The next generation of gaming consoles

Daniel Woodhouse

The eighth generation of console gaming has finally arrived, though they’re not for sale just yet. Before I begin, a disclaimer: This article is about the hardware, not the upcoming games (for more about those go, watch the e3 2013 trailers on YouTube).

The PS4 is smaller and more sleek than its predecessor, the PS3.
The PS4 is smaller and more sleek than its predecessor, the PS3.

Playstation 4

The first notable change from the PS3 to the PS4 is that the console is significantly smaller in size. The PS4’s image was just recently released, as Sony was able to get through the entire PS4 reveal conference back in February without even showing the thing. The PS4 controller is more ergonomic and user friendly, including a touch screen. The Playstation Camera is a new device that comes with the PS4 and shares motion sensing features similar to the Xbox Kinect.

PS4 users will be able to use their smartphones and tablets as second screens for gameplay. The new Playstation Network is relatively the same with a few exceptions. First PSN’s Playstation Plus will now require a five dollar monthly subscription fee, but free-to-play titles will be playable online without charge. Netflix and Amazon Instant Video will also be coming to PSN as new features for the PS4. One thing PS4 owners will be very unhappy with is that purchases made on PSN through PS3 will not carry over to PS4, so it’s best advised that you hold onto your dusty old PS3 for a while longer.

Another plus to PS4 is that Sony has announced it will not allow restrictions, such as DRM, online passes, or prevent the use of used games. There is also a new share button on the PS4 controller that allows players to instantly upload gameplay footage to YouTube and Facebook.

The Xbox One is actually larger than the Xbox 360, but with more features like a blu ray player and DVR, size might not matter.
The Xbox One is actually larger than the Xbox 360, but with more features like a blu ray player and DVR, size might not matter.

Xbox One

After not one, but two horrible presentations we now seem to have a clear view of the system’s specs. Microsoft previously received massive amounts of consumer backlash on some of the Xbox One’s controversial features, such as requiring payment for using a used game, regional locks that would prevent certain countries from using Xbox Live, a constant internet connection requirement and even restrictions on sharing game discs with friends. Microsoft has come out recently saying that none of those features will be included in the Xbox One, which may have just saved the company from potentially huge financial losses.

The Xbox One itself, in contrast to the PS4, is actually bigger than it’s previous console the Xbox 360. Xbox One looks like a big black monolith crossed with an overweight blu ray player. The controller is pretty much the same as previous Xbox 360 ones, with nice look and comfortable feel.

The Xbox Kinect is back, unfortunately, as the Kinect 2.0. Let’s hope for the sake of our wallets the motion sensors and voice commands actually work this time.

Xbox Live is virtually unchanged besides an increase in the max number of people on your friends list and the introduction of Cloud Storage. The Xbox One, like the PS4, will have a blu ray player, but unlike PS4 it will have a DVR so you can record your favorite TV shows.

Xbox One also has the ability to record gameplay and will utilize smartphones as second screens.

The Xbox One will also not be backwards compatible. Meaning if you don’t have one of the older systems, your classic Xbox games will end up just collecting dust on your shelf.

PS4 will run gamers $399 and Xbox One will cost at $499.