Hurrah! November is here. This is the month we’ve all been waiting for (at least us gamers). We have been pregnant with expectations and I strongly believe our anxiety would be well rewarded with satisfactory offerings. The NextGen consoles will be released this month. Some months ago, we caught our first glimpse of the NextGens at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). As well as some exciting, and quite annoying information about the consoles’ functionalities. Like, the policy on Xbox One that won’t allow you play used games, that has been lifted though, the fact that your console won’t function without the Kinetic sensor etc.
Looking at the consoles on top of the food chain at the moment, PS3 and Xbox 360, have sold over 75 million units over a period of over a decade. This begs the question “Will the NextGens prove as popular?” Considering each of Xbox One and PS4 had already sold out their pre-order allocation, I’d say “yes” they will move the market. Those who plan on buying their consoles on the release date will have to queue, stomp and fight, and pray there’s stock available. We don’t have to worry about that in Nigeria though, it’s not like anyone here cares about buying consoles (or anything for that matter) on the release date. Boys would wait until either the price comes down or the “chipping” manual is out.
Back to the matter, when you are eventually ready to buy, which of these consoles will you be spending your Naira on? Below is a categorized comparison of the NextGens to help you decide. Enjoy.
PRICE AND STOCK
The release date for the Playstation 4 is November 15 and it will lay you back $399 (I’d rather buy on Amazon.com than buy here in Nigeria for more than 75k). The Xbox One will go on sale globally on 22 November at $499. The Brits would pay 429 quids for it though. The PS4 will hit the British market a week after Xbox One, November 29, and would cost 349 pounds. You must be wondering about the price difference in the consoles. This brought a lot of criticisms at first, but Microsoft explained that Xbox One is bundled with the Kinetic sensor, which is needed for the console to function. I guess that explanation alleviates your concerns, or maybe not.
Both consoles will be coming in black. They still maintain their sturdy masculine style like their predecessors. This time the Xbox One is significantly bigger than its counterpart, and it’s heavier too. The Xbox One is such an imposing monolith. It would consume as much space as your sofa! If you would want to be taking it over to your friend’s place probably to show off, you’d need a travelling bag and some muscles. The PS4 comes in a sleek, slanted design. Though it is only marginally lighter, but it would fit snugly under your TV space.
My verdict: I’d say PS4, because it has a design, the Xbox One looks exactly what it is called, a box. The PS4 would look quite savvy in your electronics area.
POWER AND TECHNOLOGY
As gamers, we like to feel we are technically informed. Even at that, I won’t use more jargon so you don’t suddenly feel like you’re reading a textbook and consequently fall asleep. Here we go:
Both consoles are using AMD 8-core jaguar CPU. In English, that means “fast”. They both also use an Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) setup, which links the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) into one package. Xbox One runs at 1.75GHz. Sony hasn’t confirmed the PS4’s clock-speed, but even if it is set at a slower 1.6GHz, it’s the GPU that really matters. That’s what’s next.
– GPU AND RAM
Both consoles use AMD’s Radeon HD 7000 series GPU. PS4 uses a GDDR5 RAM, while the Xbox uses a DDR3 RAM. From the name you can tell the PS4’s RAM is better abi? You’re right. It’s not just better it is 50% more powerful. I guess the geeks over at Microsoft realized they drew the short straw so they decided to up their console’s GPU speed to 835MHz from 800MHz.It is a good attempt though, but hardly enough to stack up to Sony’s genius. Bringing it down to measurements we can all relate to, 8GB of GDDR5 has a bandwidth of a whooping 100GB/sec more (yes, I said more) of 8GB of DDR3. In a bid to bridge the gap, Microsoft’s geeks (who should have faced their Windows jeje) added a 32MB of Static Random Access Memory (eSRAM) to function as a frame buffer.
I read a post that Call of Duty: Ghost on PS4 is 1080p, while on Xbox One it is 720p. How true that is, I don’t know. The reality is PS4 with its CPU and “madt” RAM is capable of churning out better graphics. But, on the long run it comes down to how the games are made. Some game makers are more innovative than others. What really determines a console’s graphics potential is to consider the CPU, GPU, and the core system memory that runs the show.
Nigerians prefer the playstation pad to Xbox’s. As far as I’m concerned, that’s because that is what they’ve been used to. There has been no significant modification to the playstation controller since PS1, but, the Xbox pad is quite different from the X360’s.
Sony has given their SIAXIS controller a redesign. The buttons are still in their usual positions though. The handle on the controller is now longer. The hitherto empty area between the D-pad and the buttons now accommodates a track pad. There’s also a Move light on the controller’s rear, where the usb slot used to be on the PS3 version. This is a form of motion sensor you can use to change direction in-game. Another modification is the replacement of the “Start” and “Select” buttons with “Share” and “Options”. The share button allows you to quickly share moments of your game-play i. e I use Hazard to land “Advance Rainbow” (a FIFA move) on Tuneri (my cousin)’s goalkeeper, and share it with his girlfriend! Though the changes are quite significant, but the overall controller shouldn’t feel much different. If it does, it would definitely be positive.
As far as I see, Xbox One’s controller looks pretty much the same as the 360’s, a lot more attractive though. But Microsoft claims there are over 40 improvements to the controller. Where they are, I don’t know. Most of the changes are ergonomics related. The Xbox One controller has an integrated battery component, Wi-Fi Direct and new triggers that senses how far down you press.
Microsoft introduced us to motion control gaming with Xbox 360 KInect. The Xbox One Kinect is a massive improvement, using 1080p camera. It also uses IR to judge distance. This new Kinect is so detailed it can differentiate your thumb from other fingers. Playstation is sticking to its Move motion control, but this time, it is integrated to the PS4 controller via the light at the rear of the controller. PS4 does have a camera bar like the Kinect, but it is not bundled with the console. The initial idea was to bundle it like Microsoft did, but they thought they could get a price advantage if they sell it separately, and they did!
The jury has arrived and the verdict is in, Xbox One Kinect has it. That is because it is bundled with the console. And most importantly, it gives game developers the versatility of adding motion functionality to games which makes the experience more appealing, And you can Skype with it too!
TV AND MULTIMEDIA
Microsoft’s idea for Xbox One is for it to be more than just a game console. I guess they’re trying to create a device that would be appealing to even those who are not game-heads. The console can be used to stream live tv, search station etc through your Kinect (using voice) or your controller. There’s a but here, and your guess is as good as mine, it involves money. Microsoft doesn’t give much for free. You will need Xbox Live Gold subscription to enjoy the TV functionality.
Playstation on the other hand has confirmed that you will not need subscription to playstation plus to access video streaming services on the PS4. In case you were wondering, playstation plus is Xbox Live Gold equivalent.
XBOX LIVE GOLD VS PLAYSTATION PLUS
First and foremost, I should let you know that you would only be enjoying your NextGen console up to about 50% if you don’t indulge in its online capabilities. Whichever console you are going to buy, you should try step up small abeg, and subscribe to its online platform. It would only cost about N6,500 a year, that’s not too much to spend on a hobby. I promise you won’t regret it. Unless of course, err…you use a lousy internet service provider.
Xbox Live Gold uses interactive visual avatars, a strong achievement system, friends notification etc. Playstation Plus is stronger on freebies, and playable demos. I don’t yet know what online gaming experience would be like on the NextGens, but I am sure it would be better than what we already have now.
LAUNCH GAMES AND EXCLUSIVES
I’ll just run you through the games you can get on the console release date as well as console exclusives. Like I said earlier, I’m yet to meet anyone from around here who is keen on buying games on their release dates.
According to Gamescom, you can get the following games on the release date of both consoles. I’m sure some of them will be bundled with the consoles:
Xbox One exclusives include:
PS4 exclusives are:
- Kill Zone: Shadow Fall
- Infamous: Second Son
I am eagerly waiting for the PS4 version of Gran Tourismo, and I sincerely wish we’ll get to play God of War as well.
I hope I have been able to cover all the aspects that could influence our choice of NextGen console. I have tried as much as I can not to be biased by stating only the facts about these consoles. In vase you want to know which console I am going for, well, it is the PS4. And that is because it is more powerful, meets my needs, and playstation plus is a treasure trove. I’ll still get an Xbox One at some later time, but for now PS4 it is.
Thank you for your time. I hope you enjoyed it. I really need your feedbacks on how to make the blog better and serve its intended purpose. Please read, comment, and spread. You can follow the blog too, so you can get notifications whenever I put up a new post. It is still I, Lanreezy. Remember the name.