I’ve actually had a chance to play with both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 now. As for which is better, they both are. I reckon the Xbox One has the better launch games and more potential, what with the ever-present Kinect and the HDMI pass through (which is not particularly useful outside the US at the moment). But the PlayStation 4 has slightly better hardware (although this is a bit up for discussion) , with a smaller, more stylish, box and no need for an external power supply.
Performance wise they are very, very, similar. Although we’ve not really seen software that will do them justice just yet. Forza on the Xbox One looks great, with car models looking lovely. Knack on the PlayStation 4 is good looking too, although this doesn’t jump out at you quite so much. The controllers are both excellent and the prices just about line up once you factor in the price of the camera for the PlayStation 4.
The magazine GamesMaster has a very good comparison of the two consoles. I felt kind of sorry for the folks who had to write this piece, if they either of them is the best they run the risk of annoying half of their audience. I was reminded very strongly of camera magazines when they try to compare Nikon and Canon cameras. Both take excellent pictures and would make any photographer really happy. My take is that Canon are slightly more “consumer” whereas Nikon have a few more rough edges but probably have the edge in performance, but you really couldn’t go wrong choosing either one.
And so it is with the consoles. In a year or two there might be a stronger divergence but I reckon any good ideas had by one camp will be quickly taken up by the other one. The most important thing for gamers is that this on-going competition is going to drive standards even higher.
Oh, and Super Mario 3D on the Nintendo Wii U looks pretty good too…..