PS4 vs. Xbox One: Itís All About the Games

Step aside Apple and Samsung, itís time to focus on gaming. If you are a little bit jaded by the avalanche of phones and tablets (to say nothing of phablets) that keep showing up on our TV screens and elsewhere, then you are about to get a welcome respite. For the first time in almost a generation, Sony and Microsoft are releasing brand new video game consoles, and this Holiday season the conversation is going to be less about mobile and more about the living room.

Sony is first up, with the brand new PlayStation 4 available in stores this Friday. Microsoft follows exactly one week later with the release of the Xbox One. (Eight years to the day after the U.S. release of the Xbox 360.) With Nintendoís Wii U fading into the background on a tired-looking list of Mario and Sonic mash-ups, the PS4 and Xbox One are likely to have the stage all to themselves for many months to come.

Despite the head-to-head competition, there are serious differences between the two consoles. Perhaps the most important of these is price. At $499, the Xbox One is $100 more expensive than the PS4, and still $40 more expensive when you factor in the $59 motion-sensing PlayStation Camera. (The Xbox One comes with an upgraded Kinect motion-sensor.) And Xbox One customers will need to factor in an Xbox Live subscription, which is almost a necessity if you want to access most of the gaming and other entertainment features.

Itís also worth noting that the big jump in price for these new consoles (the PS3 and Xbox 360 currently start at $199) will probably mean that early sales are restricted to hardcore gamers. Despite the many streaming services and non-gaming add-ons, the new consoles are also competing with smart TVs, Roku, Apple TV, and a host of other set-top boxes for additional family entertainment options.

If you already own an earlier version of one of these game consoles, then that $100 price differential is probably not enough to make you switch allegiance: a current PlayStation owner looking to upgrade will probably go with the PS4 and an Xbox 360 owner will probably go with the Xbox One. What will make a difference is the games, and here you have to give the current edge to the Xbox One.

While PlayStation fans will argue that Killzone: Shadow Fall is worth the price of a PS4 on its own, there are far more exclusives for the Xbox One, including Crimson Dragon, Dead Rising 3, Forza 5, Halo, Killer Instinct, Ryse Son of Rome, and more. Thatís not to say that there arenít enough games for both consoles. Independent game makers have been gearing up for months and titles such as Assassinís Creed IV: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Final Fantasy XV, FIFA 14, Madden 25, Metal Gear Solid, Watch Dogs and Minecraft will be available for both platforms on release or within a matter of weeks.

So if you have the cash to splurge on one of these new consoles, think about which collection of titles are going to give you the best gaming experience over the next few months and years. With these fabulous state-of-the-art consoles, you know you are getting unrivaled power, great graphics, an abundance of entertainment solutions, and as much online interaction as you can stay awake for. After that, itís all about the games!

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