Updated: PS4 vs Xbox One: which is better?

Tuesday, April 8th 2014. | Games News

Update: We retooled our PS4 vs Xbox One comparison with a focus on specs, graphics performance, new games and firmware updates.

We’re almost six months into the next-generation of video games and PS4 and Xbox One sales numbers have surpassed a combined 10 million without a clear winner.

Both Sony and Microsoft claim to have the advantage in powering gamers through the next decade. To see if that’s true, our Xbox One vs PS4 comparison requires an update.

GDC 2014 taught us that Sony is preparing for a virtual reality future with its Project Morpheus headset. It’s shaping up to be a real challenger to Oculus Rift with a 2015 release date.

Xbox One gamers finally received Titanfall, a next-gen exclusive courtesy of ex-Call of Duty developers. It came out in late March and Xbox Live subscribers haven’t stopped playing since.

We’re not at a point where Xbox One and PS4 price drops mean that the average gamer can afford both, so it’s important to go feature by feature and pick the best one.

Xbox One vs PS4 design

Deciding between PS4 and Xbox One is like peeling back an onion, and it starts with the outermost layer, the design.

Xbox One’s dimensions make it a menacing gaming beast that measures 13.5 in x 10.4 in x 3.2 in. It’s also riddled with vents as to not overheat for another Red Ring of Death scenario.

It towers over every other device (though Microsoft advises not to stand it up vertically), and completely dwarfs our smallest home theater gadget, the app-filled Chromecast.

PS4 has a more distinctive angular shape with an overall stylish design. This half-matte half-gloss console measures a slimmer 10.8 in x 12 in x 2 in at its widest regions.

These dimensions make Sony’s machine more media cabinet-friendly, at least next to Xbox One. The new Xbox also weighs a heftier 3.56 kg to PS4’s 2.75 kg.

PS4 has the advantage of hiding ports too, though as we illustrated in our video comparison, this can actually make it harder to plug cables into the back of the system.

In this way, Xbox One represents functionality over form. A lot of the specs are comparable, but Microsoft and Sony really diverged when it came to the designs of Xbox One and PS4.

That may matter since you’re buying into an expensive console that’s going to sit front and center in your living room entertainment system for the next ten years.

The future of gaming, in association with O2 Guru

Is PS4 or Xbox One more powerful?

PS4 and Xbox One multiply the power of Xbox 360 and PS3. More importantly, they were built with smarter internal designs, drawing from mistakes of last-generation consoles.

Chip manufacturer AMD benefitted the most from these upgrades. Xbox One has a custom 1.75GHz AMD 8-core CPU, a last-minute upgrade over its original 1.6GHz processor.

The PS4 CPU remained clocked at 1.6GHz and contains a similar custom AMD 8-core CPU with x86 based architecture.

This represents a roughly 10% increase in processing power for Xbox One, but the opposite is true when it comes to the all-important graphics processor.

PS4 boasts a 1.84 teraflop GPU that’s based on AMD’s Radeon technology. The Xbox One graphics chip, also with an AMD Radeon GPU, has a pipeline for 1.31 teraflops.

To that point, the PS4 specs make room for faster graphics rendering than Xbox One, especially when combined with Sony’s choice in superior system memory.

Best PS4 vs Xbox One specs for RAM

Even more controversial is the memory under the consoles’ matte black hoods. It’s not the amount of RAM at issue – both are future-proofed with 8GB of RAM – it’s the type used.

PS4 has a distinct advantage with faster 8GB GDDR5 memory, while Xbox One went with the slower bandwidth of the 8GB DDR3 variety. But, wait, there’s more to it.

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