PS4 vs Xbox One: which is better?

PS4 vs Xbox One graphics comparison

In this section we'll be comparing the graphical performance of the Xbox One S with the base PS4, as well as comparing the Xbox One X with the PS4 Pro. 

It's early days when it comes to the 4K consoles, so we'll be keeping this page updated as more and more games are released that support the Xbox One X. 

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro graphics comparison

  • Early evidence suggests the Xbox One X has the edge in terms of both resolution and texture detail
  • However, currently developers aren't making the most out of the Xbox One X, and many games present minimal differences

FIFA 18

FIFA 18 does very well on both consoles, with a native 4K video output on both. Despite the differences in the specs of the two machines, there isn't too much to separate the two versions of the game. 

Digital Foundry's analysis of the two versions suggests that the only real difference is a slightly better draw distance for the grass on the Xbox One X version of the game. 

We'd be wary about drawing too many conclusions about what this says about the relative capabilities of the two consoles. We'd say this is probably a matter of EA having not quite pushed the X to the limits of what it's capable of. 

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

It's a completely different story when it comes to Middle Earth: Shadow of War. 

Although the game doesn't run at native 4K on either console, it runs at a slightly higher resolution of 1980p on the Xbox One X compared to the PS4 Pro's 1620p. 

Beyond resolution Digital Foundry notes that there are a number of other improvements present on the Xbox One X version of the game. This version has much better textures thanks to the improved memory bandwidth the hardware offers. 

The overall result is an image that's much clearer overall on Microsoft's console.

The Xbox One X version is also more configurable, with the option to turn its Dynamic Resolution mode on and off. We're not sure why you would, since this negatively impacts framerate in favor of resolution, but it's nice to have the option. 

Diablo 3

Diablo 3 is another game where Digital Foundry has noted the Xbox One X scores another performance win over the PS4 Pro. Both versions are capable of 4K, but the PS4 Pro dynamically scales down dramatically more in outdoor areas. 

Dynamic scaling is something both consoles do, but it's more of a problem on the PS4 Pro. 

However, beyond resolution both games come packing exactly the same textures. 

Conclusion

Overall, the Xbox One X is certainly capable of much better graphics and much greater visual customization than the PS4 Pro thanks to its greater power. Looking at FIFA 18 and Shadow of War together, however, shows that better graphics won’t necessarily be the case across every single game - it’s really down to the developer. That said, the Xbox One X is certainly the more future-proofed option for those interested in getting the best 4K assets. 

PS4 vs Xbox One S graphics comparison

  • Games on the original PS4 tend to run at higher resolutions than their Xbox One S counterparts.

While the Xbox One X appears to have the edge over the PS4 Pro, it's a different story when it comes to the Xbox One S and PS4. 

A gameplay video on YouTube of GTA 5 pans between the two next-gen versions of the game with a definitive answer. The base PS4 GPU is able to handle more foliage in environments than the base Xbox One.

Yes, you literally have to get into the weeds to see the differences, though both the PS4 and Xbox editions of GTA 5 look stellar compared to their last-gen counterparts.

In the Metal Gear Solid 5 comparison, there's slightly more clarity to the PS4 version. Specifically, distant textures and moving objects appear softer among the otherwise identical Xbox One visuals.

It's a trend we're seeing from PS4 games that achieve a 1080p resolution at 30 or 60 frames per second when their Xbox One counterparts run at 720p or 900p at 30 or 60fps.

This is a trend that's continuing today, with video analysis, such as the one below, indicating that Battlefield 1 runs at a consistently higher resolution on the PS4 than the Xbox One, with both consoles hitting the same variable 60fps frame rate. 

It's a similar story when it comes to Titanfall 2, which likewise runs at a lower resolution on Xbox One. 

Overall, the PS4 appears to have the edge on the Xbox One, but both are left in the dust by their more powerful younger siblings.