Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Next Gen console wars: my short review on PS4 and the XB1

So after using the #XBoxOne  since tax returns were due I feel I have a grasp on the two consoles. Short review:

Disclosure: I do not have a camera for either one so I cannot judge the ability to stream. From what I have SEEN the PS4 handles streaming better from the console directly. The XB1 allows you to say Broadcast and then stream your content but I have not tried that. The ability to voice activate however would make a great addition for me on the XB1. 

The Xbox One is a great multimedia machine. So good that I tend to use it a lot more than my #PS4  right now mainly for watching Twitch and the other apps on the console which just work better and more logically (fast fowarding controls, the searches etc etc are more like a PC). 

HOWEVER. There is a noticeable lag on the Xbox One. Something I cannot put my finger on. It seems like its always a step behind in games and in the interface. Its barely noticeable to the layman I am sure but I can feel it. The #PS4  is snappy and reacts quickly. The system menu is easier to use also however it is more sparse. 

The Xbox One system menu is a bit clunky to get around at first but once you realize you can pin things to the home screen it basically becomes Windows 8 Metro. 

The PS4 apps need a lot of work. The Twitch app, which is non existent and called Live from Playstation, is basically worthless. It has horrible sorting, shows no PC content (i.e. your followers) and is horribly organized. The Netflix app has clunky operating but responds sharply. The MLB app is superior to the XBOX One version at this point mainly due to lag on the Xbox One. 

Still at night I use the #XboxOne  more at this point mainly because I can route my Comcast TV through the Xbox and minimize live TV into a window while I look at my home menu on the console. This can be buggy however at times as my TV loses the resolution and sometimes freaks out if I turn it on first without the console.

Some games are not as responsive on the XB1 as well. For example I noticed definite lag in Dragon Age compared to the PS4 version. 

Destiny plays about the same but I dont like the controller layout. I ended up missing that middle pad on the PS4 controller. Its just a great innovation. 

FIFA 15 has a few more graphical errors than the PS4, Madden is about the same and NHL Hockey on the XB1 is awful in its sluggishness but that game had a less than flattering next gen release.

Dying Light and Diablo 3 play great. Shadows of Mordor is a bit less responsive on the controller with an XB1. The PS4 version plays better

The PS4 store: horrible. Frequently lags out or does not launch.
The XB1 store: so so but annoying to navigate. The search is lame and its hard to narrow things down. Both of these consoles need work on their store apps. 

Memberships: I honestly cannot recommend a single game offered by the PS4 Plus program so far. Its all been indie title junk I dont play. I compare this to buying cheap Atari 2600 cartridges back on the day. Meanwhile PS3 Plus owners are getting kick ass games like Dishonored for free. Go figure

The XB1 Gold Member plan has frequent sales and about the same titles as the PS4. The sales make it worth it however you need it for some online games like Destiny etc. This is a toss up right now. I prefer the deals and the sales on the XB1 store right now but the titles are mediocre at best for the free stuff. Pool Nation was a laggy boring loadfest. 

Social functions: The PS4 share button is a thing of beauty and super responsive. Screenshots and videos are fast and responsive to make

On the XB1 its laggy and slow. You must press the XB1 button QUICKLY  twice while in game to bring up a sluggish menu where you can take a screenshot or tell it to record a clip. So you can figure out what could happen from there. Yes you tap it too slowly and it minimizes the game you are playing to a window and takes you to the XB1 home screen. Annoying

On the PS4 whenever you go to share a photo to Twitter or Facebook and you are in an online game it WILL disconnect you. On Xb1 this doesnt happen. However sharing RIGHT from the game does NOT exist. You must launch their sluggish Uploads program on the Xb1 to edit and share things.

The XB1 really needs to integrate gaming fast social media better as the PS4 beats it there. 

One nice thing the XB1 one will do is save clips when you do something great but I have only seen this happen in EA Sports games.

So in short for a multimedia machine the XB1 is great. Easily can replace Apple TV or a Roku on your main TV so you can move that to another room. 

The PS4 however is still a beefier gaming machine. Its sharp and responsive and sometimes I just feel the XB1 is slightly behind in response time

Both consoles have titles that are worth getting at least to me. The PS4 wins though in terms of titles only for their console. On the XB1 State of Decay is great, Neverwinter is fun but on the PS4 you have MMO's like DCUO and Final Fantasy. Last of Us on the PS4 and Bloodborne are huge right now and the XB1 hasn't really matched that degree of hype except with the HALO Master Set which had some launch issues. 

So for the TLDR: it is as we expected. The PS4 is a pure gaming machine with just enough apps and things like that to satisfy the media crowd that is not too fixated on that.

The XB1 is a great family multi media device that tries to do a little of everything but could use a slight speed overhaul. If I had to go 10 years on the next gen consoles I would put my money on the PS4 which is what I did originally. Then however the nerd side got the better of me and I gave in and got the XB1 just to see how the other half was living. 

Ah well. It never hurts to have the best of all the gaming worlds. PC, XB1, and the PS4. Now I just need to work on getting a VITA