While many console makers have come and gone, today there are only two major players – Sony and Microsoft. Sure, Nintendo is still incredibly popular, but its Switch hybrid console can’t compete with either the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One
These two major console giants are where you’ll find the latest AAA games. With a focus on power and stunning graphics, the only place you’ll find more impressive games is on the PC. Of course, for the price.
The real question is how to decide which platform you should buy The simplest answer is to buy both, but for most people this is obviously not an affordable or reasonable option. If you’ve decided to go the console route instead of a gaming PC, which is better?
In fact, which product is “better” has more to do with your own values, tastes, and circumstances than any objective superiority. To help you choose your side, here are some key points to keep in mind in the battle between PlayStation and Xbox.
Where are my friends playing?
For many, video games are mostly a social hobby. Multiplayer games are now more popular than ever and are the main advantage of modern consoles. If you are the type of player who invests heavily in online games with their friends, then the decision is almost made for you.
For the most part, you can only play with other players on the same platform as you. So if all your friends have switched to PS4 or Xbox, you will have to follow suit.
At the same time, all console manufacturers are starting to fuel the idea of ??cross-platform play. So this may not be a problem in the long run. Certain games already allow you to play with players on other consoles or even PC. Barring specific technical limitations, this may well become the norm in the future.
Consoles are just a means to an end. We don’t need a console on its own, we want to play video games! Each console brand has exclusive franchises and games that are often funded and developed by the console manufacturer itself. Either through our own studio, or under a contract for the development of exclusive games.
Choosing between consoles often comes down to choosing an exclusive game that you want to play more. There are a few things to keep in mind here to help you make your decision.
First, real exclusives are relatively rare these days. With the exception of first-person games, many exclusive games are actually time-exclusive. This means that if you wait long enough, it will go to your chosen platform.
You should also consider that consoles are getting cheaper as the generation nears its end. So, if you’re willing to wait, you can play exclusive games on a different platform later in the generation cycle when better deals are offered. If the exclusives on one side of the fence seem like you can’t stand, then you should listen to your gut and buy a console that supports them.
Both Xbox and Playstation have a long history of consoles with fantastic games, but can you play any of them on the latest generation of consoles? The ability to play old games on new systems is a feature known as “backward compatibility”.
In a true sense, it means being able to take an original disc from an old console, insert it into a new machine, and start playing. From this point of view, only the Xbox One has backward compatibility between the two current generation consoles. You can insert your Xbox 360 or original Xbox discs into your Xbox One console and play them.
However, there are several nuances here. Only games from the supported list will work and the game will not actually play from your original disc. The disc is proof of ownership that gives you access to the tested digital version of the game. This means you need an active internet connection and patience to wait for the download.
This is not universal backward compatibility, but chances are many of your existing Xbox 360 and original games will work. If you don’t have discs, you can always just buy digital versions of these games.
Things look different on PS4. There is no PlayStation 1 compatibility at all, at least at the time of writing. This feature may have been added to PS4 (and PS5) at some point, but this is not the case right now. This makes the PS4 the first Sony console to lack PS1 compatibility. Likewise, PS2 and PS3 discs will not work.
This does not mean that you can play any PS1, PS2 and PS3 games on your PS4. Many popular games have been ported to PS4 and you can buy them as digital downloads. However, the original discs do not entitle you to these versions, and they have been meticulously reworked to play on the new console.
The power and performance of gaming consoles has always been fertile ground for heated debate. Especially when it comes to cross-platform gaming, where you can directly compare image quality and performance. It’s also the easiest area to rank for consoles.
There are actually two performance levels for the PS4 and two for the Xbox One, for a total of four models. Here they are sorted from weakest to most powerful:
If you want to know more about the two high performance models, check out our article on how to choose between the basic and “professional” models of each brand. In both cases, if you are buying a new console anyway, you should opt for the more expensive models if possible. That is if you prioritize the technical specifications of video games.
Game developers ensure their games are fun and easy to use on the base models of each console. So it’s not a question of comparing good and bad gaming experiences. Rather, it is a matter of good and best.
Value Added Services
When you decide to choose Playstation or Xbox, you’re not just choosing a console. You are also choosing an ecosystem. Both brands come with their own paid online subscriptions that give you access to multiplayer as well as free monthly games. In addition, members can receive exclusive content or discounts.
Both PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold compete with each other, but you may find that you like one better than the other. For example, you will lose access to “free” PlayStation Plus games if your subscription expires, which is not the case for Gold games.
Microsoft also has an industry-leading Game Pass service that works much like Netflix, but for video games. There is a library of games that you can download and play as long as you have a subscription. What’s more, you can pay for the Game Pass version that gives you access to Xbox and Windows games.
Virtual reality is better and more accessible than ever, but still quite expensive. The most economical AAA VR experience you can get today is the Sony PS4, thanks to the use of the PSVR add-on.
Playstation Vs Xbox: The Next Generation
As of this writing, details about the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox are starting to surface. It’s too early to make the right decisions about which of these consoles is the best, but your choices in the current generation will influence that decision.
Both consoles will almost certainly be backward compatible, at least with current generation consoles. This means that you can easily transfer your collection of games to new cars after they launch.
Given how expensive video games are, reselling your video games on a new brand of slot machines is not an easy idea. So keep this in mind when you think about which path you want to go today.