New game consoles generate debate

Graphic by Evan Watson/The News
Graphic by Evan Watson/The News

Graphic by Evan Watson/The News

Every few years, a new generation of gaming systems is introduced and people are faced with the decision of which one to buy. On Nov. 15, Sony released the PlayStation 4, and on Nov. 22, Microsoft released the Xbox One. While both systems have advantages and disadvantages, the question of which to purchase still remains unanswered.

Joshua Hitz, junior from Staunton, Ill., has been comparing the two systems for a while and has yet to make a decision.

“I don’t have either system, but I’m planning to buy one over Christmas break,” Hitz said.

For a student, price can be the deciding factor despite extra features or specific games the systems offer. Sony’s PlayStation 4 hit shelves at $399, while the Xbox One priced at $499.

“Price definitely has a role in my decision,” Hitz said. “The PlayStation 4 has a lot of nice features that are just as good as the Xbox One and it is $100 cheaper.”

Each gaming system has an online multiplayer option users have to purchase. While users can pay monthly, the 12-month memberships seem more reasonable in price. The PlayStation Plus membership sells at $49 and the Xbox Live Gold membership is $59. Unlike the Xbox, PlayStation Plus accounts can be used on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita as well and are not limited to one system.

“I have been considering the games that are available for each system,” Hitz said. “The exclusives are what I look into the most and the PlayStation 4 has Infamous: Second Son while Xbox doesn’t.”

Exclusive games are important to consider if a user is committed to a particular series or type of game. Halo 5 will be released for Xbox One while the PlayStation 4 will release titles such as Kill Zone: Shadow Fall. As far as the graphics for gameplay, each system has been upgraded to 8-Core Processor and they both have an 8-gigabyte RAM.

The main difference between the internal aspects of the systems is the PlayStation 4 has a larger bandwidth to give games a more visual edge. While the Xbox One’s exclusive game list may be larger, the PlayStation 4, according to online reviews, proves to have a more crisp display in graphics and a larger downloadable game database. Unfortunately, neither system is backwards compatible, meaning PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games cannot be played on the newer systems.

“There are games like Persona 4 and Dot. Hack G.U. that I’d like to play on the newer system, but can’t,” Hitz said. “It’s definitely a major setback when deciding what to buy.”

The design of the two systems has also changed. The consoles are sharper around the edges and have a sleeker appearance. The controllers have also undergone a makeover. Sony’s DualShock 4 has added a touchpad as well as a share button. Users can instantly share game photos and videos to social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

The controller also includes a sensor that recognizes players so that if users swap them out with one another, the split screen game-play will rearrange itself. PlayStation Vita owners also have the ability to use their hand-held device as a substitute, similar to a Wii U tablet, just in case their television is being used for something else.

The Xbox One has a sleeker controller with minor differences besides a faded color on the buttons.

The Kinect for Xbox One is included in the box unlike the $59 camera that has to be bought separately for the PlayStation 4. However, Sony has thrown in a headset with every system. The additional accessories and features included with both have made choosing which to buy a process that has to be weighed carefully. Both include Blu Ray players and apps to connect users with Netflix, Hulu and Skype. Viewing games and TV are made easy with the use of the HDMI pass-thru included with the Xbox One. Users can split the screen so that they can either game or use Skype while watching regular television. This is one feature that gives it a multitasking advantage over the PlayStation 4, according to the Microsoft website.

One major difference between the two systems is the overall usage of accessories included and the internal parts. Xbox One’s Kinect camera learns the movements and personality of the user in order to adapt to online gameplay even when the system is off. Like a shadow, it can play in a similar fashion as if the user were actually present. Because the PlayStation 4 does not include a camera, it does not need one to function and does not continue to work even when the system is watching.

While deciding which system to use, a gamer might consider every aspect of the systems. Although, sometimes the only thing that matters is what system the person originally had. System bias can weigh more heavily than even the most liked enhancement or hyped up exclusive game.

“The PlayStation 2 has always been my favorite system,” Hitz said. “That’s probably why I’ll end up buying the PlayStation 4.”


Story by Katrina Yarbrough, Staff writer