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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Press Start to Continue: The newest generation of consoles

 

Sony's PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are similar in technology, but different in price. (PHOTO CREDIT: MCT CAMPUS)
Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are similar in technology, but different in price. (PHOTO CREDIT: MCT CAMPUS)

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it is important for video game consumers to know the key differences between this generation’s new consoles. On Nov. 15, Sony released the PlayStation 4 in America, and by Nov. 29, it will be available worldwide. On this coming Friday, Nov. 22, Microsoft will release the Xbox One globally.

The PlayStation 4 retails at $399.99 and was the first out of the gate for this generation’s consoles. It features eight gigabytes GDDR5 RAM, which provides optimal memory bandwidth, allowing for smooth, high-end 3D graphic performance. The PS4’s GPU operates with an AMD Radeon Graphics Core with 1152 shaders and peaks at 1.84 TeraFLOPS per second. This is essentially a measurement of computing performance, and a staggering 1.84 TeraFLOPS showcases the PS4’s capacity for high processing power. There is a 500 gigabyte hard drive within the PS4 which is also removable. This allows consumers to continue playing their game data on another PS4 upon clicking in their hard drive. There is no external storage for the PS4, though there are two USB ports on the console. Lastly, the PlayStation 4 houses its power supply within the model, avoiding any clunky external battery.

The Xbox One retails at $499.99, and is released worldwide simultaneously on one launch day. It uses eight gigabytes DDR3 RAM, which is effectively a step down from the PS4’s GDDR5. We see this also in the Xbox One’s GPU, which is an 853 megahertz AMD Radeon with 768 shaders. This GPU peaks at 1.31 TeraFLOPS, a whole 0.5 behind the PS4, which is significant. This console also has a 500 gigabyte hard drive, but it is not removable. However, the Xbox One does have external storage compatible with USBs, and comes with three USB ports. Unfortunately, even with this third installment in the Xbox series, its power supply is still an external power brick.

Up to four controllers can connect to the PS4 at once, while the Xbox One can process up to eight. Neither system is backwards compatible, so be sure to hold on to your PS3 and Xbox 360 if you ever feel like playing some soon-to-be classic titles. Games played on the Xbox One will be mandatorily installed to the hard drive, while the PS4 prompts users with the option to do so or not. Neither system is required to stay connected to the internet, but the Xbox One must be connected once at start-up to receive the day-one update. Fortunately, neither system has implemented a used game or game sharing fee, as either would kill the used game market.

The PS4 bundle comes with the console, one DualShock 4 controller, a headset, an HDMI cable, a USB charging cable, a two-week trial subscription to PlayStation Plus and the PlayStation PlayRoom. This PlayRoom is a groundwork set of interactive software players can use to become familiar with the power of the PS4. The only catch is it requires the PlayStation Eye, Sony’s gaming camera, to play, which must be purchased separately for $59.99. Comparatively, the Xbox One bundle comes with the console, one Xbox One controller, a headset, HDMI cable, two weeks of free subscription to Xbox Live and the Kinect camera. While it does not come with any games built in like the PS4’s PlayRoom, it does come with the gaming camera, the Kinect, for free.

Lastly, many third-party companies have backed the PS4 with additional free access to their services at launch. Those who choose the PS4 can look forward to free access to applications like web browsing, Netflix, Skype and Hulu Plus. Further, the PS4 can stream your game video as you play to an online source for free and provides access to a game DVR. The Xbox One provides Netflix, Skype, Hulu Plus, a game DVR and a web browser only to those who are paying members of Xbox Live.

Both systems launch with roughly 20 titles each, but feature their own big-name exclusives to have installments in the near future. Be sure to look for the Xbox One’s Dead Rising, Forza Motorsport, Halo, Fable and Gears of War. The PlayStation 4 has more than 180 confirmed titles in development and will also hang on to their exclusives: inFamous, God of War, Uncharted, Gran Turismo, Killzone and Little Big Planet.

Now that you have all the appropriate information, the choice is entirely yours. Either option may not be worth purchasing at launch for some players, while other diehards have had their PS4s since this past Friday morning at midnight. In any event, this generation is not one to miss, and every gamer should consider picking up one of the consoles within the next few months. This writer implores you not to miss out on Watch Dogs, Kingdom Hearts III or Dark Souls 2.

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