Update: We retooled our PS4 vs Xbox One comparison with a focus on specs, graphics performance, new games and firmware updates.
Both Sony and Microsoft claim to have the advantage in powering gamers through the next decade. To see if that's true, our Xbox One vs PS4 comparison requires an update.
Xbox One gamers finally received Titanfall, a next-gen exclusive courtesy of ex-Call of Duty developers. It came out in late March and Xbox Live subscribers haven't stopped playing since.
We're not at a point where Xbox One and PS4 price drops mean that the average gamer can afford both, so it's important to go feature by feature and pick the best one.
- Order Xbox One now from: Amazon | Zavvi | Tesco | GAME
- Order PS4 now from: Amazon | Zavvi | Tesco | GAME
Xbox One vs PS4 design
Deciding between PS4 and Xbox One is like peeling back an onion, and it starts with the outermost layer, the design.
Xbox One's dimensions make it a menacing gaming beast that measures 13.5 in x 10.4 in x 3.2 in. It's also riddled with vents as to not overheat for another Red Ring of Death scenario.
It towers over every other device (though Microsoft advises not to stand it up vertically), and completely dwarfs our smallest home theater gadget, the app-filled Chromecast.
PS4 has a more distinctive angular shape with an overall stylish design. This half-matte half-gloss console measures a slimmer 10.8 in x 12 in x 2 in at its widest regions.
These dimensions make Sony's machine more media cabinet-friendly, at least next to Xbox One. The new Xbox also weighs a heftier 3.56 kg to PS4's 2.75 kg.
PS4 has the advantage of hiding ports too, though as we illustrated in our video comparison, this can actually make it harder to plug cables into the back of the system.
In this way, Xbox One represents functionality over form. A lot of the specs are comparable, but Microsoft and Sony really diverged when it came to the designs of Xbox One and PS4.
That may matter since you're buying into an expensive console that's going to sit front and center in your living room entertainment system for the next ten years.
The future of gaming, in association with O2 Guru
Xbox One vs PS4 front and rear ports
Next gen reviews
PlayStation 4 review
We've fondled the hardware and we've played the games. Check out what we think of the PS4.
More clear cut is the wireless connectivity situation. PS4 makes room for gigabit ethernet and 802.11 WiFi bands b/g/n, while Xbox One includes all of that plus the older 802.11a band.
Xbox One also supports both the 2.4GHz and newer 5GHz channels that are compatible with dual band routers. PS4 limits connections to 2.4GHz, which is likely to have more interference.
Both systems have 500GB hard drives, but only PS4 allows user-replaceable internal drives. An Xbox One teardown found a standard-looking drive inside, but replacing it voids the warranty.
Instead, Xbox One owners will eventually be able to add external storage to their monster-sized system. That's not an option that Sony supports in its "go big or go home" internal approach.
PS4 and Xbox One are void of remarkable characteristics on the front. There's a Blu-ray/DVD combo drive to the left and their respective, muted-color logos to the right. PS3 has a pair of USB ports tucked between its sandwich-like halves next to where the disc drive is located.
Next gen reviews
Xbox One review
Our first impressions of Microsoft's new Kinect-powered games machine.
It's all around back for Xbox One. That's where it has two USB ports (a third port is on the side), HDMI in, HDMI out, S/PDIF for digital audio, a proprietary Xbox One Kinect port, an IR blaster connection and an Ethernet port. To the far right is a K-lock in case you want to lug this system around to LAN parties.
Sony went with a minimalist approach when it came to PS4's rear ports. You'll only find an HDMI out, S/PDIF, Ethernet and PS4 camera port (marked "AUX") around back.
Xbox One is more feature-packed in this area thanks to its HDMI in and IR blaster connections used for its TV cable or satellite box functionality. PS4 lacks this passthrough technology, opting to stick with gaming as its top priority.