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Xbox One vs PlayStation 4. Which One Would You Buy Right Now?

We asked each USgamer team member to reveal which next-generation console they'd buy right now - and why. The results surprised us all.

By USgamer Team. Published 3 months ago

Throughout the latter half of last year, Sony and Microsoft worked furiously to establish their respective new console as the must-have tech for the next generation. But now the dust has settled following the hype and bluster of their launch events, which machine is the one to have? Each member of the USgamer team weighs in on which console they'd buy right now - and why.

If you want more information on PS4 and Xbox One games, here are two comprehensive articles that list all the games available on both machines. We've listed out the games we think are worth buying, and also explain which ones are our personal picks and why:

The best PS4 games.

The best Xbox One games.

Once you've read this article, we'd love to hear your answers to the same questions.

Pete Davison News Editor

What next-gen machine would you buy right now: PlayStation 4

Why: Quite simply, my reason for picking PS4 over Xbox One for the next generation is down to my own personal taste in games. This generation, PS3 has provided a significantly greater proportion of things I want to play –primarily Japanese role-playing games – than Xbox 360 ever did, and PS4 looks as if it will continue that trend.

Now, granted, even after launch we still haven't seen a huge amount of PS4 games that aren't the usual press conference "guns and explosions" extravaganzas, but at the event where Sony first announced the PS4, there were a couple of slides right at the end where a lot of developer and publisher logos appeared, many of which made me very happy indeed: companies like Idea Factory, Compile Heart, NIS America and their ilk – niche developers making the kinds of things I enjoy. This gives me hope that PS4 will continue to offer me the things I want to play.

Alongside all that, I just like Sony's attitude towards gamers better. Their cheeky digs at Microsoft during E3 were justified and effective; Microsoft's nightmarish communication over the Xbox One, meanwhile, left me extremely wary of the new console, even though they backed down on the most controversial issues. More than that, though, I just don't see a compelling reason to own an Xbox One right now.

A new Final Fantasy is still a big event in the gaming calendar, regardless of what you thought of XIII.

The three games I'm most looking forward to: Final Fantasy XV is a multiplatform title, I know, but being someone who first came to the series with VII – yes, I'm one of those people, though I've since educated myself on the earlier games – Final Fantasy has always felt most at home on a Sony platform.

Not to sound like a series cheerleader, but I'm also looking forward to Final Fantasy XIV's release on PS4. Not because I plan on playing it on there -- I'm perfectly happy with the PC version, which works great with a controller for playing on the couch -- but because of the influx of new players it will bring. More new players will be a great thing -- it's always fun any time there's an influx of new blood into a game like this, and experienced players like myself can help show them the ropes.

Finally, again, although I'll more than likely be playing it on PC, I'm looking forward to Octodad. I had a blast with the PS4 demo version at the Eurogamer Expo last year, and I think the full game will be hilarious. It's also a clear sign that Sony is open to the idea of strange, quirky games alongside the marquee blockbusters that theoretically shift more consoles than anything else. I'm all for that.

Additional features that attracted me: While excessive social functionality is immensely irritating – sometimes I just want everyone online to bugger off and leave me alone while I'm playing a game – the PS4's feed of player activity is quite cool for sharing information on games, trophy activity and stuff like that, though I think we're yet to see it used to its full potential. Just please let me turn social features off when I want to, Sony!

Why I didn't choose its competitor: Microsoft lost my trust. Actually, it's been losing my trust for some time now, ever since the 360's dashboard started evolving from the no-frills Blades interface to the clunky New Xbox Experience to the ad-infested mess we have now. I don't trust Microsoft to provide me with the kind of experiences I want to play, I don't feel they understand what I want out of a games console -- there is no occasion I will ever want to watch television and play a game at the same time – and I also don't trust that they won't just pull support for games at some indefinite point in the future. Oh, and microtransactions suck, and Microsoft seems to be leading the charge at implementing these in full-price console games. That needs to stop before it starts. Is that a comprehensive enough list?

Brendan Sinclair Contributing Editor

What next-gen machine would you buy right now: PlayStation 4

Why: I vastly prefer Sony's ecosystem these days. While Xbox Live may be a slicker setup for online gaming, PlayStation Plus humiliates it when it comes to value. On top of that, I love my PlayStation Vita, and cross-buy functionality carries significant weight with me.

Going beyond the ecosystem, I'm just more interested in the games Sony has lined up. The emphasis on experimental and indie titles specifically is a huge draw for me. I can't wait to check out games like Road Not Taken, Rogue Legacy, and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Even though a lot of the indies will also be on PC (or already are, in the case of Rogue Legacy), I spend my entire workday in front of the computer already, so I'm more than ready to move to the couch when it comes time to play some games.

It's weird. It's wobbly. It's Octodad - one of the strangest, yet most entertaining indie games seen so far on PS4.

The three games I'm most looking forward to: Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Watch Dogs, and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Octodad was the coolest thing on the E3 show floor this year. Watch Dogs looks like it might be something a little bit different in the AAA space, and I'm deeply curious to see how Kojima adapts the Metal Gear formula to an open-world environment.

Additional features that attracted me: I hope the PS Vita integration is well done, but mostly because I feel that system doesn't get the love it deserves and I'm in favor of anything that helps convince people to give it a shot. The camera also interests me a little, though I really want a better reason to invest in it than Playroom.

Why I didn't choose its competitor: If the PS4 didn't exist, I would have picked up the Xbox One in a heartbeat. However, almost all the AAA games I want are already coming to the PS4, and I can't see myself paying an extra $500 for a second-choice system when the only things (so far) I would really need it for are Below and Dead Rising 3. Titanfall looks swell too, but I don't really go for online multiplayer that much and just let my Xbox Live Gold membership lapse after 11 years. I simply can't justify the investment in an Xbox One right now, and I don't see much on the horizon that could change my mind on that front.

Jaz Rignall Editorial Director

What next-gen machine would you buy right now: PlayStation 4

Why: I've actually got both right now, but if I had to get rid of one... Well... That's a tough, tough choice. I’ve been a PlayStation fan ever since I was blown away by a behind-the-scenes demo of the very first one in 1994. I’ve bought each new Sony-branded console on day one of its release, and I’ve never been disappointed. Well, almost. The early days of PlayStation 3 were pretty crappy if truth be told, and my machine was little more than a Blu Ray player for more months than I care to mention. But the machine turned around in the end, and I have no complaints about the last generation. Well, other than my first fat PlayStation 3 burned itself out after about three years.

If I'm being honest, I'll have to say that this time around I'm using my PS4 even less than I did my PS3 in its early days - and that's because my PS3 is still on active duty for playing games and Blu Rays, and streaming movies. With truly killer PS4 games few and far between, I just haven't had much of an excuse to turn it on, other than to have a quick blast of Resogun. Things will pick up soon enough for sure, but for now, my Xbox One is seeing more active duty. That's mainly because of Forza 5, which stands tall as the best next generation game so far - at least from my driving fanatic perspective.

I think both machines' interfaces are great - especially considering they're both in the process of being updated. They're functional and easy to use, so there's not deal-breakers there. I think the Xbox One is the better media machine, so if you're a heavy TV watcher, I'd definitely factor that into the equation. The PS4 is smaller than the Xbox One if that makes a difference. Oh, and of course price is a factor. The Xbox One is a fair bit more expensive - especially so when you consider you have to pay an annoying additional $25 to add a rechargeable battery to its controller - something that the PS4's controller has standard.

But ultimately, it's the long game I'm interested in, and looking into my crystal ball, I just see a tad more PS4 games coming along that I'm interested in, and that's the thing that swings it.

In an ideal world, Jaz would like this to be a screenshot of PS4 Gran Turismo 6. But one doesn't exist yet. So instead, here's The Order: 1886. Which looks like it's set in the middle of a San Francisco summer.

The three games I'm most looking forward to: The yet-unseen, next-gen Gran Turismo. Hopefully, this generation won’t make us wait eons like we had to the last time around. Until then, Driveclub should fill in nicely. At least, I hope it will. I had a lot of fun playing it at E3 last year, so I'll be bitterly disappointed if almost a year later it's somehow blown a gasket. For some reason, I’m highly intrigued by The Order: 1886. I love alt-history stuff, and this just piqued my interest. It might be another first-person snoozer, but if it delivers on its premise, it could be a winner. The third? Lord. Take your pick from Watchdogs, Titanfall, or Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade.

Additional features that attracted me: The controller. Yeah. I know it’s not for everyone, but the PlayStation controller is one of my all-time favorite gaming peripherals, and I’m very pleased to see it’s evolved slightly for PS4, but still feels very much the same. Having a controller that is super-comfortable and familiar is one of the most important aspects of a console for me – and PlayStation controllers have become a fundamental part of my gaming experience.

That’s pretty much it. I don’t really care about the social features at all – most of my social interaction is done down the barrel of a gun, or whatever weapon I have available. So more ways of reaching out and connecting with the friends I don’t have means nothing to me. I like the idea of sharing videos – perhaps to show off some cool stuff, but again, it’s a neat thing, rather than a wow thing.

Why I didn't choose its competitor: Actually, I chose both. But for the benefit of this feature, the PS4 takes it in a photo finish on pure personal preference and price. Ultimately, you can't go wrong with either, so choose whichever one has the most games you're interested in - and factor in the Xbox One's media credentials if that's important to you.

Mike Williams Staff Writer

What next-gen machine would you buy right now: PlayStation 4

Why: Just after Sony's absolute thrashing of Microsoft at its press conference, I surfed to Amazon on my smartphone and pre-ordered a PlayStation 4. Game-wise, both platform holders showed off some compelling titles, but in a wash they're both equal. That's why Sony's price difference and the announcement that there would be no always-online DRM was devastating, even if Microsoft's about-face worked out for them.

Now both systems sit under my entertainment center, but if I only had enough money to purchase one, it'd still be the PlayStation 4. The Xbox One is a better media box for me, but if the focus is playing games, I spend far more time on my PlayStation 4. For multi-platform games, it looks like Sony's console will continue to hold the edge and the DualShock 4 is a superior controller to Microsoft's option.

I'd still be willing to miss out on Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, and Killer Instinct for $100. The PlayStation 4 just strikes me as a stronger game system overall, and I purchased the PlayStation Eye, so there's hope Sony can improve the system's voice capabilities as well.

Infamous: Second Son is riding high on Mike's top PS4 games list.

The three games I'm most looking forward to: Infamous: Second Son is my killer app. I've always loved the Infamous series and the latest version looks amazing. That's joined by Uncharted for PS4; we only have a logo for that game, but even the worse game in the series was still an enjoyable playthrough. Finally, The Order: 1886 intrigues me, but the jury is still out on what the game will play like.

Additional features that attracted me: Vita Remote Play is absolutely perfect. I thought off-screen play was one of the Wii U's better ideas, but the Gamepad is limited to a certain area that doesn't stretch throughout my entire apartment, whereas my WiFi does. I've also tested the feature by connecting to my system from someone else's WiFi; it worked great. Being able to continue a PS4 game on a Vita makes me love the little portable even more. Plus, the Share button feature is pretty awesome for on-the-fly Twitch streaming.

Why I didn't choose its competitor: Price. The games shown at E3 and VGX - outside of a few exclusives - have showed me that multi-platform development is here to say. Sure, some of the E3 announcements seemed to point towards exclusive games, like Final Fantasy XV, but further examination showed those games coming out for both platforms. That leaves price as a primary driver for me. The PlayStation 4 wins hands-down. There's also my assumption that Japan's support of the Xbox One will be as strong as its support of the Xbox 360. Which is to say, almost non-existent.

Jeremy Parish Senior Editor

What next-gen machine would you buy right now: PlayStation 4

Why: Well, frankly, Sony has done a better job of selling me on the machine. Fundamentally, they're both more similar than any two other consoles that come to mind, with similar hardware power and social features, and both look like they're going to inspire more of the same games we've been playing over the past generation. That being said, Sony has the edge not only on power but also on content. I’ve heard Microsoft’s non-gaming divisions got their fingers into the Xbox One pie, and it’s shown — the machine has a heavy focus on non-gaming features, and in many cases it’s quickly backpedalled from those features, resulting in a muddled, distracted public face.

On the other hand, Sony has put games front and center while making it clear all that other crap is present but secondary. I also really admire Sony's emphasis on independent game publishers and encouraging crosstalk between PS4 and Vita. The Vita's had a tough time of it so far, but if they pull off the interconnectivity of the two systems, I could see it managing to eclipse Nintendo's Wii U/3DS setup in terms of potential.

Admittedly, neither platform is precisely bursting with great content, but Sony already has a leg up on Microsoft thanks to solid indies like Resogun and Don’t Starve. As much as I’ve hated Sony’s first-party offerings at retail so far (Killzone and Knack are both dreadful), its future looks strong in terms of both big-budget and indie software. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s current offerings are equally lean and equally lousy, but they’re also riddled with gross free-to-play-style microtransaction prompts. That crap keeps me from playing F2P software altogether, and I’m definitely not any more kindly disposed to it when it appears in a game I’ve already dropped $60 on.

Jeremy's not seen any PS4 games that he absolutely must have. So here's a picture of the console. Which is the only thing he'll be looking at if he has no games for it.

The three games I'm most looking forward to: In no particular order: 1001 Spikes, Metal Gear Solid V, and Alien: Isolation. Yes, all of these games will be available on other platforms, but they won’t all be available on Xbox One. And, truth be told, the big games just seem like they’ll feel a little better on Sony; the moderate edge it has on power and memory means that games look and move a little more smoothly on PS4. I’m not really a mark for specs, but some of the side-by-side experiences I had during the previous console generation made it clear that it’s usually a better idea to go with the more system that’s more capable or easier to program for. Last time around, that was Microsoft’s box; this time, Sony takes the prize.

Additional features that attracted me: Crossplay support between PS4 and Vita should add a lot of depth and appeal to their shared indie library. I’m also eager to see how PlayStation Now shapes up. It could be little more than a fee-based rendition of the meager PS1 and PS2 classics library Sony made available for PS3, but my hope is that it will launch with support for thousands of games — a Netflix-style buffet of software. I guess we’ll see, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of a doubt until we see for certain. After all, this is America, not the UK; you’re innocent until proven guilty here.

Why I didn't choose its competitor: At the risk of sounding repetitive, it boils down to the three factors I’ve cited already. The Xbox One lacks the breadth of software that Sony has been proclaiming; its meager support for indie and Japanese games gives PS4 a massive edge. It’s less capable than the PS4, with only the promise of some theoretical cloud-based extensibility in the far-flung future to go on. And finally, its offerings are compromised by things like excessive microtransactions and Microsoft’s eager desperation to make Xbox One the box that does everything (oh, and also it plays video games, I guess). My feelings on the two platforms haven’t changed at all since before launch — if anything, I’ve only seen my initial impressions confirmed. I wouldn’t say Xbox One is down for the count by any means, but I certainly expect to do the lion’s share of my gaming on PS4.

The best community comments so far 55 comments

  • man.the.king 3 months ago

    Considering that every single member of the staff voted for PS4, I have to say this is a brave article, clearly outlining where the staff members' current individual preferences lie (and their reasons for the same), and willing to risk some hardcore XBox fans' ire in the process.Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2014 by Unknown

  • epiksol 3 months ago

    PS4 for me for just about all of the reasons laid out in this article.

    As a side note– I find it funny that those who would choose neither feel so compelled to say so and proceed to prove some point.

    The article title clearly states Xbox One vs PlayStation 4; NOT Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 vs PC vs Wii U...

  • cldmstrsn 3 months ago

    I would buy a PS4. it is cheaper and it has games that I want to play, simple as that. Also I dont want to have to pay for xbox live just to watch netflix.

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