GamesBeat

Xbox One vs. PS4: What Microsoft’s console still does better than Sony’s

Above: Sony and Microsoft head-to-head at last year's E3.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Be sure to read all about what PlayStation 4 still does better than Xbox One right here.

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 both have a ton of the same games. They both cost $400. They both can livestream gameplay video to the web. Really, it’s hard to see how one is all that different form the other.

Well, we’re gonna show you how one is better than the other. Yesterday, we looked at what the PS4 still does better than the Xbox One, and now we’re going to run through the features that are better on Microsoft’s machine.

Let’s get to it.

Television

OK. This may not matter to you, but the fact that I can plug my cable box into my Xbox One is still a pretty cool feature. I may not use the Xbox One’s channel guide, but I do ask Microsoft’s box to “watch ESPN” on a regular basis. It quickly tunes me to the sports channel. I can then instantaneously jump back to my games whenever I want with a voice command or the press of a button.

Just having my gaming console and my television on the same input reduces the friction in the process of starting up a game. If my wife gets on a call with someone, the Xbox One makes it no big deal to switch back to Trials Fusion for 10 minutes. When she’s done, I can get us back to the show in no time.

Oh, and when it’s time to shut down. I can shut everything down with one command of “Xbox, turn off” and then a confirmation that will power down the console, the TV, the audio receiver, and the cable box.

PlayStation 4 just doesn’t even have this kind of stuff as an option because it doesn’t have an HDMI in. It does have some limited ability to control certain television through a special kind of HDMI connection, but that’s not even close to the same thing.

Kinect, voice commands, and app switching

A lot of the coolest parts about the TV stuff is due to the Kinect. Having voice control to turn on the TV, something I’ve found myself trying to do with other TVs that don’t recognize voice, is great when you walk into the room and can’t immediately find the remote. Yes, sometimes it doesn’t work, but it does work enough of the time — and it’s getting better.

In the system itself, voice commands make pausing video, muting, and more a snap.

Talking to the Xbox is also the fastest way to get from one app to another. “Xbox, go to Twitch” will immediately launch the video program no matter where I am in the system. Even better, “Xbox, start broadcasting” will engage my livestream.

PS4 has the Share button, which includes some of these features, and it doesn’t have a slow interface for switching between games and apps, but it feels a bit sluggish compared to the instant response of Xbox One’s Kinect.

Resume games quickly

When they introduced their new-gen devices, both Sony and Microsoft made a lot of promises about providing instant access to everything on your system. In fact, each company promised that gamers could play a game, turn off the system, and then restart the game once they powered back up to continue in the game as if nothing ever happened. Right now, only the Xbox One can do this. It’s called “Resume Games Quickly,” and it’s in your “Power & Startup” options in the settings menu.

You may not realize how great Resume Games Quickly is until you use it. No retracing your steps from a check point and no leaving the system on overnight because you don’t want to lose your progress.

Sony says this feature is still coming, so this is one of those advantages that probably won’t last.

Twitch integration

The PlayStation 4 gives players the option to livestream their gameplay action to Twitch or to Ustream. Xbox One gamers don’t have that choice, but they instead get a Twitch app with slightly better integration. The Xbox One can “snap” apps while you’re gaming. This means that players can snap the Twitch chat to the side of the screen while still playing on the other. Xbox One players can see the chat while still streaming in full screen.

If a PS4 streamer wants to see the chat, that will also show up in the feed on Twitch or Ustream as well.

Controller battery life

Sony’s DualShock 4 is an excellent controller. It feels great, it has a touchpad, and it has a built-in audio jack — it also runs out of battery pretty quickly. The Xbox One doesn’t have some of those features, but it also has much better battery life. It also uses AA batteries again, which means you can just always have some rechargeable Duracells ready to go when you do run out of juice.

With the DS4, once it’s dead, you have to get out the long USB cord or just give up for the night and let it charge.

Frequent updates

Finally, Microsoft’s Xbox One update schedule has seen the console get a number of major upgrades every month. The company even has a program where gamers can volunteer to test out monthly updates before they go out to everyone. Through this process, Microsoft added support for external storage, real names, and Twitch streaming.

Sony is updating the PS4 a ton as well, but it’s patches are less frequent. This makes it feel like if Xbox One is lacking anything — like preloading digital preorders — Microsoft will get to it sooner rather than later thanks to its update schedule.

More information:

Sony is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group, which is engaged in business through... read more »

Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through ... read more »

Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. is a major video game company specializing in a variety of areas in the video game industry, and is a wholly owned subsidiary and part of the Consumer Products & Services Group of Sony. The company was... read more »

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31 comments
Mario Flores
Mario Flores

Also, the xbox one lets the user to play mp3 music

Michael Nguyen
Michael Nguyen

Sure, why would anyone spend 400 bucks to get a better tv controller ? Before the price drop, you have to pay Microsoft for the privilege to watch netflix on their console. Lol.

Olin Flowers
Olin Flowers

Sony fanboys love to talk 1080p and bash the X1 but the reality is the PS4 has better hardware but an overall inferior experience. 1080p isnt the end all be all, its mainly a marketing term.  I would rather have a game run at 720 or 900p and have a faster framerate than 1080 and run sluggishly.


The Kinect voice commands are great, and it will only get better when they release Cortana into the XBOXONE's operating system next year.  Which will coincide with the release of Halo 5, not by accident.

Sony fans love to brag about how much better the PS4 hardware is, but the fact is all the PS4 has right now is a bunch of 16bit indie games that dont even make use of the hardware.  Sony's current PS4 AAA titles are bad. Thats not conjecture. It is known.  Sony isnt even bringing out a real next gen game until 2015, and even then if you line the XBOXONE exclusives up against the PS4's, MS has more titles.

For 2014-2015 the major exclusives:

PS4 has Uncharted 4, Let It Die, LBP3, Knack, Infamous Second Son, Deep Down, Bloodborne, Drive Club, Killzone, Planetside 2, The Order, ABZU, No Man's Sky (Which is a timed exclusive)

In comparison XBOXONE has:

Below, Master Chief Collection, Dead Rising 3, Forza 5, Forza Horizon 2, Ryse, Titanfall, Sunset Overdrive, Crackdown, Scalebound, Phantom Dust, Inside, Ori and the Blind Forest, Fantasia Music Evolved, Just Dance 2015, Quantum Break, D4 (Dark Dreams Dont Die), Fable Legends and Halo 5: Guardians.

Most of the PS4 exclusives dont even have an official release date but they definitely arent coming til 2015.

In contrast, Master Chief Collection (with Halo 5 MP beta), Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Ori & the Blind Forest, Just Dance 2015, Inside and Fantasia are confirmed to be released in 2014.

Honestly the only PS4 exclusives I would even want a PS4 for are Deep Down, Uncharted 4, No Man's Sky and EQ Next (which isnt even on the horizon its 2016+)  I'm not a steampunk fan and I think The Order is going to be overrated.  Bloodborne is a dark souls game which dont really appeal to me.  (I think the multiplatform Lords of the Fallen looks better)

 the Master Chief Collection with Halo 5 beta alone was enough to make me buy an XBOXONE.

Afnan Nazer
Afnan Nazer

I think you would actually. I take it that you think the PS4 is next gen just because it outputs more games at 1080p/60fps.? Well,you're better of PC gaming. On the other hand, the Xbox One is starting to get more and more games at 1080p AND still has a whole bunch of other features that actually makes it feel "next-gen". Personally, I think neither console offers a "next-gen" experience, but the Xbox is pretty close.

Nafees Mosharrof
Nafees Mosharrof

seems to be at the points where it doesnt matter. remember sbox is $400 too with out the kinect .. then how u can one include kinect point here. technically PS4 beats xbox out badly.

Boris Gushin
Boris Gushin

Chris Tweten Competetitive gamer on console? That's funny.

Gary Hughes
Gary Hughes

xbox way better, this coming from a ps1 and ps2 guy, xbox just trumps sony ;)

Chris Tweten
Chris Tweten

As a competitive gamer, none of these things matter.

Nick Martin
Nick Martin

lol... the last xbox fanboy trying desperatly to convince himself and EVERY one else that xbox one is even on the same playing field this generation... lmmfao. grasping for straws.

ed vedder
ed vedder

Wow, most all the "advantages" you mention require Kinect, but the $400 X1 doesn't come with it. And with it no longer part of the box, it's a dead piece of tech anyway. 


The batteries last longer? Errr, I'd take rechargeable controllers any day. 


Updates? You're kidding me? What crazy great features have they added with all these updates that Sony doesn't have too? 


When you look at what a reach it is to mention anything the X1 does better, you realize what a tough position MS are in. 

Blud Wurm
Blud Wurm

The updates happen when the xbox is off. I wouldn't even know I had one downloaded if I wasn't told.  Some are more obvious, but it seems more are small tweeks to the system.  If you own a Ps4 don't be mad at Xbox owners for owning a different system.  It just shows how insecure you feel about your purchase.  I love my xbox one and all of the friends I have to play with on the best online gaming machine (in my humble opinion).  I never play my ps3 or 4 anymore.  I still hit up the 360 for "Walking Dead", and "Rock Band 3".  What does that say for Sony?  Plus, the Kinect is so fucking awesome, that's why the guy wrote so much about it.  Don't be so Jelly!

Sarah Schneider
Sarah Schneider

According to the article, frequent updates imply that Microsoft is better? In reality, frequent updates mean that Microsoft is lacking a lot of stuff.


Also frequently updating a system is super annoying. Remember those frequent updates in windows? ... now installing update 1 of 54 do not shot down! Did that make windows feel superior?!? Not at all, it was just super annoying,


Fan Gamer
Fan Gamer

This is a joke, right?.... for tv?.... Microsoft split Kinect from Xbox One... when, where is the voice comands?... twitch?... PS4 make it too. Games?... PS4 have better exclusives and indies. Xbox One is betther than PS4 just for updates?... UPDATES????... cmon... i repeat, this is a joke, right?...

Aaron Taggart
Aaron Taggart

Isn't it a bit misleading that you start with "They both cost $400" yet much of your article is about the kinect. Kinect doesn't come with the $400 xbox.

Mario Flores
Mario Flores

You can watch netflix for free on xbox, fanboy

Mario Flores
Mario Flores

At least you do have an argument. Mine is that xbox one is not just a gaming console

ed vedder
ed vedder

@Christopher Wortman such as? Ryse, DR3, Titanfall, Forza? It launched with 3 of them 8 months ago. They all underwhelm. Everything else is on PS4 and runs better there. 

Mario Flores
Mario Flores

Another fanboy who makes his argument based in nothing, xbox updates takes place when the console is turned off and you are not using it. Just as windows updates while you are shutting it down

Curt Whitlock
Curt Whitlock

@Sarah Schneider No it means that Microsoft it working hard to implement features faster than Sony.  It is kind of funny that Sony was updating the PS3 a lot more than Microsoft did with the 360 but now they have swapped places it would seem.

Mario Flores
Mario Flores

Dont hate us for have better aspects than ps4. You guys also have them. Just read the article you want to read and dont be mad. You'll buy the console you want to, this is more of a guide for those who are not sure which one they will have

ed vedder
ed vedder

@Aaron Taggart Exactly. Unless he wants to mention price in the comparison, Kinect shouldn't factor into it. And with Kinect not in the hardware anymore, it's just a gimmicky peripheral. 

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