The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

74° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Showdown: Who won the game console war?

    Torsten Ward
    Torsten Ward / The Daily Wildcat Microsoft reveals their Xbox One controller at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Calif.

    Video game console launches are never pretty. Just like in politics, promises are broken, expectations are crushed and someone always makes a stupid mistake that costs them a few fans. But in the end, it’s just two (or three) huge companies competing for your dollar by advertising systems that perform extremely similar tasks. 2013 saw the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and these next-gen consoles are no exception. However, fans everywhere fought tooth and nail with their gaming rivals to prove that their console truly was and is the best. Here we’ll break down Sony and Microsoft’s newest consoles and see who came out ahead.

    The Hardware
    Long before their November release dates, the details concerning system hardware for the PS4 and Xbox One were released to the cheers of gamers everywhere. Never before has the technology within two different consoles been so similar in power, but this isn’t a bad thing: You can practically hear each console revving with raw processing power (not really — both systems are extremely quiet in person).

    Without getting into major technicalities, I can tell you that the Xbox One and PS4 both contain 8-core AMD CPUs, AMD graphic cards, 8GB RAM and 500GB internal hard drives. Just like the PS3, the PS4 has an upgradeable hard drive, while the Xbox One plans to support external storage in the future. Both have their pros and cons. However, the PS4 contains a bit more processing power with the inclusion of its GDDR5 RAM and Radeon GPU. This is all gibberish to the average gamer, but those who understand hardware specs know that when both of these systems are pushed to the limit in coming years, the PS4 will boast prettier graphics and smoother gameplay than its competitor.

    As far as how they look and feel, Sony takes the cake. No contest. Not only is the PS4 more powerful overall than the Xbox One, it fits it all into a package nearly half the size of Microsoft’s brick oven of a console.

    The Controllers
    If you grew up with an Xbox, you likely favored the 360’s bulkier but more ergonomic controller over the classic PlayStation design that has remained mostly unchanged since the original PlayStation’s dual analog controller came out in 1997. Both controllers stick to their roots while still raising the bar. The Xbox One controller and the DualShock 4 have the same layout as their predecessors, but drastically improve on all other fronts. Buttons and analog movements are more responsive than ever and both controllers just feel good in your hands.

    However, the Xbox One’s immersion factor skyrockets with the inclusion of trigger button rumbling. Imagine playing Forza Motorsport 5 and driving one side of your car off the paved raceway and feeling the jagged rocks under your tires through your fingertips. Yeah, it’s cool. But every good pro comes with a con: batteries.

    The DualShock 4 is just an all-around great controller, and the addition of the light bar, touch pad and on-deck speaker will only further the controller’s future capabilities. The share button allows gamers to post or stream their gameplay and achievements on game-oriented media sharing sites like Twitch and on more conventional social media platforms in seconds. While the Xbox One supports similar streaming capabilities, they aren’t as easily accessible or in-depth.

    Any qualms with each controller are overshadowed by their positive characteristics, and for this reason, the two controllers experience a Rocky IV-style punch-out: It’s a tie.
    Besides AMD, the real winners of the console war are us gamers. After Microsoft shot itself in the foot with the initial promise of limiting DRM policies, used game restrictions and an always-online requirement,it has backtracked enough to avoid drowning in a pool of hate mail and debt. But one of the many reasons the PS4 has already sold over 4.2 million units compared to Xbox One’s 3 million is because of the price. Even though both consoles have great games lined up for release in the near future, you can’t beat Sony’s $400 price point when compared to Microsoft’s $500 console of similar quality.

    I’m not big on grades, so I’ll be blunt: The winner is Sony’s PS4. However, though Sony’s won this battle, the war won’t be over for about another decade.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search