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Gaming's FUTURE: PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One

June 29, 2013 08:49 IST

Gaming's FUTURE: PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One

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The line between realism and games is further crumbling as these consoles become more powerful.

The next generation of gaming is on its way and the battle lines have clearly been drawn. On one side is Sony’s next console in the PlayStation line, the PlayStation 4, which looks to appeal to hardcore gamers of all kinds. On the other side is Microsoft’s Xbox One, which seeks to combine television and entertainment into an appealing package for the mainstream crowd.

Despite the presence of Nintendo, the true next generation will roll around when the Xbox One releases in November, followed by the release of the PlayStation 4 in December. However, what differentiates the two consoles, especially from their predecessors?


Image: FINAL FANTASY´┐Ż XIV: A Realm Reborn
Photographs: in.playstation.com/ps4

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Gaming's FUTURE: PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One

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AMD Inside: Playing with Power

The most obvious difference between the coming generation and the current one is how much more powerful the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have become. Both utilise an AMD Jaguar 8-core CPU with an AMD Radeon GPU. However, the difference is in the power of the graphical unit.

While the Xbox One features 12 compute units for 768 cores, the PS4 has 18 compute units for a total of 1152 cores. This allows the former to have a peak theoretical power of 1.23 Teraflops compared to the latter’s 1.84 Teraflops.

The PlayStation 4 is further aided by 8 GB of DDR5 RAM, while the Xbox One features 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. The difference is further showcased since the PlayStation 4 uses 7 GB for its games, while the Xbox One devotes 5 GB. On top of featuring a lower memory bandwidth, the Xbox One also devotes less overall resources towards computing and graphics.

So what does the Xbox One focus on?

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Photographs: xbox.com

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Multi-tasking vs Gaming

The Xbox One is being touted as an all-in-one media centre. It comes with the Kinect motion-sensing camera, which now allows for a wider field of vision and which responds to voice commands for operating the console.

For example, saying “Xbox On” will turn on the console without the need for buttons. You can also use these voice commands for other functions, including the new multi-tasking features. Essentially, you can change from playing a game to watching a TV show or surfing the internet seamlessly using voice commands.

You can also use the command “Xbox Snap” to display all of your open windows at once. Along with Netflix, Skype and Internet Explorer, you can access a ton of different of media solutions.

The PlayStation 4 is also capable of accessing TV and streaming services, but features a stronger support for independent games than the Xbox One. While Microsoft require indie developers to publish their games either through the company or through a third party publisher, they can self-publish their titles on PlayStation Network without a problem. Given the growth of independent and casual gaming, it will be one of the factors that will determine the success of either digital service -- Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Network.

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Image: in.playstation.com
Photographs: Killzone: Shadow Fall

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Launch Titles

When it comes to launch games, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One each have their respective line-ups. While Sony has its internal studios developing titles, Microsoft has struck up different content deals and exclusives with third party developers as well.

The PlayStation 4 will feature Mark Cerny’s Knack, a 3D platforming adventure; Evolution Studios’ DriveClub, a realistic driving simulator; Guerrilla Games’ Killzone: Shadow Fall, a sci-fi first person shooter; and exclusive content for various third party titles such as Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Watch_Dogs. Other upcoming exclusives include The Order: 1886, The Witness and many more.

The Xbox One will launch with Capcom’s Dead Rising 3, an open world action adventure game with zombies; Turn 10 Studios’ Forza Motorsport 5, a racing simulator that promises to innovate using the Cloud; Rare’s Killer Instinct, a fighting game that will be the newest edition of the classic franchise; and timed exclusive DLC for Activision’s Call of Duty: Ghosts and exclusive content for Electronic Arts’ FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25 and UFC. Microsoft also has the next Halo and Sunset Overdrive among other games.

Both games have many more exclusives and multi-platform titles coming up like Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3, DICE’s Battlefield 4, Eidos Montreal’s Thief, EA’s Mirror’s Edge and much more. However, for their launch, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 feature a fairly strong line-up, thus ensuring good value for purchase no matter which one you go for.

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Photographs: xbox.com

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The Future: Used Games and Going Digital

While neither console will outlaw the use of used games -- along with lacking any DRM -- both emphasise the use of Cloud computing to improve the gaming experience and for basic functions such as saving games online. They will also each have their own Cloud Gaming services such as Azure for the Xbox One and Gaikai for the PlayStation 4. Microsoft has already announced a $700 million expansion for a data centre in Iowa, totalling a $1 billion investment, for expanding its Xbox Live and Cloud Gaming services.

Digital content is also being encouraged, as can be seen with PSN’s PlayStation Plus offering free but limited versions of mainstream games to drive user interest. As digital purchases become more powerful, there will be more games that will offer their digital versions along with retail copies on the first day of purchase.

As of now, both consoles are most differentiated in their approach to game development and the launch titles they will have on offer. While it ultimately depends on the studios and what games they produce, no one can deny that the line between realism and games is further crumbling as the console become more powerful.

Will this be the last generation of gaming, given the amount of money being invested and the power these consoles carry? Maybe, and maybe not. However, it’s a great time to be a gamer, even one on the older generation since the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will encourage innovations in gameplay design that will affect the same games on consoles below them.

As of now, the PlayStation 4 is slated to follow the launch in Europe and release in India by the end of 2013. The Xbox One, however, is slated to release in India by the end of 2014.

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Photographs: in.playstation.com

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