• Xbox One vs. PS4: Which One is Your Dish?

    Posted on May 24th, 2013 Wiki | 852 comments

    Microsoft has already unveiled the Xbox One, its next generation gaming console that aims at being the central focus of your living room to let you watch TV and movies, listen to music, check fantasy stats while watching live sports, and much more. However, the new Xbox will soon face the fierce competition from the PlayStation 4, the game console Sony has introduced in February but plans to formally reveal at E3 this year. The 2 console giants will be fiercely fighting for your attention, your adoration and more importantly your dollars.

    Although we are far from knowing all the details of both systems, we can still take a gander at the information we have so far. So right here I collected all the available specs of both consoles to let you get a clear understanding of how they stack up against each other. Here is what we know thus far:

    Xbox vs. PS4: Hardware specs

    While both consoles make use of an 8-core AMD Jaguar processor, there is still a big winner in terms of AMD. The PS4 features 1,152GPU cores as compared to the Xbox One’s 768 graphics cores. Sony’s new console drives 1.84 TFLOPS, while compared to the new Xbox’s 1.23 TFLOPS.

    Besides, the PS4 also has the edge when it comes to system memory. It features 8GB of 5500MHZ GDDR5 memory as compared to the Xbox One’s 8GB of 2133MHz DDR3 RAM. So as for gaming power, Sony’s PS4 is the clear winner. However, what should be highlighted is that Microsoft and Sony’s missions appear to be quite different, as Microsoft continues to layer more home entertainment elements on the top of Xbox’s gaming element. Both the Xbox One and PS4 comes with a Blu-ray optical drive. So for diehard gamers, the PS4 seems like the better choice at this point. If you focus on both gaming and entertainment, go for Xbox.

    The hardware specs battle is just the beginning, below I also put my spotlight on the 4 most important next-gen combat zones to let you see how the two consoles compare. Keep reading.

    1. Launch games

    Indeed launch games make a big difference for a console. Sony has revealed tons of exclusives and special titles from first parties on its reveal event, like Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, and Driveclub. On top of that, Sony also scored third party titles like Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Watchdogs.

    For the Xbox One event, Microsoft also shows off games like Forza 5. Quantum Break is also set for release although Microsoft’s trailer was incredible cryptic. The company also promised 15 Xbox One exclusives will be shown at E3.

    Winner: PS4. Although Microsoft made more noise, but right now PS4 looks like more stunning. Hope Microsoft shows off more heavyweights at E3.

    2. Share Media

    Sharing your gaming media is one of the key points of Sony’s PS4 reveal. There is a dedicated share button on the controller, which allows you to send snippets of recorded video straight to a friend or even invite them to watch your game, or ever perhaps participate in it in some minor way. On top of that, Sony has a partnership with Ustream, one of the most popular streaming sites online.

    Although Microsoft spent quite less time to talk about sharing media, it is still a big part of the new Xbox Live. There is a feature called Game DVR, allowing you post recorded gameplay to Live and on unspecified social network services. Besides, you could attach videos on your Achievement list, letting everyone see exactly how you increased said Gamerscore. It is a pity that there is no info showing Xbox one could stream.

    Winner: PS4. Obviously Sony’s sharing solution looks far more convenient, particularly for the less technologically inclined.

    3. Controllers

    Xbox One’s pad looks quite similar to Xbox 360′s, which is consistently voted one of the best controllers of all time. Meanwhile, Microsoft promised to fix the old design’s weakest point- the d-pad. Also, do remember that your entire body is the controller thanks to the new Kinect technology that you even track swivel in your wrists. That’s a great progress.

    PS4′s controller is a variant of its tried-and-trusted DaulShock design. However, its built-in light on the top edge of its casing can be seen by the PlayStation Eye, meaning it can be used as a pointer. There is also a front touch pad which can act as a rudimentary display thanks to the colored LEDs.

    Winner: Actually the focus is on the pad of each, but no one now has used either pad yet, so no winner.

    4. Price and release date

    This part is the hardest to judge, possibly, since Microsoft and Sony are playing this part very close to the vest. Both giants promise to formally release the consoles at the end of 2013. Similarly both are likely coming in the days before Black Friday, maybe even on the same day.

    Although neither Microsoft nor Sony has announced how much their next game consoles will cost, analysts have agreed that the consoles are likely to sell for around $400~$500.

    Winner: There are too many unknowns at the moment. Ask again later.

    So which one is your dish?

    Indeed at the moment there are too many unknown factors for us to make the decision, but the deeper look at the currently known hardware and features will help you better decide which system you believe is right for you. If you have already made the choice, why not share it with us in the comments?

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  • All things about Microsoft’s new Xbox One game console you should know

    Posted on May 22nd, 2013 David Brooks | 83 comments

    As rumored, we all know that Microsoft would release its new Xbox this year. But what we don’t know is what the next Xbox would be called and what it would bring to us. There’re rumors that the next Xbox would be called Xbox 720 with amazing specs. Now, the rumors about the next-generation of Microsoft Xbox have finally come into an end. Microsoft has unveiled the new Xbox, and it’s called Xbox One. It’s Microsoft’s first new console in more than seven years. Yes, we’ve had many expectations for this console, especially since Sony and Nintendo have already taken their first steps in the next-gen landscape. Today, let’s take a look at what the Xbox One is, in various aspects like design, specs, final release date, etc.

    Microsoft Xbox One

    The original Xbox debuted in the fall of 2005, which feels like a million years ago…even if it’s only seven and a half. It’s high time for a new console, even if some tech pundits are questioning the value of gaming hardware platforms in the current age.

    Design
    The Xbox One is large, sleek, and black, and looks like a piece of AV equipment. The controller and Kinect unit are redesigned, too: the Kinect and Xbox One, in particular, sport sharp-angled, glossy-black boxy looks. As a set, the Xbox One really does feel like some elaborate piece of home theater gear…and considering its mission to knit entertainment together into a modern all-in-one package, that’s clearly intentional. It also looks awfully big, compared with current-gen consoles and how they’ve slimmed down.

    The name “Xbox One” suggests a reboot, a fresh start. Maybe from this day forward, Microsoft’s connected living-room PC strategies will spring from the Xbox One. Or, it’ll just a be a very good gaming console.

    Home entertainment
    Microsoft promises that this is a better-connected way of linking TV, games, and entertainment in one unit — something the Xbox 360 already does, but will do more via commands like “Xbox, on.” As was said during the initial presser, you’re “going to have a relationship with your TV.” The elevator pitch: take on a living room that has become “too complex,” and make a system that knits games, TV, and entertainment.

    So, how will that happen?

    There are universal gestures such as grab-and-pan and swipe up; watching live TV will involve maximizing and minimizing the screen in a top corner. Live TV will be part of the Xbox One experience, via HDMI-in. Yes, cable TV looks like part of the package.

    Microsoft Xbox One

    But we haven’t seen, other than some picture-in-picture overlays, how exactly TV is piped in and more deeply interacted with…and who the partners are. Comcast was mentioned, but what other companies will contribute to letting the Xbox One hook in and become a true TV accessory? That was the challenge that daunted Google TV and the Wii U. Right now, it doesn’t look like the Xbox One replaces your cable box or your DVR, even though it’s large enough to be both.

    The Xbox One does knit together new voice commands to do some PC-like stuff: you can order movie tickets, for instance, engage in Skype, or pull up fantasy sports stats while watching a game. The conversational, Siri-meets-Google Now-like voice commands hopefully will have clear menu representation on the console, as otherwise it could get confusing.

    “It’s an all-in-one entertainment console” is a pitch we’ve heard before, dating back to the PlayStation 3 and before that — really, going back all the way to the 3DO. It hasn’t always worked, but the Xbox One is better positioned because the Xbox 360′s already pretty successful at being an excellent streaming-video device.

    Specs
    Under the hood, details so far include an eight-core processor and graphics made by AMD, 8GB of RAM, Blu-ray, USB 3.0, HDMI in/out, and a 500GB hard drive. Besides all of this, Microsoft is promising a new operating system fusing Xbox and Windows.

    Xbox One architecture has “three operating systems in one”: Xbox, a kernel of Windows (perhaps like Windows RT), and a multitasking interface. The idea seems to be that this console will be a multitasker at heart. Check out a head-to-head comparison with the PlayStation 4 specs known so far, however, and you can see that the distance between Sony and Microsoft, in terms of hardware, will be shorter than ever.

    Microsoft Xbox One

    New Kinect
    A new Kinect comes with the Xbox One, complete with improved accuracy. It has a 1080p camera, Skype connectivity, and understanding of rotational movement in a structure like a skeleton. Microsoft even claims the new Kinect can read your heartbeat. It can also recognize your controller, not just your hands — suggesting uses that sound a little like the ones for PlayStation Move’s wand.

    New controller
    The Xbox controller’s gotten a revamp with an integrated battery, improved ergonomics, a better D-pad, and improved response triggers. It looks similar but has gotten a bunch of gamer-oriented tweaks.

    SmartGlass
    The tablet-based SmartGlass experience will center on Xbox One, and will work as before with a variety of phones and tablets. Baked-in Wi-Fi Direct on the Xbox One will allow Bluetooth-like direct communication between external devices, which could come in handy for other future peripherals, too. Second screens will be a major method of interacting with the Xbox One, but details were scarce at the Xbox event — how will it be better than, and more profound than, SmartGlass as it currently exists?

    Microsoft Xbox One

    Xbox Live
    Built on the existing service and usernames, the new Xbox Live promises 300,000 servers for Xbox One, a whopping number. Matchmaking services will work while you’re doing other tasks like watching movies or Web browsing, and bigger, more quickly connecting matches are promised, too. Microsoft has discussed some cloud services on the Xbox One that seem promising: user-based cloud game saves, uploaded game recording, and even the potential for cloud-processing-enhanced games. How that will play out isn’t clear.

    Games<
    Microsoft plans eight new franchises for the Xbox One in the first year, a hopeful sign for a platform that’s become too sequel-dependent. Of course, Forza 5 was shown off, but a new game called Quantum Break from the developers of Alan Wake looks like the sort of game we’re more used to seeing from PlayStation, with a big-studio design and cinematic feel. But there is some bad news: like the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One isn’t backward-compatible with Xbox 360 games. For more, read what we know about Xbox One’s games so far.

    TV on Xbox
    “Xbox is going to be the next water cooler.” That was said during the event to suggest the Xbox One’s role as a social-TV platform. To that end, it sounds like Microsoft is developing TV shows and original programming for the Xbox One, making a greater leap into Netflix-like original programming. Steven Spielberg announced a new TV series based on Halo, and the NFL demonstrated some level of interaction with fantasy stats and Skyping with NFL broadcasts.

    Availability
    The Xbox One will be available “later this year,” so that means 2013 after all. Price and a specific date will have to wait…after all, E3 is just weeks away. In short, there are still several things about the Xbox One we don’t know…and would like to.

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