• Catching up with the consoles: Xbox One and PS4

    PC gamers are meant to hate consoles with a passion, but the last month or so has been full of interesting news. Both Sony and Microsoft have laid their cards on the table, and are busy building hype for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One which will go on sale later this year.

    Both consoles possess vastly superior graphical processing power than the previous generation. Nvidia showed the following slide comparing their power to PCs. Current high end PCs are merely 2.5x more powerful than the new consoles, compared to 13.2x of the previous generation. That's a big improvement. As to which console will have better graphics, we'll have to wait until later this year to know for sure.

    Feature PlayStation 4 Xbox One
    Price $399.99 $499.99
    Optical Drive Blu-ray/DVD Blu-ray/DVD
    CPU 8 core x86 AMD
    "Jaguar" processor
    8 core custom
    Storage 500 GB Hard Drive
    (user removable)
    500 GB Hard Drive
    Motion Control DualShock 4,
    PlayStation 4 Eye,
    PlayStation Move
    Kinect 2 (included)
    Second Screen Vita, Playstation App SmartGlass App
    A/V Hookups HDMI out (4K),
    Optical output
    HDMI in/out (4K),
    Optical output
    In 2013, however, it shouldn't just be improved graphics and specs that make a console "next-gen". So, what features are there to get excited about? Whilst we don't yet know all the details, it looks like both consoles are becoming broader and improving areas that aren't solely linked to the gaming experience.

    1. Futuristic interaction methods (not just for games)
    2. Full media centre capabilities, apps & live TV
    3. Multi-tasking/split screen view between apps and games
    4. Second screen interaction with your phone/tablet (not just for games)

    With all these new features, have Sony and Microsoft managed to make their devices appeal not just to console gamers, but casual gamers and non-gamers too? It doesn't seem that far fetched. Many people like to chill on the sofa, watch Game of Thrones and play Temple Run on their smartphone. They may not have bought a console previously, but do spend >200 on a smartphone every 2 years. 500 on new console every 7 years, that dramatically increases the functionality of their TV, seems like a decent option.

    Could we go as far as saying that these consoles have "cracked the living room" for everyone? In all likelihood, that is unlikely. For both devices to really appeal to the wider market, there has to be a reduction in price. Perhaps a low cost, low power version (without the gaming element) for <150 could be that solution. That would start comparisons with the Apple TV, which lacks in functionality in comparison.

    But what about us, the PC gamers? The good thing is, there's no need to worry about our PCs being out performed by the consoles. It's really just down to the numerous other features, and to what extent their value is perceived. For some, they'll be a big deal, and for others, won't matter at all.

    What do you think? Is your heart set on a Steam Box instead? Voice your opinions in the comments below!
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Target's Avatar
      Target -
      There getting a lot closer to pc performance now which is great for us PC gamers when lazy companies decide to port us games (Infinity Ward!!!) at least they maybe of a decent quality now.
      Might be worth seeing what other console companies are bringing to the table but I imagine the people that are faithful to Xbox and Playstation will remain that way, although Sony may have stolen a few gamers with their E3 publicity.
    1. Chalex4's Avatar
      Chalex4 -
      Yeah exactly Target. Also, as they both use an x86 cpu, it should make the "porting" process technically easier. All good news for the PC!

      To be honest, I'm actually quite tempted in grabbing a console this time around. I avoided the previous generation.
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