PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Which Game Console Should You Buy?

The upcoming releases of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One have Sony and Microsoft fanatics alike anxiously awaiting the 2013 holiday shopping season. While some of us already know which new console we will be committing to, others are busily comparing the tech specs and E3 footage to make the best choice.

If you’re in the latter boat and still don’t know which console you’re wanting to commit to yet, you’re in luck! We’ve got the lowdown on what to look out for with PS4 and Xbox One – and for some perspective we’re including a look at the competition between the older Sony and MIcrosoft consoles for comparison. Whether you’re an experienced gamer or new to the market, we’ve got you covered.

To help you out with your decision, we’ll give you some of the background information about the 20+ years of Sony and Microsoft’s creation of gaming consoles by highlighting some of the most successful units – and analyzing the pitfalls. We’ll also highlight some of the bestselling games, both overall and exclusive to each console – so if games are what you’re basing your decisions, we’ll hook you up in that respect too.

By the time you finish this article you’ll be ready to commit come the release of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One!

What to look out for come November

The US releases of both PS4 and Xbox One are scheduled for November of 2013, right in time for the holiday season – and if you have a gamer in the family you’re especially going to want to do your research ahead of time.

PlayStation 4, the successor of 2006’s hot item PlayStation 3, is the 8th generation console in the PlayStation series. It has a slender design, and will be smaller and sleeker than Xbox One’s expected measurements. It has a built in power supply, making the console quite living room-friendly! Additionally, the console will include ports for HDMI, optical S/PDIF, two USB3, and an auxiliary port for the Playstation Camera. The Blu-Ray capabilities of PS4 will be getting an upgrade from the previous units as well.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about PlayStation 4 is that it will be selling for a mere $399 – chump change in the expensive world of gaming!

Follow this link for an entire list of official specs for PS4 from

Xbox One is the eighth-generation console entry from Microsoft, and will also be released in November of this year as a direct competitor with PlayStation 4.

Xbox One is going to be a seriously high-tech console in comparison with other consoles. It will have a Kinect camera and voice control, access to Skype, and it will allow you to use your smartphone or tablet to display secondary information. The technology they’ve put into it goes beyond the cutting edge to the bleeding edge, and if that’s what you’re after, the Xbox One may be for you.

Microsoft originally announced a system of online-only gameplay that sounded like the wave of the future–but would have mandated an internet connection and prevented used game sales. In the face of intense criticism, they withdrew their plan, but nevertheless you have to expect that something similar to return in the future.

All in all, Microsoft is making some serious technological strides with this console, but at a cost. Xbox One will cost $499 – $100 more than PlayStation 4. It’s important to remember though that Xbox One will include Kinect, while PS4 will not. So the initial cost of PlayStation will be less, but if you do want camera-captured gameplay from the Playstation Camera with your PS4 the cost will be well above the sticker price, making Xbox One potentially the better option.

Eight Generations of Success

PlayStation and Xbox have been two of the most successful gaming consoles in the industry, so whichever decision you make with which to purchase is going to be a safe decision. Regardless, let’s take a look at some of the former consoles that have made PlayStation and Xbox, respectively, what they are today.


ps1The first PlayStation was released in 1994– and over 9.5 years sold around 100 million consoles. Interestingly, PlayStation spawned from a failed collaboration between Sony and Nintendo to create a CD-ROM attachment for Super NIntendo. Nintendo backed out of the deal at the last minute, and Sony went off to create PlayStation on their own.

I wonder if Nintendo regrets backing out of that deal?

PlayStation 2 is the most popular unit in the history of gaming consoles, and has sold more than 150 million units since its release in 2000. A smaller gaming console PS One was released earlier in the year and actually sold more units in 2000, but was of course quickly passed by PlayStation 2 in the years following.

PlayStation 3 – released in 2006 and in competition with Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 – later went on to become the first gaming console to use controllers that did not have to be directly attached to the unit, which was certainly an innovative contribution to the world of gaming – no longer did living room design have to follow video game controllers!

The prices of PlayStations on their release dates have varied over the years:

  • PlayStation (1994): $299 ($456 adjusted for inflation)
  • PlayStation 2 (2000): $299 ($393 adjusted for inflation)
  • PlayStation 3 (2006): $499 for the 20 GB version and $599 for the 60 GB version. ($566 adjusted for inflation)
  • PlayStation 4 (2013): $399

As has the popularity as shown by sales:

  • PlayStation (1994): 102.49 million units sold
  • PlayStation 2 (2000): 154.4 million units sold
  • PlayStation 3 (2006): 70 million units sold
  • PlayStation 4 (2013): To be determined!



The first Xbox was created by Microsoft engineers working on their video software, known as DirectX. They wanted to make a video game console to compete with the PS2. They began by calling it a DirectX box, which evolved into Xbox – a much better name, to be honest.

As far as gaming consoles go, Xbox is not nearly as old as some of the others. First released in 2001, Xbox was Microsoft’s first time creating a gaming console to compete with some of the more established names. Yet, with the massive success of previous Xboxes, they’ve definitely made up for lost time!

Xbox Live launched in 2002 and allowed subscribers to connect to the internet and play online. Given Xbox’s longstanding relying on the internet, it’s maybe no surprise that they tried to make the switch to online-only games with Xbox One – and they’ll likely be the first in the not-so-distant future.

Xbox 360 sold out completely upon its release in 2005, having already formed a huge fan base. While PlayStation 3 saw wireless controllers, Xbox 360 later one-upped Sony with the introduction of the Kinect, a full-body motion-detection system that enables you to play games without a controller. Unlike the Xbox moniker – which came directly from the developers – ”Kinect” sounds like it came from the marketing team. It combines the sound “connect” with the look of “kinetic”, meaning “active” – sensible, because you can actively connect to the game by moving!

Xbox is definitely going up in price with this coming release:

  • Xbox (2001): $299.99 ($388 adjusted for inflation)
  • Xbox 360 (core) (2005): $299.99 ($347 adjusted for inflation)
  • Xbox One (2013): $499

Popularity of Microsoft’s Xbox also seems to be increasing, according to sales:

  • Xbox (2001): 24 million units sold
  • Xbox 360 (2005): 77.2 million units sold
  • Xbox One (2013): To be determined!

Microsoft has some serious work to do to catch up to PlayStation’s success in terms of sales, but we’ll see if the new changes to the Xbox consoles bring more revenue.


If what you’re most interested in when it comes to buying a new gaming console are the games – which lets face it, that’s the point! –  there are some things you need to know as well.

First of all, while most of the big games are available on multiple platforms, Microsoft has benefited immensely from the Xbox-only game Halo. A first-person shooter, there have been 4 main iterations from Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001 through to Halo 4 in 2012. Both Halo 3 and Halo 4 grossed $300 million in their first weeks – more than any blockbuster movie opening week, ever (among films, The Avengers has the highest opening week at $270 million.)

PlayStation on the other hand hasn’t had as much success with PlayStation exclusive games. However, games like Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy, and Call of Duty in particular have sold especially well for PlayStation.


The following lists include the top selling games for each PlayStation console and each Xbox console, respectively:

Top 5 bestselling games PlayStation

  • Gran Turismo – 10.85 million games sold
  • Gran Turismo 2 – 9.97 million games sold
  • Final fantasy VII – 9.72 million games sold
  • Tomb Raider II – 8 million games sold
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 8 million games sold

Top 5 selling games PlayStation 2

  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – 17.33 million games sold
  • Grand Turismo 3: A-Spec – 14.89 million games sold
  • Gran Turismo 4 – 11.73 million games sold
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – 9.61 million games sold
  • Grand Theft Auto III – 7.9 million games sold

Top 5 selling games from PlayStation 3

  • Gran Turismo 5 – 10.66 million copies
  • Gran Turismo 5 Prologue – 5.35 million copies
  • God of War III – 5.2 million copies sold
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II – 4.8 million copies sold
  • Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – 3.8 million copies sold

Top 5 bestselling games Xbox

  • Halo 2 (2004)- 8 million games sold
  • Halo: Combat evolved (2001) – 5 million games sold
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (2002)- 3 million games sold
  • Fable (2004) – 3 million games sold
  • Project Gotham Racing (2001) – 2.5 million games sold

Top 5 bestselling games Xbox 360

  • Kinect Adventures (2010) – 24 million games sold
  • Halo 3 (2007) – 14 million games sold
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010) – 12 million games sold
  • Minecraft (2012) – 6.1 million games sold
  • Gears of War (2006) – 5 million games sold

Then we have the top selling PlayStation and Xbox exclusive games for the most recent consoles (barring the new 8th generation releases, of course):

Top 5 selling PlayStation 3 exclusives:

  • Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  • Resistance 3
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Top 5 bestselling exclusive games for Xbox 360:

  • Halo
  • Gears of War
  • Gears of War 2
  • Halo 3
  • Forza Motorsport 2

The console exclusive lists are especially important to keep in mind. If you’re looking to buy one of the new releases for a loved one, better be sure the games they’ll be wanting to play are compatible with the console you purchase!

It’s time to make your choice

Now that you know everything about Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox past, present, and future you’re ready to make your choice! Like I mentioned earlier, both companies have a strong history of creating highly successful gaming consoles, so it’s just down to the minor details to help you make a final decision. If you’re buying for someone else be sure to check with your loved one about which games they want to play, whether or not they’d like Kinect included, or if they have an already established relationship with either PlayStation or Xbox’s former models. Be sure to order your unit ahead of time too if you’d like to avoid chaos on the release days – or the possibility they’ll run out! Both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are sure to be huge hits– and we can’t wait to see what the eighth generation of these gaming consoles will bring!


Category: Financial News

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