PS4 vs Xbox One – The Full Breakdown

PS4 vs Xbox One - Platforms

PS4 vs XBO, Sony vs Microsoft, PSN vs XBL, AMD vs AMD… better start saving right now!

So the two giants of modern gaming platforms; Microsoft and Sony have both now played their hand in unveiling their entrants for the next generation of games consoles (which will officially be the 8th, in case you’re wondering).

Gamers have been speculating about these new consoles since, well, November the 23rd 2005… over 7 years ago; the day after the Xbox 360 was released. Nintendo’s launch of the Wii U in November last year focused minds on what Sony & Microsoft would bring to the table for the next 5 years plus of gaming, and today we have the final piece of the puzzle…

OK, so let’s not dally any further, and jump right in with the raw specs, and follow that up with some of our moderately informed commentary on matters…

PS4 vs Xbox One - Hardware Comparison

PlayStation 4
Xbox One
CPU 1.6GHz, 8 core, x86 64-bit AMD 'Jaguar' (28nm) 1.6GHz, 8 core, x86 64-bit AMD 'Jaguar' (28nm) Draw
GPU Similar to Radeon 7870 Similar to Radeon 7790 PS4
RAM 8 GB GDDR5 (48 GB/s) 8 GB DDR3 (24 GB/s) PS4
Bus 176 GB/s 102 GB/s PS4
HDD 500 GB + HDD ? 500 GB HDD Draw ?
Ethernet 1024 Mbps (1 Gbit/s) 1024 Mbps (1 Gbit/s) Draw
Wi-Fi 600 Mbps (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) 600 Mbps (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n) Draw
USB 3.0 (4.8 Gbit/s) 3.0 (4.8 Gbit/s) Draw
AV Out - HDMI (Out)
- Digital Optical Out (S/PDIF?)
- Analog AV Out
- HDMI (In & Out)
- S/PDIF Out
- IR Port
Motion Via "Eye" Camera + DualShock 4 Controller Kinect 2.0 Included Xbox One
Launch November 2013 November 2013 Draw
Price $399 / £299 / €349 $399 / £299 / €349 Draw

Hardware Summary

PS4 v Xbox One - Hardware

So pretty much the same specifications, but will the look the same? Sony… Over to you!

It is clear that whilst the PS4 certainly holds a marginal raw performance advantage over the Xbox One it is just that; marginal. Perhaps the most interesting thing to bear in mind here is simply that during the entire 7th generation the PS3 had a significant raw performance advantage over the Xbox 360. Did this result in hugely superior game quality or graphics detail? No. Indeed, overall, the systems are now as close to level as things were ever likely to get. It is a much more even playing field. Furthermore, both new consoles are basically mid to high-end 2012 PCs, which is little change for Microsoft but a significant change for Sony. Having said that Microsoft’s use of Blu-Ray is an admission that Sony had the right ideal all along as concerned media / disk format. So again, another demonstration of both Sony & Microsoft “agreeing” on what is technically best for developers and gamers. What is clear is that, as things stand, it seems Sony has positioned the PS4 as a “game” focused system, whilst Microsoft seems set on a more holistic “all things to all people” approach.

Game Making Environment

PS4 vs Xbox One - Developing

Spare a thought for everyone working hard so we can play great games!

So, as we’ve seen, hardware can be deceptively unimportant! So, how about the development environment? This is an oft forgotten, but hugely important, factor when it comes to “making games”. What could be more influential on game quality than the tools that games makers use to take a game from crazy idea to playable experience? Well, here again, we will have a much more similar setup than in the past. Both the PS4 and Xbox One will use extremely similar specialized versions of Microsoft’s own “Visual Studio” to power “DirectX 11.1″ delivered games. Now, in the previous generation, whilst the Xbox 360 used these same two platforms, the PS3 employed a completely different development environment provided by Sony. In this case the Xbox has the advantage. In essence games development itself, behind the scenes, will now happen “Microsoft’s way”.

Control & Sensing

PS4 vs Xbox One - Controllers

Familiar yet new… am I the only one very excited by this sort of thing?

Perhaps this is actually the area where the systems are least similar in reality. But actually, that’s not quite as true as it initially sounds! Basically the PS4 has surrendered the PS3′s “move” concept and instead worked on a more sophisticated standard controller setup. Whereas the XBox One can now see you in depth-realized HD 3D with it’s all new (and non-optional) Kinect 2.0 stereoscopic cameras the PS4 relies on a mix of 2D sensing via a camera which views coloured lights and improved sensors within their new controllers. Whilst there has been little meeting of the minds here in terms of the best approach I think we can safely say Microsoft’s is the most sophisticated and established motion mapping scheme at this point. Microsoft has also gone heavily with so fairly powerful voice control tech, something Sony have remained very silent about (* ;-) *) But this is where things get a lot more similar as whilst the PS4 has the wonderful Vita to integrate with Microsoft brings it’s array of tablets and mobile phones to the party with it’s “Smart Glass” offering. Suffice to say both parties know that mobile is increasingly compulsory when battling for the hearts and minds of gamers, who will win? Who can tell!

Social Gaming

PS4 v Xbox One - Network

Have tiles won? Looks like it’s heading that way… back to 2D everyone!

One area we know relatively little about is the “social” / matchmaking / co-op features of each console’s new “gaming network” (PSN & XBL). It’s very clearly from the relative successes and struggles of the two consoles during the 7th generation that this will have a major impact on their success in the 8th. This is an important area to watch for all of us, and expect more analysis from us once this is clearer, but for now we don’t know too much more than we did last year.

Beyond Gaming

PS4 v Xbox One - Entertainment

We know what Microsoft’s PVR will look like, but Sony’s video capability? Not so sure…

One significant schism that has become evident is the reversal of roles of the consoles as concerns “entertainment”. Whilst the PS3 famously had much success with it’s strategy of selling itself as “Games + Blu-Ray Player” it is Microsoft that has emphasized video, film and TV as central to the whole XBox One experience, with Sony perhaps surprisingly quiet on this topic. This has emerged as the most contentious and polarizing area of debate between fans of each platform. Whilst the “Sony” camp accuses Microsoft of “loosing focus” on games as the priority Microsoft clearly believes that people actually want “Games + Media”, annoying a lot of hardcore gamers who agree with Sony supporting their apparent “games only” tack. By offering full PVR capability whilst also touting significant exclusive video content / TV series, and integrated partnerships with major sporting franchises Microsoft seem pretty committed to this route. Whilst there has been a process of alignment in specification and development and a maintenance of position as concerns control schemes this is the only area where both Sony and Microsoft appear to have swapped vision!

Worth Remembering

PS4 vs Xbox One - 4K

At least we’ll be able to watch movies on tomorrow’s generation of TVs…

  • Both consoles will offer “Immediate Play” so gamers can start playing a game before they have completed downloading it.
  • Neither console will support backwards compatibility with past generation’s physical media!
  • Both consoles visual quality will significantly increase as developers learn the platforms, and their development tools are repeatedly improved.
  • Both consoles deliver gaming primarily via “DirectX 11.1″ (A Microsoft Gaming API)
  • Both consoles are set to “charge to play” second hand games. Essentially eliminating second-hand gaming all-together.
  • Initial / “launch” visual quality for both consoles was said to be aimed at running Battlefield 3 or Crysis 2 at their highest quality settings at full 1080p 60FPS on a PC.
  • Both consoles will support full, native, 1080p 3D games (and movies).
  • Both will support “4k” / “Ultra HD TV” for video playback from Blu-ray (4096 x 2160, aka “2160p” at 24 Hz), the PS4 at launch, Xbox One to follow.
  • EA Sport’s “Ignite” engine / platform will be their new engine for all their “sports” titles on both PS4 and Xbox One.
  • The XBox One will us one of its HDMI sockets to output to your TV as normal, with the other being used to “receive” your TV signal so it can overlay the TV guide whilst also controlling your video receiving kit (cable / satellite / terrestrial) if it allows it. (HDMI supports “talk both ways” communication).
  • One very important impact of this for other gamers (PC / Mac / Linux) is that these specifications will form the platform upon which all games will be built for around half-a decade. That is to say if you can get a PC / Laptop matching these specs (or better) you will be able to play almost any game released until nearly 2020!! Console specs matter to PC gamers. That is why.

“Best of the Rest” Features and Functionality

PS4 vs Xbox One - Mobile

So many fun toys to play with, so many cool features!

PS4 Features

  • Able to watch & share game play with / from others and takeover control / game play whilst doing so.
  • “Instant resume” allows you to leave a game and return right back where you were instantly / very quickly.
  • Live “time machine” captures last 15 minutes of game play and allows simple & instant editing / sharing / upload.
  • Ability to play PS4 games via other devices when on the move; Vita, tablets & other devices.

Xbox One Features

  • Full voice control possible.
  • “Snap” allows you to run video, apps & games next to each other.
  • Will run a cut down version of Windows to power web apps.
  • Matchmaking can happen behind the scenes whilst you play another game or watch a movie.
  • Global, live player metrics can be used by developers / publishers to provide reactive gaming (think MMO).
  • Kinect is much improved. Much more accurate and faster. In now hub for all other control (Voice, motion, controller & smart glass).
  • Heavily TV enabled, including all local channels, channel guide, PVR, etc.
  • 15 exclusive games in first year, 8 of them brand new franchises.
  • Halo live action TV series (Steven Spielberg), Xbox One exclusive.
  • NFL on Xbox, live fantasy league updates, stats and video taunts via Skype.

Games (Confirmed)

PS4 vs Xbox 360 - Games

OK, who’s on board for next gen development!? Oh! everyone? Wow, who would have thought! ;-)


  • Knack – Sony Japan Studios
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall – Guerilla Games
  • Battlefield 4 – DICE
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts – Infinity Ward
  • Driveclub – Evolution Studios
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt RED
  • Cyberpunk 2077 – CD Projekt RED
  • Dying Light – Techland
  • Carmageddon: Reincarnation – Stainless Games
  • Infamous: Second Son – Sucker Punch
  • Thief 4 – Square Enix
  • Need for Speed Rivals – Criterion Games
  • Agnis’ Philosophy – Square Enix
  • Final Fantasy – Square Enix
  • Watch Dogs – Ubisoft
  • Destiny – Bungie
  • Sniper Elite 3 – Rebellion
  • The Witness – Johnathan Blow
  • Deep Down – Capcom
  • Primal Carnage: Genesis -Lukewarm Media
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 – Konami
  • Diablo 3 – Blizzard
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Ubisoft
  • Blacklight: Retribution – Zombie Studios
  • APB: Vendetta – Reloaded Entertainment

Xbox One

  • Quantum Break  – Remedy
  • Forza 5 – Turn 10 Studios
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts  – Infinity Ward
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Ubisoft Montreal
  • Need for Speed Rivals  – Criterion Games
  • Quantum Break – Remedy Entertainment
  • Battlefield 4 – DICE
  • Ryse – Crytek
  • Thief 4 – Eidos Studios Montreal
  • Watch Dogs – Ubisoft
  • Destiny – Bungie
  • Dying Light – Techland
  • FIFA Soccer 14 – EA
  • Forza Motorsport 5 – Turn 10
  • Madden 25 – EA
  • NBA Live 14 – EA
  • EA Sports UFC – EA

“Fun” Facts;

PS4 vs Xbox One - Fun

How wrong we all were! LOLZ I say to you! ROFL! Well assuming Sony don’t go with this for the PS4… ;-)

  1. The new XBL (Xbox Live) systems architecture will be more powerful than the whole world’s computing power was in 1999!
  2. The PS4 was codenamed “Orbis” / “Thebes” although Sony apparently seriously considered “Omni” as a possible final release name for it before common sense, if not originality, won out and “PS4″ was settled on!
  3. The Xbox One was codenamed “Durango”, and at various points was going to be called; “Xbox 720″, “Xbox 8″, “Xbox Loop”, “Xbox 1080″, or our fave “Xbox Infinity” (using the “8″ as an “infinity loop”).
  4. The AMD’s “Jaguar”, which powers both consoles, was originally designed to engineer very low power usage CPUs at just 20nm fabrication.
  5. Both consoles are much more like “PCs in a box” than either the 360 or PS3 ever where. Ironically, this gives PC gamers an advantage in future… particularly any potential “Steam Box” users.
  6. Numerous patents indicate that not only will the Xbox One sport Kinect 2.0, but also support “SmartGlasses” & “Projected AR”.
  7. The Xbox One is rumored reserving 2 of its 8 CPU cores solely for “Apps” whilst the PS4 is not, potentially giving the PS4 a 12 -20% raw “Game Compute” boost over the Xbox One.
  8. The PS4 will reserve 1GB of its 8GB RAM for the console’s OS, leaving a total “Game RAM” of 7GB.
  9. RAM for the XBox One will be 8GB, but of the slower DDR3 (24 GBps) memory with a whopping 3G dedicated to its OS, leaving “Game RAM” at 5GB.
  10. The PS4 will provide approximately 2tF (teraFLOPS) of computational power, against the Xbox One’s 1.5tF.

Further Reading


Onyersix (3 Posts)

A recovering World of Warcraft addict, Justin has enjoyed many years as a gamer in single player, multiplayer, and massively multiplayer. His days of keeping up with the bleeding edge of PC gaming are behind him, so recent years have seen him migrate to the consoles. As a writer, podcaster and editor, he likes to keep one eye on the future, and the other firmly in the past.

Richard "Rax" Burley (375 Posts)

I like games, more specifically achievements, I'm like a gaming boy scout... I like my badges. Oh, and I also like; story telling, well realised characters, character progression, complex skill sets, shiny graphics, building things, shooting things, jumping over things, hiding from things, driving things and fighting things. Sometimes I even write about these things, sorry...

Sat, May 25 2013 » Articles, Guides & Tips, PS4, Xbox One

9 Responses

  1. medman May 25 2013 @ 7:44 pm

    One of the things this “author” seems to forget is a significant portion of those 8gb ddr3 Microsoft has in the console is dedicated to functions other than gaming. I believe that figure was 3gb. So that leaves 5gb ddr3 for gaming. The ps4 will not be splitting off so much system capability to run other functions, so on top of having the faster gddr5 ram, not as much will be sacrificed to the operating systems. That is significant. That matters.

  2. Tevin May 25 2013 @ 8:08 pm

    Is this journalism? You are terribly misinformed, mainly about the PS4. I was going to just say how bad this article is but I’d rather be constructive and tell you. Here is a list of your mistakes
    1. PS4 CPU speed is not 1.6 GHz. Actually, its 2 GHz but this is unconfirmed as is the 1.6 GHz figure you pulled out of the air.
    2. PS4 hard drive size is unknown not 500 GB+.
    3. XBOX ONE is not capable of wifi on b/g only on n.
    4. XBOX ONE only has a HDMI out not an analog or optical.
    4.5 This one isn’t really miss information but I find your arbitrary win to the xbox one on motion humorous.
    5. November launch and prices are nothing but speculation on your part.
    6. The PS3 had no graphical advantage over the 360? Do you own a PS3? Have you ever played an exclusive? Provided you had to code specifically for the PS3, there is no doubt it had a meaning full advantage over the 360. The difference between the PS4 and XBOX ONE won’t be a great as the previous gen that much is true but don’t stretch the truth.
    7. To say MS has a advantage in development is once again incorrect.
    7.5 The way you examined social gaming should have been the way to approach the entire article. However, you still left out some of the features SONY presented with the PS4 that could have been noted with good research. Also, MS made a few changes to XBOX LIVE that could have been noted as well.
    8 “Immediate Play” while I will admit I don’t know for certain. I have neither read or heard anything about the XBOX ONE being able to use this feature. The PS4 still has to download the core files before gameplay can begin.
    9. PS4 will support(unannounced details but officially confirmed) PS3 games via the cloud.
    10. The PS4 will NOT charge to play used games and even the details on MS used game fee are unclear as of now.
    11. XBOX ONE will support 4k games and the PS4 will NOT.

    Honestly, I’ve read and reread this article and it just comes off as unprofessional and bias. As someone who believes in the leveled headed approach this is not a great breakdown. I will not take a side because I know my needs are specific and maybe are not those of the masses. However, I would at least try to present the most balance comparison I can and not go the route you have taken. You don’t need to justify your ideas of which system is better just focus of giving the reader the information they need to know which system fits them best. Ultimately, you have let your bias seep into the article and it would be tainted from beginning to end. I hope you choose to double check the mistakes I pointed out, find them to be true, and make the correct changes accordingly.

  3. Richard "Rax" Burley May 25 2013 @ 9:50 pm

    ; Looks like you didn’t make it through the article… point 9. of the “Fun Facts” sections says exactly that. :-)
    (Apologies as your list got mis-numbered, so my response numbers don’t match from half-way).
    1. Not confirmed. Have heard both PS4 & Xbox One quoted at both 1.6 & 2.0 Ghz in different places, playing it safe and listing both as 1.6Ghz.
    2. “500 GB+ ?” means “500GB or bigger, possibly”. Do you think that isn’t true?
    3. Can’t find that information anywhere official, please share if you have a source. My best guess continues to be b/g/n. Xbox One specs image only mentions “n”, but most “n” chips I know of also all support “g” and “b” also.
    4. Corrected, thanks for the heads up!
    5. Seriously? You think PS4 has better motion sensing than Xbox One. Sorry dude, you’re just wrong on that. Seriously. ;-)
    6. Best guess right now based on rumours. You have more specific info?
    7. As I say quite clearly in the piece the PS3 had a “theoretical” graphical advantage but this was never taken maximum advantage of by developers. You disagree? In all fairness, show me comparative screen shots which show the PS3 way ahead.
    8. What? Visual Studio is owned and developed by Microsoft and both Microsoft & Sony will now use it for game development for both PS4 and Xbox One. You don’t think this gives Microsoft any potential advantage? At all?
    9. Best guess right now. Show me otherwise and I’ll correct.
    10. Backward compatible in my book means “compatible with all the games you’ve already bought”, not “buy them again online”, if either side clarifies this I’ll definitely update.
    11. Wrong. All details so far indicate BOTH will charge some sort of “re-use” fee for pre-owned games, in some form of other. Again, as soon as we get official evidence either way and I’ll correct.
    12. Not confirmed. When it is we’ll update.
    On a serious note, I do appreciate constructive feedback, so thank you. Keep ‘um coming! ;-)

  4. Jwest May 26 2013 @ 4:30 am

    Great Article. You did get one other thing wrong. Ea sports New engine Ignite will be on both the ps4 and the xbox one. That’s per operations sport’s. The only xbox one exclusive with ea sports is God’s ultimate team.

  5. Jwest May 26 2013 @ 4:32 am

    Fifa ultimate team

  6. Mightyles May 26 2013 @ 6:26 am

    “is this journalism?” – short answer? Yes, quite clearly. I think your reaction to a well thought out and unbiased analysis of what we know so far says a lot more about you than it does this article.

  7. Mightyles May 26 2013 @ 6:27 am

    – condescending much? It’s still not clear how much impact the game streaming / social side of PS4 will have on the system.

  8. Richard "Rax" Burley May 26 2013 @ 10:51 am

    Thanks. Updating. :-)

  9. Jason June 8 2013 @ 9:15 am

    Isn’t the ps4 closer to the 7850? Pretty sure the 7870 has 2.5tflops while the ps4 has 1.8 unless your talking about ram speed cause then they are the same. And I don’t think the Xbox one will compare to a 7790 the specs seem more like a 7770.

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