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PS4 and Xbox One are Shockingly Similar

  • On May 22, 2013

The biggest surprise is how similar they are:

  • Both feature similar full motion tracking cameras (Kinect/Eye)
  • Both feature built-in almost-always-on video sharing capabilities.
  • Both have blu-ray optical drives and internal hard drives.
  • The CPU/GPU/RAM specs are suprisingly similar. PS4 reportedly has an edge in this, but broadly they seem to be in the same general ballpark.
  • The primary game pads still have the same general configuration: two analog sticks, one d-pad, four shoulder buttons/triggers, four face buttons. The PS4 controller has the touch pad and light bar which are differences, but overall, these pads are part of the same paradigm.
  • Both are designed for the standard living room setup with a standing TV and a player on a couch.
  • Both have similar online networks and services.
  • Both feature a similar array of media options (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, etc)
  • Both are launching in late 2013.

For such feature packed systems, these two systems are shockingly similar. There will be tons of little differences in every item, but broadly, they are broadly packing the exact the same feature sets. Clearly, both products were designed with the competing product foremost in mind. There is no other way to explain the similarity.

My second surprise is that since Sony showed their hand first, I expected Microsoft to take a second mover advantage and add some “one up” features to their product: If the competing system has X amount of RAM/whatever, then their product could have X+1. Surprisingly, they really didn’t do that. There are no “one up” features at all.

What are your thoughts? Are these two new super consoles extremely similar designs?

  • hobbes

    the xbox one plays games? i thought it was used to watch tv?

  • the_nmac

    While you bring up the similarities. The two presentations couldn’t have been more different. Being a loyal PS fan-boy I still tried to view their presentation with a open mind, however after 20 min still nothing that i cared about and I tuned out. This hurt them overall. Their new focus is the casual market that Nintendo lost with the Wii U. Maybe it’s a start business move time will tell, however the machine for gamers will be the PS4. Let’s hope they don’t screw up the price.

  • I think they have very important differences, XBone having HDMI input and the way it is designed to be a set-top box is signicantly different from the PS4. Also the PS4’s controller having a touch-pad is quite a big difference IMHO. The GPU / Ram specs are also quite different, with PS4’s GPU providing 50% more grunt than the XBox, and the way it is tied to a faster GDDR5 (although the way MS is trying to present the total bandwidth of the system at 200GB/sec just to confuse customers, they do this by adding the bandwidth of individual systems but general consensus in tech-forums is that this is not how it works)

    The performance gap between the PS4 and Xbox One will be much more significant than the performance gap between the PS3 and Xbox 360, if some developers are to be believed:

    @bfod I have been told, by people who know, that perf numbers are extremely different between the two devices.— Jonathan Blow (@Jonathan_Blow) May 22, 2013

  • ..continued: And this time around, although PS4 does have a lot of background-processing, it’s OS footprint may in fact be significantly smaller compared to the Xbone, which runs 3 OS’es simultaneously (One game OS, One App Os, and one hypervisor OS that connects the two (the 3rd one should be super-light weight, tho)). While the OS footprint is merely speculation for now, it’s a very valid concern.

  • Emrah hit the nail on the head. As far as specs go, there are major differences.

  • I agree with the differences mentioned. XBO has more cable box features and Windows ecosystem integration, while PS4 has more gaming power. But still, broadly speaking, I believe they are unusually similar super devices.

  • shockingly similar might be overstating things by a grand margin. By this definition of “shockingly similar” they were shockingly similar this generation too. Heck you could even argue they were shockingly similar the generation before that.

    At this point it’s be more shocking if they didn’t have those in common.. like a third console we often forget.

    – movement gaming without a camera
    – lack of video sharing.. because a lot of people don’t care about video sharing
    – a disc drive; internal flash drive instead of a harddrive should be lighter more tough
    – not bleeding edge specs.. probably pushes down the cost of gaming
    – controller array that’s completely unlike anything see outside their company; camera units inside the controller to reduce TV clutter, buttons have size priority. assymetical controllers with the large tablet like gamepad
    – designed for couch place, bed play, stool play, bathroom play

    it’s interesting to see things like “perf gap” because that almost always translates to a measure of graphical fidelity. It doesn’t measure things that might actually make games better things like AI, pathfinding, level design. They just don’t design chips that might excel at that because everyone wants to be the pretty girl at the ball, no one wants to be the smart one. Even Nintendo decided to be the Zooey Deschanel rather than trying to be the Kate Upton. No one is trying to be Janeane Garofalo and that makes me sad sometimes.

  • You are being silly with “stool play, bathroom play”, but there are other valid form factors: there is the couch + tv living room setup that we know, there is the VR wearable headset form factor, the handheld form factor, the tablet form factor, and the office/laptop form factor.

    Also, did both XBO and PS4 need to have full motion capture 3D cameras and nearly identical game pads?