Battle of the consoles: XBOX versus Playstation

Darragh McNally

So, say you want to play some video games. And you don’t want to go to the hassle of building a gaming PC. Well, in terms of big-black-VCR-looking-boxes-that-play-video-games, you have two options; Sony’s Playstation 4, or Microsoft’s Xbox One. Each console has pros and cons that will be discussed here to help you make the right decision for you. This article will discuss console specs, pricing, online ecosystems, and exclusive games in order to come to a conclusion.

In terms of raw power and specifications, Sony’s Playstation 4 was a clear winner here. Until last November that is. Both Sony and Microsoft released half-step, upgraded versions of the current generations game consoles – the Playstation 4 Pro, and the Xbox One X. Both units are able to display game in native 4K resolution and support HDR, but Microsoft’s new system has the advantage here, often being touted as “the most powerful console ever made.”

Pricewise, the Playstation 4 Pro is priced at an RRP of €399. Which is still very expensive, but much cheaper than the other option. Microsoft’s Xbox One X launched at a staggering RRP of €499. However, if you want to buy the standard versions of both consoles, they are relatively inexpensive, both sitting at a price of €300 or even under.

Both systems have great online networks. However, online play comes at an extra expense. One must pay a membership fee to even play online, so add an extra €60 to your budget. Both systems offer free games every month as a way to entice consumers to pay up, Sony’s Playstation Plus Free Games, and Microsoft’s Games with Gold. While both services aren’t immune to a bad selection of free games every few months or so, Microsoft’s output in this field has been far more consistently good.

The deciding factor for most consumers in purchasing a current-gen console is the selection of games available for each system. And here, there’s no contest. Both systems offer a variety of exclusive titles only available on each respective system. However, this is Sony’s bread and butter. Playstation 4 has an insane amount of exclusive (and more importantly, brilliant) titles available, including Bloodborne, Horizon: Zero Dawn, the Uncharted series, The Last of Us: Remastered (and its forthcoming sequel), and the newly released Spiderman. Microsoft offers Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo 5, Gears of War 4 (and 5 in a few months), the forthcoming Crackdown 3, and Sunset Overdrive. The Playstation above all else has variety in its exclusive games, offering a varied range of games that can only be played on Sony’s current-gen console.

In terms of the points previously discussed, we’ve reached a tie. However, the amazing selection of exclusive games pushes the Playstation 4 to success here and has led to lifetime sales of over 70 million consoles worldwide. While it lacks the raw horsepower of Microsoft’s console, The Playstation 4 is a brilliant piece of kit with an extensive library of exclusive games, and at a decent price. This author would highly recommend it if you want to get your game on.

Darragh McNally

Image Credit: Orfhlaith Carragher