you in any way.

  23. Josh said on June 11, 2013 at 6:10 am

    C’mon do some research. MIcrosoft has already said you can sell the games on the xbox through them! Thats huge!

    Publishers have the rights to stop somethings, yes, but i suspect after a month or two of a games release they will most likely lift any restraints!

    If a publisher says no you can’t share this game its not set in stone as far as i know they can change it at any time!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2013 at 7:11 am

      Josh do you have a source for that?

  24. imu said on June 11, 2013 at 5:56 am

    I think we must not forget of OUYA which in my opinion will take a quite big bite of the gaming market any moment soon :)

    BTW. Martin do you use Netflix app on W8 ? If so, maybe you also know the way how to use Netflix in the browser in W8 and you can share the trick with us ?


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2013 at 5:57 am

      I’m not using Netflix because it is not available in my country ;)

      I’d love to get my hands on it though but not really sure if this is going to happen in the next ten years or so.

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