PS4 vs Xbox One: which is better?

Sony PlayStation 4 sales reach 20 million, but Microsoft is still catching up

Xbox One vs PS4 apps
When it comes to apps, Xbox One is in the ever-so-slight lead

Xbox One vs PS4 apps

The Xbox 360 and PS3 proved to be more than just gaming machines and Xbox One and PS4 are no different. Of course, most are shared across both platforms.

In the UK, both systems share Netflix, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video (formerly Lovefilm), Sky Now TV and Demand5.

Exclusive Xbox One apps include YouTube, Ted, Twitch and region-specific services like 4oD, Blinkbox, Eurosport, and Microsoft-owned apps Internet Explorer, OneDrive, Skype and Xbox Music and Xbox Video are all here too.

That contrasts with PS4's UK app offering. Sony's console features BBC iPlayer, BBC Sports and BBC News, VidZone and Sony's Music Unlimited and Videos Unlimited services.

In Australia, app-deprived gamers have access to VidZone and Quickflix and Sony's own apps. Xbox One delivers a better lineup: Crackle, MLB.TV, SBS ON DEMAND, Ted, TENplay, Twitch and YouTube as well as most of Microsoft's apps.

Are Xbox One vs PS4 backward compatible?

Sony and Microsoft keep teasing the ability to bring old games to their new systems in a variety of ways, but we're still waiting for Xbox One and PS4 backward compatibility.

Right now, Sony's PlayStation Now is in open beta - but only in the and it costs money to rent games like The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Dead Space 3 and Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes on the PS4.

Sony has expanded its Gaikai-based video game streaming service to PS Vita and PlayStation TV, with plans to add even Bravia TVs, and then include PlayStation and PS2 to the so far PS3-only lineup.

But when will all of this exciting PlayStation Now content from to the UK? Sony is on the record saying that you can expect to see it sometime in 2015. That's not too far off.

Microsoft could take the same route with Xbox One backward compatibility. The company is working on Xbox 360 emulation for the newer console, but doesn't have plans to bring it to fruition right now.

None of these options are foolproof yet. That means you'll need to keep your Xbox 360 and PS3 in order to replay Halo 4 and Uncharted 3. You can't sell the old systems, and that means people won't be able to readily buy them - they're more likely to purchase them directly from Microsoft and Sony.

Other PS4 and Xbox One differences

The look of the console, the feel of the controller and the appeal of the games list are the main differences from which consumers will decide on PS4 and Xbox One.

However, there are other factors at play one should consider before buying into a new system. It's a good idea to converse with friends, keeping mind of their potential bias.

Since there's no such thing as cross-platform multiplayer, you may be split up when playing Call of Duty on PS4 when all of your friends own it for Xbox One.

Both Microsoft and Sony are charging for multiplayer this console generation, whereas PS3 gamers got to log into matches Scott-Free.

Sony sadly moved closer to Microsoft in this way, while Microsoft moved closer to Sony by tearing down the Xbox Live app paywall. You no longer have to subscribe to stream Netflix and other apps.

Microsoft also supports MP3 and DLNA playback with the Xbox One, whereas Sony neglected to add such compatibility. It's promised to rectify that in a future firmware update, but hasn't supplied us with an update in several months.

The PS4 vs Xbox One comparison has evolved in the last ten months, mostly because Microsoft's plans have shifted, from Xbox One price drops to more lenient paywall policies to graphics specs upgrades.

These two next-generation consoles are now on a more even video game playing field, which means Sony and Microsoft are going to start throwing Uncharted 4 to Halo 5 Guardians at you, and that's a win for all gamers.

The expert views

Keza MacDonald - Editor, Kotaku UK

For me it comes down to the variety of games, and PS4 has that sewn up right now. You can play all the biggest games on both consoles, but if your tastes are eclectic, Sony's indie and in-house lineup is irresistible.

Matt Hill - Editor, Gizmodo UK

PS4 for me. The majority of multi-platform games run better on it, the PS Plus subscription service serves up a stream of good, cheap games – even better if you also have Vita and PS3 – and it looks nicer in the living room. Is that a valid reason? Damn straight it is.

Sophia Tong - Global Editor in Chief, GamesRadar

I have both because I like having options and access to everything (I even own a Wii U). For me it's about the games, but if I had to choose I do like the Xbox One's interface more because I can bark commands at it.

Hugh Langley - UK News Editor, TechRadar

It has to be the PS4 right now. Between PlayStation Plus, PS Now, Vita cross-play, and the promise of Morpheus, the whole PlayStation ecosystem feels like it's growing into something truly terrific. That said, don't get comfortable, Sony - the Xbox One is definitely beginning to close the gap.