The PS4 Is More Powerful Than Xbox One

With one exception

The PlayStation 4 is a more powerful video game console than the Xbox One. While both machines have similar internals, Sony's console wins when it comes to resolution. Horsepower isn't the only thing that matters, and there's one specific instance where Microsoft pulls ahead of its competitor. We explain below.

PS4 Slim vs. Xbox One S Graphics Comparison

The PS4 Slim and Xbox One S are mid-generation hardware refreshes of the original PS4 and Xbox One consoles. These are marketed and sold as the base models of their brands. Both feature eight-core processors, AMD Jaguar GPUs, and 8 GB of RAM.

The PS4 has an advantage over its competition when it comes to resolution. Many third-party titles can run at a full 1080p at 30 or 60 fps on the Sony console, but cap out at 900p at 30 or 60 fps on the Microsoft console.

This isn't to say the Xbox One S isn't powerful. It can capably run whatever current-generation games you wish to play, and those games will look great. However, the PS4 graphics have a bit more crispness and detail.

PS4 Pro vs. Xbox One X Graphics Comparison

While the PS4 Slim has a slight edge over the Xbox One S, Microsoft's premium version of its console pulls ahead when it comes to resolution and textures.

The Xbox One X features a processor with eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3 GHz, 12 GB of RAM, and a GPU that's comparable to some upper-midrange to high-end PC graphics cards. The PS4 Pro sports an eight-core processor clocked at 2.1 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, and a slightly less powerful GPU.

The Xbox One X can play many games in real 4K, while the PS4 Pro's 4K is often upscaled.

As with the base models, the differences between the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are minor. Games look and run great on either system. However, if you're looking for the best console graphics possible or true 4K, you might be better served by the Xbox One X.

Why Resolution Doesn't Matter

The Xbox One is multiple times more powerful than its predecessor, the Xbox 360. Just because the game resolution isn't higher doesn't mean the graphics aren't better. The Xbox One can have more characters, particles, and special effects on-screen due to improved hardware. It has better artificial intelligence, better lighting, better physics, and better-looking textures. Plus, it can render all of this while maintaining a consistent frame rate. Games look and perform better on the Xbox One than on the older generation. While games on the Microsoft console may not look as good as their PS4 counterparts, they still look great.

Consider this about resolution. The Nintendo NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, and Wii consoles ran at 480i resolution (the GC and Wii did have optional progressive scan 480p modes). Still, the graphics changed from one generation to the next despite the resolution being the same.

Also, many Xbox 360 games weren't even 720p, yet the games still looked very good. Your favorite Xbox 360 games, and many PS3 games, were probably 540p, 600p, or some other sub-HD resolution upscaled to 720p or 1080p on your TV.

While the PS4 is more powerful, it doesn't always achieve the mythical 1080p and 60 fps target.

Power Doesn't Equal Success

The PS4 can produce better visuals than the Xbox One S, and the Xbox One X often looks better than the PS4 Pro. However, pure power doesn't matter that much. Fun games are what matters, and you don't need the top of the line graphics to make good games.

If you care about graphics first and foremost, consider building a gaming PC. A mid-range rig can blow both the Xbox One and PS4 out of the water. We have a helpful guide to get you started.